Should the NDP push for compulsory voting?

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Brian White
Should the NDP push for compulsory voting?

Here is the basic thought.  Harpers attack adverts work. They suppress the vote.  Harper also makes it harder for poor people to register to vote.  He is not going to stop.  His new prisons will be populated more with Natives and Minoritys, (again people who vote more ndp than conservative).  So he works to supress the vote of those who vote against him. 

In Australia, it is compulsory to register and it is compulsory to vote.  (They have a none of the above choice when they vote) and they also get a nasty fine if they don't vote. (remember that we already get 3 hours off work to vote) Thats a nice carrot, but clearly a stick is also needed.

Lets face it, Harper is never going to stop making nastier and nastier attack adverts to prevent people voting.  It will just polarize canada into voting conservatives and non voting ndp ers.  Compulsory voting is an easy way to increase the voting numbers and render Harpers attack advert money meaningless.

Bacchus

Personally I would welcome that. The sooner everyone votes, the sooner everyone who doesnt win or wins can stop manipulating voter results to say they got a majority or are or aren't legitimate.

 

Even if it means 50%+1 vote conservative or fiberal

NDPP

no - anti-democratic and an infringement of liberty to force people to vote and legitimize something so illegitimate. Besides, you can't force them to vote only to turn up. If I was 'forced' I'd write my cat in and vote for him instead of the clowns on offer. Smarter too.

Fidel

NDPP wrote:

no - anti-democratic and an infringement of liberty to force people to vote and legitimize something so illegitimate. Besides, you can't force them to vote only to turn up. If I was 'forced' I'd write my cat in and vote for him instead of the clowns on offer. Smarter too.

 

I'm glad I voted against the Harpers. We only get one day every four years to protest and have it counted.

Our vicious toadies tend to count abstainers as silent supporters of the regime.

Brian White

It is not "anti democratic" at all. There is a none of the above option.

And you can spoil your vote if you are pist off. Thats a far better way to show your contempt than listlessly sitting at home doing nothing.

And if you really hate the system, well you get to pay 50 or 100 bux just to show how much you hate it.

  Also, attack ads are forcing people to stop voting, how is that "democratic"? And it is is much more young people and left wingers who are being intimidated out of voting by the attack adverts.

Is that "anti democratic"?  What does NDPP do outside the voting system that can produce positive change?  Pretty much nothing.

It AMAZES me that so many people call themselves "progressives" but their grand tactic is to sit on their hands and wait for the second coming of revolution.  Yeah, lets wait for society to explode or implode.   Really bright idea and it takes so much thought and energy! And all the while Harper gets majority governments and screws you and your friends over.

I think these "progressives" are just as afraid of change as the conservatives.

Fidel

And I can't believe how many people find ways to criticize a federal party that has never governed federally. It never ceases to amaze me. It's like they are afraid that record rule by the same two stale old line parties for the last 144 years in a row non-stop will someday come to an end. The Soviets ruled Russia twice as long as two parties on the political right have dictated things in Canada. 

A new breeze is becoming a wind of change in this frozen Puerto Rico, and it's about time we had genuine political opposition in Ottawa.

ReeferMadness

no, no and fuck no!!   It's an unjustifiable imposition on personal freedom.

If people can't get off their asses and make it down to a poll, then I don't want them to vote.  They don't deserve the vote and the rest of us don't deserve their vote.  Chances are they don't care about politics and aren't very well informed. 

Some people seem to think that more people voting = stronger democracy.  It doesn't.  If democracy starts and ends with voting, it sucks.  More people involved = stronger democracy.  Voting does not necessarily = involvement.

 

Brian White

ReeferMadness wrote:

no, no and fuck no!!   It's an unjustifiable imposition on personal freedom.

If people can't get off their asses and make it down to a poll, then I don't want them to vote.  They don't deserve the vote and the rest of us don't deserve their vote.  Chances are they don't care about politics and aren't very well informed. 

Some people seem to think that more people voting = stronger democracy.  It doesn't.  If democracy starts and ends with voting, it sucks.  More people involved = stronger democracy.  Voting does not necessarily = involvement.

More people voting means stronger democracy.  Not voting necessarily means non-involvement.  Low turnout weakens democracy.

Harpers attack adverts are just a mild canadian version of troops with guns directing people away from the polling booths.  The mild version works because many Canadians are a bunch of wimps who are intimidated by attack adverts.  Wimps should vote too.

