Compulsory Voting Pros and Cons List
Many countries around the world still maintain a compulsory voting system. Even democratic countries are known to keep this practice alive in the modern era. While some believe that compulsory voting is a good thing that ultimately helps countries, there are others who see the need for its immediate abolishing. The time has come for a closer examination of the pros and cons of compulsory voting.
Pros of Compulsory Voting
1. Harder To Get Rid Of Disenfranchisement
When voting is not done in a compulsory manner, this leads to increased disenfranchisement of the poor and of minorities. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that those who live in poor communities are far less likely to vote unless they are forced to. Even the most egalitarian society will not be able to advance as quickly as they would like on key social issues unless all of their citizens take the time to vote about the problems that are most important to them.
While forcing people to vote seems like a close cousin of the actions that a dictatorship would take, in reality, compulsory voting is a great way to ensure that every group, no matter their economic station or race, has a continued say in the actions of a country in which they reside. People are always going to vote in their own best interests, which is why the lower class must utilize the chance to make their voices heard or risk being lost in the shuffle.
2. Voting Is Made Simple
If a person knows that they are going to be called upon to vote, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of making the right choice. In the months leading up to an election, a person who lives in a nation that still uses a compulsory voting system is much more likely to take the time to research a candidate, so that their vote is not cast from a place of ignorance.
Elected officials and those who are running against them make their presences felt, even in low income neighborhoods and other places where candidates in countries without compulsory voting would rarely show their face. This makes it easier for voters to get a strong feel for the official’s viewpoint on key issues and enables more informed decision making.
3. Government Receives Additional Support
Countries that do not use compulsory voting system increase the odds of their citizens complaining about their elected officials and claiming that they did not vote for the people who are currently in power. This causes dissent among citizens of a nation, as those who did vote for those officials will express their support, while others sit and sulk.
When you vote due to compulsion, you eliminate your right to complain and even your fellow countrymen will be quick to inform that you had every opportunity to choose the person you wanted to see in power. Choosing a government body is something that every citizen of a country should take part in. It encourages people to take responsibility for their choices and decreases the odds that someone will complain about their government.
Cons of Compulsory Voting
1. Violation Of Human Rights
Having the right to vote is very important, but having the right NOT to vote is also pivotal. When you force a person to vote, you take away this basic human right and exercise an uncomfortable amount of control over their life and decision making. It is a person’s philosophical to abstain from the voting process for whatever personal reasons that they deem necessary.
It may not be an imposition to some to take of their life to research candidates and select one to vote for, but it may be for some citizens. The outlook is not always preferable to every member of a society, but it is the right of citizens to decide not to vote, just like it is their right to decide to vote.
2. Votes Go To Waste
Forcing people to vote can have the unintended consequence of votes being wasted. Just because you make people vote does not mean that they will take the time to make the most informed decision. They often end up making a selection that is not based on any sort of research and is only done to ensure that they do not get into any sort of trouble with the law.
People who are ignorant, bigoted and have no real knowledge have their votes counted the same as those who are intelligent and enlightened in this scenario. Some see this concept as fair, while others often look at the wasted votes as a missed opportunity to make a lasting change in their country’s policies.
3. Money Is Spent To Enforce The Rule
Finding out which citizens of a country are either following or not following the compulsory voting rules is not a simple or inexpensive process. A country has to budget a significant amount of money each fiscal year to remain up to date on the true voting habits of their citizens.
This means a nation has to devote major resources from their law enforcement so that they can figure out who is not adhering to the system that is in place. The country is able to collect fines from the citizens who do not vote, but this also costs money to enforce. This is a great deal of trouble to take on for a country, just to make sure that their citizens take interest in something that they have expressed a lack of desire towards.