General Question

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trailsillustrated's avatar

I guess it’s a right but it’s compulsory here so, . No one in my house voted yesterday (voting day).

LDRSHIP's avatar

@trailsillustrated Required by law to vote, but no one did? I don’t get it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Required by law to vote. But no one did. Apparently, you have to register, and then go to your council voting place and your name will be on the roll. But no one registered, and one of the recently turned 18s in my house said that if your name’s not on the roll you will not be missed and so not fined.I hope.

whitenoise's avatar

Australia, as per @trails profile. They have compulsory voting there…

LostInParadise's avatar

It depends on your definition. If by privilege you mean something that must be earned, like being allowed to drive a car, then voting is a right, since it is permitted by default. If by right you mean Jefferson’s concept of being born with certain inalienable rights then we are talking about a convenient fiction. There are no such rights. A thorough examination of a newborn will not detect a single one. This concept of right is a social construct, a very good one, but nevertheless a social construct.

ragingloli's avatar

There is no such thing as a “right”. Everything is a privilege, bestowed upon you by those in power, be it Kings, Popes, gods, or democratic vote.
It all can be taken away from you, legally, instantly, by the sound of a wooden hammer.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli you have the smarts of a corn dog…
Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

^ Top
Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

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Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

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Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

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Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

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Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

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Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

^ Top
Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

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Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

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Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

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Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

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Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

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Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

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Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

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Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

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Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

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Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

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Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

ragingloli's avatar

Again, that list is full of decreed privileges, masquerading as “rights”.
What value will this list have, once the United Nations, nay, western civilisation as a whole, crumbles into dust? None whatsoever.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli when the dust settles you will see the end of the barrel of my gun defending my rights. That simple times many millions. And dependent on how loudly you speak me and my Patriots will have your back.

ragingloli's avatar

Defending your will.
Your “rights” will no longer persist, and anyone with a better aim, defending his “right” to take your stuff, will trump your “rights”.

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GloPro's avatar

I’m sitting in Cruiser’s camp when that day comes. I have a right to protect my own life and a right to make the best of it.

This is a general question, folks… Mention voting or prepare for the right to be modded!
I believe voting is a privilege. I’m beginning to think it is a thinly veiled waste of time and money, but it’s a privilege because ultimately I agree with @ragingloli that the word ‘right’ is overused and our Bill of Rights is being slowly eradicated by those in power.

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ucme's avatar

It’s neither, just an action that comes down to personal choice.

NanoNano's avatar

I would say its an obligation. Especially in present times, when clandestine government programs try to take our rights away without even asking, and when politicians like Cruz do dangerously destabilizing things, like shut down the federal government…

Bill1939's avatar

I think voting is a responsibility that all adults have, especially in the US. Unfortunately some political institutions here are creating laws that limit certain individuals from exercising this responsibility because of the potential for members of their party being removed from State and Federal legislatures.

hearkat's avatar

I agree that voting is a responsibility; but with all the outside influences in campaigning, most people are not able to see beyond the false advertising and hype. The two-party system also degrades the process – especially as it functions today – because it is more like a tug-of-war than a meeting of the minds.

Bill1939's avatar

I agree, @hearkat. History has shown that in affluent times people with different cultures successfully coexist, but when their economy collapses society fractures into warring factions. The wealthy members of that society conserve their control of resources by promoting the divisions.

jca's avatar

What is a shame is that although we have the right to vote, many people choose not to exercise that right, and they don’t vote.

GloPro's avatar

@jca People always say that crap about what a shame it is we have the right but choose not to vote. Frankly, it’s horseshit with the 2 party system and preliminary voting that you have a right to participate in ONLY if you declare yourself a member of one of those two parties. And with the seriously flawed electoral college, a lot of people realize that to waste half a day voting between predetermined equally flawed candidates using a seriously flawed system isn’t much of a right.
What happens after the vote because of the two party system? Well, they waste a lot of money beating each other down because of the system. The needs of the people are overlooked because we weren’t given the opportunity to put someone in office that won’t vote on new bills based on a political affiliation.
Or they, you know, just shut the government down while still getting paid because Republicans don’t agree with Democrats.
It’s come down to our right to vote for total bullshit or abstain. A lot of people don’t think it matters either way.

