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Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 12:31 AM
Australia is quite rare in having compulsory voting.

Axiom
03-08-2007, 01:37 AM
I believe this is a secondary issue.
The primary one being :- we should be encouraged enough to vote by having real credible and varied options....not simply a continuation of the tag team ,dog and pony,punch and judy, puppet show.

EGOR
03-08-2007, 08:31 AM
I see it as the lesser of two evils. The greater evil being a government that is not representative because of a low % of voters. But I could be wrong.:confused:

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 08:52 AM
If people are unable to unwilling to educate and motivate themselves to vote, then I don't see why the government should force them to vote.

I would prefer to see a proper registration system for voters, where people are actually licensed to vote based on having at least a rudimentary level of knowledge about our system of government. e.g. if they're unable to tell the difference between the Senate and the House of Reps, they'd fail their license test.

Rincewind
03-08-2007, 09:06 AM
not simply a continuation of the tag team ,dog and pony,punch and judy, puppet show.

You forgot my favourite: "Tweedledum and Tweedledumber"

Igor_Goldenberg
03-08-2007, 09:10 AM
Freedom to vote means freedom not to vote, therefore it should not be compulsory. If someone does not intent to vote, it means it's not important to him/her. forcing them to vote might skewer the results.

On the other hand, I view it as a very minor and insignificant issue.

pax
03-08-2007, 09:17 AM
Note that it is not compulsory to vote in Australia. It is compulsory to present yourself at a voting booth, or to send a postal ballot paper (which may or may not be an actual vote).

The problem with non-compulsory voting (especially when the system is also first-past-the-post) is that the government can be determined by a very small minority of the population. In the US, it is even worse, with elections usually taking place on weekdays - when normal people generally have to work!

EGOR
03-08-2007, 09:17 AM
I would prefer to see a proper registration system for voters, where people are actually licensed to vote based on having at least a rudimentary level of knowledge about our system of government. e.g. if they're unable to tell the difference between the Senate and the House of Reps, they'd fail their license test.
So you're saying that a person's level of education should determine what rights they have a citizen?

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 09:33 AM
If people are unable to unwilling to educate and motivate themselves to vote, then I don't see why the government should force them to vote.

I would prefer to see a proper registration system for voters, where people are actually licensed to vote based on having at least a rudimentary level of knowledge about our system of government. e.g. if they're unable to tell the difference between the Senate and the House of Reps, they'd fail their license test.
I agree. Indeed, compulsory voting could encourage demagogery. SeeEconomic Illiteracy (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2007/08/01/economic_illiteracy) by John Stossel:


people often support price controls, foreign-trade barriers and laws against job "outsourcing," and oppose immigration. Most economists are eager to demonstrate that these policies are bad for society, but most people aren't interested in evidence. They're interested in what confirms their worldview and makes them feel good. So they often vote for protectionists, anti-immigration advocates and other opponents of the free market.
And G.B. Shaw pointed out, a government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul.

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 09:36 AM
Note that it is not compulsory to vote in Australia. It is compulsory to present yourself at a voting booth, or to send a postal ballot paper (which may or may not be an actual vote).
Fair point. But it is often colloquially called "compulsory voting", as per your contrast with "non-compulsory voting".


The problem with non-compulsory voting (especially when the system is also first-past-the-post) is that the government can be determined by a very small minority of the population. In the US, it is even worse, with elections usually taking place on weekdays when normal people generally have to work!
People who don't vote shuldn't whinge that they haven't got the government they wanted.

FPP voting is crass, much inferior to our preferential system that eliminates the role of spoilers. So is voting on a work day.

pax
03-08-2007, 09:37 AM
people often support price controls, foreign-trade barriers and laws against job "outsourcing," and oppose immigration. Most economists are eager to demonstrate that these policies are bad for society, but most people aren't interested in evidence. They're interested in what confirms their worldview and makes them feel good. So they often vote for protectionists, anti-immigration advocates and other opponents of the free market.

What has this got to do with compulsory voting? I think you will find that stupid people and people who don't agree with you will vote whether it is compulsory or not.

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 09:38 AM
Freedom to vote means freedom not to vote, therefore it should not be compulsory.
That is one of the main problems in principle with compulsory voting.