Also, who doesn't vote? Lets profile them by race, by sex and by social status.   I want to be plain about it. It is wrong to let your brothers and sisters be intimidated by Stephen Harper.  But you are doing it anyway by saying "no, no and fuck no!!   It's an unjustifiable imposition on personal freedom".

People should get real. Conscription in time of peace is an unjustifiable imposition on personal freedom.  Manditory voting can provide a logical alternative to conservative majority government.

Brian White

I am not Critizing the NDP, I am suggesting a useful policy to attract people to the party.  Non voters let Harper win because they did not care enough.  And People who think that is ok do not think enough.

You cannot win if half your team does not show up for work. 3 hours every few years and many NDP leaning people are not willing to do their duty as Canadians!  Winning is important in politics. If you cannot get your fuckers to leave their house to vote for your candidates you are a loser. So conscript them. Make them vote. Chances are a few will play stupid and spoil their vote but many will put an X in a box and help you win. Most of them are too lazy to make the effort.  A nice fine will cure the laziness.  This has been proven to work in Australia.

Policywonk

There are a lot of ways voting could be made more convenient (e.g. location of polling stations) before going to a mandatory vote. And mandatory voting doesn't ensure that voters are informed.

Fidel

No no and hell no. Our vicious toadies heart low voter turnouts. Best not to piss off millions of non-voters. Staybull majorities an' all that.

Freedom 55

Brian White wrote:

It is not "anti democratic" at all.

It most certainly is.

 

Brian White wrote:

And you can spoil your vote if you are pist off. Thats a far better way to show your contempt than listlessly sitting at home doing nothing.

It's certainly a way, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's "better". How does it compare to enthusiastically sitting at home doing nothing?

 

Brian White wrote:

And if you really hate the system, well you get to pay 50 or 100 bux just to show how much you hate it.

Fuck that. if you think this is such a great idea, you can pay the fines of everyone who wants to abstain.

 

Brian White wrote:

Also, attack ads are forcing people to stop voting, how is that "democratic"? And it is is much more young people and left wingers who are being intimidated out of voting by the attack adverts.

Bullshit. Please show me even one example of someone who was "forced" or "intimidated" out of voting because of attack ads.

 

Brian White wrote:

It AMAZES me that so many people call themselves "progressives" but their grand tactic is to sit on their hands and wait for the second coming of revolution.

These "people" wouldn't be made out of straw, would they?

Brian White

Who is INFORMED?  You don't need to be informed, you just need to put an x in a box.  I used to be a perfectionist. Well guess what, I got fuck all done because I was always trying to do it perfect.

But then I read that the difference between an engineer and a scientist is that the engineer acts on the basis of the available info, where the scientist looks for all the info before making a decision.

As long as you have some info,   Even if it is broad right left center or NDP-liberal-conservative, you can vote.  Lets not pretend it is rocket science. Whoever gets your x is the right choice.

 

 

Freedom 55

Brian White wrote:

Also, who doesn't vote? Lets profile them by race, by sex and by social status. I want to be plain about it.

 

Yes, please be plain about it. What is that supposed to mean?

Brian White

Freedom 55 wrote:

Brian White wrote:

It is not "anti democratic" at all.

It most certainly is.

 

Brian White wrote:

And you can spoil your vote if you are pist off. Thats a far better way to show your contempt than listlessly sitting at home doing nothing.

It's certainly a way, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's "better". How does it compare to enthusiastically sitting at home doing nothing?

 

Brian White wrote:

And if you really hate the system, well you get to pay 50 or 100 bux just to show how much you hate it.

Fuck that. if you think this is such a great idea, you can pay the fines of everyone who wants to abstain.

 

Brian White wrote:

Also, attack ads are forcing people to stop voting, how is that "democratic"? And it is is much more young people and left wingers who are being intimidated out of voting by the attack adverts.

Bullshit. Please show me even one example of someone who was "forced" or "intimidated" out of voting because of attack ads.

 

Brian White wrote:

It AMAZES me that so many people call themselves "progressives" but their grand tactic is to sit on their hands and wait for the second coming of revolution.

These "people" wouldn't be made out of straw, would they?

 

Why don't your Reread what you wrote in reply to me.   

You are putting "forcing people to vote" in the same place as forcing people not to vote. 

Maybe you can can tell me why Australia is so undemocratic?  Why do we force children to get an education?  Why do we force drivers to learn how to drive?  

