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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:03 AM   #61

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Thanks, interesting link. I'd be tempted to forego the fine and be taken to court so I can say that I'm not voting because they're all corrupt and/or incompetent. :-)

I'm still curious about repeat offenders though ... I mean what if (hypothetically) I pay up my fine and then in the next election don't vote again. And the one after that, and the one after that ... do I get just the same financial slap on the wrist each time, or would there be some stricter penalty? Any Australians here who know? Or indeed how these things operate in other countries with compulsory voting?

Personally I have to say I'm against it anyway. What's the point of making it compulsory when so many people don't see any good choices in the candidates? I'm all for the idea of having a "None of the above" option on ballot papers, to express my feelings that they're all as bad as each other in their own ways.
I know that I can attend polling and "spoil" my ballot paper, but I think the extra option would be much more effective in getting the disillusioned to vote.

And on a topical point, what do people think of the EU saying that prisoners should be given the vote in the UK?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:23 AM   #62

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And on a topical point, what do people think of the EU saying that prisoners should be given the vote in the UK?
Someone currently serving a sentence should not be allowed to vote, IMO, but I have no problem with people who have completed their sentences voting.

The EU has no business dictating to other countries how they should run their democracies, not while it remains self-absorbed and undemocratic. That's now venturing into current politics, so I won't comment any further on that particular aspect.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:42 AM   #63

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
Someone currently serving a sentence should not be allowed to vote, IMO, but I have no problem with people who have completed their sentences voting.

The EU has no business dictating to other countries how they should run their democracies, not while it remains self-absorbed and undemocratic. That's now venturing into current politics, so I won't comment any further on that particular aspect.
People get sent to prison for many different reasons. Should they all be disqualified?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #64

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Someone currently serving a sentence should not be allowed to vote, IMO, but I have no problem with people who have completed their sentences voting.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
The EU has no business dictating to other countries how they should run their democracies, not while it remains self-absorbed and undemocratic. That's now venturing into current politics, so I won't comment any further on that particular aspect.
Again, agreed. There has been much controversy regarding Tonio Borg's nomination to the European Commission. Regardless of the vast ideological difference between myself and the man; do the people who call his stance on abortion "undemocratic" realize that if only pro-choice candidates were accepted then Malta, Poland, Ireland and probably Portugal and Spain would stand without a representative in what (ignominiously) still is EU:s highest decision-making body? His record on corruption is another matter.

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People get sent to prison for many different reasons. Should they all be disqualified?
The fairest solution, IMO, would be to let all crimes be judged equally, i.e. by the fact that you are in prison at the moment. I'm against felony disenfranchisement. If you're not in jail, you're just a citizen, like everybody else. The fact that we exclude convicted sex criminals et alii from working with children is a necessary means, not a compelling argument in itself.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:43 AM   #65

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I forgot about the current politics ban. Sorry.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:52 AM   #66

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Originally Posted by Sicknero View Post
Thanks, interesting link. I'd be tempted to forego the fine and be taken to court so I can say that I'm not voting because they're all corrupt and/or incompetent. :-)

I'm still curious about repeat offenders though ... I mean what if (hypothetically) I pay up my fine and then in the next election don't vote again. And the one after that, and the one after that ... do I get just the same financial slap on the wrist each time, or would there be some stricter penalty? Any Australians here who know? Or indeed how these things operate in other countries with compulsory voting?

Personally I have to say I'm against it anyway. What's the point of making it compulsory when so many people don't see any good choices in the candidates? I'm all for the idea of having a "None of the above" option on ballot papers, to express my feelings that they're all as bad as each other in their own ways.
I know that I can attend polling and "spoil" my ballot paper, but I think the extra option would be much more effective in getting the disillusioned to vote.

And on a topical point, what do people think of the EU saying that prisoners should be given the vote in the UK?
Failure to vote in a Federal election carries a $20 fine. Failure to vote in a NSW State or local council election costs $55. Other states have different penalties. If you don't pay up you can be taken to court where the magistrate can increase the fine or even award a short gaol sentence, although this last never happens. The fine remains the same for each offence, it won't increase each time you fail to vote. You can write a letter explaining your reasons for not voting, but I can tell you that saying that none of the dropkicks were worth wasting your time and effort voting for will not work. At least it didn't for me. A penalty often used in NSW and I think in other states when people refuse to pay minor fines such as for not voting, is to suspend or cancel their drivers licence until they pay up.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:29 AM   #67

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i think voting should be limited to legal citizens only--and the citizen should have to show proof they are legal citizens..
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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #68

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What's your definition of "legal citizen"? Is this not already the law?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #69

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The turnout in Australia is always around 95%, and I can say from personal experience that the authorites do prosecute those who do not turn up. A discussion of the pros and cons of compulsory voting: Compulsory voting in Australia - Australian Electoral Commission
In Italy the system of application of the law was quite curious: the citizen who didn't vote had to go to the municipality to justify himself [like about absences in a school!]. The punishment was a mystery. The suspect lost some civil opportunities, but honestly I don't remember that something has never happened.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #70

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
Someone currently serving a sentence should not be allowed to vote, IMO, but I have no problem with people who have completed their sentences voting.

The EU has no business dictating to other countries how they should run their democracies, not while it remains self-absorbed and undemocratic. That's now venturing into current politics, so I won't comment any further on that particular aspect.
Just a comment "en passant"

Also in Italy who is serving a sentence [last degree] cannot vote. In prison there are persons who can vote if they are condemned at lower level [we've got 3 degrees of condemnation, Italian Justice System in this exaggerates like no other].
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