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US Citizens: Should Voting for Federal Elections be Mandatory?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Incodcito, May 4, 2011.

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?

  1. Yes

    16.0%
  2. No

    77.7%
  3. Other

    6.4%
  1. It is an entirely theoretical system of government it is certainly not meant to be implemented in the modern US. The meritocracy is supposed to put smart and wise people in charge.

    This is all of topic anyway and I really don't have time to discuss it in depth right now.

    (Ooh I have an idea! let's have an upsocracy!:king:)
     
  2. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

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    Compulsory voting goes against the very principles of a democratic system, namely free will. Besides, forcing people to vote would probably skew elections a fair bit. Assuming non-voters are like the majority of their voting peers, many of them will vote for their party (or what their constituency will likely vote for), the most charismatic/advertised figure, or just choose the first choice on the ballot.
     
  3. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Fundamental principles aren't utilitarian. You can't make an argument about principles (free will) based on the pragmatic outcome (people making decisions based on what you consider spurious grounds).

    Also, I don't accept that compulsory voting is undemocratic or a contravention of free will. By that logic, so's jury duty, paying taxes or filling out your census. Civic duties exist. Voting may not be considered one by all countries, but that doesn't mean making it a civic duty is undemocratic or whatever.
     
  4. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Did not get the reference.

     
  5. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    You can get out of jury duty, paying taxes or filling out a census. Civic duties do exist as you say, but they are the voluntary duties of responsible citizens.
     
  6. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Er, those most certainly aren't voluntary. The fact that there are loopholes or exceptions in there, which allow one to evade said duties does not mean that they are voluntary; it's like saying that conscription (another civic duty) is voluntary because you're female or found some other exemption. They are most certainly mandatory; they are part of the social contract of citizenship, which grants both rights and responsibilities.
     
  7. .Shane.

    .Shane. Take it like a voter Retired Moderator

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    Mandatory? No. But, we should make Veteran's Day the 2nd Tuesday of every November and have elections on the Holiday. Turn the whole celebration of sacrifice into an opportunity to pay homage to that sacrifice by exercising the right it serves to protect.
     
  8. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    You can get exemptions from voting, too. My grandfather, for instance, can't vote or sit on a jury because of his dementia. And if you have good reason for being unable to vote at a specific time (like being out of the country), then you can also get an exemption.
     
  9. Arwon

    Arwon

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    And filling out the census has no exemptions. That's kinda the point....
     
  10. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    No, compulsory voting goes along with the very principle of a democratic system. Demos - people, Kratos power. The power of the people
    If the people don't vote or if enough people choose not to vote, than the system no longer upholds the power of the people, rather, the power of the bothered, the un-lazy, the willing.
    How low should the turnout for voting drop before it is no longer a democracy but an oligarchy? 10%? 20%? 40%? 50%?

    Your second point is based on an assumption so there is little reason for me counter that.
     
  11. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Why not just hold the elections on the 11th every year? :crazyeye:
     
  12. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Don't a lot of people put fake names on their ballots? Someone I know claims to once have voted for Tom Petty to be president, for example.

    I think perhaps if theres a compulsory voting (I'm not sure if I agree) there should be a blank vote allowed.
     
  13. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Actually, this isnt a bad idea...
     
  14. civver_764

    civver_764 Deity

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    If the only way you can think of to increase voter turnout is authoritarian measures such as this, then you know something is wrong with the system.
     
  15. Vylinius

    Vylinius College Student

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    It's not a democracy if not everyone is voting. I don't think we can force people to vote, but its most likely that not that people don't care that is that voting is yeah on a Tuesday. Why don't we just set up some other system that makes voting possible to do from home and set voting for a weekend instead of Tuesday. Also why the hell does anyone vote anyways? It is the electoral college that decides who wins in the USA not the people. That's probably the reason people don't care anymore, because there's no point to it since our votes mean practically nothing.
     
  16. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    I would take option C, suggested by my brother $name, who asks -- why even bother with elections when I can run the country perfectly well on my own?
     
  17. Vylinius

    Vylinius College Student

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    Hmmmm I like option C too....
     
  18. Option C does sound pretty good.
     
  19. Mercenary82

    Mercenary82 King

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    Other- I would agree only if polls were open longer then 1 day and was over the weekend.
     
  20. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Well, just about everywhere has some sort of early voting system. You can vote before election day.

    I like this idea a lot actually. We'll improve turnout, *and* get better quality poll worker staff if we had election day off.
     

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