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Old 1st November 2018, 07:45 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also, I don't know who runs the polls elsewhere, but in the US it's mostly elderly crazies who don't know how to operate any sort of machine, and have great difficulty looking up names on lists, seeing things hearing things, and continuing living.
And yet they continue to outvote younger voters by a massive margin. It's a weird dynamic to say the least.
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Old 1st November 2018, 07:51 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This is America, not Europe. A good chunk of our population doesn't leave within a ten minute walk of their own mailbox.
That would be an argument for the US needing almost double the voters-to-polling place ratio compared to the UK, not explaining why it has almost half.

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Old 1st November 2018, 07:53 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You fine people purely for the sin of not taking time out of their day to act out the superficial semblance of an empty ritual.


This might be part of the problem, here.

In reading about US elections, it's clear that, for a lot of people, the mechanics of voting are actually quite arduous. Not enough polling places, not enough polling hours, locations that are often inaccessible, all leading to voting taking hours for some people.

But there's no reason it has to be that way. I think the longest it ever took me to vote in Canada is about 20 minutes, and that was unusually long. In the last two elections (one provincial and one municipal) it took me longer to walk from the parking lot to the polling location than it did to get my ballot, vote and hand it in.

Fix all this other crap, and I suspect the "burden" of voting you're complaining about will be significantly lessened.
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Old 1st November 2018, 07:54 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And yet they continue to outvote younger voters by a massive margin. It's a weird dynamic to say the least.
Most senior voters aren't as wacky as the poll volunteers.
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Old 1st November 2018, 07:56 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also, I don't know who runs the polls elsewhere, but in the US it's mostly elderly crazies who don't know how to operate any sort of machine, and have great difficulty looking up names on lists, seeing things hearing things, and continuing living.
We use paper and pens, so even the wrinklies can manage.

(No offence meant, I think I'm officially in the wrinkly category.)
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Old 1st November 2018, 08:34 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I think there is a major cultural disconnect in play here....
There's definitely a cultural disconnect, but not in the passage you hilited.

Say I'm not all that interested in voting this year. The country's muddling along well enough, and nothing on the slate or the ballot really moves the needle for me. There's maybe half a dozen other things I could do with my day, that would be more productive, more enjoyable, or otherwise more meaningful to me than going to the polls and marking a ballot.

Me going to the polls would be suboptimal. It would also be an empty gesture, a meaningless ritual for me. The only reason to do it is so that you can feel good about seeing me go through the motions. That, and so that you don't punish me for staying home.
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Old 1st November 2018, 08:47 AM   #87
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I'm not dismissing your other points. I just wanted to respond to these two in particular.
Originally Posted by fromdownunder View Post
The bar for avoiding fines is also pretty low. The Electoral Commission sends you a letter asking why you did not vote. You can reply with pretty much any reasonable excuse, and that is it. No fine. E.T.A. The one time in 50 years that I missed out on voting I told them that I had posted my Ballot, and it must have been lost in the post. Heard nothing more.
I shouldn't have to explain myself to the Commission or anyone else.

This also seems like a mixed message and a waste of resources. If the Commission will accept any old excuse, why are they even investing any manpower at all in the exercise?

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We do take our democratic responsibilities rather seriously, as does the Electoral Commission.
First, if Australians take your responsibilities so seriously, why do you need to make a law compelling it? Why do you need to threaten your citizens?

Second, from what you said above, it seems like the Electoral Commission doesn't take the responsibilities very seriously at all.
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Old 1st November 2018, 09:03 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But you don't fine people for going to the polling place and spoiling their ballot. You don't fine people for blindly pulling the lever. You fine people purely for the sin of not taking time out of their day to act out the superficial semblance of an empty ritual.

The fine is there not because it's considered important that people vote, but because you consider it important to have the appearance of voting.
It gets people to the polling booth. I imagine large numbers of people who otherwise wouldn't cast a vote do actually cast a vote for a preferred candidate as they have to go anyway.
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Old 1st November 2018, 09:10 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
There's definitely a cultural disconnect, but not in the passage you hilited.

Say I'm not all that interested in voting this year. The country's muddling along well enough, and nothing on the slate or the ballot really moves the needle for me. There's maybe half a dozen other things I could do with my day, that would be more productive, more enjoyable, or otherwise more meaningful to me than going to the polls and marking a ballot.

