The Idea of Compulsory Voting
After Australia, Singapore, and Switzerland implemented compulsory voting and the turnout of voters grew, other democratic countries began wondering if the idea should be implemented globally. Research began on how this implementation affected countries with compulsory voting in place and how it would affect other countries such as Canada (Twomey, 2013). The idea that Canada, or another similarly democratic country, should pass a policy of compulsory voting would be against the very foundation of freedom that defines a democratic state. It brings to mind three questions with it, is voting a right or duty, does it change the level of intelligent political participation, and does the compulsion goes against all that is democracy?
Voting: Right or Duty?
The question of whether voting should be a right or duty is a question that is integral to answering whether voting should be mandatory. To make voting mandatory would take away the freely elected portion of freely elected representatives (Barry, 2013). Although to be fair it is the attendance that is mandatory and it is admissible to submit a blank or spoiled ballot (Barry, 2013). However in court cases judges came to the agreement that not voting is a “violation of the Electoral Act” but few have actually been charged for the submission of a blank or spoiled ballot (Barry, 2013). Still the problem remain of that this is taking the ability to freely elect the representative of the majority population choice.
Unlike laws making education mandatory up to a certain age making voting mandatory is taking away the decision to make the decision of not voting as a way of protest, the protest being that none of the representatives are worth voting for, as it is said by some what is happening in 21th century United States of America. While the laws making education mandatory are beneficial for the state in a tangible sense as the higher level education in its population will usually lead to a higher GDP for the country and higher level of development for the state overall.
For a democratic country to take something as fundamental to our country as voting and turn it into a point of contention in which the idea of our integral right to vote or not to vote become a mandatory duty for the four reasons of that compulsory voting is a mere “extension of compulsory registration” (Fowler, 2013, p. 165), thus “it would be easier to administer the elections and detect fraud” (Fowler, 2013, p. 165), the fines could pay for part of the cost of the election process (Fowler, 2013, p. 165), compulsory voting is “the only way to ensure a fair election result” (Fowler, 2013, p. 165), and last reason is that of “partisan interests” (Fowler, 2013, p. 165).
To specifically address the belief that without compulsory voting the election will not be fair one should consider the Australian elections. Experts, academics, pollsters and civil servants, claimed that the outcome of the last four elections...