Have any of you read or written in those threads about those bluddy green voters not voting ndp? Such juvenile stuff.  Whine whine bluddy whine.  When all the time your ndp brothers and sisters are at home sitting on their arses doing nothing.  Do you not see the irony in that?

Why don't you exert the same effort to get your own ndp people to the polling stations?  Because, it is too easy and logical?

wage zombie

I can see both sides on this. On one hand I think people should have the choice not to vote.  While I think not voting is a poor strategy for change, and the ""delegitimizing effect" is negligible, I think it's a strategy that people ought to be free to choose.  We really, really need to get more people politically engaged (not solely voting) and I think people see mandatory voting as some kind of easy, expedient solution.  There's no easy solution.  This will take hard work.

On the other hand, if mandatory voting were put in place, it would be pretty low on my list of injustices.

So since this is about the NDP I would prefer that the NDP not push for it.  I would prefer the NDP focus on directly engaging non-voters.

genstrike

In answer to the question posed in the OP, no.

Brian White wrote:

It AMAZES me that so many people call themselves "progressives" but their grand tactic is to sit on their hands and wait for the second coming of revolution.  Yeah, lets wait for society to explode or implode.   Really bright idea and it takes so much thought and energy! And all the while Harper gets majority governments and screws you and your friends over.

And who exactly are you referring to?  I can't think of anyone who I know who falls into that description.

Fidel

Policywonk wrote:

There are a lot of ways voting could be made more convenient (e.g. location of polling stations) before going to a mandatory vote. And mandatory voting doesn't ensure that voters are informed.

 

At $1.40/L for gasoline now I should hope they do make voting easier at some point before the next arbitrary random election. It's a big country this semi-frozen Puerto Rico.

Brian White

It is supposed to show that your left leaning people are being intimidated to not vote.  For instance, it has been shown that men like harper more than women do.  So maybe women are most sensetive to attack adverts and are most turned off by them?   Stuff like that should be known and should be made public.  I bet Harpers press people know the percentages really well. You on the left should know them too and use them.

Edited to add,  I really despise the way you take my stuff out of context. Quoting one line and missing the linked second or third  line. I also despise your answers and questions that have no supporting evidence or substance.  I think you are an expert on straw men.

Freedom 55 wrote:

Brian White wrote:

Also, who doesn't vote? Lets profile them by race, by sex and by social status. I want to be plain about it.

 

Yes, please be plain about it. What is that supposed to mean?

politicalnick

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in article 21-1"everyone has the right to participate in the government of his country...". This also implies we have the right NOT to participate. It is a choice that is left up to the individual and cannot be forced upon anyone. As much as I would like to see a better turnout I cannot support forced voting. One of the biggest downfalls of introducing such legislation would be a huge protest vote against those that bring it forward and support it especially if it includes substantial fines or other punishments for non-compliance.

Brian White

And your reason for letting the non voting NDP ers stay at home (and help harper get another majority) is?  A glib answer without a reason is a bit unreasonable, don't you think?

I guess I am referring to the no sayers. Are you trying to lose the next election too?

genstrike wrote:

In answer to the question posed in the OP, no.

Brian White wrote:

It AMAZES me that so many people call themselves "progressives" but their grand tactic is to sit on their hands and wait for the second coming of revolution.  Yeah, lets wait for society to explode or implode.   Really bright idea and it takes so much thought and energy! And all the while Harper gets majority governments and screws you and your friends over.

And who exactly are you referring to?  I can't think of anyone who I know who falls into that description.

Brian White

So why does that nasty  parriah nation Australia have compulsory voting?  How are you going to get a huge protest vote? Is that what happend in AUSTRALIA when they introduced compulsary voting?  and if so why have they not repealed it?  I am not getting your logic at all. Most of the people who stay at home are left wingers, correct?   So you think that in a fit of pique they will all vote for Harper?  How does the right to participate imply the right not to participate?  You see, Harper is using attack adverts as a turn off to stop people participating.  So even if this is "gentle" it is still intimidating and preventing some people from voting. Maybe mostly women? Maybe immigrants who are scared of the nastier attack adverts?  I got some creepy leaflets from the cons myself.  (one seemed to label all tamils as human smugglers with J Layton as the kingpin).

politicalnick wrote:

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in article 21-1"everyone has the right to participate in the government of his country...". This also implies we have the right NOT to participate. It is a choice that is left up to the individual and cannot be forced upon anyone. As much as I would like to see a better turnout I cannot support forced voting. One of the biggest downfalls of introducing such legislation would be a huge protest vote against those that bring it forward and support it especially if it includes substantial fines or other punishments for non-compliance.

