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Old 1st November 2018, 11:42 AM   #121
theprestige
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Americans prefer to prohibit the bad rather than mandate the good.
I don't think we're anywhere near as unified in our stance on that, as the Australians seem to be.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:45 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If there's no moral good in doing it, why go to the effort of forcing it on people?
It's beneficial to democracy.

I don't really think it's a moral issue. It's an issue of democracy and pragmatism.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:49 AM   #123
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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.
You're being uncharitable. I'm debating the tension between individual freedom and collective desires.

A collective is a collection of individuals. The question of what's best for the collective is always a question of how much we intrude on individual freedom in the name of some collective goal.

Quote:
(The most successful species are social cooperators.)
(The Soviet Union mandated a very high degree of social cooperation, at a high cost to individual freedom. The result was an extremely unsuccessful collective that did colossal harm to millions of individuals.)

(Arguing for human policies by appealing to Nature is kinda silly, anyway.)
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:50 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't think we're anywhere near as unified in our stance on that, as the Australians seem to be.
We're unified in our adversion to unity. Agree with me that we aren't in agreement, damn it!
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:56 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
........A collective is a collection of individuals...........
........and when those individuals come to a decision to do something in their collective best interests, and individuals can see that it is in the collective best interests and are happy with that, what then?

You have lost all sense of proportionality here. This is a trivial individual cost we are talking about (a few minutes of your time every 4 or 5 years) against a return judged important enough by the individuals who make up that society to over-ride that (trivial) cost. If you can't accept that individuals who form the society have a right to decide that in the collective best interests this is how they want the society to be run, then I expect to see you arguing on the side of the Freemen of the Land.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:56 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You're being uncharitable. I'm debating the tension between individual freedom and collective desires.

That's possible. I shall go read what you have written with that in mind. Sometimes I think we all impose a tone on the written word that isn't actually there. I think it leads to misunderstanding.


Quote:
A collective is a collection of individuals. The question of what's best for the collective is always a question of how much we intrude on individual freedom in the name of some collective goal.


(The Soviet Union mandated a very high degree of social cooperation, at a high cost to individual freedom. The result was an extremely unsuccessful collective that did colossal harm to millions of individuals.)
I don't actually think the Soviet Union, or indeed any nominally labelled 'communist' country is a particularly good example of how social cooperation works. I suspect the Scandinavian Social Democracies are a better model to review.


Quote:
(Arguing for human policies by appealing to Nature is kinda silly, anyway.)
I think it demonstrates that cooperation achieves more than individualism. You really can't live the way you live now without being part of a society. Being part of a society has costs. This, in Australia, is one of them.
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Old 1st November 2018, 11:59 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
.........(The Soviet Union mandated a very high degree of social cooperation, at a high cost to individual freedom.......
That's a silly false equivalence. The society in the USSR was forced upon the public without them having a choice. Australia have a vibrant democracy, and if there was a groundswell of opinion against compulsory voting there would be MPs elected on that platform, and eventually there would be a change. This is in effect a voluntary agreement by individuals, entered into freely.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:01 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
..........I'm debating the tension between individual freedom and collective desires.........
And you're debating it from the viewpoint that one is in conflict with the other. When individuals freely agree that acting together for the benefit of all is the best way, as here, your argument falls apart.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:02 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
No, really, it's not all about you.
It's not all about me. Only the part about me having to go to the polls or else suffer the consequences is about me.

Quote:
Nobody has decided anything of the sort.
SuburbanTurkey explicitly decided exactly that.

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Your wasted half a day is considered a reasonable cost for what's gained.
Not to me, it isn't. That's the whole point.

Quote:
Consider it a tax,
How does that help? Not all taxes are just. Not all taxes are fair. If I charged you a poll tax, and told you "consider it a tax", would that make it okay?

Quote:
if that doesn't make the top of your head explode.
Personal attack noted and reported. I thought you said this wasn't about me?

Quote:
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.
I get that just fine. I'm saying that the suffering imposed on me exceeds the benefit to society.

And of course my objections are personal. It's me personally that has to comply with the policy. It's me personally that has to suffer the consequences if I don't. Any government policy that touches my personal freedoms has to be assessed first and foremost in the context of my personal freedoms.