On the other hand, I view it as a very minor and insignificant issue.
It's not big enough for me to want to leave the country anyway.

pax
03-08-2007, 09:41 AM
People who don't vote shuldn't whinge that they haven't got the government they wanted.

Whether they whinge or not, do you really think that a system where 15% of the population votes for the winner is a good thing?

EGOR
03-08-2007, 09:46 AM
I agree. Indeed, compulsory voting could encourage demagogery. SeeEconomic Illiteracy (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2007/08/01/economic_illiteracy) by John Stossel:


people often support price controls, foreign-trade barriers and laws against job "outsourcing," and oppose immigration. Most economists are eager to demonstrate that these policies are bad for society, but most people aren't interested in evidence. They're interested in what confirms their worldview and makes them feel good. So they often vote for protectionists, anti-immigration advocates and other opponents of the free market.
And G.B. Shaw pointed out, a government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul.
What you seem to be saying is that the only people who should vote are those who agree with your worldview?

Basil
03-08-2007, 09:56 AM
Whether they whinge or not, do you really think that a system where 15% of the population votes for the winner is a good thing?
This has more to do with the population, not the system. The system allows for 100% of the population to vote. Nothing wrong with the system!

Off to re-set the Hydro-Sucker

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 09:58 AM
So you're saying that a person's level of education should determine what rights they have a citizen?
Their level of education about our system of government, yes.

We licence people to fix broken toilet pipes (plumbers).
We licence people to fix broken light sockets (electricians).
We licence people to drive motor vehicles.

So why not licence people to vote? Those that actually "have a clue" about how government works, what the current economic/social/foreign policy issues are, they're the people that I trust to vote.

Imagine if our government actually had to convince intelligent and educated people in order to win an election. A lot of the silly pork-barrelling would go out the window. A lot of the "one issue" elections (i.e. the Tampa) would go out the window. Perhaps it would be more about longer-term vision, actual ability to run the country, run a balanced budget, deliver real services without all the silly waffle, etc.

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 10:27 AM
What you seem to be saying is that the only people who should vote are those who agree with your worldview?
Not at all. And a problem with licencing is who does the licencing? I am merely pointing out what was realised by the founding fathers of the USA: that pure democracy can be a tyranny of the majority. And one practical outworking can be voting for envy-driven policies like "soak the 'rich'" or issues driven by vocal lobby groups like protectionism.

EGOR
03-08-2007, 10:48 AM
Their level of education about our system of government, yes.
So you are maintaining that voting should just be a privilege given only to those who meet a required standard of education, rather than a basis right for every citizen. A society where an educated elite decides what is best for the masses.


We licence people to fix broken toilet pipes (plumbers).
We licence people to fix broken light sockets (electricians).
We licence people to drive motor vehicles.
None of these are relevant. We do have licenced plumbers and electricians, but there is no law that says we have to use them, it just shows that they have met some standard of approval. Driver licences exist because it is known that someone needs a certain level of understanding and ability to drive a car without a great risk of injuring or killing some one (including themselves). One unlicenced/untrained driver can kill a lot of people. How many people can one uneducated voter kill?


So why not licence people to vote? Those that actually "have a clue" about how government works, what the current economic/social/foreign policy issues are, they're the people that I trust to vote.
Here you are making a value judgment, only those who you trust should be entitled to vote.


Imagine if our government actually had to convince intelligent and educated people in order to win an election. A lot of the silly pork-barrelling would go out the window. A lot of the "one issue" elections (i.e. the Tampa) would go out the window. Perhaps it would be more about longer-term vision, actual ability to run the country, run a balanced budget, deliver real services without all the silly waffle, etc.
This is idealism at it's highest form. Do you actually believe that intelligence and education are cures for short sighted selfishness? People, in general, always go for their own short term felt needs over the greater good regardless of their level of education. If you actually believe that a educational means test for voters would stop the above problems, I've got a nice bridge I'd like to sell you.:uhoh:

EGOR
03-08-2007, 10:56 AM
Not at all. And a problem with licencing is who does the licencing? I am merely pointing out what was realised by the founding fathers of the USA: that pure democracy can be a tyranny of the majority. And one practical outworking can be voting for envy-driven policies like "soak the 'rich'" or issues driven by vocal lobby groups like protectionism.
Basically any democratic process is flawed because it involves people.