Fidel

If they can fine us for not filling out the Lockheed census and sending it in for the govmint's/NSA's record keeping on the lives of Canadians, then they should be entirely free to fine us for not voting against the stoogeaucracy in Ottawa. It's about protecting certain freedoms imo.

Fidel

Brian White wrote:

And your reason for letting the non voting NDP ers stay at home (and help harper get another majority) is?  A glib answer without a reason is a bit unreasonable, don't you think?

I guess I am referring to the no sayers. Are you trying to lose the next election too?

I think they would prefer to avoid that subject altogether.

And we know that older voters are the right's support base. For many conservative supporters, their working lives were during the most prosperous cold war years ie. when they lied to us a lot to fend off socialism. The prosperous cold war era will not be returning hence a new generation of younger, greener and more left-leaning Canadians who, by all looks of things with voter turnout, are less inclined to vote conservative or Liberal like their parents and grandparents. And cold war prosperity was not going to last forever, let's face it. That was a big lie.

And so it is very important for the two old line parties to pander to a narrow electorate. Voter turnouts greater than the abysmal rates now would be too much populism and democracy in general. Millions of non-voting Canadians are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing WRT avoiding to exercise their democratic rights on election day. Voter apathy is a key feature of our obsolete electoral system. They want no part of it changing. Conservatives fear change in general and especially progressive change toward anything resembling modern democracy. Threats of modernity and change feed their democracy phobias.

Freedom 55

Fidel wrote:

A new breeze is becoming a wind of change in this frozen Puerto Rico, and it's about time we had genuine political opposition in Ottawa.

Fidel wrote:

It's a big country this semi-frozen Puerto Rico.

 

I assume you're trying to make a point here about Canada, but I'm not entirely sure what that point is.

How are we Puerto Rico?

Is being Puerto Rico something positive or negative?

If it's negative; is it appropriate to use Puerto Rico as an epithet?

Freedom 55

Brian White wrote:

Edited to add,  I really despise the way you take my stuff out of context. Quoting one line and missing the linked second or third  line. I also despise your answers and questions that have no supporting evidence or substance.  I think you are an expert on straw men.

I don't think I'm taking your stuff out of context. If I only quote a particular sentence it's because that's the one I want to question or offer comment on. I sometimes find it easier to do this on a line by line basis.

I'm not sure what kind of "evidence" you want from me. If you look back at what I wrote, they were mostly opinions and questions, not requiring any evidence. Perhaps I could have offered some evidence to support my statement that compulsory voting most certainly is anti-democratic. But then again, it was a response to; "It is not 'anti democratic' at all.", which doesn't exactly set the evidentiary bar very high.

With regard to straw persons, see genstrike's response to you.

politicalnick

Fidel wrote:

If they can fine us for not filling out the Lockheed census and sending it in for the govmint's/NSA's record keeping on the lives of Canadians, then they should be entirely free to fine us for not voting against the stoogeaucracy in Ottawa. It's about protecting certain freedoms imo.

Shhh, don't tell anyone but I haven't filled out the census in 20 odd years. Part of my libertarian leanings to refuse to do it. Haven't been fined for not doing it yet so the one that just arrived in the mail went in the recycle bin like all the others.

politicalnick

Brian White wrote:

So why does that nasty  parriah nation Australia have compulsory voting?  How are you going to get a huge protest vote? Is that what happend in AUSTRALIA when they introduced compulsary voting?  and if so why have they not repealed it?  I am not getting your logic at all. Most of the people who stay at home are left wingers, correct?   So you think that in a fit of pique they will all vote for Harper?  How does the right to participate imply the right not to participate?  You see, Harper is using attack adverts as a turn off to stop people participating.  So even if this is "gentle" it is still intimidating and preventing some people from voting. Maybe mostly women? Maybe immigrants who are scared of the nastier attack adverts?  I got some creepy leaflets from the cons myself.  (one seemed to label all tamils as human smugglers with J Layton as the kingpin).

politicalnick wrote:

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in article 21-1"everyone has the right to participate in the government of his country...". This also implies we have the right NOT to participate. It is a choice that is left up to the individual and cannot be forced upon anyone. As much as I would like to see a better turnout I cannot support forced voting. One of the biggest downfalls of introducing such legislation would be a huge protest vote against those that bring it forward and support it especially if it includes substantial fines or other punishments for non-compliance.

