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Poll : Should voting be Mandatory ?

Should voting be mandatory?

  • yes

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • no

    Votes: 25 86.2%

  • Total voters
    29

earthworm

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Yes ! But to do this a ton of reform is necessary.
 

Lefty

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Re: Poll : Should voting be Manitory ?

Ehhh... you realize you don't have the poll set up?

Also, no I don't think it should be mandatory. I think that any responsible citizen should care about who is elected to represent them, but if you don't want to vote... why would you force people?
 

Kelzie

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Re: Poll : Should voting be Manitory ?

I took the liberty of adding a poll and voted no. There's no need for us to clog up our politics with even more uneducated voters. If people have the right to vote, they have the right not to vote.
 

earthworm

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Thank you, Kelzie
I really had to muddle my way though this.
I'm glad I asked the question, this is one area where I am a extremest.
But the "other side" arguments are too good to debate.
That a minority of people vote, IMO, is not good - enter reform...
 

Lefty

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Re: Poll : Should voting be Manitory ?

You can't make it mandatory for people to vote, but I agree that it seems like a lot of people don't care, when I see a lot out there to care about. I think that a lot of people don't vote because they see a lot of corruption in Washington. Some people I know don't want to vote because they have the attitude that it doesn't matter who they vote for, nothing will ever get done and the elected officals will just be corrupt.

If you want more people to vote you have to cut down corruption in Washington. At least, that's a start.
 

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earthworm said:
Thank you, Kelzie
I really had to muddle my way though this.
I'm glad I asked the question, this is one area where I am a extremest.
But the "other side" arguments are too good to debate.
That a minority of people vote, IMO, is not good - enter reform...
I think voting should be a cherished privilege and right. I favor in person voter registration that includes ID or other proof of citizenship and I would consider finding a way to amend the process so that those who will give of their time, talent, or personal property as a result of the vote will be the ones who are authorized to vote. Only tax payers should be able to vote to raise taxes for instance. Every state should have fraudproof policies in effect as much as possible and should enforce them rigidly.

It should be a felony to bribe somebody to vote and/or instruct somebody who or what to vote for when such person doesn't otherwise have a clue. (The operative word here is 'should' as I do understand how impossible this would be to enforce.)

It should be at least a major misdemeanor to word a ballot issue in such a way that voters aren't sure what their vote might mean.

I think all votes should be cast by American citizens committed to making this a better country. If that happens to mean that only a minority votes then so be it. There is no virtue in one casting a ballot just to be voting. One needs to fully understand the issues and the process before pulling the lever or punching the chads or marking their X. If you don't know what you're voting for, please don't vote.
 
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No. Voting should not be mandatory for most of the already-given reasons and one more. The only reasonable justification for mandatory voting is the necessity of forcing the electorate as a whole to take politics more seriously, but to go about it this way is getting things backwards.

Making the politicians worth voting for will make people vote; making people vote will only allow politicians to become less vote-worthy.
 
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AlbqOwl said:
I would consider finding a way to amend the process so that those who will give of their time, talent, or personal property as a result of the vote will be the ones who are authorized to vote. Only tax payers should be able to vote to raise taxes for instance.
Wouldn't this be a straight ticket to the destruction of minority groups? How many people will raise their taxes to increase welfare even if the increase is needed? It seems to me to be asking a lot of voters, telling them to vote with consideration for the whole of their country. I don't see how it makes sense when you're leaving the very same people you're asking them to do a favor out of the vote.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
I think voting should be a cherished privilege and right. I favor in person voter registration that includes ID or other proof of citizenship and I would consider finding a way to amend the process so that those who will give of their time, talent, or personal property as a result of the vote will be the ones who are authorized to vote. Only tax payers should be able to vote to raise taxes for instance. Every state should have fraudproof policies in effect as much as possible and should enforce them rigidly.
does that mean that only welfare recipients get to vote on welfare reform
sounds like a recipe for disaster
 

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Ordinarily I would say no to this, but the low turnout to the last election here in the UK (60.1%) coupled with the downfalls of the electoral system means that the government won with a mere 21% of the electorate supporting it.

I realise if people don't turnout, then its their own fault for this, but in nations where governments base their power on it having support of the people, mandatory voting would certainly lend a government more legitamacy, and people always have the option of spoiling their ballot paper if they decide the candidates are not worth voting for.

Like I say, I would ordinarily be fine to just let people who don't care not vote and leave more influence to those that do, but I think that the low turnout rates that seem to be affecting UK, and as far as I know US, elections means that something ought to be done, perhaps mandatory elections?
 

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Plain old me said:
Ordinarily I would say no to this, but the low turnout to the last election here in the UK (60.1%) coupled with the downfalls of the electoral system means that the government won with a mere 21% of the electorate supporting it.

I realise if people don't turnout, then its their own fault for this, but in nations where governments base their power on it having support of the people, mandatory voting would certainly lend a government more legitamacy, and people always have the option of spoiling their ballot paper if they decide the candidates are not worth voting for.

