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September 26, 2004

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you guys (U.S) really need compulsory voting. the small loss of freedom (seems to be the main gripe) is far outweighed by the benefit of having these sort of shenanigans extinguished.

Bob Herbert has been writing (in the NYT's) of similar, intimidatory tactics being applied in Florida.

this sort of stuff is f*cked.

compulsory voting ensures the pollies will have to rely on their usual mendacity, as opposed from thuggery, to gain power.

a win/lose (for democracy) is better than a lose/lose.

you guys (U.S) really need compulsory voting. the small loss of freedom (seems to be the main gripe) is far outweighed by the benefit of having these sort of shenanigans extinguished.

How does that work? Is it a crime not to vote?

See, in our system, voting is considered a privilge. And like most privileges, the value is determined by how often we can withhold it from someone. We're not over the legacy of slavery, in that many states prevent felons (read: black males who are disproportionately convicted of nonviolent drug crimes even though they're the minority of drug offenders) from voting for many years after they finish their time.

Also, each U.S. state determines how voting is conducted, and often that authority is delegated down to the individual county or municipality. That's a whole lot of turf that people want to protect.

I was on the Katz campaign and that story sounds like utter nonsense. The election was huge enough, and had divided the city into black and white enough, that that would've been front page news during the election if true.

And compulsory voting is retarded. This is America. We're free to be lazy and uninterested.

The election was huge enough, and had divided the city into black and white enough, that that would've been front page news during the election if true.

Maybe. Actual violence gets the headlines. Mere threats don't always rate. Could be true, could be exaggerated, could be total bullshit. Lots of stuff happens during an election that doesn't get reported, like my local Repub division guy.

We're free to be lazy and uninterested.

Yeah, but I want us to be free to be lazy, uninterested and stupid, too. Why can't we vote on scratch-off cards at McDonalds for a week before November 2? And standing in line at Walmart? And on the internet and using my cable TV clicker? Anybody who doesn't embrace the stupid is a non-mainstream unamerican and way out of the american mainstream.

privilege? it is a right. stupid turf protection.

pretty certain it is not a crime. you score a fine, like a parking ticket.. about $50 or something. mind you, only if you admit to actually not voting. most folks just advise that they did vote and suggest it is an error in the process (or perhaps jack booted, black suit sporting goons impeded access to the polling booth) and the fine is waived.

the most cynical and jaded just turn up at the polling station, have their name marked off and walk out the door without touching the ballot.

the most selfish and unprincipled just turn up and vote for whichever Megalomaniac has promised them the greater tax cut/subsidy.

the important thing is, ALL participate and are expected to in some way.

Karol,
what’s the prob with compulsory participation?
you don't trust the retards vote?

why am I thinking of Gary Busey campaigning against the compulsory wearing of crash helmets by motorcycle riders (my Dad calls them ‘temporary citizens’ due to their rate of expiry)?


See, we don't like the concept of "duty" here. The dirtiest phrase in American is "jury duty." "Duty" implies that you owe something to others, and we hate to owe, love to be owed. The concept of owing something to society is almost communism. Can't have that. The backwoods types still think fluoridation of water is a plot.

jeez, Law & Order (the tv show, not the populist politician’s favourite platform) doesn’t rate very highly in the U.S?

i can’t wait to be called up for jury duty… though some of the fun has been taken away since we don’t do murder as a punishment (how’s that for retarded?).

is it only the Head-Juror who gets to do the ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ a la Roman Emperor?

I was on a capital murder jury. I wouldn't recommend the experience, though. It must be a special kind of hell to be in combat and have to kill someone. Well, it's another kind to sit in a room with eleven other people and decide if you're going to kill someone. Someone who has killed. Either way, you're going to feel like hell. Days and days of arguing about it. And then you decide, and you announce the verdict, and they poll the jury, so that each member has to state publicly that he or she agrees with it. And half the courtroom looks like they want to rip your throat out. They have to take you out the back under guard. No, I wouldn't recommend it.

f*ck. absolutely brutal. i feel sick.

See, we don't like the concept of "duty" here. The dirtiest phrase in American is "jury duty." "Duty" implies that you owe something to others, and we hate to owe, love to be owed. The concept of owing something to society is almost communism.

Ah, freedom without duty. The dream of infants and toddlers everywhere.

Yup, it's a tiny fine - $20, if I recall correctly. I get the impression our elections are also better-organised (most likely because we have a smaller and more spread out population) because we walked to our polling place the other week, a few blocks away, and the walk there and back took longer than actually voting.

Compulsory voting, prefential voting, and kill the electoral college - these three things would do great things for American democracy. Imagine... voting for a third party candidate whom you know will not win, but also knowing that you are not taking a vote away from your preferred candidate from the big two. Wonderful...

What a pity it didn't fucking work over here and we're stuck with the conservatives for another three years... *grumble*

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