Australia mandating vote
While it is true that only 22% of Canadian youth bothered to vote in the last election, which is not good for democracy, mandatory voting is only one of many steps needing to be taken to changing our electoral system in order to get youth voting and to improve democracy.
One suggestion that that ahs been proposedd is that that they lower the voting age from 18 to 16.
Does that, however, mean that democracy is being served?
On the other hand, forcing people who don’t want to vote to do so, does not mean that they are, necessarily, informed voters.
Voters may spoil their ballots or vote for fringe parties just to make a statement.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but does that advance the state of democracy in Canada?
Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U. while speaking to a civic group in Cleveland on Wednesday. Just ask Australia, where citizens have no choice but to vote, the president said.
Voting Rubric Is mandatory voting in the interest of democracy or in the interest of political parties (democracy and politics are not synonymous)?
At least two dozen countries have some form of compulsory voting, including Belgium, Brazil and Argentina.
In many systems, absconders must provide a valid excuse or face a fine, although a few countries have laws on the books that allow for potential imprisonment.
(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at the University of Chicago Law School yesterday, President Barack Obama criticized what he described as the difficulty of voting in the United States of America.“We really are the only advanced democracy on Earth that systematically and purposely makes it really hard for people to vote,” he said.“Maybe the single biggest change that we could make in our political process that would reduce some of the polarization, make people feel more invested, restore integrity to the system, would be just make sure everybody is voting,” said Obama. You start getting 70-80 percent voting rates, that's transformative.”And then, political participation issues and voting issues I think, and money in politics issues -- that's a whole series of issues that I do believe are an important role for the Court to play. We really are the only advanced democracy on Earth that systematically and purposely makes it really hard for people to vote. I mean, we sort of just assume, yeah, that's I guess how it is. And there’s a legacy to that that grows directly out of a history in which first property men, then white men, then white folks didn’t want women, minorities to participate in the political process and be able to empower themselves in that fashion. We should be a society in which, at this point, we said, yeah, that history wasn’t so good, that's not who we are, and there was a Civil War fought about all this stuff, and we passed a whole series of laws like the Voting Rights Act, and at this point we should be at the point where we say, you know what, we want everybody to vote because that's the essence of our democracy.
Because if we're not effectively setting the rules of the political process, if that is delegitimized, then whatever outcomes are generated are subject to just endless contention. But we have not just federal laws, but state laws, that unabashedly discourage people from voting -- which is why we have some of the lowest voting rates of any advanced democracy in the world. That's not something that -- I'm saying that to Congress, as well as to the presidency, as well as to governors, as well as state legislators, as well as to courts. It is likely that in Canada, voters would ignore this fine making mandatory voting unenforceable.If they want voters in Canada to realize that they not only have the right to vote, but the civic responsibility to do so, we must provide a positive, comprehensive model of reform that includes aspects of all of the above.There are convincing arguments for both sides, and many gray areas inbetween.