Forced Voting

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, what were they smoking? Proving the old adage of giving an inch and taking a mile, the nannystaters keep finding ways of intruding into our lives, of injecting their moral (immoral) views, and inculcating our behavior (through threats of jail or fines), literally placing us in a box not of our own choosing, because it adheres more perfectly with their own myopic views of a civilized society. Where is Patrick Henry when you need him?

This latest foray into the realm of arrogance, of codifying an action for the betterment of society has to do compulsory voting, yeah, you heard that right:

The U.S. prides itself as the beacon of democracy, but it’s very likely no U.S. president has ever been elected by a majority of American adults.
It’s our own fault — because voter participation rates are running below 60 percent, a candidate would have to win 85 percent or more of the vote to be elected by a majority.
Compulsory voting, as exists in Australia and more than two dozen other countries, would fix that problem. As William Galston of the Brookings Institution argues, “Jury duty is mandatory; why not voting?”

So much for being left alone.

Essentially this ex Obama appointee (figures) thinks it is a good idea to force people to make a choice when they don’t care, how is this promoting democracy? Although I don’t agree with the concept, doesn’t a person have the right to NOT participate in the political process?

We have had these discussions here before, how voting ,selecting those to represent us, govern us, and have dominion over us through the legislative process is too important to leave to amateurs. Our system in place now recognizes that voting is a privilege, some can’t by law, and requires a minimal amount of hoop jumping, namely you have to register. But there is no requirement for learning about the issues, learning about the candidates, or even putting in any effort at all to make your vote an educated vote. You can vote altruistically (who do I think is the best candidate, the most qualified to do the job) or selfishly ( which candidate will give me the most shit so I don’t have to work for it). But how fair is it that I put the time in, watch the debates, learn the issues, and vote accordingly, when some other schmuck will vote based solely on the fact that Obama is black, Romney is a Mormon, or that this guy promised to make my life easier even though others have to pick up my slack and provide more then I am willing to do?

The other arguments are equally shallow. I couldn’t care less what other countries do, we are a unique nation based on a unique history. What the Aussies do is fine for them, we go our own way.

And the jury duty example is just stupid. Yes, some squeegee bum cave dweller could get picked for jury duty but assuming he shows up, he gets placed in a pool with no guarantees of serving on any jury if he is not suitable. His conscious decision to live detached from society does not affect me, but making him vote against his will, this affects us all.

Let’s say this guy has his way and voting is compulsory, would all elections count? What happens when I go to the voting booth but do not vote for every race ( both dog catching candidates are unfamiliar to me so I’ll skip that one) or a local election where the only thing contested are some school board positions and I have no kids so I really don’t care, do I get fined for me wanting to sit that one out?

I remember MTV’s big public push to “Rock the vote”, where all these hip kids and rappers would encourage the youngsters to participate in the political process. Never once did I hear any urging to learn about the issues and make your vote an educated well thought out vote. At least with a driver’s license you have to prove a level of proficiency operating a motor vehicle and learning the rules of the road, not so with voting. No knowledge, level of intelligence or ability is required; fill in a bubble with a pencil, democracy in action.
Factor in hard working people that feel all politicians are a bunch of crooks, the guy too lazy or detached to want any part of the process, or the guy unwilling to compromise his core values and finds all the candidates wanting and not representative of his views so he decides to skip the whole thing. Maybe the system is so fundamentally flawed, what with the crony capitalism, the PACS, the money influence, and the voting irregularities; maybe the system is too far gone to even participate. Doesn’t anyone have the right to recognize that a rigged game exists where his interests will never be recognized, so he does his job, raises his family and pays his taxes, but wants no part of politics?

Comments are closed.

  1. Screamin

    I’ve long thought we should make it HARDER to vote, not easier. If you don’t have at least a basic understanding of the American political system (I’m not talking a degree in political science; the level of knowing we have 3 branches of government will suffice) and a basic understanding of the issues (Candidate X states that he believes THIS, Candidate Y states that he believes THIS), GET OUT OF MY VOTING BOOTH!

    I know there’s no practical way to do this…just wishing out loud.

    Thumb up 2

  2. Hal_10000

    Holy shit, Rich is back! Welcome again!

    The right to participate in the process includes the right not to participate. I don’t think it would make that big a difference but do we really want elections decided by people who have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the polls? This is just a Democrat fantasy o thinking that there is this vast army of liberal voters out there who just need to be properly motivated.

    Thumb up 2

  3. Kimpost

    I’m for making voting as easy as it possibly can be made. It should be made SUPER-easy. No registration. Long voting periods (weeks). Possibility to vote again, again and again, if you change your mind during the voting period. Online voting. National holiday voting. In fact, show me an idea that would make things easier, and I’ll probably embrace it.