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 11:03 AM
So you are maintaining that voting should just be a privilege given only to those who meet a required standard of education, rather than a basis right for every citizen. A society where an educated elite decides what is best for the masses.
Egor, due respect mate, but I said nothing even remotely like "educated elite decides what is best for the masses".


Driver licences exist because it is known that someone needs a certain level of understanding and ability to drive a car without a great risk of injuring or killing some one (including themselves). One unlicenced/untrained driver can kill a lot of people. How many people can one uneducated voter kill?
You're making my point for me beautifully! Please continue ....


Do you actually believe that intelligence and education are cures for short sighted selfishness?
I believe that they're a probably cure for short-sighted political offerings. Big difference in my mind. Your mileage may vary.

Aaron Guthrie
03-08-2007, 11:07 AM
Note that it is not compulsory to vote in Australia. It is compulsory to present yourself at a voting booth, or to send a postal ballot paper (which may or may not be an actual vote).As I understand it you also have to put the ballot in the box (i.e. not just get your name ticked off). If I find the source to that again, I'll post a link.

As per informal voting, last time I checked it was about 4-5%.

Aaron Guthrie
03-08-2007, 11:10 AM
Wouldn't the likely public dissent caused by a license scheme negate any potential usefulness it may have?

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 11:11 AM
Wouldn't the likely public dissent caused by a license scheme negate any potential usefulness it may have?
It'd never happen of course ... I'm just wistfully dreaming of a better world ... ;)

Basil
03-08-2007, 11:15 AM
Do you actually believe that intelligence and education are cures for short sighted selfishness?I believe that they're a probably cure for short-sighted political offerings.
On this point, I disagree, Frostles.

There is a phenomenal quantity of western intelligentsia without the remotest clue of how things (have to) work. They haven't the remotest experience, and they are blind to the considerable body of historical and evidence which defeats their postulations.

Nevertheless, their propensity for espousing remote and aloof witterings, and social modellings couched from the comfort afforded by education and intellect is stomach-churning and non-productive in the extreme. But what can one do?

The only solace I take is that some, when confronted at the Pearly Gates may realise their bombastic stupidity, perhaps like the British generals of the WWI

OK, everybody carry on!

Aaron Guthrie
03-08-2007, 11:17 AM
Don't confuse the above with an argument, carry on people!

Basil
03-08-2007, 11:28 AM
Don't confuse the above for an insult!

EGOR
03-08-2007, 11:37 AM
Egor, due respect mate, but I said nothing even remotely like "educated elite decides what is best for the masses".
Really, I can't see the difference.


You're making my point for me beautifully! Please continue ....
I Am! How?


I believe that they're a probably cure for short-sighted political offerings. Big difference in my mind. Your mileage may vary.
I think your probably wrong. The educated will and do fall for short-sighted political offerings. It's the educated who have the money (in general, there are always exceptions) and it is their money that funds the political advertising what promotes the short-sighted political offering that we vote for.

EGOR
03-08-2007, 11:39 AM
As I understand it you also have to put the ballot in the box (i.e. not just get your name ticked off). If I find the source to that again, I'll post a link.

Yes you do have to put the ballot in the box, you don't have to had written anything on it. (Anyway, save littering.:uhoh: )

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 12:02 PM
Really, I can't see the difference.
Your Honour, the prosecution rests!

EGOR
03-08-2007, 12:12 PM
Your Honour, the prosecution rests!
On what?
Just one quick question if I may.
Should voting the right of every citizen or should it be a privilege given only to those who meet a preset criteria?

PS.
I noticed how you have selectively ignored a number of my responses.:naughty:

Garvinator
03-08-2007, 01:36 PM
People who don't vote shuldn't whinge that they haven't got the government they wanted.
Sorry sir, but I dont agree with this. No voter in Australia gets to choose from all the candidates attempting to get elected. They only get to choose from a small minority of candidates who are running in the electorate the person lives. If the voters got to choose from all the candidates, then I would agree with you. At least in principle.

I will give my own experience. I live in a safe Labor seat for both state and federal elections. The Labor candidate has been returned comfortably for quite a few elections, sometimes with over 60% of the fpp vote. The only other candidates are a Liberal and maybe a token green.

