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?