Me going to the polls would be suboptimal. It would also be an empty gesture, a meaningless ritual for me. The only reason to do it is so that you can feel good about seeing me go through the motions. That, and so that you don't punish me for staying home.
Yup. In Australia, sometimes society requires individuals to inconvenience themselves to meet the obligations of society.

That, for some, it is a wasted effort is considered a worthwhile price for them and for society to pay to encourage participation in democracy.

The objection "But it inconveniences me so I shouldn't have to do it." has another side. There has to be a calculation. Your inconvenience alone isn't sufficient, in Australia, for mandatory voting to be considered 'a bad thing'.


Sometime people have to do pointless stuff so other stuff happens. It's called society. You, almost literally, can't live without it. You certainly can't live the way you do now without it.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:10 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
There's definitely a cultural disconnect, but not in the passage you hilited.

Say I'm not all that interested in voting this year. The country's muddling along well enough, and nothing on the slate or the ballot really moves the needle for me. There's maybe half a dozen other things I could do with my day, that would be more productive, more enjoyable, or otherwise more meaningful to me than going to the polls and marking a ballot.

Me going to the polls would be suboptimal. It would also be an empty gesture, a meaningless ritual for me. The only reason to do it is so that you can feel good about seeing me go through the motions. That, and so that you don't punish me for staying home.

Why is this the one thing that gets you going? It's part of one day, every other year or so.

Do you moan about stopping at stop signs even if there's no oncoming traffic? How is that not a far greater burden on you than voting?

There are literally thousands of little things like that that society requires us to do, so that society works. Why is this relatively minor imposition the one that gets you so worked up?
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:16 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It gets people to the polling booth. I imagine large numbers of people who otherwise wouldn't cast a vote do actually cast a vote for a preferred candidate as they have to go anyway.
I imagine so.

I'm saying that getting to the polling booth should be a matter of individual choice, not government compulsion. Regardless of how much it increases your happiness meter to know people are voting for stuff.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:19 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I imagine so.

I'm saying that getting to the polling booth should be a matter of individual choice, not government compulsion. Regardless of how much it increases your happiness meter to know people are voting for stuff.
I mean, it's a minor fine for not going, seems proportionate to the offense of being a lazy citizen. A better way to grant everyone who votes a small tax refund. Reward citizens for being engaged rather than punishing the inactive ones.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:20 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I imagine so.

I'm saying that getting to the polling booth should be a matter of individual choice, not government compulsion. Regardless of how much it increases your happiness meter to know people are voting for stuff.
The arrogance of assuming everything should be done the way you do it.

You haven't supported this continued assertion with anything which in any way acknowledges any of the points made by the Australians in the thread. Simply repeating it ad nauseum is weak. Do you understand (no, OK, that might be hoping for too much)..........acknowledge that not every society is the same as yours, and that each society has a right to run itself the way it chooses?
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:21 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Yup. In Australia, sometimes society requires individuals to inconvenience themselves to meet the obligations of society.

That, for some, it is a wasted effort is considered a worthwhile price for them and for society to pay to encourage participation in democracy.
I think the threat of prison is a bad way to encourage participation in democracy. A virtue compelled by violence is no virtue at all.

And again, the ballots themselves are secret. You're not encouraging participation, you're encouraging the appearance of participation. And you're patting yourself on the back for "since I've forced you to be here anyway, you might as well do the thing," as if that's some great moral achievement.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:27 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think the threat of prison is a bad way to encourage participation in democracy. A virtue compelled by violence is no virtue at all.

And again, the ballots themselves are secret. You're not encouraging participation, you're encouraging the appearance of participation. And you're patting yourself on the back for "since I've forced you to be here anyway, you might as well do the thing," as if that's some great moral achievement.
It deals poorly with the people choosing not to vote out of some principle. Works well for people who would vote, but are too lazy to get to the polls. It's a secret ballot, those determined to not be involved can vote for Mickey Mouse. But they have to show up. Consider that the great burden of being a citizen of a liberal democracy.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:32 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think the threat of prison is a bad way to encourage participation in democracy. A virtue compelled by violence is no virtue at all.

