Russ Campbellâs Blog: Should Voting Be Mandatory? I Say No
The reÂcent pasÂsage of the fedÂeral Fair ElecÂtions Act has prompted deÂbate about citÂiÂzens right/obligÂaÂtion to vote for repÂreÂsenÂtaÂtives at all three levÂels of govÂernÂment.
In reÂcent years, weâve seen a drop-off in voter turnout at all levÂels. In fedÂeral genÂeral elecÂtions, for exÂamÂple, the turnout has dropped from an avÂerÂage of 75 per cent durÂing the peÂriod afÂter World War II to 61 per cent in the 2011 elecÂtion. At the provinÂcial level, in OnÂtario for exÂamÂple, the turnout slipped beÂlow 50 per cent for the first time in 2011.
Now some, like AnÂdrew Coyne of the NaÂtional Post, are askÂing whether votÂing should be mandaÂtory. Coyne writes, âThe arÂguÂment for comÂpulÂsory votÂing is analÂoÂgous to that for taxÂaÂtion.â AnÂother comÂparÂiÂson made is to jury duty. Not bad points and, in more than 30 counÂtries around the world, votÂing is, apÂparÂently, comÂpulÂsory in some way or other.