If the Green candidate was fair dinkum, instead of just a name on the ballot paper, I would vote for that candidate and put them 1. In the state election, that is all I have to do as we have opv.

With the federal election, preferences have to be allocated to be a formal vote, so I choose not to fill out the house of reps ballot paper.

Of course with the senate, I am the scrutineers favourite, because I number all the boxes below the line :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 02:59 PM
Sorry sir, but I dont agree with this. No voter in Australia gets to choose from all the candidates attempting to get elected. They only get to choose from a small minority of candidates who are running in the electorate the person lives. If the voters got to choose from all the candidates, then I would agree with you. At least in principle.
Well, OK. But not voting will not change anything, although it should be an option.


I will give my own experience. I live in a safe Labor seat for both state and federal elections. The Labor candidate has been returned comfortably for quite a few elections, sometimes with over 60% of the fpp vote. The only other candidates are a Liberal and maybe a token green.
I also live in a safe Labor seat as far as State and Council elections are concerned. But 'safe' seats were not always so, and formerly 'safe' seats can become marginal.


If the Green candidate was fair dinkum, instead of just a name on the ballot paper, I would vote for that candidate and put them 1. In the state election, that is all I have to do as we have opv.
Yeah, and that seems the worst of both worlds. But it sure helped QLD Labor, after denouncing the Coalition for not putting One Nation last on their voting cards, then on their own they simply announced "just vote 1".


Of course with the senate, I am the scrutineers favourite, because I number all the boxes below the line :lol:
I prefer to do that as well. But in this case, it should be possible to stop numbering.

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 03:12 PM
On what?
Just one quick question if I may.
Should voting the right of every citizen or should it be a privilege given only to those who meet a preset criteria?
It should be a privilege given only to those who meet a preset criteria. We already do this (i.e. you have to be 18 and over to vote). What's a few more criteria amongst friends?


PS. I noticed how you have selectively ignored a number of my responses.:naughty:
I do that all the time. Annoying habit isn't it? The problem with that is you'll never know whether its because I'm short of time, don't understand what you're saying, think your point isn't worth responding to ... or that you have just made a valid point. :uhoh:

pax
03-08-2007, 03:13 PM
I have to say that the Senate voting system suffers from an apalling lack of transparency.

At the last election I went to a couple of booths, and asked the leaflet wavers who I would actually be voting for if I voted above the line. None of them could tell me except for the Greens (who, to their credit listed their senate preferences on their how to vote card). Even inside the booths, you had to ask and wait for them to bring out the hefty tome listing all the candidates' senate preference deals (some of which were totally crazy like the democrats preferencing Fred Nile before Labor).

Two things would drastically improve things:
1. Optional preferential below the line (as Jono suggested)
2. Preferential above the line

Candidate should not win elections on the basis of backroom preference deals (Steve Fielding case in point).

EGOR
03-08-2007, 03:34 PM
It should be a privilege given only to those who meet a preset criteria. We already do this (i.e. you have to be 18 and over to vote). What's a few more criteria amongst friends?
That is the question! Who decides these extra criteria? How can we be sure that they'll lead to a better government?


I do that all the time. Annoying habit isn't it? The problem with that is you'll never know whether its because I'm short of time, don't understand what you're saying, think your point isn't worth responding to ... or that you have just made a valid point. :uhoh:
I always assume the last,:cool: and based on that, I'm clearly the winner of this debate.:owned:

Igor_Goldenberg
03-08-2007, 04:12 PM
I have to say that the Senate voting system suffers from an apalling lack of transparency.

At the last election I went to a couple of booths, and asked the leaflet wavers who I would actually be voting for if I voted above the line. None of them could tell me except for the Greens (who, to their credit listed their senate preferences on their how to vote card). Even inside the booths, you had to ask and wait for them to bring out the hefty tome listing all the candidates' senate preference deals (some of which were totally crazy like the democrats preferencing Fred Nile before Labor).

Two things would drastically improve things:
1. Optional preferential below the line (as Jono suggested)
2. Preferential above the line

Candidate should not win elections on the basis of backroom preference deals (Steve Fielding case in point).