....
I think the penalty is $20. Not jail.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:35 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I mean, it's a minor fine for not going, seems proportionate to the offense of being a lazy citizen. A better way to grant everyone who votes a small tax refund. Reward citizens for being engaged rather than punishing the inactive ones.


Forget a tax refund, that's too remote to work as an incentive.

Just give them a $20 bill after voting, straight up.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:38 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Why is this the one thing that gets you going?
Who can explain why they have the hobbies they have? Debate about matters on the Libertarian-Totalitarian spectrum are interesting to me. So here I am.

Quote:
It's part of one day, every other year or so.
This is the patronizing thing again. You've decided you know better than I do how to plan my time and order my days. Then you've gone and used the power of the state to force me to comply with your opinion. I say, boop to that. That half day happens to be the day I've planned for nunya.

Quote:
Do you moan about stopping at stop signs even if there's no oncoming traffic? How is that not a far greater burden on you than voting?
The funny thing about stop signs is they tend to be posted at intersections where a certain amount of traffic control and driver care is needed. There's a direct risk to life and property involved. That risk is in my opinion a good reason to consider using the threat of state violence to compel participation in the scheme.

Nobody's car is going to get wrecked, nobody's life is going to be threatened, if I register an "abstain" vote from the comfort of my own home on Sausage Day.

Quote:
There are literally thousands of little things like that that society requires us to do, so that society works. Why is this relatively minor imposition the one that gets you so worked up?
Sometimes society requires us to do things that it shouldn't. Sometimes the things society requires means that society works less well than it otherwise could. Sometimes society requires us to do horrible things in the name of making society work (those societies usually don't work for very long).

This particular issue is a good one to debate because it is a fairly clear example of the attitude - that voting is somehow on the same level of life and death as not t-boning another car at a busy intersection, and that it therefore merits the same level of government intrusion into private life. How pervasive is that attitude. How many other threats against your fellow citizens do you casually hand-wave away under the umbrella of "society requires all kinds of stuff, why are you complaining?"
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:42 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I mean, it's a minor fine for not going, seems proportionate to the offense of being a lazy citizen. A better way to grant everyone who votes a small tax refund. Reward citizens for being engaged rather than punishing the inactive ones.
Originally Posted by fagin View Post
I think the penalty is $20. Not jail.
What happens if I don't pay the fine?

What happens if, when the Electoral Commission duns me for not voting, instead of giving them some lame excuse ("my ballot is in the mail, I promise!"), I just tell them to blow it out their ass?
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:42 AM   #100
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What voting is like in Australia

First you have to fight your way to the polls.

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I AGREE
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:46 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It deals poorly with the people choosing not to vote out of some principle. Works well for people who would vote, but are too lazy to get to the polls.
Again with the patronizing. You've decided I'm lazy, and you've decided to use the state to punish my sin of laziness.

Quote:
It's a secret ballot, those determined to not be involved can vote for Mickey Mouse. But they have to show up. Consider that the great burden of being a citizen of a liberal democracy.
I would say that the great burden of being a citizen of a liberal democracy is being responsible for the actions of your government. A burden you can carry just as effectively by abstaining as by voting.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:49 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
The arrogance of assuming everything should be done the way you do it.
That's exactly the way I feel about Australia's mandatory voting.

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You haven't supported this continued assertion with anything which in any way acknowledges any of the points made by the Australians in the thread. Simply repeating it ad nauseum is weak. Do you understand (no, OK, that might be hoping for too much)..........acknowledge that not every society is the same as yours, and that each society has a right to run itself the way it chooses?
Nobody is questioning Australia's right to do it wrong. (ETA: Though that is also a valid question, in my opinion. I don't know what the answer is, though.)

Have you ever formed an opinion that someone is doing something wrong, and then told them so?

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Old 1st November 2018, 10:52 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I imagine so.

I'm saying that getting to the polling booth should be a matter of individual choice, not government compulsion. Regardless of how much it increases your happiness meter to know people are voting for stuff.
Clearly , Australia disagrees with you.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:54 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think the threat of prison is a bad way to encourage participation in democracy.
Clearly, Australia disagrees with you.