    Couple that with fostering a culture, which truly encourages voting. Through kindergarted, the school system and public campaigns, and we should be able to form a society with volontary +90% participation, because mandatory systems I do not like. Not voting can be a statement initself, and it should be allowed to be.

    Thumb up 0

  4. balthazar

    I’m for making voting as easy as it possibly can be made. It should be made SUPER-easy. No registration. Long voting periods (weeks). Possibility to vote again, again and again, if you change your mind during the voting period. Online voting. National holiday voting. In fact, show me an idea that would make things easier, and I’ll probably embrace it.

    Couple that with fostering a culture, which truly encourages voting. Through kindergarted, the school system and public campaigns, and we should be able to form a society with volontary +90% participation, because mandatory systems I do not like. Not voting can be a statement initself, and it should be allowed to be.

    Yeah this combined with no way to really verify whos voting, would be a GREAT IDEA to ensure the vote is not rife with non citizen votes and fraud. Great Idea Kompost.

    Thumb up 6

  5. InsipiD

    I’m for making voting as easy as it possibly can be made. It should be made SUPER-easy. No registration. Long voting periods (weeks). Possibility to vote again, again and again, if you change your mind during the voting period. Online voting. National holiday voting. In fact, show me an idea that would make things easier, and I’ll probably embrace it.

    Oh, that’s funny. In order to be able to negate your earlier vote with a newer one, your ballot would have to be held matched to your name. Out the window goes the secrecy of it, and you can bet that certain politically connected organizations (read unions) would wreak havoc with that info on voter freedom. Anonymous would do likewise with online voting, and control the outcome as well. We don’t need another holiday for me to have to work through while understanding that more privileged groups than I (basically government employees only) get it off. I sure don’t believe that no registration would help at all.

    I’m glad you’re around to show me exactly what I don’t believe.

    Thumb up 4

  6. Seattle Outcast

    So many holes in the concept…

    To start with, jury duty is something only registered voters have to deal with, and as for being “mandatory”, there are so many ways out of jury duty that it’s frequently considered a joke. You can always just decide to not show up and the consequences are pretty much in the “nothing” category.

    It’s not as if a jury summons shows up via registered mail.

    Thumb up 2

  7. richtaylor365 *

    So many holes in the concept…

    No kidding. For a nation that places itself as the paragon of representative government, we still haven’t gotten it right. Hanging chads, dead people still on voting rolls, apoplectic fits of hysteria as even the mention of proper verification of voters with required ID. You would think that the simple concept of one vote for each registered voter (with that voter proving he is who he says he is) could be mastered with not much difficulty.

    The attached article talks about the Voting Paradox, equally contributory is the notion there is not a lick of difference between the two parties anyway, that human nature will turn the most stalwart and honest citizen politician into a conniving corrupt self serving plutocrat given enough time on The Hill, and that the headwinds blowing against the pursuit for any real change or reform are too strong, so why bother.

    Thumb up 0

  8. FPrefect89

    It’s not as if a jury summons shows up via registered mail.

    On my second cruise when I was in the Navy, my DivO received paperwork for my arrest for failure to appear for Jury Duty in the state of California. About two months later, still on the same cruise, the jury duty summons finally showed up.

    That took A LOT of explaining to the XO and CO of the boat that, no I did not receive a summons for jury duty.

    Thumb up 2

  9. Seattle Outcast

    I’m pretty sure they aren’t as rough on people skipping jury duty in WA – probably because there isn’t an issue with it and they pay for your bus rides back and forth, and provide you with a handy website to take care is deferrals or even see if you need to show up each day.

    On the other hand, I’ve received more summons for jury duty than any other five people I know combined. Served on one jury as an alternate, and then flat out told the judge in another one that I wouldn’t be party to violating the constitution’s provision against double-jeopardy for a “civil detainment” of someone that had served 100% of their sentence. They were getting really frustrated as they weren’t finding anyone willing to participate in their little farce.

    If you really want to get out of serving on a trial, just start loudly talking about “jury nullification” and the judge or prosecutor will get you bumped so fast you’ll wonder what happened.

    Thumb up 0

  10. TxAg94

    In the (immortal?) words of Rush, in the song Freewill (go figure):

    “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

    Thumb up 2

  11. Kimpost

    Eh… I have absolutely nothing against a national database keeping records on who has or hasn’t voted. Nor do I have a problem with requiring ID. Just do it.

    It’s a bit worrying, IMO, to see how both democrats and republicans seem to be working so hard to win, instead of just making things better. Republicans should welcome making voting easier, even it would mean that democrats would win millions of votes in the short run. As long as the voting is safe and legit, they should embrace it and work on winning over some of those voters.

