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compulsory voting in the USA

Discussion in 'Political Issues' started by Chronos, Apr 20, 2012.


  1. Chronos

    Chronos
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    Quick question: Why do you think it is that so many governments force their people to vote?

    Here are two of the most immediate (to me) possible answers:

    1) Some political party (call it "party A") identified a large group of non-voters who, if forced to vote, would tend to vote for party A. Party A then successfully passed compulsory voting laws to gain additional power.

    2) "Not voting" is actually vote of no confidence/no legitimacy in the entire political system, which all major parties view as a direct threat to their power.

    IMO, (2) is by far the most probable, because if (1) were the case, there would come a time where some "party B" finds an equal power benefit from abolishing the compulory voting laws, and finds an opportunity to do so. These laws would thus tend to be very unstable and uncommon.

    Based on this conclusion, I predict compusory voting laws will become a major political issue in the USA within the next decade, as discontent grows, and the failure and moral illegitimacy of the system becomes more and more obvious to the people who at present are most likely to vote.
     

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  2. Goaltender66

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    If someone doesn't vote, why would a politician care? That's one less person to pander to. :)

    I think the answer is much simpler...there's a liberal dogma that imbues the act of voting, in and of itself, with an almost mythical virtue. If you listen closely, the talk about the wisdom of majorities, how democracy is infallible, etc, tends to come from the left. Thing is, it's mob rule, but put that aside for a minute. If you think that democracy, voting, etc., are the sources of virtue, then by extension you believe that everybody must vote. Then in Leftist fashion, you get compulsory voting laws (how something is virtuous when it is forced is still beyond me).

    I don't think such laws are the result of sinister motives, but rather misplaced beliefs.
     

  3. Ruble Noon

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    I don't think you will see that in the USA because there is no need to force everyone to vote. People are voting for the same party (ruling class) whether they realize it or not.
    The fight between R's and D's makes for good political theater but that is about the extent of it.
     
  4. Chronos

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    Well, I gave two potential answers to the bolded question. I agree there may be a vague sense of "voting is good, so we will force it on you" amongst democracy-worshipers, but imo this type of thing is just for show -- to a good approximation, all laws are about getting someone re-elected.
     
  5. Chronos

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    This is exactly my point, really, but I'm projecting trends in order to reach the opposite conclusion. When people realize in increasing numbers that voting in the USA is a useless gesture, and begin withdrawing their votes in large numbers, the state will force you to vote in an attempt to retain "plausible legitimacy."
     
  6. Goaltender66

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    The first potential answer is that if forced to vote, they'll vote for the people doing the forcing. Seems weak tea to me...could just as soon vote against the people forcing them to stand in dirty school gyms instead of letting them watch American Idol.

    The second answer is that the voting totals give a veneer of legitimacy to whomever is in power, but again...if only 10% of the people vote and the other 90% are content not to vote, then the politician has a vested interest to avoid upsetting that status quo. Fewer voters mean fewer decision makers.

    I'm actually convinced such laws at more about trying to make society "better." Since such people think 100% voting rates are, in and of themselves, fantastic...you get compulsory voting laws. Nothing sinister, IMO.
     
  7. Ruble Noon

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    I get what you are saying but I don't have as much faith in the American people as you seem to have. As long as they have their bread and circus's they will gladly pull the lever for anybody but Bush or anybody but Obama. I don't think the majority of the people will ever realize the futility of voting.

    As evidence

    Romney vs. Obama

    ABO! ABO! :cheerleader:

    :faint:
     
  8. Chronos

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    Well, I'm also projecting that many of the government-provided "bread and circuses" will be withdrawn in a fairly short period of time (one way or another -- either via massive cuts, or massive inflation). I agree that as long as the gov't check is in the mail, the majority will be content to be fat, dumb, and happy.
     
  9. Chronos

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    Fair enough -- I'm sticking with my prediction.

    BTW, 2/3 of Latin American countries have compulsory voting laws. These are precisely the democracies I would imagine to be most worried about their legitimacy.
     
  10. Ruble Noon

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    I agree with that and you could be right about compulsory voting. If you look at the approval numbers of congress and our POTUS it is evident that people are losing faith in government.
     
  11. certifiedfunds

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    Well, if the .gov can force a man to buy health insurance it can certainly force him to vote. In fact, it can force him to do just about anything.

    or pay a fine........uhhh........tax
     
    #11 certifiedfunds, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  12. Javelin

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    I think the liberals and conservatives should be happy with Romney. He has been both at one time or another.

    I love that quip from The Daily Show.

    :rofl:
     
  13. walt cowan

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    kind of hard to say your the peoples choice when no one shows up at the polls. kind-of like here in maryland but, don't worry. the rulling elite have fixed the machines to vote for you.
     
  14. certifiedfunds

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    Romney reminds me of one of those flaming gay men who finds God with the help of some do-gooder preacher and manages to convince himself that he's no longer gay and was cured by prayer.

    And now we're all brides walking down the aisle to marry him.
     
  15. Cavalry Doc

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    That seems like a pretty far stretch of the imagination. Why not take it just a little further.

    [​IMG]

    Why not mandate who each person can vote for, then heck, why not just streamline the process and enter the vote for them.....

    It would make for a good minor sub-plot in a B movie.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojmOESqVeak"]WAR FOR THE WHITE HOUSE!!! Diebold accidently leaks 2012 election results - YouTube[/ame]
     
  16. Ruble Noon

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    It could happen. Every time we vote for the lesser evil we are empowering evil and someday that is all that will be left.
     
  17. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc
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    [​IMG]

    And aliens could fly in and secretly replace Barry and Mitt with doppelgangers.

    There is glitch in your cause and effect detection chip. Your hyperbole chip seems to be overclocked too. Odd, no?

    As I keep pointing out, life is a very complex analog situation, full of chaos and competing interests struggling for influence and power.

    It seems to me to be more of a problem getting a good candidate to run. It's more about finding a guy or gal with a clean record, high ethical standard and solid well expressed positions. I don't even care if they have never held a political office (that's even a plus in my book).

    If there were a good conservative running, I'd vote for him or her. In my own opinion, there ain't any good conservatives still in the race, and I'm still waiting for the Texas Primary.

    If we are still focused on the election and complaining about why we have such lousy choices, we are about 2 years too late.

    Maybe if we all just stayed home and not one single person voted, that would get their attention?

    It's a free country. We can't make someone run. And people will vote the way they want.
     
    #17 Cavalry Doc, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012