Voting Should Be Compulsory Essay

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For example, Aristophanes's comedy Acharnians 17–22, in the 5th century BC, shows public slaves herding citizens from the agora into the assembly meeting place (Pnyx) with a red-stained rope. Belgians aged 18 and over and registered non-Belgian voters are obliged to present themselves in their polling station; while they don't have to cast a vote, those who fail to present themselves (without proper justification, or having appointed a proxy) at their polling station on election Sunday can face prosecution and a moderate fine.

If they fail to vote in at least four elections, they can lose the right to vote for 10 years.

Athenian democracy held that it was every citizen's duty to participate in decision making, but attendance at the assembly was voluntary.

Sometimes there was some form of social opprobrium to those not participating.

The compulsory voting age was reduced to 18 in 1974.

Compulsory voting for national elections was introduced in Australia in 1924, following a pronounced fall in turnout at the 1922 federal election.The paradox disproportionately affects the socially disadvantaged, for whom the costs of voting tend to be greater.Australian academic and supporter of compulsory voting, Lisa Hill, has argued that a prisoner's dilemma situation arises under voluntary systems for marginalised citizens: it seems rational for them to abstain from voting, under the assumption that others in their situation are also doing so, in order to conserve their limited resources.In practice, this appears to produce governments with more stability, legitimacy and a genuine mandate to govern, which in turn benefits all individuals even if an individual voter's preferred candidate or party is not elected to power.This notion is especially reinforced when both men and women are required to vote, and further sustained by diligent enforcement of laws requiring registration of all eligible voters (deemed adult, and without exclusion of any significant community within the population).Following the introduction of compulsory federal voting in 1924, this figure jumped to between 91% and 96%.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.It is also argued that since campaign funds are not needed to goad voters to the polls, the role of money in politics decreases.Moreover, campaign funds can be directed towards explaining policies to voters.While citizens may exercise their civil rights (free speech, right to an attorney, etc.) they are not compelled to.Furthermore, compulsory voting may infringe other rights.


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