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Mandatory Voting


Should refusing to vote in a general or provincial election be against the law?  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. Should refusing to vote in a general or provincial election be against the law?

    • Yes
      6
    • No
      7


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I'm a big believer that Canada, like Australia, should have a mandatory voting law when it comes to general elections, making all those who are eligible to vote but who choose not to, or who voluntarily spoil their ballot, be fined an amount to be determined at a later time. And I believe that the same thing should apply for provincial elections.

The fact is that these silly initiatives to increase voter awareness are not working and more and more people are staying home during every provincial and general election. The last general election was the lowest turnout yet and it'll just keep dropping.

Of course, we should also increase voter awareness and education, helping people to understand the process and who the candidates and parties are all about. We should have mandatory political classes in high school too. Anything possible to increase awareness of the political process.

This nation has fought too long and too hard to give blacks, First Nation members and women the right to vote in elections only to have them simply choose not to!

We need a firmly established law that says, "Unless you have a very good reason for not voting, you have to get out there and vote for somebody!"

Fortunately, the former MP for Ottawa Centre, now a Liberal Senator, Mac Harb, proposed mandatory voting legislation that has already passed three stages and will be put before the House of Commons in due time. I would urge every Canadian to support this.

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My vision has two parts:

1) Raise income tax 5% and rebate this for people who vote. Voting means you're rebated every year until the next election.

2) Include a "None of these choices" option on the ballot to satisfy people who justify not voting by saying "I don't like anyone."

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Still think that freedom to Vote inculed the freedom not to cast a balot true if I ever choise not to vote I would go down a reject my Balot but people should hav ethe right to stay home a drink because that in and of it self does say some thing about the system

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In Australia it isn't compulsory to vote. It's simply compulsory to attend a polling booth and have your name marked off. It's interesting that in 90 years of compulsory voting there has never been any political party which has even brought up the possibility of abolishing compulsory voting.

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It's interesting that in 90 years of compulsory voting there has never been any political party which has even brought up the possibility of abolishing compulsory voting.

And that's good.

Every nation in the free world should make voting mandatory, because, honestly, many people are just too lazy to get off their ass and vote if you give them the freedom to decide whether to vote or not. I've had arguements with my wife during the last federal election and municipal election about her refusal to vote.

Excuses like "I don't like any of the candidates" or "I don't know enough about the parties" are not excuses at all! They are cop-outs!

When I was 18 years old, it was during the 2000 general election and I did research on every single party that was contesting the election and every candidate in my riding. I voted for the Bloc Quebecois during that election, because that was before I was a member of the NDP and the candidate made the most sense to me.

I remember the first time I voted, I felt so important. I felt like I was doing something so wonderful that, now that I was of age, I had been given the right to do. And I've voted in every single election since.

I wish everybody in Canada knew what an amazing feeling it is to vote. Even with this country unfair, Single-Vote-Plurality system, it's still nice to know that I have a voice and I can be heard!

And now Canada is not only going to lower the voter age to 16, but, hopefully, it'll pass legislation shortly that will make voting compulsory. In this way, we may finally gain some realistic results during the election and not let the Liberals get away with a majority just because too many people stayed home!

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Yep.

The Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering, Mark Holland, put forward legislation on November 4, 2004, supported by most members of the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc, as well as some Liberals, that will, hopefully before the summer, lower the voting age to 16.

It's called Bill C-261.

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They're cutting the voting age?  :blink:

There was a court challenge to the law covering voting age but it was thrown out of court. I have heard of the private members bill and while it does have some support, it is doubltful that it will pass. Personally, I don't think most 16 year olds are mature enough or experienced enough to vote. A lot of 18 year olds aren't very mature either for that matter, but we have to start somewhere.

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There was a court challenge to the law covering voting age but it was thrown out of court.  I have heard of the private members bill and while it does have some support, it is doubltful that it will pass.  Personally, I don't think most 16 year olds are mature enough or experienced enough to vote.  A lot of 18 year olds aren't very mature either for that matter, but we have to start somewhere.