Like I say, I would ordinarily be fine to just let people who don't care not vote and leave more influence to those that do, but I think that the low turnout rates that seem to be affecting UK, and as far as I know US, elections means that something ought to be done, perhaps mandatory elections?
It is a horrible idea to make people who know nothing about politics vote. More than likely they would randomly pick a candidate, who now has many more votes than he or she should.
 

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Kelzie said:
It is a horrible idea to make people who know nothing about politics vote. More than likely they would randomly pick a candidate, who now has many more votes than he or she should.
D'you think that would happen in such significant numbers as to make a difference? Perhaps if it was made clearer that it was possible to abstain?

Like I say, I'm stuck on this issue...people voting who have no idea of the consequences is a horrible idea, but I'm not too keen on a government being voted into power on such a small minority of the vote either.
 

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Plain old me said:
D'you think that would happen in such significant numbers as to make a difference? Perhaps if it was made clearer that it was possible to abstain?

Like I say, I'm stuck on this issue...people voting who have no idea of the consequences is a horrible idea, but I'm not too keen on a government being voted into power on such a small minority of the vote either.
In huge numbers. Right now the presedential election in the US nets between 40 and 50 percent of the population. The lesser elections get far less. That means for the BIG elections, we'd be forcing from 50 to 60 percent of the population to vote. Now I'll give you that a small percentage of abstainers are dissatisfied with the system, but the vast majority just don't care and aren't informed. It would be very dangerous to the political process to make them pick a random candidate.
 

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Stupiderthanthou said:
Wouldn't this be a straight ticket to the destruction of minority groups? How many people will raise their taxes to increase welfare even if the increase is needed? It seems to me to be asking a lot of voters, telling them to vote with consideration for the whole of their country. I don't see how it makes sense when you're leaving the very same people you're asking them to do a favor out of the vote.
Nobody votes to increase welfare benefits - we elect representatives to do that. So, no doubt, the welfare recipients will vote for the one who pledges to help them; the people who think welfare policies are bad will vote for the one who pledges to reform them, etc.

But if it is going to come out of my pocket to vote for the school bond or whatever and it will cost you nothing because you don't pay the taxes that will be effected, I should be the one to vote.
 

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DeeJayH said:
does that mean that only welfare recipients get to vote on welfare reform
sounds like a recipe for disaster
No, that isn't what I meant. What I meant is that if I am the one who is going to fund whatever for the benefit of somebody else, I should be the one who votes on the issue or initiative that provides it. If an issue will enrich you and cost you nothing, you should not be the one voting for it.

This is a stated principle only, and I know the difficulties inherent in implementing it. (Not that I advocate not trying something just because it is impossible.)

I don't think our elected representatives should be able to vote themselves a raise at any level of government. I think they should vote a raise but would not be eligible to receive any personal benefit from it until they are successfully re-elected in the next election.

These are all concepts that I think would greatly reduce the corruption that is currently inherent in the process.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
No, that isn't what I meant. What I meant is that if I am the one who is going to fund whatever for the benefit of somebody else, I should be the one who votes on the issue or initiative that provides it. If an issue will enrich you and cost you nothing, you should not be the one voting for it.

This is a stated principle only, and I know the difficulties inherent in implementing it. (Not that I advocate not trying something just because it is impossible.)

I don't think our elected representatives should be able to vote themselves a raise at any level of government. I think they should vote a raise but would not be eligible to receive any personal benefit from it until they are successfully re-elected in the next election.

These are all concepts that I think would greatly reduce the corruption that is currently inherent in the process.
I have to say I disagree with this. Just because I am not funding something now, doesn't mean I won't be funding it in the future. And everybody who pays taxes funds these benefits, correct? I would venture a guess that the number of people who don't pay taxes and still votes is fairly small.
 

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Kelzie said:
I have to say I disagree with this. Just because I am not funding something now, doesn't mean I won't be funding it in the future. And everybody who pays taxes funds these benefits, correct? I would venture a guess that the number of people who don't pay taxes and still votes is fairly small.
But if you aren't paying taxes that fund it now, then you have absolutely nothing to lose by voting for funding. You are given power to make me pay for something that costs you absolutely nothing but which could benefit you greatly.

At such time as you acquire property that makes you liable for property taxes that provide funding, then your attitude about your vote may or may not change, but at least you would be paying the freight along with everybody else if a bond issue, etc. succeeds. Property owners are going to vote for schools and libraries and sewer systems and beautification, etc. because these things enhance the quality of life and increase their property values. But if they are the ones paying for it, they should be the ones who vote for it.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
But if you aren't paying taxes that fund it now, then you have absolutely nothing to lose by voting for funding. You are given power to make me pay for something that costs you absolutely nothing but which could benefit you greatly.

At such time as you acquire property that makes you liable for property taxes that provide funding, then your attitude about your vote may or may not change, but at least you would be paying the freight along with everybody else if a bond issue, etc. succeeds. Property owners are going to vote for schools and libraries and sewer systems and beautification, etc. because these things enhance the quality of life and increase their property values. But if they are the ones paying for it, they should be the ones who vote for it.
Hardly. I'm not going to vote for an increase in taxes when I know with certainty I am going to be paying it in the future. Unless I feel it is justified of course. People should have the option on voting for things that are going to affect them in the future.
 