You don't get individuals to work together by pretending there's no individuals involved. You get them to work together by getting them to agree to work together. And I'm saying that on this one, I'm not agreeing to work together towards this particular goal. At this point, your options are:
(1) compel me with threats, and punish me if the threats don't work
(2) keep trying to convince me to work together with you towards the goal
(3) let me go my own way, and find other individuals who are willing to work with you
(4) try to convince me that my individuality is irrelevant to the collective goal I'm supposed to be working on

(1) is the Australian way, which I find unnecessarily totalitarian and gratuitously patronizing
(2) and (3) are the American way, which is my preference
(4) is some weird idea that you're trying out in this thread and hopefully you'll drop it soon.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:05 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
How did you not notice that this is precisely what I have just done with you?
And it's precisely what I have just done with Australia. Do you have a problem with doing this kind of thing, or not?
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:05 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Any government policy that touches my personal freedoms has to be assessed first and foremost in the context of my personal freedoms.
This is the disconnect.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:08 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Sorry, but that's exactly what theprestige is saying.
It's okay to look at how people are doing something, and conclude they're doing it wrong. It's okay to say so, and say how you reached your conclusion. It's even okay to say they should stop doing it wrong.

Hell, you've done it to me on more than one occasion. I'm not sure why it bothers you so much when I do it.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:10 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
.........I'm not sure why it bothers you so much when I do it.
Pure self-centred selfishness has never appealed to me. I see it as contemptible. I don't react well, perhaps, when I see someone argue for it.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:10 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
We're unified in our adversion to unity. Agree with me that we aren't in agreement, damn it!
Agreed.

Actually I'm really enjoying agreeing with you on things lately.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:11 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's okay to look at how people are doing something, and conclude they're doing it wrong. It's okay to say so, and say how you reached your conclusion. It's even okay to say they should stop doing it wrong.

Hell, you've done it to me on more than one occasion. I'm not sure why it bothers you so much when I do it.

I think it's probably the apparent lack of anything approaching doubt in your posts. The inference gained is that, without any doubt, you believe your way is right and that you firmly believe that anyone who doesn't do things the way your culture has bought you up to believe that they should be done is doing it wrong - not just differently, but flat out wrong.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:19 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I don't actually think the Soviet Union, or indeed any nominally labelled 'communist' country is a particularly good example of how social cooperation works. I suspect the Scandinavian Social Democracies are a better model to review.
I suspect a review of the Scandinavians would reveal that they mandate a lot less social cooperation than the Soviet Union did.

Which is to say, yes, cooperation is good, but it does not follow that every instance of mandated cooperation is good. Right? You wouldn't use "being part of a society has costs" as an argument to justify the costs of being part of Soviet society. You wouldn't use "cooperation achieves more than individualism" as an argument against some individual East German deciding to nope on out of East Germany at the first opportunity.

Quote:
I think it demonstrates that cooperation achieves more than individualism. You really can't live the way you live now without being part of a society. Being part of a society has costs. This, in Australia, is one of them.
And I think it's an unnecessary cost that Australia is wrong to impose on its citizens.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:22 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
And you're debating it from the viewpoint that one is in conflict with the other. When individuals freely agree that acting together for the benefit of all is the best way, as here, your argument falls apart.
That's the thing, though. Individuals aren't freely acting together. If they were, they wouldn't need a law, and a threat, to compel it. Again, if Australians are so enthusiastic about voting, why do they need a law?
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:24 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This is the disconnect.
Here we go off to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:24 PM   #139
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I see a few people here have the delusion that you can force people to be virtuous at the point of a gun.
What nonsense.

I suspect the people who think this hide a passion for power to rule over their fellow man under some nice sounding rhetoric.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:26 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This is the disconnect.
I think you're right. We seem to be getting to the heart of it now. I appreciate the discussion we've had so far, but I think we're close to pulling the last scraps of meat off this bone. Thanks for your replies. They've certainly given me food for thought. I'm sorry I can't see my way clear to agreeing with you yet. I'm up for maybe a few more exchanges (since I've posted other stuff you may already be replying to), but we're probably nearing the end of this particular conversation.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:26 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's the thing, though. Individuals aren't freely acting together. If they were, they wouldn't need a law, and a threat, to compel it. Again, if Australians are so enthusiastic about voting, why do they need a law?
Because without the threat of a government fine no one would have the courage to leave their house and run the kangaroo gauntlets.

