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Mandatory Voting As A Result Of Lower Voter Turnout Rate

1255 words - 6 pages

Mandatory Voting as a Response to Declining Voter Turnout

In many parts of the world, the act of voting is seen as an act that empowers citizens and an act that gives them a voice. However, with the decline of voter turnout, this voice seems to be coming from a select few, leaving political scientists wondering about the remaining of the population. In response to this situation, many have suggested making the act of voting, a mandatory one. Making voting a compulsory act for all citizens does provide both the citizens and the political system with many benefits. However, there are those that oppose this idea, stating possible disadvantages and contradiction in ideologies. The matter in ...view middle of the document...

It is evident that a lot of people won’t vote on their own, so obligating them is the only next best option available (Galloway).
On the other hand, there are those who do not agree that mandatory voting is a viable solution to the problem presented. Some people believe that it goes against the system of democracy, infringing our rights to make a decision for ourselves because the government is forcing us to make the decision to vote ( (Henry Milner 20). Taylor Gunn, founder of Student Vote, believes that forcing people to vote would lead to poorer quality of the system with uninformed voters voting for the sake of avoiding a fine. He also believes that it obstructs our right to disengage and chose not to be involved (Bardeesy, Mandatory voting cons: More voters doesn't mean increased awareness). Some believe that people aren’t voting because they feel disconnected to the political system and this in turn will be favourable for politicians as they will not have to work to get people engaged into politics. This solution would simply increase voter turnout but it will not get to the root cause of the lower voter turnout i.e. the disengagement from the citizens due to inadequate efforts from the politicians’ behalf (Forcing Ourselves to Vote 3-4). There is also the debate of whether mandatory voting actually brings in a better representation of interests or if these results or if it is just a reflection of uninformed voters decisions (Henry Milner 21)
I personally believe that voting should becoming mandatory because to increase voter turnout. A primary example of this can be seen with Australia and its mandatory voting system. Introduced in 1922, voter turnout and dramatically increased by approximately 30% in the next three years and it has maintained an average of a 95% voter turnout since the World War II. This has also been seen with Belgium high voter turnout on an average of 94 % (Henry Milner 15). Even though there will be some citizens that do oppose the idea of mandatory voting, they will vote to steer clear of fines or any consequences they may face. I also believe that it is a great way of getting more people involved and informed in politics. Although I do agree with the statement Taylor Gunn made regarding poorer quality of politics with uninformed citizens voting, I do believe that people work towards their self-interests (a key point in the individualistic perspective). I believe that if people realize how their decisions will affect them, they will try to be more informed, so that they can vote for politicians that best serve their interests. However, I will keep in mind that not everyone...

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