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trailsillustrated's avatar

Do you vote? How do you feel about it?

Asked by trailsillustrated (16789points) January 22nd, 2015

So far we have escaped but my children are 18 now and I have a student loan. The census takers came to my house and my son refused to provide information. If we don’t vote, we will be fined and possibly have our driving licenses suspended. My children are violently opposed to this law. I told my son to go live in America where you don’t have to vote if you don’t want to. What’s your take? Should citizenry be required to vote?

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19 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Sure you have to give the image that it is a democracy, so once every 4 years you get to put a name of a candidate that YOU think will do the best for YOU.
Then the rest of the four years they get to shove whatever they want down your throat,pretty good racket if I do say so myself.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I do vote and I can’t imagine a situation where I’d choose not to. Despite thinking the choices available to us (in Qld in a couple of weeks or federally at the next national election) are pitiful, I feel it is my duty to vote. Especially as a woman, I’m very conscious of the sacrifices people made to ensure I have the right to register my democratic choice regarding who governs the country or state I live in.

However, I do not believe in compulsory voting. If people want to abstain from voting, I believe they should be able to do that. I’d prefer people chose not to vote than they vote without giving real thought to the mark they make on their ballot paper.

Here2_4's avatar

Exactly what she said.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m against the law. I think if people are apathetic to who gets elected, and politics in general, they shouldn’t vote, because they might be voting against themselves. They haven’t taken the time to learn, research, or consider much of anything, and aren’t aware of the impact on the country. If they don’t care, then that’s their choice.

I guess the law inspires more people to take some interest who might otherwise not be, I can see how the law could have some positive impact, but I still am not in favor of it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

If everyone votes it is more difficult for dishonest politicians to win elections by buying votes or using other influence. It seems harsh to make it mandatory.
Maybe they can give out cookies or “I voted” stickers when people vote.

jca's avatar

I tell people, in an attempt to inspire them to vote, “People fought for your right to vote. People died for your right to vote. You should really try to vote.”

People complain about all kinds of stuff related to government yet they don’t vote. I can understand complaining if you vote, but if you don’t vote, in my opinion, how can you complain?

I also hear people complaining that local elections don’t affect them and they only vote when there are presidential elections. Local politicians affect people in more ways and such mundane ways that people don’t even realize.

I work for an organization that, among other things, gets involved in local politics and tries to inspire people to vote, so we are often involved in discussions relating to these topics.

ucme's avatar

Yes – Apathetic

syz's avatar

I vote, and I think it’s a national shame that those who’s predecessors fought so hard for the right squander it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have voted in every election except one off year election since I turned 18. :( Don’t vote, don’t bitch.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Being in Australia, I do vote. But I am very disappointed with the current generation of politicians in this country, so I cast a blank ballot.

I would advise your children to do the same if they don’t want to vote. Compulsory voting is essential, as it prevents lobby groups from getting high proportional votes. If only the people who had a horse to beat turned out, we would have a more radical, less stable government. But there is nothing in Australian law that says you have to vote for a candidate. Leave a blank ballot, write an essay on the ballot paper about why you shouldn’t have to vote, or draw a giant phallus on it. It doesn’t matter. All you have to do is turn up and get your name signed off.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh That was a rather sad GA. We have the same problem with crap for candidates. Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney meeting to prepare a strategy? Where’s George Orwell to point out the obvious?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I’ve always believed the best leaders are the ones who are asked to lead, rather than seeking leadership. Our politicians have all fought to get to the top, and as such they are often unfit personalities for leadership. Those who should lead, like Cincinnatus, often see the wisdom in relinquishing political leadership.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yeah, I’ve often thought if you really want the elected position it should be a red flag that disqualifies you.

Kropotkin's avatar

Voting in a bourgeois democracy is one of the most futile and pointless acts one can partake in.

Politicians represent lobbyists and donors. Political parties are driven by the ideological interests of elites and capitalists in order to gain the necessary financing and media exposure to win elections in the first place.

Any vote for a politician is little more than a mandate to a corrupt and fundamentally undemocratic system .

Compulsory voting is a particularly pernicious and authoritarian way of herding the electorate into legitimising this so-called “representative democracy” and undermining alternative political models.

Non-voting isn’t “apathy”. It represents anger, and a discontent with the establishment and the parliamentary system itself.

Even if one somehow elects an “honest” politician—and I’ve no doubt this happens at times. What does this achieve? It’s a placebo. It perpetuates the naive view that it just takes voting for moral actors to participate in representative democracy. And then every duplicitous self-centered career politician will try to convince you that he or she is the honest one!

@trailsillustrated Kudos to your children for resisting and taking a stand against voting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

During Obama’s first run my husband and I discussed politics. At one point I said, “Are you eligible to vote?”
He said, “No.”
I said, “Why are we even having this discussion?!”

For the first time in his life he registered to vote. He was proud. (But it’s kind of weird, IMO, that he came through the 60’s, Vietnam, the protests, the outcry to change the voting age from 21 to 18…and he never registered to vote.)

Jaxk's avatar

I would not want voting to be required. If someone has no idea what they are voting for (or against) they have no business voting. I would encourage people to get interested and knowledgeable about politics but not merely to vote.

Adagio's avatar

I’m just across the ditch from you @trailsillustrated , there is no legal requirement to vote here. For myself, I look at being able to vote as an absolute privilege and responsibility but I never want to see it become compulsory.

The_Past's avatar

I will not vote anymore even though I’m mailed the ballot to my house. People that participate in politics become a politician using the same formula that they claim to disdain in politicians. If America loses it’s superpower status and becomes “poor” most could not handle it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve voted in every election since I was 18. I’m not a politician.

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