Quote:
A virtue compelled by violence is no virtue at all.
But still results in virtuous activity.


Quote:
And again, the ballots themselves are secret. You're not encouraging participation, you're encouraging the appearance of participation. And you're patting yourself on the back for "since I've forced you to be here anyway, you might as well do the thing," as if that's some great moral achievement.

It's not a moral achievement, it's a method to increase participation in the democratic process and it works.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:54 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What happens if I don't pay the fine?

"What happens if, when the Electoral Commission duns me for not voting, instead of giving them some lame excuse ("my ballot is in the mail, I promise!"), I just tell them to blow it out their ass?
No idea how many people have been jailed, but it could happen.

35. If the elector pays to the DRO the $20 penalty for failing to vote, then the matter ends there.

36. Where an elector responds to the penalty notice and provides a reason for not voting, the DRO must be satisfied that the reasons provided were valid and sufficient in accordance with s 245(5) or s 45(5). If the DRO is not satisfied that the reason provided is valid and sufficient, then the DRO must, in accordance with s 245(9) or s 45(9), write to the elector advising that:

the DRO is not satisfied, and
that if the elector does not wish to have the matter dealt with by a court, the elector may pay the penalty of $20.
37. Where an elector fails to pay the penalty of $20, an elector may be prosecuted in accordance with s 245(15) or s 45(15).38. An elector may be prosecuted for failing to vote at an election or a referendum without a valid and sufficient reason, or for making a false or misleading statement in response to a penalty notice issued by a DRO (see s 245(15) and(15C) of the Electoral Act and s 45(14) and (14C) of the Referendum Act). . If a person is found guilty of this offence, a court may impose a penalty of 1 penalty unit, currently a maximum penalty of $210. In addition, court costs may also be payable. The value of a penalty unit is set by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).
39. It should be noted that if a non-voter has been convicted and fined by a court, and the non-voter decides not to pay the fine, then it is for the court to decide what action should be taken or if a further penalty should be imposed. The action taken by the court in relation to fine defaulters may vary depending on the state or territory in which the conviction is recorded, and may involve community service orders, seizure of goods, or a short period in jail. In some jurisdictions the court may have no alternative to ordering a jail sentence for fine defaulters. However, this is a matter for the courts and not for the AEC."

https://www.aec.gov.au/about_aec/pub...ory-voting.htm
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:56 AM   #106
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Americans prefer to prohibit the bad rather than mandate the good.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:56 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This is the patronizing thing again. You've decided you know better than I do how to plan my time and order my days.
What makes you think it's all about you?

This is not about the individual, it's about what's best for the collective. I realise you have difficulty with this concept.



(The most successful species are social cooperators.)
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:59 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Again with the patronizing. You've decided I'm lazy, and you've decided to use the state to punish my sin of laziness.
No, really, it's not all about you. Nobody has decided anything of the sort.

Your wasted half a day is considered a reasonable cost for what's gained. Consider it a tax, if that doesn't make the top of your head explode.

All of your objections are personal 'Why should I' objections and all of the answers you're getting are that, yes, you have to suffer a teeny bit for the benefit of society but you don't seem able to grasp that.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:08 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
What makes you think it's all about you?

This is not about the individual, it's about what's best for the collective. I realise you have difficulty with this concept.



(The most successful species are social cooperators.)
Depends on how you define success. Most species of shark aren't particularly cooperative, and they've been around for hundreds of millions of years, far longer than most mammals.

And yes, it IS about him. Some societies see the individual as important, as opposed to the group. Civilization is always a balance between the two, America just leans more to the individual.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:13 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Depends on how you define success.
agreed

Quote:
Most species of shark aren't particularly cooperative, and they've been around for hundreds of millions of years, far longer than most mammals.

And yes, it IS about him. Some societies see the individual as important, as opposed to the group. Civilization is always a balance between the two, America just leans more to the individual.