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Kelzie said:
Hardly. I'm not going to vote for an increase in taxes when I know with certainty I am going to be paying it in the future. Unless I feel it is justified of course. People should have the option on voting for things that are going to affect them in the future.
Well, we'll just have to disagree on this one. :smile:

My libertarian soul just rejects a concept of somebody being able to force me to pay for something that benefits them when they are not paying for it themselves. What they presume their future circumstances to be should not be a factor I think.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
Well, we'll just have to disagree on this one. :smile:

My libertarian soul just rejects a concept of somebody being able to force me to pay for something that benefits them when they are not paying for it themselves. What they presume their future circumstances to be should not be a factor I think.
But why is that? If a generation of homeowners wants to raise the property tax to 50% and I am buying a home in 6 months, why should I not be allowed to vote on it?
 

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Kelzie said:
But why is that? If a generation of homeowners wants to raise the property tax to 50% and I am buying a home in 6 months, why should I not be allowed to vote on it?
Well, if the homeowners want to raise the property tax to 50%, I'll want EVERYBODY to vote on it - and vote "NO!!!"

This is not the issue however. My issue is with those who contribute little or nothing being able to enrich themselves or improve their lives at my expense. I am of the group who thinks, without consent of the contributor, that it is immoral to confiscate the property of the citizen who earned it and give it to the citizen who didn't.

This concept of course does factor into my views on who should and should not have benefit of the vote on specific issues.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
Well, if the homeowners want to raise the property tax to 50%, I'll want EVERYBODY to vote on it - and vote "NO!!!"

This is not the issue however. My issue is with those who contribute little or nothing being able to enrich themselves or improve their lives at my expense. I am of the group who thinks, without consent of the contributor, that it is immoral to confiscate the property of the citizen who earned it and give it to the citizen who didn't.

This concept of course does factor into my views on who should and should not have benefit of the vote on specific issues.
But my situation is your issue. At this moment, I am contribution nothing to propery taxes. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have a say in issues that will almost definitely affect me in the near future.

Answer my situation. If you were buying a house in 6 months and the vote on the table was rather to raise property taxes to 50%, would you just sit idly by because you aren't contributing to property taxes at this moment?
 

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Kelzie said:
But my situation is your issue. At this moment, I am contribution nothing to propery taxes. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have a say in issues that will almost definitely affect me in the near future.

Answer my situation. If you were buying a house in 6 months and the vote on the table was rather to raise property taxes to 50%, would you just sit idly by because you aren't contributing to property taxes at this moment?
No, because as it stands now, I am entitled to vote on anything that is voted on. So I would vote my self interest and in that case that could be a good thing in this one anecdotal incident.

But looking at the larger picture and principle involved, as a non-property owner, I would be voting on my own self-interest whatever that was without incurring any personal risk, consequence, or responsibility whatsoever. There is simply too much opportunity to exploit others in a system like that in order for me to agree that it is a good thing.

Now if we are talking about an issue to be funded by a sales tax or some tax that everybody pays regardless of their financial circumstances, then sure. Everybody votes.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
No, because as it stands now, I am entitled to vote on anything that is voted on. So I would vote my self interest and in that case that could be a good thing in this one anecdotal incident.

But looking at the larger picture and principle involved, as a non-property owner, I would be voting on my own self-interest whatever that was without incurring any personal risk, consequence, or responsibility whatsoever. There is simply too much opportunity to exploit others in a system like that in order for me to agree that it is a good thing.
I see where you're coming from. Really I do. Here's my thing. Most voting people vote on presedential elections. Voting on property tax increase is like, what, maybe 20% of the population? I can promise that the people voting on it are either property owners themselves, or educated enough to extrapolate what tax they will want when they own property. It is unfair to deny them the vote on something that will most definitely affect them in the future.
 

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Kelzie said:
I see where you're coming from. Really I do. Here's my thing. Most voting people vote on presedential elections. Voting on property tax increase is like, what, maybe 20% of the population? I can promise that the people voting on it are either property owners themselves, or educated enough to extrapolate what tax they will want when they own property. It is unfair to deny them the vote on something that will most definitely affect them in the future.
I also understand where you're coming from, and again we'll just have to disagree. I am of the old school that says private property is sacrosanct and should not be confiscated without the consent of the property owner.

Most bond issues are on the same ballot as are presidential or other major candidates just so they can get more people voting on them and thus they have a much better chance of passage. And then the property taxes go up another notch to cover the bonds and that makes housing just a tad more unaffordable for those on the cusp and it is just a little tougher for home owners to make the payments. It costs the non property owner nothing to vote yes so most do. Politicians know this and later hope to point to projects that will impress their constituents into voting for them, whether or not the projects were the most needed items.

If only property owners could vote on these issues, the politicans would really have to sell them on both the necessity for and value received for the projects before those bond issues would ever be passed. I think the result of that would be that we would have much more wise use of the public money and we would be receiving much more benefit and value for the dollars spent.

Anytime government has the power to take from us whatever it wants and/or the power to bribe us with our own money, I think we are the poorer. And again that's why I think only those who have to pay for the project should be the ones who vote on it.
 
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