I agree. I wanted to vote below the line few times, but couldn't bring myself to accurately put something like 50-60 numbers.

The preferential system, while vastly superior to others, still can be improved. The option of stopping in the middle would be good (e.g. putting only first three instead of five preferences).

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 04:38 PM
That is the question! Who decides these extra criteria?
You did. "We" voted for them (at least, our ancestors did). Now here's the thing ... what we have today is a set of criteria which seem to me to be decidedly less than helpful in getting us the very best government we can get. Here's the rules:


is 18 years of age or over, and
is an Australian citizen, or was a British subject on a Commonwealth electoral roll as at 25 January 1984; and
has lived for at least one month at their current address
ref: http://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Eligibility.htm

Now look, for goodness sake ... are you going to try to defend the first, second(partB) and third of those criteria? Here's what I would prefer:

is an Australian citizen; and
is able to answer a simple 5 question test about Australia's system of government

I'll stick to my guns and suggest that changing to my two criteria above would provide a qualitatively better selection process for our politicians.

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 04:49 PM
I agree. I wanted to vote below the line few times, but couldn't bring myself to accurately put something like 50-60 numbers.

The preferential system, while vastly superior to others, still can be improved. The option of stopping in the middle would be good (e.g. putting only first three instead of five preferences).
I like that. And maybe stop at 10 for the Senate STV.

EGOR
03-08-2007, 04:55 PM
Now look, for goodness sake ... are you going to try to defend the first, second(partB) and third of those criteria?
I'm not really interested in defending any of it, it's just your belief that your personal subjective new criteria is better that I'm having a go at.


Here's what I would prefer:

is an Australian citizen; and
is able to answer a simple 5 question test about Australia's system of government

I'll stick to my guns and suggest that changing to my two criteria above would provide a qualitatively better selection process for our politicians.
Important point, what you would prefer.
Please example exactly how answering five questions (Who picks the questions?) will make a person more likely to elect a better government? Also, who's criteria do we use to determine if we have a better government anyway?

firegoat7
03-08-2007, 05:31 PM
If people are unable to unwilling to educate and motivate themselves to vote, then I don't see why the government should force them to vote.

Maybe this observation should be re-contextualised. If government has failed to include people in their societies, despite years of compulsory education, so that they remain active participants. Then maybe, just maybe, it is the government who has failed the people, not the people who have failed the government.




I would prefer to see a proper registration system for voters, where people are actually licensed to vote based on having at least a rudimentary level of knowledge about our system of government. e.g. if they're unable to tell the difference between the Senate and the House of Reps, they'd fail their license test.

I agree with Egor on this one. What is your justification for forcing people to have a license to vote?

cheers Fg7

firegoat7
03-08-2007, 05:35 PM
Freedom to vote means freedom not to vote, therefore it should not be compulsory.

My favorite observed piece of graffiti said "If voting changed anything they would make it illegal."



If someone does not intent to vote, it means it's not important to him/her. forcing them to vote might skewer the results.

So what. As Axiom astutely observed why would disillusioned people exercise a right to vote for a representation that does not represent them?


cheers Fg7

Spiny Norman
03-08-2007, 05:45 PM
Okay then, four questions ...

firegoat7
03-08-2007, 05:46 PM
People who don't vote shuldn't whinge that they haven't got the government they wanted.


If representation involves payed registration then the poor are almost always not going to be represented anywhere as easily as the rich or middleclass. Therefore, if they are unable to contest elections with candidates because of economic considerations, then they will never have their voices truly represented. At least 5% of the Australian population is unemployed. When was the last time you saw a candidate openly admit they were unemployed in a liberal democracy?

I think people have a right to say "I don't vote because none of the candidates represent me or my lived community". I don't think people need your permission to say that in a free country!

cheers Fg7

Capablanca-Fan
03-08-2007, 06:41 PM
If representation involves payed registration then the poor are almost always not going to be represented anywhere as easily as the rich or middleclass.
I agree.


I think people have a right to say "I don't vote because none of the candidates represent me or my lived community". I don't think people need your permission to say that in a free country!

But in this one, unlike most other Western democracies, they would be breaking the law if they acted on this.

