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Should voting in the U.K. be mandatory?

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

Just that really.
Would it be better?

GrannyGravy13 Sun 14-Jul-19 09:22:16

Politics should be taught in senior schools, totally unbiased teaching of how Government works from H of P all the way to and including Parish Councils.

TerriBull Sun 14-Jul-19 10:36:14

I think there are a fair number of people who aren't engaged with politics at all. I remember when one of my grandchildren was a baby and I was babysitting her at son and girlfriend's home, ex partner arrived back and I said "do you want me to stay on while you pop across the road to vote" as it happened to be the GE, her reply "no I don't know anything about all that and couldn't care less" hmm I would say both my children vote, one is the polar opposite to me politically, not a problem at all for us we still get on like a house on fire.

I do agree with you GG that politics should be taught in school, maybe just the mechanics, I think most of us who have an interest in politics are too partisan not to deliver without a bias.

MaizieD Sun 14-Jul-19 11:15:18

Politics should be taught in senior schools, totally unbiased teaching of how Government works from H of P all the way to and including Parish Councils.

I absolutely agree with most of that, GG13, but I can see that 'unbiased' might be a problem to achieve; who decides what is 'biased' and what isn't?

Also, it could be a lot to ask of teachers, many of whom are quite ignorant of how Government works.

I suspect that 'Citizenship' was meant to have covered this but it doesn't seem to have been a great success...

stella1949 Sun 14-Jul-19 11:19:55

As some other posters say, because voting is compulsory, some people just put their cross anywhere with no thought about it whatsoever

I'm not sure how anyone would know - we might assume that others "just put their cross anywhere" but it's just an assumption.

Cindersdad Sun 14-Jul-19 11:45:53

I think that you should always vote but to make it compulsory would not work. How would you enforce it? More important to me would be a PR based electoral system so your vote would always count irrespective of where you lived.

Where candidates knowingly lie (eg. the 350 million for the NHS in the referendum) they should be accountable and even liable to prosecution. To include something in a manifesto which you cannot fulfill due to circumstances is another matter providing there was genuine intent.

SueDonim Sun 14-Jul-19 13:12:54

Rather than making it mandatory to vote, maybe it should just be mandatory to turn up at the polling station and be crossed off the electoral roll? Rather like a school register, really.

I'm not sure I'm in favour of making it mandatory, really. Do countries that have mandatory voting have better governments than anywhere else?

M0nica Sun 14-Jul-19 15:30:13

The point of democracy is that you have a choice including whether to participate in it or not.

The day Britain introduces mandatory voting is the day I will choose not to vote anymore.

For those who do not vote where it is not mandatory. It is not a question 'of do not blame me I didn't vote' but a case of, 'it is all your fault because you did not vote'. If they (and the rest) had voted the result may have been different, but I would defend to the death their right to chose not to vote.

Johno Sun 14-Jul-19 15:58:08

Well said Monica. It is patently obvious the people who did/do vote are to blame for the party in power. In the days of Clegg - Cameron - Miliband we had 3 partys exact;y the same. I despised all of them and I would never go to the polling station for such rotten, vile people. I would gladly do time in prison because I would never pay the fine for not voting. If it is mandatory it has to be enforced by the punishment of a fine and non-payment of a fine is always time in prison.

Calendargirl Sun 14-Jul-19 17:06:36

I think my daughter is quoting what some people she works with has said.

GabriellaG54 Mon 15-Jul-19 10:21:56

Yes and there should be sanctions against those who don't vote without good reason.

GabriellaG54 Mon 15-Jul-19 10:30:21

Well then Johno , just make sure that you never whinge about whatever decisions are made by whatever party is in government at any particular time.

