The benefits of compulsory voting

For many years in several countries, voting is non-compulsory. This means that the government does not force its citizens to show up at voting precincts to cast their votes.

The benefits of compulsory voting

The Consequences of Compulsory Voting Compulsory voting is often suggested as a solution to the problem of declining turnout. But how are individuals and countries affected by compulsory voting beyond boosting electoral participation? There has been a lot of discussion about compulsory voting these days.

In the United Kingdom, in particular, as voter turnout rates have declined, many commentators and politicians have begun advocating for mandatory electoral participation. Those in favour of compulsory voting often adduce the importance of participation among all segments of society.

Citizens of democracies are forced to do many things in the interest of the public good, they maintain, including serving on juries and educating their children, and full participation serves the country as whole. Those opposed to compulsory voting often argue that, from a democratic theory perspective, the The benefits of compulsory voting to vote implicitly includes a right not to vote.

Such a right of abstention, they argue, is more important than any societal good that might accompany high turnout. In fact, opponents of compulsory voting often contend that the country may be better off if those who are disinclined to vote are not pushed to participate in public affairs.

In Brazil, non-voters cannot work in the public sector, obtain a passport or a loan from a public bank. Several European democracies mandate voting, as do Australia and most of the countries in Latin America.

By evaluating results from these countries, it is possible to assess the mechanics and effects of compulsory voting. Quite plainly, as compared to countries with voluntary voting, participation rates are higher on average where voting is mandated, especially where abstainers can be sure that their nonparticipation will be punished.

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Of course, this is not all that surprising. Decades of research on human decision making, and, more pertinently, political behaviour, has established that an individual will undertake a particular action if its perceived benefits outweigh its perceived costs.

Making abstention costly by fining abstainers, in effect, lowers the relative costs of voting, making it more beneficial to turn out and vote.

It is clear that compulsory voting boosts electoral participation, but how are individuals and countries affected by compulsory voting beyond turnout? By inducing many of those who would normally abstain to participate, compulsory voting changes the character of the voting population and, in turn, it can change electoral choices and the incentives provided to politicians seeking voter support.

Such a dynamic may be accompanied by important social, economic, and political consequences. The Origin and Nature of Compulsory Rules Compulsory voting has been adopted for a variety of reasons, including colonial ties, traditions, and as a method for curbing the purchase of votes.

For example, countries with Spanish heritage are relatively likely to make voting mandatory. In Switzerland, many of the cantons that adopted compulsory voting had existing traditions of forced political participation, including laws requiring members to wear swords to cantonal assemblies.

Some Belgian leaders saw compulsory voting as a way to end vote buying, which was also a primary motive in Thailand's adoption of compulsory voting.

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Politics and party competition has also played a role in the adoption of compulsory voting. In both Belgium and Greece, some members of the upper class saw compulsory voting as a method of preventing outsized influence of the working class.

The benefits of compulsory voting

In Australia, the incumbent Labor Party supported compulsory voting as a way to ensure that turnout among their supporters would match that of supporters of the better-funded Liberal-National Coalition.

Meanwhile, the Coalition supported compulsory voting as a way to lessen the need for voter mobilisation campaigns, thus freeing up resources for other endeavours. Compulsory Voting in Latin America Starting with its adoption in El Salvador incompulsory voting spread throughout Latin America as elections were introduced around the region in the ensuing decades.

Today, compulsory voting is widespread in Latin America, with 14 countries currently making voting obligatory.List of Cons of Compulsory Voting.

1. Violate Freedom of Choice A democratic type of government means that it was built on the basis of respecting basic human freedoms and . "Compulsory voting would have large political consequences that would benefit the poor and working class." Other researchers have challenged the idea that voters start to lean left when voting is.

Compulsory voting has been adopted for a variety of reasons, including colonial ties, traditions, and as a method for curbing the purchase of votes. Compulsory voting makes casting a ballot a simple process.

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Many jurisdictions would allow for pre-poll voting, mail-in ballots, and officials would likely visit hospitals, nursing facilities, and even military bases to make sure that every vote is counted.

Is compulsory voting in a democracy a contradiction in terms? That is the question some Australians have been asking since voting became required by law here nearly a century ago. Who benefits.

Supporters of compulsory voting also argue that voting addresses the paradox of voting, which is that for a rational, self-interested voter, the costs of voting will normally exceed the expected benefits. The paradox disproportionately affects the socially disadvantaged, for .

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