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Should voting in the General Election be made compulsory?


gcarth Plus
17 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 4:27PM
Should voting in the General Election be made compulsory or is that an infringement on personal freedom?
franken Plus
18 5.3k 4 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 4:52PM
As we live in a democracy apparently we should have the option of voting in a general election or not.

I'm not currently keen on any of the parties to be honest and the Brexit farce has not helped.





saltireblue Plus
11 12.0k 75 Norway
15 Nov 2019 5:00PM
If voting were to be made compulsory, then they would first have to reform the current voting system.
As it stands today, you could find yourself in the situation of wishing to vote for a certain party, but they have decided (for whatever reason) not to field a candidate in your ward. There would have to be a system whereby you could vote for any party that was putting itself forward for election, disregarding any today's voting boundaries.
Dave_Canon 15 2.0k United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 5:35PM
I do not think it should be compulsory but I have only missed voting once ever in any election local or general. At the time I was out of the country and it was too late to get a postal vote. However, I have had a postal vote ever since.

Dave
gcarth Plus
17 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 5:50PM

Quote:As we live in a democracy apparently we should have the option of voting in a general election or not.

I'm not currently keen on any of the parties to be honest and the Brexit farce has not helped.


Quote:If voting were to be made compulsory, then they would first have to reform the current voting system.
As it stands today, you could find yourself in the situation of wishing to vote for a certain party, but they have decided (for whatever reason) not to field a candidate in your ward. There would have to be a system whereby you could vote for any party that was putting itself forward for election, disregarding any today's voting boundaries.

I agree with both of you (though I would definitely vote Labour). However, all the main Parties are completely divided and in a mess. I think the LIb Dems could start to show more obvious signs of division pretty soon too.
Surely, it's up to the political parties to 'step up to the plate'...
It's often the case, as 'satireblue' says, that there isn't a candidate standing in your area that belongs to your party of choice: This otten happens in the case of the Green Party.

My belief is that that there should be absolutely no talk of making voting compulsory because I'm certain that people will vote for a Party if that Party and it's MP's can offer different options. In this election, I think, in spite of the mess that the main parties are in, they do offer different policies.
Surely, it's the job of political parties to 'step up to the plate'...
sherlob Plus
15 3.2k 131 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 6:57PM
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The problem is that there is truth in this jest. I will be voting, but I feel so disengaged from any of the parties that itís a dilemma who to vote for - there are no good options imho
gcarth Plus
17 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 9:01PM


Quote:The problem is that there is truth in this jest. I will be voting, but I feel so disengaged from any of the parties that itís a dilemma who to vote for - there are no good options imho
Well, I definitely have preferable options but I have to admit that I don't have too much faith in politician's ability to carry them out - even with the best will in the world. Too many politicians are too hand-in-glove with the Establishment, big business and the media: A real Left Party has hardly any chance of Party funding.

Putting aside the argument about which Party is best to govern, Labour will not be allowed to run the country as they wish - even if they are elected - because many of the Labour Party are 'New' Labour as opposed to real Labour and they will continue to split the party - just as the right have split the Tory Party. The difference is that the Tories will always have financial backers for both the left and the right of their Party.

When all said and done, I have to say that the sign might prove to be correct (as well as being amusing) in saying that many people find it difficult to choose any of the Parties because even if the policies differ, the personalities lack charisma or even if where they have charisma, they are mendacious or plain stupid.
brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 10:51PM
Until recently I would have agreed with this suggestion but watching how politics has changed this country and the apparent total lack of regard for the opinions of the electorate I now have a different view, that is that elections are a total waste of time as its quite obvious (listening to politicians and political commentators) that the majority of voters are illiterate and have no understanding of what they are voting for

So my new proposal is to do away with elections entirely and rely instead on the number of "likes" that each new on-line petition gets, then try to find a party (or temporary allegiance of single issue activists) to promise to resolve the issues selected "within the next 10 years". They will then be given the power (but not the responsibility, perish the thought that a politician should be held responsible for the outcome of the promises and policies) to carry this out

The judgements on who should be selected will be made by an unbiased panel comprising the BBC political reporters, the LSE and the Guardian editorial board

The rest of us can then go back to pissing in our pants and reflecting on how good things were in the old days (last year being about as far back as most seem to be able to remember these days)

JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2019 12:55AM
Yes, A £50 fine for not voting for everyone of working age. Unless you prove you're sick in hospital etc.
Digital home voting through Gov Gateway or Voter ID needed at poling stations.
Votes for 16 year olds - even if many are too susceptible to popularist trends - make politicians relatable instead.
And an option on the voting slip for "I don't like any of you" - active voting without having to endorse any particular party. This will show a gap in the market for fresh political ideas.

