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Political Talk
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
MDydinanM
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Obama: maybe it's time for mandatory voting

I believe voting is a personal choice, some even finding it a deeply personal event, and not something that should be regulated. Further, to chose not to vote can be an expression in it of itself so this requirement could have 1A infringement issues.

Per the article, though, it is surprising that for a country that values freedom and democracy, we have a smaller voter turnout when compared to other countries. And yes, big money in politics is an issue as well.


http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/19/politi...ing/index.html

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(CNN)The president whose major policy achievement is mandatory health insurance thinks maybe voting should be mandatory, too.

Asked how to offset the influence of big money in politics, President Barack Obama suggested it's time to make voting a requirement.

"Other countries have mandatory voting," Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about the importance of middle class economics, and was asked about the issue during a town hall.

"It would be transformative if everybody voted -- that would counteract money more than anything," he said, adding it was the first time he had shared the idea publicly.

The clout of millionaires and billionaires in campaign funding has been enormous, and many claim the uber wealthy have undue leverage in politics.

"The people who tend not to vote are young, they're lower income, they're skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups," Obama said. "There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls."


At least 26 countries have compulsory voting, according to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Failure to vote is punishable by a fine in countries such as Australia and Belgium; if you fail to pay your fine in Belgium, you could go to prison.

Aside from campaign finance issues, the United States also grapples with one of the lowest voter turnout rates among developed countries.

Less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. That means about 144 million Americans -- more than the population of Russia -- skipped out.

But mandatory voting could bring its own set of problems. Haydon Manning, associate professor at Flinders University in Australia, said that country's rules can backfire.

"Turning the vote out might not be a problem, but wooing disengaged citizens now requires banal sloganeering and crass misleading negative advertising," Manning wrote. "To me, this can diminish the democratic experience for those who take the time to think through the issues."
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:45 AM   #2
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What would the penalty be for NOT voting?
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:12 AM   #3
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Obama: maybe it's time for mandatory voting

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What would the penalty be for NOT voting?

Tax! Self reported via your 1040 form every 4 years!

Last edited by MDydinanM; 03-19-2015 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:22 AM   #4
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Penalty! Self reported via your 1040 form every 4 years!
Ahem....
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:26 AM   #5
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I prefer that uninformed people not vote, provided it is their choice
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
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I prefer that uninformed people not vote, provided it is their choice
I prefer to keep people uninformed and just tell them who to vote for.

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Old 03-19-2015, 04:48 PM   #7
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Maybe mandatory voting is a step too far, though perhaps one might look upon it as a basic responsibility of citizenship as well as a right.

In any case, I think it's a savvy concept in that it turns the discussion from the GOP's aim of ever further constricting, limiting and denying that basic right to the opposite of how to we increase voting and voter participation.

As the article mentioned:

Quote:
Less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. That means about 144 million Americans -- more than the population of Russia -- skipped out.
Those are woeful numbers for a country that fancies itself as the exemplar of representative democracy for the world. Our problem isn't too many people voting, its that far too few are participating in the most fundamental way in our democratic system.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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Maybe mandatory voting is a step too far, though perhaps one might look upon it as a basic responsibility of citizenship as well as a right.

In any case, I think it's a savvy concept in that it turns the discussion from the GOP's aim of ever further constricting, limiting and denying that basic right to the opposite of how to we increase voting and voter participation.

As the article mentioned:



Those are woeful numbers for a country that fancies itself as the exemplar of representative democracy for the world. Our problem isn't too many people voting, its that far too few are participating in the most fundamental way in our democratic system.
I think part of the problem is that people need to be incentivized. Some don't vote because that means they'll need to skip work, or make up work, and it takes a toll on their lives. Perhaps granting the day off - like a federal holiday - would help.

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Old 03-19-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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How about a national holiday on election day? Or would that harm republican efforts to suppress the vote?
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:04 PM   #10
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How about a national holiday on election day? Or would that harm republican efforts to suppress the vote?
I would support that, but the GOP would come up with some argument about an economic loss for one business day.
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:20 PM   #11
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I would support that, but the GOP would come up with some argument about an economic loss for one business day.

They argue that people will skip the polls and go shoot police officers
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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How about a national holiday on election day? Or would that harm republican efforts to suppress the vote?
I've always thought it should be so, rather surprised that it isn't . Call it National Democracy Day. Shoot, I'd readily trade 2-3 of our current vacuous national holidays for this.

Of course, it would better allow the Poors, the working stiffs and other Others to, gasp, vote.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:03 PM   #13
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Yeah why the **** isn't election day a national goddamn holiday
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:12 PM   #14
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Yeah why the **** isn't election day a national goddamn holiday
Because that wouldn't be very patriotic, you communist!
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:16 PM   #15
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How about a national holiday on election day? Or would that harm republican efforts to suppress the vote?
LOL

Some employers have to jump through amazing hoops to make sure their union (Dem-voting) employees can leave work to participate in political functions and elections of all flavors. The Dem voters don't need a holiday to go vote.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:18 PM   #16
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LOL

Some employers have to jump through amazing hoops to make sure their union (Dem-voting) employees can leave work to participate in political functions and elections of all flavors. The Dem voters don't need a holiday to go vote.
and non-union workers?
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:29 PM   #17
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Everyone can get an absentee ballot, everyone. I've never been at a job where you weren't allowed to go vote during the day.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:31 PM   #18
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Everyone can get an absentee ballot, everyone. I've never been at a job where you weren't allowed to go vote during the day.
but did you have to make up those hours, or take leave to do so, or not bill those hours?
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:48 PM   #19
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and non-union workers?
All of us damn dirty liberals belong to evil unions.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:12 PM   #20
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What would the penalty be for NOT voting?
2% of your household income or $325, whichever is higher.
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