EGOR
03-08-2007, 09:09 PM
I agree with Egor on this one.

cheers Fg7
I always worry when FG agrees with me.:uhoh:

Desmond
03-08-2007, 10:51 PM
Need a "Don't care" option.

Aaron Guthrie
03-08-2007, 11:02 PM
Need a "Don't care" option.This ballot, or ballots in general (specifically Australian electoral ballots)?

Basil
04-08-2007, 12:45 AM
Manga and Boris, stop being silly.

Garvinator
04-08-2007, 01:28 AM
I think people have a right to say "I don't vote because none of the candidates represent me or my lived community". I don't think people need your permission to say that in a free country!As has been pointed out before, but need repeating, all you have to do is go to the electoral officer, get your name marked off and put an empty ballot paper in the box. So it really isnt compulsory voting.

EGOR
04-08-2007, 09:32 AM
Okay then, four questions ...
Well, now that makes all the difference.:rolleyes:

EGOR
04-08-2007, 09:35 AM
As has been pointed out before, but need repeating, all you have to do is go to the electoral officer, get your name marked off and put an empty ballot paper in the box. So it really isnt compulsory voting.
No, it's compulsory get out of the house and waste two hours on a Saturday Morning.:lol:

Kevin Bonham
04-08-2007, 02:21 PM
I'm against enforcing compulsory attendance at polling booths as it is an illiberal practice for which there is not a sufficiently strong argument. I do, however, support compulsory enrolment.


The problem with non-compulsory voting (especially when the system is also first-past-the-post) is that the government can be determined by a very small minority of the population.

That's rare. Typically non-compulsory voting attracts turnouts of at least 50% and in some countries up to 90%. Turnouts under compulsory voting are generally higher, naturally, but some countries with non-compulsory voting have higher turnouts than others where it is compulsory.

FPTP is an abomination of course.


So why not licence people to vote? Those that actually "have a clue" about how government works, what the current economic/social/foreign policy issues are, they're the people that I trust to vote.

On that basis I wouldn't trust anyone to vote, including myself. Virtually no-one has the full set of skills required to reliably predict whether their vote best represents what they want out of the political system. You'd need to be an expert on everything.

Also it would be too easy for the test questions to become politically manipulated.


At the last election I went to a couple of booths, and asked the leaflet wavers who I would actually be voting for if I voted above the line.

Typically they won't know.

At the last election it was possible to check online on the AEC website in advance.

And yes, some of the ATL deals are ridiculous. Having been indirectly involved with ATL wheeling and dealing for the Senate I can say that it goes something like this:

* If there is some party P that is not actually out-and-out fascist and is likely to have a tasty bundle of preferences, then parties Q and R who are seeking preferences will try desperately to cut a preference swap deal with party P no matter what the ideologies of the parties concerned.
* Q does a preference deal with party P because party P thinks Q's preferences are more useful to it than those of party R.
* Party R attacks party Q for dealing with party P, says that party P is out-and-out fascist and that party R would definitely not have swapped preferences with it.

Capablanca-Fan
04-08-2007, 02:33 PM
I'm against enforcing compulsory attendance at polling booths as it is an illiberal practice for which there is not a sufficiently strong argument. I do, however, support compulsory enrolment.
Why is that?


That's rare. Typically non-compulsory voting attracts turnouts of at least 50% and in some countries up to 90%. Turnouts under compulsory voting are generally higher, naturally, but some countries with non-compulsory voting have higher turnouts than others where it is compulsory.
NZ's voting turnout increased when they replaced FPP with the German system of MMP. With this system, the party vote counts for more than the electorate vote for makup of parliament, so there should be no discouragement for voters living in a safe seat. However, a lot of Kiwis don't seem to realize that their party vote is the most important.

I voted for the STV in the first referendum about choosing an alternative, but MMP won; the second placed MMP v FPP and MMP won hands down, and I voted for that. I now don't like the results of MMP with tails wagging the dog, and prefer Australia's preferential system.


FPTP is an abomination of course.
Yeah, most Americans to whom I've explained preferential voting agree that it is much better, and even the traditionalists can't come up with a rational reason to prefer the stupidly named FPTP (plurality) voting.


Also it would be too easy for the test questions to become politically manipulated.
That's the old problem of "who guards the guardians?"

