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Started by TinyMcOtter on Aug 21, 2016 6:11:48 AM
If there was compulsory voting in the US and the UK, would the left parties have a greater chance of winning?

The conventional wisdom is that yes, they would have. The poor, ethnic minorities, the dispossessed (whoever they are these days) tend to vote less (or even bother registering). And the assumption is that they would be more likely to vote for left wing parties.

But do countries that have compulsory voting tend to produce more left wing general election victories? Also, are their mainstream parties more left wing in outlook (to account for the increased 'left' demographic)?

Australia is an example that seems to disprove this conventional wisdom, as it seems to have as many right wing victories as left wing (I think).

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TinyMcOtter - 21 Aug 2016 06:13:02 (#1 of 86)

Obviously, the different voting systems might have an effect on this.... or not? Australia has PR, the UK has FPTP. The US has something else.

TinyMcOtter - 21 Aug 2016 06:14:13 (#2 of 86)

I'm thinking that Australia is a good example, as I've always seen it as a kind of 'halfway in-between' the US and the UK. But perhaps there are better examples?

Brunothecat - 21 Aug 2016 07:36:32 (#3 of 86)

I don't want to force people to vote, but the older I get the more I would like them to be forced somehow to be better informed.

Its a fucking disgrace that a referendum was held which will affect the lives of future generations on the basis of lies, racism and ignorance.

thisonehasalittlehat - 21 Aug 2016 07:46:27 (#4 of 86)

Says the poster who wants to ban people from attending mosques.

TinyMcOtter - 21 Aug 2016 08:44:42 (#5 of 86)

I don't want to force people to vote, but the older I get the more I would like them to be forced somehow to be better informed.



Well yes. I used to be strongly against compulsory voting and still am, but to a lesser degree.

There are, of course, many reasons why people aren't better informed. Knowledge is power and having millions of well informed people, is dangerous. It's much safer letting them believe that 'it' (whatever it is) is the fault of foreigners, for example. Same as it ever was.

Arjuna - 21 Aug 2016 08:51:15 (#6 of 86)

Not sure that having elections decided by people who don't really want to take part is a great idea.

My guess is is that it may benefit the kippers and the like and we would get more pandering to ignorance.

TinyMcOtter - 21 Aug 2016 08:56:34 (#7 of 86)

My guess is is that it may benefit the kippers and the like and we would get more pandering to ignorance.



Yep, that's also an argument against PR. That smaller nutjob parties get representation, where they might otherwise not.

toffle - 21 Aug 2016 08:59:26 (#8 of 86)

That smaller nutjob parties get representation

Once elected, their nutjobbery becomes evident, and they don't get re-elected. As with the rash of BNP councillors we saw not so long ago.

xDiggy - 21 Aug 2016 09:00:11 (#9 of 86)

Unfortunately I think the referendum demonstrates that people who don't routinely vote or take much interest in politics are too easily led into stupid and destructive protest votes for populist candidates and causes.

Brunothecat - 21 Aug 2016 09:00:30 (#10 of 86)

That smaller nutjob parties get representation, where they might otherwise not.

I'm not so sure that would be a bad thing though. Exposed to actually having to do stuff these single issue nutters usually fail spectacularly, there might have been less of a build up of resentment if the street thug types had been failing in the Commons to make any case at al

WignersFriend - 21 Aug 2016 09:01:09 (#11 of 86)

You could also argue that the small nut job parties getting representation is a) a perfectly reasonable thing and b) a handy demonstration that their simplistic ideas aren't going to solve all the problems of the country.

machiavelli - 21 Aug 2016 09:01:41 (#12 of 86)

I'm with Bruno on the education front. I'm against compulsion.

machiavelli - 21 Aug 2016 09:03:24 (#13 of 86)

To answer the OP, I do not think that compulsion would necessarily benefit the left in a country made up of conservative communitarians.

toffle - 21 Aug 2016 09:08:10 (#14 of 86)

If the candidates elected corresponded more closely to the votes cast, I think the general population would take a greater interest.

If we'd had dozens of kippers in the last Parliament (proportionate to the overall votes they received), how would the Brexit vote have gone then?

WignersFriend - 21 Aug 2016 09:10:31 (#15 of 86)

A lot of brexiteers say they voted the way they did as they have felt ignored by Westminster. Perhaps they would have felt less in need of a dirty protest.

Brunothecat - 21 Aug 2016 09:18:56 (#16 of 86)

Its a very fucked up system. A gang of Tory backbenchers has been allowed to steer the country over a precipice without ever being made to disclose their plans for when they got their way. There has been no effective scrutiny of these people for 20 years. "Bastards" back in Major's day now the tail wagging the national dog.

Other contries must think this is a farce being presided over by incompetents.

WignersFriend - 21 Aug 2016 09:36:10 (#17 of 86)

As a long term resident of another country, you should be in a position to state whether that's true, I'd have thought.

WignersFriend - 21 Aug 2016 09:37:23 (#18 of 86)

Besides, every country has its disproportionately powerful pressure groups. Often religious, but not always.

In this instance at least the brexit Tories can point to 52% of the population that ostensibly agrees with them.

Tenesmus - 21 Aug 2016 09:38:37 (#19 of 86)

Worth mentioning that saying compulsory doesn't mean vote for this cunt or that cunt but that you must actively say none of these cunts, AFAIK.

WignersFriend - 21 Aug 2016 09:39:56 (#20 of 86)

Quite.

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