It really isn't about him. He thinks it is (he's wrong) which is why it offends so.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:17 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
........Have you ever formed an opinion that someone is doing something wrong, and then told them so?
How did you not notice that this is precisely what I have just done with you?
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:20 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
.......And yes, it IS about him. Some societies see the individual as important, as opposed to the group. Civilization is always a balance between the two, America just leans more to the individual.
No, it ISN'T about him. He's not Australian. Australia, Britain, Europe, and many other places have a very different approach to society than "me, me, me" that seems to be theprestige's sole argument. If you've got nothing other than "me, me, me", you've got nothing.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:28 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
No, it ISN'T about him. He's not Australian. Australia, Britain, Europe, and many other places have a very different approach to society than "me, me, me" that seems to be theprestige's sole argument. If you've got nothing other than "me, me, me", you've got nothing.
Was this thread started for Americans to insist Australians are doing things wrong? It looks to me like it's the other way around. Americans aren't saying Australians should change, they're pointing out that Americans don't want to do things the Australian way.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:34 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Was this thread started for Americans to insist Australians are doing things wrong? It looks to me like it's the other way around.
The first post in the thread discusses this.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:35 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Clearly , Australia disagrees with you.
I'm deep into an argument about the basis for that disagreement, and its merit, and you're telling me... the disagreement exists.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:36 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's not a moral achievement, it's a method to increase participation in the democratic process and it works.
If there's no moral good in doing it, why go to the effort of forcing it on people?
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:39 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
If the Aussie Sausage is just the British "Banger"they are available in the US at the fancy gourmet Grocery stores and British themed Restaurants.

BTW I am betting that Aussies visitng the United States get a few laughs out of the "Outback Steakhouse" restaurant chain....
I've worked with a number of Aussies here, and that is their reaction. In our defense, we have a similar reaction when folks overseas try "American Style Hamburgers". In Britain (and often in Canada), you get a meat loaf sandwich with a sugar filled tomato sauce they pass off as Catsup. In Saudi Arabia I think they used retired camels.

Edited to get back on topic: I don't think much of mandatory voting. If you care so little that you don't want your opinion to be heard, then I'm Ok with you remaining silent.

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Old 1st November 2018, 11:40 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
.......... Americans aren't saying Australians should change..........
Sorry, but that's exactly what theprestige is saying.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:40 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
No idea how many people have been jailed, but it could happen.

35. If the elector pays to the DRO the $20 penalty for failing to vote, then the matter ends there.

36. Where an elector responds to the penalty notice and provides a reason for not voting, the DRO must be satisfied that the reasons provided were valid and sufficient in accordance with s 245(5) or s 45(5). If the DRO is not satisfied that the reason provided is valid and sufficient, then the DRO must, in accordance with s 245(9) or s 45(9), write to the elector advising that:

the DRO is not satisfied, and
that if the elector does not wish to have the matter dealt with by a court, the elector may pay the penalty of $20.
37. Where an elector fails to pay the penalty of $20, an elector may be prosecuted in accordance with s 245(15) or s 45(15).38. An elector may be prosecuted for failing to vote at an election or a referendum without a valid and sufficient reason, or for making a false or misleading statement in response to a penalty notice issued by a DRO (see s 245(15) and(15C) of the Electoral Act and s 45(14) and (14C) of the Referendum Act). . If a person is found guilty of this offence, a court may impose a penalty of 1 penalty unit, currently a maximum penalty of $210. In addition, court costs may also be payable. The value of a penalty unit is set by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).
39. It should be noted that if a non-voter has been convicted and fined by a court, and the non-voter decides not to pay the fine, then it is for the court to decide what action should be taken or if a further penalty should be imposed. The action taken by the court in relation to fine defaulters may vary depending on the state or territory in which the conviction is recorded, and may involve community service orders, seizure of goods, or a short period in jail. In some jurisdictions the court may have no alternative to ordering a jail sentence for fine defaulters. However, this is a matter for the courts and not for the AEC."

https://www.aec.gov.au/about_aec/pub...ory-voting.htm
So far we've got the threat of financial loss, the threat of lost time and other resources in having to answer to the government, and the threat of jail if the other two threats aren't sufficient to compel obedience.

Hopefully we can now agree that yes, the Australian government is threatening you with jail if you choose not to go along with their mandatory voting law.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:41 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm deep into an argument about the basis for that disagreement, and its merit, and you're telling me... the disagreement exists.
You're not deep into anything. All you keep saying is "me, me, me" and "you're wrong". If you consider that deep you're on the wrong forum.
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