Make voting compulsory, with fines for non-voters


Showing 13 reactions

What do you think of this suggestion? (You must be logged in)
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • commented 2016-07-30 21:04:20 +0100
    I agree with John Littler: large numbers of non voters is an indication of a failing democracy. A measure that we need to retain.
  • tagged this with hate 2016-07-30 21:04:19 +0100
  • commented 2016-07-30 14:42:25 +0100
    I don’t like the lack of freedom that this suggests. Sometimes not voting could be a statement.
    How would postal votes lost in the post or torn up by a third party ( eaten by the dog), or other unforeseen circumstances be viewed?
  • commented 2016-07-29 17:31:04 +0100
    Teresa I see where you’re coming from. “Fines should not be on a sliding scale. TV licences are not on a sliding scale. Car Tax isn’t on a sliding scale. Library fines etc. If you don’t vote without a good reason you have to pay something – whether it’s 10p, £1 or £5 – the same for everyone.” That makes it helpfully clear.
    But TV licences are a luxury option – I don’t want one for example and don’t have one. (Pity more people don’t realise a TV is not a citizen essential!) A car, given a dent transport system, shouldn’t be an essential. It wasn’t essential in the 1945 – 1975 (1985) world I once knew. It was quite possible to get around including evenings and late nights, by public transport. Library fines are borderline to me because I feel knowledge is not a luxury. Books should be available to all. (Like the NHS community libraries began here in Wales.) But library fines are very small if it’s only a day or two, and can be cancelled for good reasons given.

    Essentially a democracy doesn’t offer voting tied in with financial ability. If the token fine was set at a flat rate low enough to be manageable by the poor, it would be a matter to be ignored by the better off. I am embarrassed to admit I have treated library fines like that once I emerged from poverty – oh it’s only a pound or two I’ll take it back on Saturday. Similarly a lot of middle level people would ignore a fine of anything less than £10 if it annoyed them to be compelled to vote. But £10 would crush a poor person’s budget for the week, or fortnight. Make it £50 and the middles will respond, the rich will laugh – and the poor will be bullied into voting from terror of losing a week’s housekeeping. Not a pretty picture and not one I think Labour values support.
    Thanks for kind response to my idea of 25% abstainers nullifying a ballot. I’ll return the compliment on a minimum turnout clause. Though that wouldn’t fit with fines.
  • commented 2016-07-29 16:49:30 +0100
    Fines should not be on a sliding scale. TV licences are not on a sliding scale. Car Tax isn’t on a sliding scale. Library fines etc. If you don’t vote without a good reason you have to pay something – whether it’s 10p, £1 or £5 – the same for everyone. It’s making a point. Given that people have the option of a postal vote that they have about a month to send in, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to make the effort.

    I love the idea of a sufficient number of abstainees nullifying the election. Maybe we should have a minimum turnout clause.
  • commented 2016-07-29 15:02:21 +0100
    This system is not good – doesn’t allow for responses.
    Teresa said – As for fines – a token amount just to make the point would suffice. You could make the same point about library charges.
    A token amount would be something like 10p for someone on benefits, £5,000 for the rich. Managing a sliding scale like that with everyone having to make their tax return available, would be extremely unpopular.
    I think the idea of Abstain together with education campaigns on the duty aspect would go a long way. Especially if a certain percentage of Abstain votes nullified the election! Say 25% Abstains – that would REALLY motivate people to say a resounding NO to clone politicians all saying much the same thing.
  • commented 2016-07-29 14:35:20 +0100
    That’s why I suggested an option to abstain on the ballot paper. The important thing is that people should realise they have a duty to participate in the democratic process. As for fines – a token amount just to make the point would suffice. You could make the same point about library charges.
  • commented 2016-07-29 13:41:16 +0100
    Appalling suggestion – unless we have a graded system of fines from £1 up to £1 million – society is that unequal. Fine an ordinary person £25 for a mistake, stress period, whatever (life’s complicated) – and you swipe half a week’s housekeeping.
    Also being forced to vote for one of several identikit politicians, none of whom we trust or respect is just plain bully tactics. It goes back to before secret ballots to when people had to vote for the local lord. Not very different as choice can be fake between two clone nasties.
  • tagged this with dislike 2016-07-29 13:41:15 +0100
  • commented 2016-07-29 13:32:28 +0100
    I would agree totally with this BUT with one important caveat. There should be an ‘I abstain’ option on every ballot paper. Voting is a duty as well as a right – having to choose a ‘best of a bad lot’ candidate should not be.
  • tagged this with love 2016-07-29 13:32:28 +0100
  • followed this page 2016-07-29 13:30:48 +0100
  • published this page in Join the debate 2016-07-29 13:00:09 +0100