Maintain Compulsory Voting

Thea Selby, D5 Supervisor: San Francisco Ballot Lynn Friedman via Compfight

Letters to the Editor
14th May, 2015
Herald Sun

Let’s hope those clamouring for election reform here take a good look at the UK result. One party now has 51% of the seats from 36.9% of the vote. As voting is voluntary, only 66.1% of those registered bothered to do so. This effectively means the UK now has a majority government for which only 24.4% of those entitled voted! Should we let the Australian major parties change the system so the same sort of thing happens here?

Peter Boardman


  1. THEO14-05-2015

    The whole voting system is an illusion. Whether 99% or 24.4% of the people vote there is always the same two party system that rules for decades. The same parties present the voters with their choice of candidates not the voters. The party tells the voter to vote for candidates “we”(politicians) choose not you. Then we have special interest groups that buys politicians to do their bidding in government. The whole political system is deliberately flawed not just the voting system. However, voter hypocrisy, apathy and ignorance of issues and worse placing political ideology above that of the social and economic welfare of the country is probably the main culprit and not so much voter presence at elections. We all know the political system is the most corrupt institution and we are lied to time after time for many years and despite decades of proof we are stuck in a loop to forgive, complain, forgive etc. etc. and continue to vote for them. That is why? I do not believe voting, whether compulsory or not will really make any difference..

  2. Karl Fitzgerald
    Karl Fitzgerald15-05-2015

    Wow thats some critique! And then the MPs are tied to party allegiance, dare they cross the floor!

  3. Tony Hayward-Ryan28-11-2017

    May I paraphrase what Theo has to say about elections and the absence of relevance to democracy:

    Under the present illusionary system, we get to elect corporate-banker preselected candidates to do our thinking for us. This representationalism has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.

    Over the past two centuries the investment banker elite, and the corporations this elite owns, have proselytised the idea of ‘representationalism’ and ‘majorities’ as democracy. Yet the greatest political minds in history shared a view that is the diametric opposite:

    Thucydides of ancient Greece pointed out “we are great because we are government by the many , not by the few”. Thomas Paine (The Rights of Man) concurred with “All authority resides in the People”. He qualified this as ‘all of the people’, not just some; which means that policy is formulated by an informed electorate, not by a hierarchical handful.

    And Abraham Lincoln nailed it lyrically and unambiguously with “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Contemporarily, read this as ‘Government by the entire electorate’. And why not? 99.99% of all wisdom and knowledge can be found outside of government, not within it. (Some would say 100%).

    If somebody in the electorate does not want to contribute to policy formulation, that is their right. But my sample surveys of a premeasured full demographic corridor on the Sunshine Coast (2001, 2004, 2007, & 2010) show that less than 1% fall into this category. What people want is to contribute where they feel able. So… a highly informed and articulate person may wish to comment in detail on all or most issues, whereas others may want to influence only education and health services, or whatever. As they say: each according to his means. Compulsion would be absurd.

    Note that this process excludes such phenomena as majorities. Think about it: a 51%/49% vote demonstrates absolute division in the community. To proceed on this basis would be to invite disaster. Which, I suppose, is why most of our political decisions have proved to be precisely that.

    Genuine democracy requires consensus-developing protocols, which actual practice shows is easily achieved, providing all participants have access to the same information.

    Hierarchicists will never accept that hierarchicism, or its more popular name, leadership, is not the natural order; but an objective view of history shows that this belief is illogical and always ends in corruption and dictatorship. As the greatest political mind in history, Lord Johannes Acton, put it: there are no great leaders, only bad men, and they write the histories.

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