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Old 1st November 2018, 12:27 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's the thing, though. Individuals aren't freely acting together. ..........
Yes, they are. They freely chose to have a system of compulsion for the greater good. They chose it. Read that again. And again....... Not only did they choose this system, but it's a system they could end at any time if they chose........and guess what? They don't so choose.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:30 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I see a few people here have the delusion that you can force people to be virtuous at the point of a gun........
What on earth......

Why does everything come down to guns with some people? There are no guns involved here. I'll warrant that never at any stage in the history of Australia has a gun been used to force someone to vote, or as a consequence of them not having voted.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:31 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I see a few people here have the delusion that you can force people to be virtuous at the point of a gun.
What nonsense.

Again, the disconnect. It's not about forcing people to do things to be virtuous. It's inconveniencing some people in order to enhance the democratic process. It's top down, not bottom up. Virtue and morality have little to do with it, this is pragmatism.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:35 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I think it's probably the apparent lack of anything approaching doubt in your posts. The inference gained is that, without any doubt, you believe your way is right and that you firmly believe that anyone who doesn't do things the way your culture has bought you up to believe that they should be done is doing it wrong - not just differently, but flat out wrong.
A lot of people seem to have an apparent lack of doubt in their posts. But only some people seem to get taken to task for it.

My apparent lack of doubt is probably because the primacy of individual freedom is axiomatic for me. If I had doubts about my axioms, they wouldn't be my axioms. Fundamentally, I have no problem with cultural differences. I find them fascinating and enjoyable, and for the most part unobjectionable. But some cultures do some things better than others. Some cultures do things that I can't help but think of as horribly wrong, not because they offend my cultural bias, but because they offend my personal sense of right and wrong.

I don't think Australia's mandatory voting policy is horribly wrong - it's mildly wrong at worst. It does offend my sense of right and wrong, but I don't take very great offense at all. If I were Australian, I'd advocate repealing the law. If a similar law were proposed here, I'd oppose it on essentially the grounds I've laid out in this thread.

On the other hand, Australia's policy provides a good example for debating the principle of individual freedom versus collective desire. So in that sense, the debate about the principle ends up being much more serious, and much bigger, than the example itself.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:59 PM   #146
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American democracy has gone horribly wrong while Australian society chosing mild and non-strictly enforced compulsion to vote is working much better.

In my younger days I missed a number of elections by not providing current address information to the electoral commission or ignoring the please explain letter from them when I had enrolled but chose to go bush on election day wih my mates. No swat teams breaking down my door and ahoving guns in my face.
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:12 PM   #147
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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 used to think that until I was in Australia at election time. Participating in voting is part of what defines an Aussie, like the constitution or the flag for an USian. I went with my friend when he was going to vote and hung around outside, I was offered a sausage from the Barbie but said I wasn't eligible since I wasn't Australian and could not vote; this produced some consternation with people explaining to me that I did not need to be Australian to vote just resident, when I explained I was on holiday they still insisted anyone who visited the voting station on holiday was entitled to a sausage. Whilst what I read here has the US trying to restrict access to voting, the consequence in Australia is that voting is facilitated. You can vote for Mickey Mouse, or for no one. But if it is the citizen's duty to vote then it is the state's responsibility to facilitate this.

As in Starship Troopers 'service guarantees citizenship' in Australia that is voting. What greater service can you do for a democracy than voting? I am a convert I would bring it in for the UK. But you do need the vote anywhere option, postal voting options, lots of voting stations. (Actually the UK does OK on easy access to voting stations).
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:16 PM   #148
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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.
Is that what you think the goal of the legislation is?
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:16 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Yes, they are. They freely chose to have a system of compulsion for the greater good. They chose it. Read that again. And again....... Not only did they choose this system, but it's a system they could end at any time if they chose........and guess what? They don't so choose.
That’s what it’s about. Australians and other nations have bought into the idea of a social contract whereby we give up some freedoms and some of our reward for labour in taxes in order to have the safety that government order brings. A safe ordered society allows you to enjoy mandated freedoms better than one in which you are fearful and bullied. Some day we could vote for a party that moves away from this and give them further madate to continue. Many Americans, having a strong individualist spirit and distrust of government authority, prefer to face nature red in tooth and claw with their own means of defence and by their own rules. I cannot see how you could shift from your status quo as freely as we could, given the current mess of your electoral and government systems.
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:22 PM   #150
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Has any country in modern history instituted compulsory voting so we can look at a before and after for reference?
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:59 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Has any country in modern history instituted compulsory voting so we can look at a before and after for reference?
There's North Korea, but since there is only one name on the ballot it may not be properly representative of a democratic government.
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Old 1st November 2018, 02:23 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Is that what you think the goal of the legislation is?
I do. I think this legislation is the product of Australians who like the idea of voting and who don't trust their fellow citizens to like the idea as much as they do. They're comforted by the thought that their fellow citizens have to vote whether or not they're enthusiastic about it.

