Apart from the obvious violation of fundamental liberty that would be required to have mandatory v…

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Apart from the obvious violation of fundamental liberty that would be required to have mandatory voting -- I have an absolute right to not vote -- there's also no reason to think it would be a positive thing for society, unless you're interested only in outcomes (Democrats getting elected) and not process (the people selecting their government).

Presumably, in a country like ours, where it is easy -- but not required -- for anyone to vote who cares to vote, we get the best result: the most informed and interested electors are the ones casting the votes, while the people who don't care and aren't informed don't have their opinions considered.

In a world with mandatory voting, we descend even further into elections by slogans and popularity, hoping to capture the significant number of ignorant and apathetic electors -- in some cases, a majority -- who will be voting based on feelings instead of thoughts.

I can't see how anyone thinks it's a good idea that everyone votes, when we know so many people don't have votes that are worth being cast.  And I am not looking down my nose at anyone; it's just a fact of life.  When I first moved to my current home, there were several elections I didn't cast a vote for on my first ballot, because I was too ignorant about the people or the issue being voted upon.  When you're ignorant, the responsible act is to not vote.

But I commend the many wise and ignorant people out there who regularly choose to not cast votes, because they know that, being ignorant, their votes should not be cast.

I think the only reason Obama wants mandatory voting is clear: because he thinks that ignorant and apathetic voters are more likely to vote for his party.  It's the same reason many Republicans don't want a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens: because they think that such citizens would vote Democratic.

Both sides are wrong: getting the government properly selected by an informed citizenry matters more than getting a particular outcome. G+

Obama broaches the idea of mandatory voting

While discussing money in politics on Wednesday, President Obama broached a topic normally confined to academic circles: A law requiring people to vote.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 19, 2015 9:17 AM.

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