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Should voting in elections be mandatory? Show more Show less

Countries like Australia have mandatory voting to increase political participation. In the face of growing public disillusionment with politics and a substantial amount of the adult populace who refuse to vote in elections, should voting be mandatory?

Voting should not be mandatory Show more Show less

The state should not be able to force people to participate politically if they do not want to.
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Many people will pay a fine over having to vote

Introducing a fine for not voting does not actually increase voting rates.
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Context

The Argument

Mandatory voting as a solution to voter apathy and disenfranchisement is overstated and dependent on the sanctions that are introduced to deal with voter abstentions. In Latin America, several countries that have introduced mandatory voting do not enforce compulsory rules for senior citizens, this leads to a drop in turnout rates amongst the elderly. While in Australia, where compulsory voting is enforced through fines for abstention, 1.5 million people opted not to vote in the most recent general election, incurring $30 million in fines. [1]

Counter arguments

Despite lacks enforcement in some countries, the introduction of mandatory voting with financial penalities for abstention has led to significantly higher turnouts in elections. In Australia, where voting has been compulsory since 1924, turnout has not dipped below 90% of the electorate.

Framing

Premises

[P1] When there is mandatory voting, it does not mean everyone will actually vote. [P2] There is no point implementing mandatory voting.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Mandatory voting has been shown to increase turnout rates significantly.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://goat.com.au/federal-election/australians-are-facing-30-million-in-fines-for-not-bothering-to-vote-in-the-2019-federal-election

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This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Mar 2020 at 10:30 UTC