Kevin Bonham
04-08-2007, 02:54 PM
Why is that?

Optional voting with compulsory registration typically means the election is determined by those sufficiently interested in it to vote.

Optional voting with optional registration puts in place an extra barrier before a person can vote, and the barrier in that case may be one of organisation rather than interest. That could significantly skew the outcome.


NZ's voting turnout increased when they replaced FPP with the German system of MMP.

Not really. The first MMP election had a higher turnout than the last non-MMP one but since then turnouts have been below the pre-MMP average. 2002 was NZ's lowest reliably recorded turnout for 100 years.

Capablanca-Fan
04-08-2007, 03:18 PM
Not really. The first MMP election had a higher turnout than the last non-MMP one but since then turnouts have been below the pre-MMP average. 2002 was NZ's lowest reliably recorded turnout for 100 years.
Hmm, I've been out of there too long then. Looks like the Kiwis are as disillusioned with MMP as I became.

Kevin Bonham
04-08-2007, 03:47 PM
There could be other causes as turnout decline is a common issue worldwide. However MMP would probably confuse some voters into staying away compared with FPTP which is a very easy system to understand (but still a very dumb one.)

Capablanca-Fan
05-08-2007, 04:42 PM
There could be other causes as turnout decline is a common issue worldwide. However MMP would probably confuse some voters into staying away compared with FPTP which is a very easy system to understand (but still a very dumb one.)
I don't see what's difficult about MMP though. The problem is not the complexity of the voting method but the way it has led to the tyranny of the minority.

Garvinator
05-08-2007, 04:56 PM
No, it's compulsory get out of the house and waste two hours on a Saturday Morning.:lol:
who said anything about mornings ;)

Capablanca-Fan
05-08-2007, 05:07 PM
who said anything about mornings ;)
Yeah, most chess players seem to be night owls, although most tourney organizers seem to be morning fowls :wall:

Igor_Goldenberg
06-08-2007, 09:57 AM
FPTP would probably mean "first past the post".
What are:
FPP, MMP, STV?

Capablanca-Fan
06-08-2007, 12:27 PM
FPTP would probably mean "first past the post".
Yes. But it is a silly name because there is no "post" as such. Well, a silly name is appropriate for a silly system. A better term is "plurality voting". The worst thing about it is that a popular position can attract a lot of candidates, which split the vote for this position, resulting in a candidate for a less popular position being elected. Our preferential voting system minimizes the effect of such "spoilers", and usually results in the most preferred candidate being elected.


What are:
FPP,
Same as above, since initialisms often omit "small" words like "the", "of" etc.


MMP,
Mixed Member Proportional, as in Germany and NZ. Voters have two votes: one for their local member, who is elected according to the plurality system; one for the party, and the makeup of parliament is determined by the proportion of party votes, hence "proportional". The party fills the parliament first from the members elected locally, then in order from a party list, hence the "mixed member".


STV?
Single Transferable Vote, as per our Senate elections. The voter marks off a list in preference, and when votes for a candidate reach a quote, that candidate is elected. Then votes for that candidate are allocated to the other candidates in order of preference. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Transferable_Vote.

Capablanca-Fan
29-10-2008, 03:36 PM
A Duty Not To Vote? (http://townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2008/10/29/a_duty_not_to_vote?page=1)
by John Stossel
29 October 2008

I keep hearing how important it is for everyone to vote.

Let me be politically incorrect and say that maybe some people shouldn't vote.

...

Many kids don't know much. At a HeadCount concert, "20/20" asked some future voters, "How many senators are there?" One said 12, another 16, and another 64. One girl guessed, "50 per state."

Most kids didn't know what Roe v. Wade was about. "Roe vs. Wayne?" asked one. "Segregation, maybe?" "Where we declared bankruptcy?"

Headcount's Marc Brownstein concedes, "there's a lot of uninformed voters out there." But he argued:

"Democracy is not about taking the most educated portion of the society and having them decide who's going to run the entire society. Democracy is about every individual having a voice."

I suggested that when people don't know anything, maybe it's their civic duty not to vote.

....

But I'm not saying that the government should impose a litmus test. God forbid. I just want clueless people to find something else to do on Nov. 4.

