[EM] Re: Election-methods Digest, Vol 2, Issue 44
jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Mon Aug 30 11:38:45 PDT 2004
Chris Benham > Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 6:41 PM
> CB: I am an Australian citizen/voter, and I strongly
> disagree that "compulsory voting" is "fundamentally undemocratic".
Chris, we'll have to disagree on that.
> What is called "compulsory voting" is in reality just
> compulsory polling-booth attendance,
To me that let-out is just pointless.
> This view of mine is near-universal in Australia.
I was aware of that. I was given to understand that voting is regarded so much as a civic duty that
there is near-universal acceptance of compulsion.
> It is widely accepted that voluntary voting would favour the
> conservative parties over the Labor party, and on the very rare
> occasion that someone proposes voluntary voting, it is seen as a squalid partisan
> attempt by the conservatives to gain a permanent unfair advantage.
Party effects of differential turnout are common. But most see that as an issue for the parties
concerned rather than as a reason for compulsion. Of course, in Australia any change would be in
the opposite direction and so I can well understand the political reaction to any proposal to drop
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