Tonight's topic is that Australia should abolish compulsory voting. The affirmative team defines abolish as putting an end to, compulsory as an obligation on Australians and voting as a method of selecting federal and state parliamentary representatives.
Tonight I will be presenting our arguments as they relate to society.
Our second speaker, Wudassie, will be discussing the individual aspects of the argument.
Tonight my first argument is that many people who live in Australia have a lack of interest in politics so why should they have to vote on such an important matter which they are not informed about. My second argument is that many other democracies run their voting system as a voluntary voting system and their democracies work perfectly well, as Australia works under a democratic and not a totalitarian system, and my third argument is that the current system encourages swinging voters. The affirmative team believes voting is about choice so let us choose whether we vote or not.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Compulsory voting is anti-democratic because it forces the people of Australia to do something, which they may or may not be inclined to do if it was not compulsory. Why should people who are not interested in politics and who do not care who the leader of the country is have to vote? Some people may vote for the party who is in power just because it is in power, is this how we want our government to be selected? People who do not put any thought into the process of voting should not have to vote. Australia is a democratic country but the Australian voting system is anti-democratic. Compulsory voting is more suited to totalitarian systems of government where citizens are forced to do things even when they don't want to. People who are voting just because it is mandatory are jeopardising the Australian political system and the decision of who represents them in parliament. If people who are not educated and did not take time to see which political party they agree with most then they should not have to vote and this could lead to negative ramifications if this continues. Compulsory voting does not in any way guarantee a wise vote. Do we really want uninformed, apathetic people choosing who our next government and prime minister will be?Further to this point, compulsory voting is also undemocratic because it means that political parties don't have to try as hard and really listen to the people as we are forced to vote regardless of what the political parties say or do. The majority of voters in most seats in Australia would never meet a candidate because they don't need to encourage citizens to vote. In Britain, for instance, candidates or at least party representatives spend most of an election campaign knocking on voter's doors trying to persuade individual voters to vote for them. This is a much better form of democracy than the system we have in place where parties don't have to bother meeting individual voters because they know that they have to vote and they have a reasonable chance that they will get their vote.
Which leads me to my second argument, that many other great democracies do not have compulsory voting and there are no greater problems with the way their democracies work compared to Australia. The citizens who care about voting and who want to vote have the freedom to do this. And those who wish to exercise their right and freedom not to vote do. Our democracy and their democracy are different in only one way, this being that the citizens of their countries genuinely get the freedom that a democracy promises. In this case the freedom not to vote. Why should you have to vote for a candidate if you don't think any of the candidates deserve your vote? It is not right that you should be forced to vote for them. All the great democracies in the world including India, Britain and United States of America have optional voting. These are all great democracies that are based around a political system which gives citizens the choice to vote. These countries are all strong and successful.
My third argument tonight is that compulsory voting encourages swinging voters. These are people who are more open to bribery. This is why before elections we can allow the leaders of the liberal and labor party offering tax cuts and other inducements which swinging voters are inclined to vote for on Election Day. These aren't solid policies but rather a form of bribery to enhance to the number of votes.
Ladies and gentlemen tonight I have shown you why Australia should abolish compulsory voting. The reasons being, that, it is undemocratic and that people who have a lack of interest in the political area should not be forced to vote. Also that it is the citizens rights not to vote and that many other democracies work well with having optional voting and thirdly that this system encourages swinging voters.
Bibliography:Compulsory or non compulsory voting?" FlindersStudents.com - A Flinders University Community Site - FrontPage. Web. 13 Aug. 2009. .
"Compulsory voting - Arguments against compulsory voting." Global Oneness - The meeting place for Cultural Creatives - Articles, News, Community, Forums, Travel & Events and much more. Web. 13 Aug. 2009. .