    Democrats on their hand should embrace voter ID’s even it would mean that some of their voters would disappear in the short run, and then work on convincing people to get an ID.

    You win some, you lose some, but you are doing what’s right.

    Thumb up 1

  12. Seattle Outcast

    “Easier” frequently means, “more opportunity to engage in shenanigans”…

    There really is no problem with getting ID, claims to the contrary are BS, and everybody knows it.

    Thumb up 2

  13. Section8

    Hey welcome back Rich, hope all is well.

    Anyhow, forcing people to vote is ridiculous. Limiting one’s choice to basically two parties is. If this guy is worried, it should be about more choices than dipshit A, dipshit B, or don’t vote at all.

    Possibility to vote again, again and again, if you change your mind during the voting period.

    Good idea. we should be able to do that throughout the person’s entire term in office too, I mean after all you don’t know if your choice was a good one until the person is in office. That way we can rotate governments every two weeks like Greece.

    Thumb up 0

  14. Kimpost

    Good idea. we should be able to do that throughout the person’s entire term in office too, I mean after all you don’t know if your choice was a good one until the person is in office. That way we can rotate governments every two weeks like Greece

    .

    I could vote ten times or more on election day in Sweden (or before, if I choose to use early voting), but the only vote that would count, would be the last one,

    Thumb up 0

  15. Section8

    I could vote ten times or more on election day in Sweden (or before, if I choose to use early voting), but the only vote that would count, would be the last one,

    Interesting. I’d just be too concerned about the potential for fraud, and some folks would not have the advantage of having time to vote more than once, based on the job they have, family matters, etc. Then there would always be the claim that the last vote wasn’t really counted, or multiple votes were counted, etc. I can see the uproar here from both sides of the aisle if things didn’t go their way. I’m guessing that doesn’t happen so much in Sweden, but I know it would happen here ad nauseum.

    Couple that with fostering a culture, which truly encourages voting. Through kindergarted, the school system and public campaigns, and we should be able to form a society with volontary +90% participation, because mandatory systems I do not like. Not voting can be a statement initself, and it should be allowed to be.

    I agree on this, but I also think more choices than two would help increase the voter turn out. People just get bitter and say screw it, and not worth the effort. Technically yes, we get more than two parties on the ballot, but the trouble other parties have to go though to get on the ballot sucks up their campaign money before they can even get momentum going. It’s deliberately structured that way.

    Thumb up 2

  16. Section8

    I could vote ten times or more on election day in Sweden (or before, if I choose to use early voting), but the only vote that would count, would be the last one,

    Also, just curious, how do you keep the ballot secret then? I mean if I go to vote, I do give them my name and the scratch it from the sheet and hand me a ballot, but the ballot I drop in the box doesn’t have my name on it, but I couldn’t go back in line and do it again. For multiple votes I would imagine they’d have to tag your physical ballot with your id and time stamp to get the last one that was truly yours.

    Granted, with technology voting here isn’t necessarily secret anymore with a potential to find out which vote is yours unless you wear gloves to the voting booth, but overall it’s still pretty much anonymous, unless they are putting them though some high speed scanner that can lift finger prints after the fact.

    Thumb up 0

  17. Mississippi Yankee

    When this country first started out only men voted, and they also had to be land owners. Extreme? Absolutely.

    The other side of that coin would be mandatory voting. Again extreme not to mention begging for misadventure from forcing people that don’t care to vote. (Sorta like asking assholes like me to be part of a survey or poll).

    OTOH voluntary voting with voter ID seems to be the happy median. Willing participants amongst free citizens. Looks like a win/win situation.

    To anyone concerned or unhappy with the 2 party system: This is the perfect time to affect change. If y’all work together a positive outcome may be possible for the 2016 election (assuming we are still doing that then)

    Thumb up 0

  18. Kimpost

    The voting secret remains intact. If I choose to vote at my designated location, then they’ll just scratch my name off from a list, coupled with a time stamp.

    If I choose to vote at another location I need to show my voting registration card (I can order more of them freely or even print them at will from a government web site with a secure login) before I vote. But that card doesn’t say anything about who I might be voting for, it just say’s that I’m eligible. After showing it I just vote normally, with a time stamp.

    After election day, when they have counted the votes and submitted all entries into the system, the count will be corrected by removing my earlier votes. If I do that too many times I’d imagine that someone (the police?) would/could ask me what the fuck I was doing, but I don’t know that for sure. We are allowed to change our minds, after all.

    Thumb up 0

  19. InsipiD

    The voting secret remains intact. If I choose to vote at my designated location, then they’ll just scratch my name off from a list, coupled with a time stamp.

    How quaint. You trust them.

    Thumb up 1