Thursday, December 29, 2011


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When people in some countries still need to sacrifice lives or spill their blood to get their right to vote, in Australia every people, without discrimination, who is 18 years old has the right to vote once they enrol. It may one of the most important benefits which attract people to migrate to Australia. At the same time, the voting is also every citizen’s obligation. So voting is compulsory. However, it is not always the case in other democratic countries, such as the USA, Canada, Britain and New Zealand.

Every citizen should perform their duty to take part in policy formulation and management of the country, either directly working as a politician or indirectly by electing your representative. Through compulsory voting the Parliament can reflect more accurately the will of the people. Candidates can concentrate their campaigning energies on issues rather than encouraging voters to attend the poll. Furthermore, as a country with a small population, without compulsory voting, the turnout to an election may embarrass everyone. Voter turnout of those registered to vote in Australia was as low as 47% prior to the 1924 compulsory voting law.

However, compulsory voting now has its detractors. They prefer voluntary voting because they think forcing people to vote is an infringement of liberty. They say it will also increase the number of invalid votes (or “donkey votes”). Those with no interest in voting may prefer to vote for other aspects such as candidates’ appearance rather than their policies. People will sacrifice their own time to vote in federal and state elections. Resources must be allocated to determine whether those who failed to vote have "valid and sufficient" reasons.

From my point of view, because voting is part of democracy, people should not be forced to vote. Why we should worry about the turnout to vote? I think politicians should be responsible for that. People are losing interest in politics because almost always what politicians are doing is different from what they promised. Ideally, the speech of the representatives in parliament should reflect the will of their voters. Regardless of whether the super profits tax should become a policy or not, through the event in which Kevin Rudd was dumped without completing his first term, we can see the power of the executives of the mining industry. Their power comes from the money in their hands. They can use their power to influence politicians through so-called political funding or advertisements on newspapers or TV.

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