Jabberwok Mon 15-Jul-19 10:58:12

I suppose going into a GE on the back of delivering Brexit by both main political parties would be considered a lie and liable for prosecution, as neither of them clearly had any intention of doing so. Signing up for article 50 by 80% of the H of C, again with no intention of delivering Brexit, in fact for many, quite the opposite,could be considered deception! As for the bus, it stated quite clearly that it was a) a query not a fact, and b) a suggestion for AFTER we leave the EU! As we haven't left the EU, you cannot know whether this will happen or not, so how can you judge the intention?! You can't sue before the event! Mind you in these days of lying duplicitous MP's, el al you probably can!!
As for voting? Who for? who can you believe? Perhaps if politicians could, just even try not to constantly lead the voting population up and down the garden path, they might find that people were more enthused about voting! Politicians have to encourage people to vote, not force them.

M0nica Mon 15-Jul-19 19:11:57

Johno you completely misunderstood what I said.

I said those who do not vote are as responsible for the government we end up with as those who voted. Since if everybody had voted we may have ended up with a different government.

As my DH says, there may be nobody you could bring yourself to vote for but there will always be someone you can vote against.

For example, if I had to choose between voting Labour or Conservative, with no alternative, then I would vote Conservative, not because I support any of their policies, from the policy point of view my inclination is far more to Labour, but, at present the Labour party is such a shambolic disorganised group with a leader incapable of organising a teaparty in a Day Centre (can't say p*ss up in a brewery, because JC is effectively teetotal), so riven by in-fighting, not to mention their complete inability to sort out the anti-semitism issue that they make the Conservatives look capable of holding a government together.

varian Mon 15-Jul-19 19:53:28

Your problem, Monica ,and the problem we all have , is the dreadfully undemocratic First Past The Post Voting System.

If we had a truly democratic system of Proportional Representation, as most democracies do, we would all be able to vote positively for the Party we liked best, rather than voting negatively against the party we hated the most.

M0nica Mon 15-Jul-19 21:46:31

Proportional representation is no use if there are only two names on the ballot sheet, which is the situation posited in the example above.

As a Lib Dem of many decades standing I supported the refderendum on the subject held in the early days of the coalition, but I seem torememeber that turnout was low and nobody seemed particularly bothered by the subject and in a democracy............

Jabberwok Tue 16-Jul-19 08:05:48

The lesser of several evils? Which one is marginally more truthful than the other?What a sorry state of affairs!

varian Tue 16-Jul-19 11:37:58

I think Nick Clegg was wrong to agree to the AV referendum. AV may be a slight improvement on FPTP but it is not proportional representation. There was little enthusiasm for it even amongst those of us who had long campaigned for electoral reform.

Many people did not understand the advantages and disadvantages of various voting systems which were not properly explained and it is probably true to say that the majority were just not interested and so turnout was very low.

Clegg should have stuck out for a true PR system. Cameron promised to be neutral on the question but then reneged on that promise and campaigned against change.

I hope that lessons have been learned. There is a need for much better education in politics and government. Many folk complain about all sorts of policies which actually result from our poor undemocratic voting system yet still fail to see the connexion.

Tweedle24 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:02:22

Anyone else see ‘Years and Years’ in which a PM/Dictator decreed that only people with a certain IQ score should be allowed to vote? Scary!

Stella1949 I misunderstood the abstention ruling in Australia. I thought it meant that the voter was able to indicate that they were not willing to vote for any of the candidates.

As for the referendum, I don’t think that result is any more than an indication of the opinion of the electorate and that the government is not obliged by the constitution to follow those wishes. Having said that, even as one who voted to remain within the EU, I believe those wishes should be followed.

Lovetopaint037 Tue 30-Jul-19 09:45:24

If people were denied a vote in the event of them not turning up on two previous occasions without explanation then, I believe, there would be a bigger turnout.
There is an apathy about voting for a right which was hard won. There is also a tendency to political laziness which is encouraged by newspapers that use headlines to outline their own political view. I believe it is our responsibility to read widely, listen to various discussions and debates with a view to placing that hard won cross in the most appropriate place.