Actually, I believe it has enough support to pass and I hope it does. Most 16 years I know are mature enough to vote, right Myke? :P

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Most young people don't vote until they work in the real world and have to pay the tax man.  Then they'll vote Conservative!  :D

Typically, most eighteen year olds vote NDP or Liberal. Or for some stupid party like the Marijuana Party or something.

Not that the Conservative Party isn't a stupid party.

"Yeah, let's cut funds to social services and put the money into tax cuts. That way, everybody can have lots of money! Umm...unless they get sick, in which case they probably won't be able to afford it since we're going to privatize health care. And...umm...if they spend their money unwisely, they'll be screwed, since we're shutting down all the food banks and homeless shelters."

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"Yeah, let's cut funds to social services and put the money into tax cuts. That way, everybody can have lots of money! Umm...unless they get sick, in which case they probably won't be able to afford it since we're going to privatize health care. And...umm...if they spend their money unwisely, they'll be screwed, since we're shutting down all the food banks and homeless shelters."

Except it was the Liberals who drastically cut federal healthcare funding. :P

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Hey, I'm the one advocating aptitude tests before you get the ballot, regardless of your age.

If you're insane, senile, eight years old, or politically clueless, you do not deserve a say in the running of the country. If you're informed and intelligent politically, regardless of age, you do.

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If people beviled in food banks and Homeless siteror they will stay open with out the Goverment

for Contest he the NDP

" We going to rise Tax force compines to keep lazy people and best of all because will beviled in redstiemainmg wealth if spend money ounwise and not make good choise in your life Daddy goverment is there to bail you out so do not worry"

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I think Mr. Harb is a loony, It is important to vote but not everyone shares the exact same interest. Why force people to do something they may not feel like doing?

And what if I just didn't feel like paying for something at the grocery store? It's so much easier to just take it now. I would definately pay next time. And if not then, then absolutely the time after that.

Where does it stop?

Voting is the way we choose our government. Thus, it should be an enforced law to vote. Whether a person feels like it or not, Canadians NEED to vote for the good of our nation. For the freedom, structure and security of the nation, Canadians need to get out there and vote for their government.

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Hey, I'm the one advocating aptitude tests before you get the ballot, regardless of your age.

If you're insane, senile, eight years old, or politically clueless, you do not deserve a say in the running of the country. If you're informed and intelligent politically, regardless of age, you do.

Now that would be a really bad idea. First, what questions would you ask and who would be responsible for creating them? Second, how would you safeguard against the ruling party or anyone else with an agenda couldn't turn the questions into a form of "push-polling?" Third, who has the time at a polling station to a) take such a test and B) grade such a test? Fourth, Given that anyone could simply parrot the answers without actually understanding them, what would such a test really tell you?

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Simple.

Test creation is up to Elections Canada, and would ideally consist of a group of simple general-aptitude questions, and a group of simple political questions.

A simple general-aptitude question would be "What is eight times seven?", or "What is the capital of British Columbia?"

A simple political question might be "Identify the official colour of three of the following political parties." (using only parties that are on the ballot in that riding, and that got at least 5% of ballots cast in that riding in the previous election), or "What is the common title for Canada's current constitutional document?" (multiple-choice)

All non-partisan questions, all questions that can be graded quickly and efficiently by computer, and all simple questions at that. You learned about the constitution in civics class, if you didn't, you at least know what it's called from how the media hyped it up in the 80s, you really ought to know which party goes with which colour, and as for basic mathematics and geography, that's just to make sure you aren't insane.

If the voter is unable to complete the test for a legitimate reason (such as immigrating to the country, which would explain an absense of knowledge into Canadian geography, or the nuances of the political system), the CRO at each poll has the authority to override it if presented with proof of address, which you really should be bringing to the polling station anyway.

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I'm against a test, but I do agree that political knowledge is somewhat lacking in Canada, as in every other country. I think we rather need to include politics or "initiation to citizenship" classes in high schools to teach teenagers how to be active citizens and to kindle an interest in politics early on.

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