Oh please do show me your stats that say the only people who stay home are from the left. I have never researched it but you seem to imply you are an authority on the subject so I will defer to your findings, if you actually have any factual eveidence and its not just rhetoric.

I also do not know what the results were in Australia so once again show me the proof and I will defer to your expertise or ignore your rhetoric. Throwing around words like nasty pariah in response to my surmising a possibility really adds nothing to the debate.

I do not think staunch leftys would vote for the right in protest in droves but the centerists might and all possibilities need to be considered to reach an opinion of any logical standing.

I personally did not see any ads telling me not to vote, and I did vote as I always do but that is my choice and not yours.

As for the right to participate, well it is always implied that having a right to do something means you have a right to not do it also. You have the right to healthcare and you have the right to refuse healthcare. You have a right to life and believe it or not you have a right to not live, as long as you do it yourself. Women have the right to an abortion and the right to not have one. You have the right to a free public education and you have the right to get your education elsewhere. You have a right to vote and you have a right to not vote. Any time you are given a right you are given a choice to exercise it or not. Compulsory voting takes away my right to choose not to vote and I cannot support anything that takes away my right to choose.

Fidel

Freedom 55 wrote:

Fidel wrote:

A new breeze is becoming a wind of change in this frozen Puerto Rico, and it's about time we had genuine political opposition in Ottawa.

Fidel wrote:

 

It's a big country this semi-frozen Puerto Rico.

 

 

I assume you're trying to make a point here about Canada, but I'm not entirely sure what that point is.

How are we Puerto Rico?

Is being Puerto Rico something positive or negative?

If it's negative; is it appropriate to use Puerto Rico as an epithet?

Canada is a larger version of Puerto Rico according to a fairly well known Canadian who wrote about a number of fairly well known proponents of FTA-NAFTA. A number of those prominent Canadians have since decided against those bad trade deals and for a lot of reasons concerning everything from Canada's energy policies dictated to us from corporate board rooms in America to issues surrounding global warming, poverty, and economic soveriegnty lost since 1988-94. 

We can't blame that Canadian author for describing Canada as a Puerto Rico du Nord because many proponents of Mulroney's FTA and NAFTA deals once thought that becoming a 51st state would make Canada richer. But instead of becoming a prosperous northern US state as a result of FTA and NAFTA we are in danger of becoming a larger version of the 30 some-odd bankrupt US states today with Ottawa as well as several provinces saddled with unprecedented debt and budget deficits. 

I would say our stooges are running Canada a lot like a banana republic instead of another Puerto Rico. But I can certainly understand that there are many similarities between the way Puerto Rico has things dictated to them from Washington and the way our stooges in Ottawa acquiesce to similar US whims when it comes to Canada, or "the ice box" filled with natural resource wealth and guarded by chihuahuas. The Yanks view our Northern Puerto Rico as such and wide open for corporate America to raid at will as some US Militarists once referred to Canada. But in many ways Canada is not a real G8 economy and stuck in the past WRT everything from our old world hewer and drawer status to weak and ineffective politicians running the country into the ground on behalf of a corporatocracy and handful of banks, a few Bay Street bond salesmen etc.

Tommy_Paine

Before you end up getting your wallaby's in a knot, remember Australia has had their right wing governments too.

Ya call that a ballot? Now this is a ballot.

I think if legislating voting is seen as partizan move-- on the basis that high voter turn outs are percieved to benifit the left-- then I'm not for it. The way to fight partizanship in our electoral laws isn't by joining the fight.

To me, the emphasis should be on informing people.  The more informed and the better informed people are, the more likey they will be motivated to vote.  And, if left policy is properly based, then we might also expect left parties would benefit from that.  

To me, legislating people to vote is an attempted short cut to that end, but I think it's a short cut that ends up being to nowhere.

 

Bubbles

Maybe the easiest way out of this dilemma is to have the non voters represented by non voting member of parliament. Every riding where the non voters have the most votes get to send a non involved member to parliament. That way the system is democratic by default,

Northern-54

I believe that democracy is important and that it involves voting.  Not showing up to vote is symbolic of not caring about democracy.  Voting "none of the above" is an option in Australia and should be an option wherever a democracy requires voting.  Requiring a person to vote is neither democratic nor non-democratic.  It is a symbol of why democracy is important, particularly to young voters.  Requiring people who are not engaged enough to vote will cause some of them to consider who they should vote for.  This will lead to a more engaged population.  I can see how it would be a positive development.

