Compulsory Voting

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Arguments for compulsory voting:

  • Representative democracy lacks legitimacy with the low turnouts we have witnessed since 1997 in all types of elections. In the 2005 general election, Labour was elected with a >60 seat majority with much less than 30% of of the possible vote - a record low. 
  • All citizens should have a legal responsibility to participate in shaping the state in which they live, just as they have to pay taxes or take part in jury service.
  • No govt can function properly unless it has a real mandate from a majority of the voters, not simply just those who bother to turn up on the day.
  • To allow no-participation is a sure fire way to eventual dictatorship and the ruin of liberal democratic values that so many have fought hard to achieve. Extremist parties, both left and right, have a much greater chance of winning seats at Westminster or in devolved assemblies when the majority stays are home on voting day.
  • No citizen can have a complaint against any govt who has not bothered to participate in the choosing of govt at the time of election.
  • Recent indications at General elections suggest voluntary

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