Voting is serious business. It works best when people educate themselves.

If uninformed people stay home on Election Day, good.

That doesn't include you.

Garvinator
30-10-2008, 07:07 AM
A Duty Not To Vote? (http://townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2008/10/29/a_duty_not_to_vote?page=1)
by John Stossel
29 October 2008

I keep hearing how important it is for everyone to vote.

Let me be politically incorrect and say that maybe some people shouldn't vote.

...

Many kids don't know much. At a HeadCount concert, "20/20" asked some future voters, "How many senators are there?" One said 12, another 16, and another 64. One girl guessed, "50 per state."

Most kids didn't know what Roe v. Wade was about. "Roe vs. Wayne?" asked one. "Segregation, maybe?" "Where we declared bankruptcy?"

Headcount's Marc Brownstein concedes, "there's a lot of uninformed voters out there." But he argued:

"Democracy is not about taking the most educated portion of the society and having them decide who's going to run the entire society. Democracy is about every individual having a voice."

I suggested that when people don't know anything, maybe it's their civic duty not to vote.

....

But I'm not saying that the government should impose a litmus test. God forbid. I just want clueless people to find something else to do on Nov. 4.

Voting is serious business. It works best when people educate themselves.

If uninformed people stay home on Election Day, good.

That doesn't include you.
I would have added. If you have read this article, then you are already better informed than most and so you have a duty to vote ;)

Kevin Bonham
30-10-2008, 08:02 AM
A Duty Not To Vote? (http://townhall.com/Columnists/JohnStossel/2008/10/29/a_duty_not_to_vote?page=1)
by John Stossel
29 October 2008

I keep hearing how important it is for everyone to vote.

Let me be politically incorrect and say that maybe some people shouldn't vote. [..]

The argument can be taken further by suggesting that practically nobody actually knows enough to reliably cast a vote that best both reflects and furthers (the "and furthers" being the trickiest bit to calculate) their preferences.

eclectic
30-10-2008, 10:47 AM
is it analogous to say that if you do not have a thorough knowledge of the financial system of your country it should not be compulsory to pay tax?

hang on :hmm:

tax avoidance IS the reward for having a thorough knowledge of the said financial system

:doh:

:P

pax
30-10-2008, 12:58 PM
I suggested that when people don't know anything, maybe it's their civic duty not to vote.

Oh well, maybe we should just have a dictatorship where the current government chooses the next government. Because at the end of the day maybe 10% of the electorate are genuinely well informed about political policy. Not only that, but many people who know nothing actually *think* they know everything.

Capablanca-Fan
30-10-2008, 01:08 PM
Oh well, maybe we should just have a dictatorship where the current government chooses the next government. Because at the end of the day maybe 10% of the electorate are genuinely well informed about political policy. Not only that, but many people who know nothing actually *think* they know everything.
Neither Stossel nor I think there should be government restrictions on who may vote (above a certain age), just that encouraging or forcing badly informed people to vote is highly over-rated.

Capablanca-Fan
30-10-2008, 01:08 PM
is it analogous to say that if you do not have a thorough knowledge of the financial system of your country it should not be compulsory to pay tax?
Not in the slightest.

pax
30-10-2008, 03:22 PM
Neither Stossel nor I think there should be government restrictions on who may vote (above a certain age), just that encouraging or forcing badly informed people to vote is highly over-rated.
Forcing people to vote has very strong advantages in terms of ensuring a consistent demographic of voters. In the US system, the candidate who can hire the most buses has a massive, massive advantage.

When only 30% of people turn up to vote, less than 15% of people are deciding who the next government should be. That's not necessarily the most informed 30%, but rather the most motivated 30%. That's a really disturbing idea to me.

Capablanca-Fan
30-10-2008, 06:51 PM
Forcing people to vote has very strong advantages in terms of ensuring a consistent demographic of voters. In the US system, the candidate who can hire the most buses has a massive, massive advantage.
That is indeed an advantage of compulsion, but I still doubt that it outweighs the disadvantage that compulsion has in itself.


When only 30% of people turn up to vote, less than 15% of people are deciding who the next government should be. That's not necessarily the most informed 30%, but rather the most motivated 30%. That's a really disturbing idea to me.
That's a good point.