That being said, in my mind, the most important political change would be to institute proportional representation.  I think the NDP should push for that.  If at some point, there is an event that requires compromise and "compulsory" voting is suggested, I do not think the NDP should be against it.

Unionist

Great idea! Force people to vote! But Parliament shouldn't decide that all by itself. There ought to be a referendum on the issue. Not sure if people should be forced to vote in it though...

Assuming it passes, we need to go to the next step to build true democracy in Canada:

1. Force everyone to join a political party. For the sake of fairness, one of them could be the NPP, or "No-Party Party".

2. Every party (except perhaps the NRP - "No Representative Party") should be forced to run a full slate - otherwise, forced voters might be deprived of their true choice. Needless to say, all party members should be forced to participate in nomination meetings as well.

3. Genuine democracy requires an informed electorate. Education can't be left to chance. Everyone should be forced to sign up for babble. Minimum daily postings per capita could be established by forced referendum.

4. What about banned babblers, I hear you say? They should be forced to sign up for a new BBB ("Banned Babblers' Board"). No one left behind!!

5. Enforcement, fines, etc. will obviously be an issue. I see this as solving the unemployment problem. The more you look at it, the more it's just gravy!

 

Unionist

Bubbles wrote:

Maybe the easiest way out of this dilemma is to have the non voters represented by non voting member of parliament.

I would concur, with a small amendment: Conservative voters should be represented by non-voting MPs.

Brian White

Well layton and Ignatief seemed to think that the attack ads were supressing the left wing vote. And May did too. "You have the right to healthcare and you have the right to refuse healthcare".  And the next step is rich people getting an exemption from paying their premiums for health care. I am not saying you do not have the right to refuse to vote. Non voting has a cost to society and if you don't vote, you are letting your country down. Indeed you are showing contempt to your country.

In the Australian system, you have the right to refuse to do your civic duty, it just happens to have have an immediate cost to the individual. In Canada, the immediate cost to the individual is nothing but the cost to society is a Harper Majority Government.  Older people vote. They will wheel to the voting stations on oxygen if they have to to put their x beside the conservative brand. But young people! They use the same pathetic excuses as people are using here.  "Voting~! For fuck sake!  Hand me my bucket of sand."

Civics, your duty to society is probably not thought in School now.  A couple of years ago an old woman got on a bus and I got up and let her have my seat. NOBODY ELSE DID! (young people).  I have done this for poor old ladies and also for my MP.  Young people are also ignorant of their duty to vote and they need the stick approach.  In Fiji, they toss young people off the busses for being rude to older folk. And in many countries there are pretty serious implications if you do not vote. Anyway, the lesson is Civics, your duty to society.  They young people are not voting because they can get away with it.  You are young and wild and anti establishment so maybe you get a kick from not participating!  But it is moronic behaviour

Meanwhile, The older conservatives are voting at risk to their lives.  Thats what Harper wants. Compulsory voting will get the young people in to the routine of voting early in their lives. Democracy is worth voting for and worth fighting for, the fewer people who participate, the weaker it becomes. Canadians got handed democracy by the departing British so it seems they have no respect for the duties that it requires.

Oh please do show me your stats that say the only people who stay home are from the left. I have never researched it but you seem to imply you are an authority on the subject so I will defer to your findings, if you actually have any factual eveidence and its not just rhetoric.

I also do not know what the results were in Australia so once again show me the proof and I will defer to your expertise or ignore your rhetoric. Throwing around words like nasty pariah in response to my surmising a possibility really adds nothing to the debate.

I do not think staunch leftys would vote for the right in protest in droves but the centerists might and all possibilities need to be considered to reach an opinion of any logical standing.

I personally did not see any ads telling me not to vote, and I did vote as I always do but that is my choice and not yours.

As for the right to participate, well it is always implied that having a right to do something means you have a right to not do it also. You have the right to healthcare and you have the right to refuse healthcare. You have a right to life and believe it or not you have a right to not live, as long as you do it yourself. Women have the right to an abortion and the right to not have one. You have the right to a free public education and you have the right to get your education elsewhere. You have a right to vote and you have a right to not vote. Any time you are given a right you are given a choice to exercise it or not. Compulsory voting takes away my right to choose not to vote and I cannot support anything that takes away my right to choose.