Forcing people who do not care to vote is begging for bad leadership. I'd really like to hear your opinion of it actually, as someone in a country where voting is forced.
Well I have to say that I don't know how I have to feel about it, sometimes I feel it's better to be obliged to vote and somtimes I feel that it is not right to force people to vote if they are really not interested to do so.
As a plus point I can say this, it definitely makes everybody entitled to speak out or vent their opinion about governement and political issues because one thing I couldn't stand while I worked abroad was hearing somebody whine and complain about taxes, politics ,governement and the likes and afterwards they told me that they didn't vote.
They had the opportunity and when they could they didn't!!!
Also I think that mandarory voting could be considered a right, it is not because it called "mandatory" that it is bad.
It most certainly makes for a full democracy and even if you didn't want to vote you can still vote blank, it would be a very strong message to the politicians if for example 50% of the people would vote blank.
Some things also speak against mandatory voting.
I believe that it is reasonable to expect from people that they make an effort to participate in democracy.
If they really can't be bothered to cast their vote every once in a while than you can ask yourself do they really deserve to be heard?
Also these people don't bother to inform themself about politics and all things concerned once they stand in the voting box they tend to make a very impulsif decision.
In nations like Belgium or Australia where voting is mandatory I wonder what the average is for abstention. In other words, how many people go to vote (because they legally must) but then simply don't choose a candidate/party etc. As a Political Science major this is very interesting to me, I look forward to the replies.
I can only speak for belgium.
Over here on average 5 to 10% of the people cast a blank vote, as a general rule you can say ,the more people decide to vote blank the more unhappy the people are about politics in general.
Now ,when most of the voting goes by computer, you actually have a blank vote possibility on the screen.
On a related matter, In voting right-country's it should be forbidden to have elections on a weekday because you should make it as easy as possible for people to go to vote and also you shouldn't have to register to go to vote.
should suffice to cast your vote.
[Edited 2004-10-27 19:33:04]