Bill1939's avatar

Jefferson warned us about the evils of political parties. Without them the power would go to we the people, but there is little profit in that. Fortunately, now that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, they are the people to whom the power is given and they will finance their politicians. All praise Mammon!

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NanoNano's avatar

Well, the system was designed properly, and it has evolved to something that is dysfunctional in practice. That is, Madison saw that the best way to avoid tyrrany in government was to put parties and ideologies directly in conflict with each other The idea behind this was consensus among diverse opinions. What we have now is “gridlock” and limited choice.

But there is almost always a “third” option in elections, the Independent candidate. If enough disenfranchised voters were to throw their vote that way, we’d have real reform, but people tend to stay with what they know.

We have a political system that is incapable of vision or consensus simply because we continue to vote into office again and again every time the elections roll around. We have what the majority want and deserve.

Bill1939's avatar

Both major political parties propagate lies via the mass media, which is funded by a wealthy minority, that because of their repetition become truths in the minds of the electorate. How can independents with limited means present their philosophy to the populace, especially when most air and print time have been purchased for the politicians that should be removed from office?

NanoNano's avatar

Well, Independents have to be wealthy, like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader.

Its a sad state of affairs, I agree…

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

In our country it is a right. but heck so many of the voting public don’t have a clue and we would all be better off is they just stayed home and left the voting to the grown ups.

gondwanalon's avatar

Is voting a right or a privilege? HA! that’s a good one. I needed a good laugh. As @ucme said it is neither. Sadly, nowadays about anyone can vote because in a lot of cases proper identification in not required. Felons, ill legal aliens, under aged people, people representing dead people, etc. can and do show up to vote.

rojo's avatar

Sometimes I think I would like to see mandatory voting here in the US..

Then I take the time to look around me and am glad that it is optional.

Adagio's avatar

Considering the countries of the world where democracy is sadly absent and voting not an option or so badly rigged it would be a joke if the repercussions were not so dire, it seems nothing short of foolish not to view the opportunity to cast one’s vote in a free and fair election as a privilege. While democracy has never been and will never be perfect, it is a damn sight better than living under a dictatorship where the opportunity to have one’s say is only a dream. I believe voting is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. I would like to add that I do not think voting should ever be compulsory.

Bill1939's avatar

@gondwanalon the percentage of ineligible voting is less than one-percent nation wide. Voters in my state are required to have registered and must sign a form at the polling place. Poll judges compare this with their signatures listed on a list of registered voters. If a discrepancy between these signatures is observed, they must produce their registration card to verify their identity before they are given a ballot. Otherwise no additional identification is required nor should it be.

rojo's avatar

It was pointed out on a radio show prior to the primaries last month that only about 12% of voters bother to vote in the primaries meaning that who gets the bump and becomes the nominee of a party is determined by a very small percentage of the population.

Bill1939's avatar

I agree @rojo that too few people bother to vote in primaries. However, given the similarity of those seeking election, would 100% primary voting make any difference?

rojo's avatar

In my opinion, not really. It goes back to my original observation about the interest of the general populace in the political arena. Unless Beyoncé or Uncle Sy was running for office, the vast majority or the US population doesn’t give a ratsass.
As for the similarity of the candidates, I assume that is because each is appealing to an increasingly smaller and more homogenous, at least in their thinking and perceptions, audience that is going to determine whether or not they are the nominee.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think it’s a right and a privelage both.

It actually disturbs me that some people are so completely apathetic they don’t bother to know the issues or anything at all.

jca's avatar

@KNOWITALL – GQ. Not only do they not know the issues, but they often don’t seem to equate the issues with the politicians. When I talk to people about local issues, and how who they vote for can make a difference with those issues, people often have no idea what I am talking about.

There was a new user on Fluther once, talking about how she lived near a local college and the college was taking up parking spots on the street. I asked her if she voted or went to her City Council meetings, and how this might be an opportunity to discuss the parking issue, and it seemed not to ever have occurred to her.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca My half-sister and a cousin both told me they could care less, and both have children, I couldn’t believe it. And my sister is a teacher for goodness sakes…ugh.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Of course we have rights ~~ See the Declaration of Independence (US)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

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