What do you think would happen if the Australian Prime Minister called a press conference tomorrow and said, "we Australians have a strong cultural value of voting in a democracy. It's one of the greatest things we as a people have to offer the world. Having a law to compel us to vote is insulting. The threat of government sanction is patronizing and unnecessary. Australians don't need to be told to vote. Australians don't need to be forced to vote. Even if there were no law, Australians would still go and vote, because participating in democracy is something we all believe in. Therefore, I am calling on the legislature to repeal this unnecessary and offensive law immediately. And I will see you all at the polls!"

I bet Australians would lose their minds at the thought of having an election without the government threatening them.
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Old 1st November 2018, 02:28 PM   #153
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It occurs to me that that one side effect of mandatory voting is that campaigns would be more about convincing voters to vote for a particular candidate and less about motivating voters to vote at all.

It presents electoral expectations from having a large effect. For example, people who felt they could skip voting because it was obvious Clinton was going to win would have voted. There also would not need to be voting drives to rally segments of the population to vote.

Also, voter suppression efforts would be less tenable when you are also requiring people to vote.
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Old 1st November 2018, 02:33 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
....

I bet Australians would lose their minds at the thought of having an election without the government threatening them.
I'm not sure you quite get the average Australian mentality.

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Old 1st November 2018, 02:47 PM   #155
theprestige
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Originally Posted by TomB View Post
It occurs to me that that one side effect of mandatory voting is that campaigns would be more about convincing voters to vote for a particular candidate and less about motivating voters to vote at all.
If the candidates don't motivate the voters, why force the voters to vote for them anyway?

Quote:
It presents electoral expectations from having a large effect. For example, people who felt they could skip voting because it was obvious Clinton was going to win would have voted. There also would not need to be voting drives to rally segments of the population to vote.
The voting drives happen because the candidate needs those votes to win, but isn't actually able to motivate that segment of the population on his own merits.

Quote:
Also, voter suppression efforts would be less tenable when you are also requiring people to vote.
Now that is an interesting argument.
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Old 1st November 2018, 03:31 PM   #156
MikeG
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
.........I bet Australians would lose their minds at the thought of having an election without the government threatening them.
Low quality trolling.
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Old 1st November 2018, 03:36 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by TomB View Post
Also, voter suppression efforts would be less tenable when you are also requiring people to vote.
That seems like the best support for mandatory voting.

My thinking before reading that was that it reminded me of seatbelt laws. Primarily the seatbelt protects the wearer, and maybe the insurance company, but not really society at large. But saving lives is an overall good, so fining people for not wearing their own seatbelt makes it just that bit harder to justify running around without a belt on. Not voting is a bit like not wearing a seatbelt. Maybe a small fine to encourage compliance is not such a bad thing.

But really, I think TomB has my favorite reason.
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Old 1st November 2018, 04:57 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If we had mandatory voting in America I'm about 99% certain our next President would be the popular write in candidate "Crudely Drawn Dick and Balls."
Do you think the US populace is uniquely stupid or that the Australians are uniquely intelligent?
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Old 1st November 2018, 05:01 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Do you think the US populace is uniquely stupid or that the Australians are uniquely intelligent?
False dichotomy.
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Old 1st November 2018, 05:03 PM   #160
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Has any country in modern history instituted compulsory voting so we can look at a before and after for reference?
Yes. That would be Australia. Compulsory voting was introduced in 1924.

https://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/Aus...ry/history.htm
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