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Should voting in the U.K. be mandatory?

(44 Posts)
Urmstongran Sat 13-Jul-19 19:19:08

Just that really.
Would it be better?

kittylester Sat 13-Jul-19 19:24:32

Yes! Then no-one can blame anyone else!!

Alima Sat 13-Jul-19 19:25:30

Probably not better. Interesting maybe.

Scribbles Sat 13-Jul-19 19:26:12

Yes - but with the proviso that every ballot paper has a final option: none of the above

Urmstongran Sat 13-Jul-19 19:29:58

In countries where it is mandatory, do they have ID cards at the polling stations?

Tweedle24 Sat 13-Jul-19 19:59:04

I believe that in some countries where voting is mandatory, there is an abstention option.
I believe it should be mandatory. I find it incredible how low the percentages of those voting are when published.

Charleygirl5 Sat 13-Jul-19 20:15:38

Many voting papers would be spoiled deliberately. I do not see the point.

rafichagran Sat 13-Jul-19 20:27:07

I cannot see the point, like the previous poster said, there would be a lot of spoiled papers.

EllanVannin Sat 13-Jul-19 21:21:20

I don't want to vote again.

stella1949 Sat 13-Jul-19 23:11:06

I'm in Australia where it is mandatory. Urmstongran yes you do show ID at the polling booth . Charleygirl15 no it's not correct that "many voting papers would be spoiled" - well not here anyway. I actually work at the polling booth at each election and handle thousands of ballots - only a very few papers are spoiled . Most people want their vote to matter .

Tweedle24 yes people can abstain from voting for religious reasons ( have to have a letter from their church) or medical reasons. Though if you are in hospital a mobile booth comes around, or you can vote by mail.

Most Australians are pretty happy to vote and don't try to get out of it. We can vote ahead of time - for the previous two weeks there are polling booths in most areas, and anyone can go along and vote which is much appreciated by many. About 30% do it that way.

SueDonim Sun 14-Jul-19 01:19:39

I read recently that Greece has mandatory voting. They had a 57% turn out in their GE last week!

SueH49 Sun 14-Jul-19 02:48:58

Stella49, I have never had to show ID to vote in Australia. We do have our name marked off the electrol roll but have not been asked for ID.

Urmstongran, if you are over 70 you are exempt from voting at Council elections but still have to vote at Federal and State elections.

The problem with compulsory voting is that a lot of people have no idea and no interest in making an informed decision. Hence they either informally vote or just tick any boxes with no idea of the possible consequence.

SueH49 Sun 14-Jul-19 02:50:03

Forgot to add that there is a fine for not voting.

RosieLeah Sun 14-Jul-19 07:14:51

No. It's surprising how many people have no interest in what's going on in Westminster. So long as their bins are emptied and pot holes are filled in, they take no interest in politics. If people like that were forced to vote, they would simply copy their favourite film star or footballer. The result would not represent the true feelings of the population.

BlueBelle Sun 14-Jul-19 07:34:51

Yes definitely
Sue a lot of people have no idea what they are voting for even with a non mandatory situation
rosie there are so many lies told leading up to an election that no one knows what they are voting for anyway

Firecracker123 Sun 14-Jul-19 07:47:48

No it should be your choice if you choose to vote or not.
Postal voting in my opinion should only be for people who are infirm and cannot get to the polling in person to prevent fraud.

Urmstongran Sun 14-Jul-19 08:01:25

If not mandatory voting then perhaps an I.Q. test would satisfy some people that the result of a referendum or election was meaningful!

Many young people aren’t engaged/interested in politics. I wasn’t much either in my 20’s. Many older citizens also can’t be bothered to try - ‘they’re all the same’ is what you hear. A lot of the population are celebrity and game show addicts and wouldn’t choose to read a political opinion piece instead of watching razzmatazz on the TV.

How can we help boost the numbers of those who vote? The referendum had a decent turnout of 72% of eligible voters putting their crosses on a ballot paper yet the result has been ignored. Could this be a reason people don’t bother - ‘what’s the point?’ is a phrase I’ve heard a lot since 2016.

PamGeo Sun 14-Jul-19 08:10:48

If voting was mandatory then perhaps more people would actually take an interest in politics in the run up to an election.
I think a lot of people of all ages don't currently vote due to apathy, they leave it to others to worry about and then complain at the choices and decisions made that affect them personally.
I know as many older people as young that have no intention of ever voting but all have an opinion on something.

Pantglas1 Sun 14-Jul-19 08:13:27

Must admit I have difficulty getting motivated with politics as I can see good and bad on both sides (mostly bad to be honest).

The blind belief that fascism/Marxism is good/bad baffles me and the hatred and vitriol spouted by both extremes appals me.

I always vote if I’m in uk but have missed a couple in the last 15 years due to holidays. Not sure I’d like it to be compulsory with a fine for not doing so.

TwiceAsNice Sun 14-Jul-19 08:13:59

I think it should be compulsory from the point of view we should all votes because of the efforts of people who got us the vote in the first place so morally we should. However I don’t know how useful it would be to make people vote who are uninterested and unmotivated to do so

Charleygirl5 Sun 14-Jul-19 09:02:30

I was not interested when I was in my early 20's re voting. It was only once I was settled in a neighbourhood I started to take an interest locally and nationally. I feel I cannot moan if I do not vote. Since my 20's I have never missed a vote locally or nationally

GrannyGravy13 Sun 14-Jul-19 09:10:32

Not sure about compulsory voting but I have just signed the petition at You.Gov regarding ID to be shown to enable you to vote.

Urmstongran Sun 14-Jul-19 09:13:18

I daresay some will always be denigrated as too thick/bigoted etc to vote? Mandatory voting would just count more of those kind of votes in the result do you think?

Which I why I said upthread ought there to be an IQ test (tongue in cheek of course) but if a result is close, insults will be hurled!

Calendargirl Sun 14-Jul-19 09:17:17

My DD lives in Australia. As some other posters say, because voting is compulsory, she reckons some people just put their cross anywhere with no thought about it whatsoever. One of the downsides of the system.

Johno Sun 14-Jul-19 09:21:40

Never. I would not vote. If I dont want to waste my time on political partys who lie and lie that is my choice.