thorfinn: <user name="seedy_girl"> and <user name="thorfinn"> (Default)
[personal profile] thorfinn
Yo. Australian Citizens. Apropos of our sudden change of Prime Minister to Julia Gillard, and the fact that we'll have a federal election within the year, go check your electoral enrolment at https://oevf.aec.gov.au/, and please vote.

I feel pretty strongly that it's every Australian's civic responsibility to at least attend a polling booth on election day (or postal/pre vote as appropriate).

Not simply because it's required by law, but because I think it's your one chance to participate directly in the political system of this country. People have protested, fought, and died both historically and to the present day around the world to secure the right to vote. Don't waste yours.

You don't have to do anything other than get your voting paper on election day and then vote nothing at all - if that is a genuine expression of your actual political preferences.

I personally think that you should seek to be more informed about politics and thus have more complicated political preferences than that, but I'm really not going to argue with anyone who believes that that is their actual preference, so long as they still exercise a citizen's right and responsibility to obtain a ballot paper.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 09:21 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vivienne-aster.livejournal.com
As embarrassing as it is to admit this, I'm forced to admit that I'm very glad you put that link there - I thought I'd updated my electoral details and it turns out I've been voting in my previous area for a while... It doesn't make much difference as they are both safe Labor seats, but it's still poor - thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 10:24 (UTC)
damien_wise: (Default)
From: [personal profile] damien_wise
Very cool write-up, and a well-timed reminder.

ISTR writing something _very_ similar a few years ago...I think it was after the last federal election, and may have been on the LJ Melbourne Maniacs group. I think it was in response to someone whinging about having to vote, and that they / their partner might get fined for choosing not to vote. It's rather spooky to see what you've said, right down to the order of your points. :)

Democracy -- and our flavour of it, with out voting system -- may have its imperfections, but it's about the least bad political system in history, anywhere in the world. Wish I could say the same for some of the candidates. ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 16:50 (UTC)
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauamma
I'm definitely in favor of voting, but one thing in your entry caught my attention, and I want to make sure I got it right: "required by law"? As in, "there's a law that says you have to vote, and if you don't (or maybe even can't prove you voted), you can be fined, taken to court, pilloried, or whatever"?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 15:26 (UTC)
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauamma
I agree with all the "this is the better way" statements you made in the 2 comments above, except the first. (And if I interpret your choice of examples correctly: I'm not a US citizen, FWIW.)

Regarding the "compulsory voting enforced with fines is better" statement, can we agree to disagree? (I can see some benefits to that approach, but IMO the costs overwhelmingly outweigh them.)

Oh, and unrelatedly: since you have a paid account, you can edit your comments.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-27 15:39 (UTC)
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauamma
OK, the argument below is based on my interpretation of how you describe in-person voting: namely, Peggy shows up at a certain place on a certain day, shows credentials to Victor, and perform at her option one of the following: mark choices on a form, leave it blank, draw something obscene on it, smear it with bodily fluids, or pocket it and substitute a Jack Chick tract instead. Then, slip that sheet of paper in an envelope, and drop the envelope in a box, where it and the sheet inside can no longer be traced to her. If the process is substantially different, the specific argument below may not be applicable, or only with changes.

That process doesn't actually compel Peggy to vote. If Peggy drops an envelope containing a penis drawn in blood and bile, she doesn't contribute any more to the process of selecting the "least hated" group than she would have by staying home. All it does is compel her to be present in a certain place at a certain time, unless she took steps in advance to opt out of that obligation. (Related question: is Peggy free to choose whether to vote by mail at her option, or is she required to demonstrate that she is/may be unable to vote in person, or even make an unsupported claim to that effect?)

I contend that the government has no more business telling Peggy "You must be seen to visit a polling place on $date" then it would have telling her to attend the place of worship of her choice on the same date and under the same penalties.

Also, on a personal note, I would be more likely, under that system, to scrawl "voting under duress" across the form and leave it otherwise unfilled than I would be under a system where I'm truly free to vote, to make a pretense of voting, or to say "Fuck you! I'm going fishing."

Also also, would you mind if I linked to this thread from [community profile] the_2nd or reposted it there? "The pros and cons of compulsory voting" is a good topic for that comm.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-28 14:05 (UTC)
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauamma
Thanks for the links. I'll read them later this week. On a quick note: one statement that Peggy cannot make lawfully in the current AU syxtem is "Fuck the AEC, I'm not voting or even going through the motions." It sounds to me like your argument boils to: the ability to count accurately the "I don't care, all candidates suck equally" votes is worth forbidding the "fuck the AEC" statement as a separate statement.(*) But forbidding it also means the "all candidates suck" votes aren't counted accurately, because you're counting the "fuck the AEC" votes as "all candidates suck" votes.

(*): after reading it quickly, so I may well have missed something, and I'll revisit this after reading it more thoroughly and reading the links, but that won't happen until the end of the week.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-28 07:59 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Allow me to introduce myself. I'm one of the people who will be counting votes on election day. I'm also likely to be greeting Australian electors, marking their names off the roll, making sure that scrutineers don't interfere and so on.

It is your right to vote informal if you so choose. But please, for the love of all that is either holy or profane (whichever you prefer), please do NOT pocket your ballot and walk out with it, and especially don't replace it with a Chick tract.

At the end of the night, we have to account for every ballot paper that we can. In many countries, missing ballot papers may constitute evidence of election fraud. We get paid the same amount whether we leave at 10pm or 3am, and if there are too many ballot papers that we can't account for (say, 5 or more), then have to do a full recount then and there.

Deface it, write a slogan on it, just leave it blank... if that's what you really want to do with your vote, on your head be it. But please, just put it in the damn box.

Besides, the Chick tract won't be read.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 17:26 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Nice post.

May I request posts expressing your views on the following issues:

1) Compulsory National Service
2) Separation of Church and State (preferably including a comparison or correlation regarding moral responsibility and civic duty)
3) The role of satire, free speech and personal voice in state matters with regard to individual identity

Cheers,

Thag (Ivan)

Close of rolls

Date: 2010-06-28 23:05 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
One additional thing that someone reminded me of - John Howard's "lets have fun disenfranchising the youth" laws still apply, so once the election is called you have at *most* 3 business days to update your enrolment.

Do It Now.

http://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/Publications/Fact_Sheets/Close_of_Rolls.htm

-Damien (aeduna)

September 2014

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