Agreed parties are too divided, in fact far to individualist - with the number of independents and those jumping ship every 5 mins to another party for better prospects/publicity you can see they are often thinking they can pick and choose issues - yet we are only offered broad party choices every 4 years.
Sure have more issue voting when digital voting is possible, but until then fickle politicians should not stand and certainly not move loyalty against the area that voted them in. -If they want to move party, stand down and get re-elected if the constituents vote for them again.


Vote labour, definitely not this time as their clashing ideologies also clash with rational thought. e.g. the debt iceberg they would leave UK children to pay off for ever. Baby boomer ideas gone bonkers.

I'd typically be a LibDem, but they are becoming a say anything for a vote chasing party and seem to have lost integrity.

Conservatives, perhaps my least ideological party - apart from that we should all work to contribute to the society we share. But this time I really just want the political Brexit excuse gone, so want them in to move life forward. Please keep improving transparency of party member interests to stave off distrust.

Greens - Great ideas but i want to see this in the framework of everything else working.

Monster raving loony party - see "I don't like any of you" above.

Hate parties - useful for reminding us that education and tolerance is important for us all.

"I don't like any of you" party - Yes mostly i feel like voting for that, but really want the least bad of the other options.
gcarth Plus
17 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2019 8:33AM

Quote:And an option on the voting slip for "I don't like any of you" - active voting without having to endorse any particular party. This will show a gap in the market for fresh political ideas.
Yes, I think that is the strongest argument for making voting compulsory.

Quote:I'd typically be a LibDem, but they are becoming a say anything for a vote chasing party and seem to have lost integrity.
I've always voted Labour until Blair and Bush decided to break International Law and slaughter hundreds of thousands of lives in Iraq.
After that I voted Green or Lib Dem but I think the Lib Dems lost integrity when they lost Charles Kennedy (who of course opposed the Iraq war).
Anyway, this time I will vote for Labour because their policies at least represent something resembling democracy and justice for all - even if they rely on non-existent money trees!
I think we should have a proportional representaion system of voting instead of 'first past the post' because, though it is messy and clogs up administration, I feel it does offer a more democratic way of governing.


hobbo Plus
10 1.7k 4 England
16 Nov 2019 8:48AM
Ah! Gcarth,

You have dropped your pebble in the pool again to see what the ripples catch 🤓

If you havenít got the savvy, the mind or motivation to vote then you shouldnít be forced or coerced to vote.

If made compulsory a party might win as a result of a very few crosses being put on voting papers any old way just to satisfy the law.

I was TOLD what do think and do during my National Service...... that was enough for me.

Relax and smell the coffee...... what happens.....Happens.

Hobbo
capto Plus
9 6.7k 25 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2019 9:11AM
How about an general knowledge test before you have the right to vote. Wink
Raise the voting age to 70.Wink
16 Nov 2019 10:29AM
Interesting to see how many countries actually do have compulsory voting, Iím not sure whether itís a good or bad thing but one thing I am certain of is that our electoral system needs reform.

With social media in particular I think there are dangers to our democracy that havenít seriously been addressed.

gcarth Plus
17 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2019 11:15AM

Quote:If you havenít got the savvy, the mind or motivation to vote then you shouldnít be forced or coerced to vote.
I think we agree on that, Hobbo. On balance, I'm not sure that an option to vote for "non of the Parties" would be helpful unless the voter was allowed to express their reasons for doing so (and then we can only imagine what rubbish and abusive language might be written on the slip!). As I said before, I think the onus is on the politicians to step up to the plate: I think people are interested in politics when the politicians show leadership and understanding as to what society needs as a whole.There must be something very dysfunctional when MP's have left both the main Parties in droves.

Quote:... what happens.....Happens.
Well, yes: Sometimes things are inevitable and we can only do our best to mitigate the worst aspects. SadWink
gcarth Plus
17 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2019 11:36AM

Quote:With social media in particular I think there are dangers to our democracy that havenít seriously been addressed.
That's right. How can we expect to make informed judgements if there is no way of knowing if information is fake or genuine?

I fear the social upheaval that I have forecast since about 2010 is really going to kick off over the next few years. Surely, such a divided nation with its divided leadership and general corruption is a recipe for trouble.Sad

I think the Extinction Rebellion surprised us all but maybe there will be a similar and potentially more violent rebellion over poverty and inequality. Sad
Maybe such events are inevitable - maybe there's a boil that will be lanced by nature, as it were?

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