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The significance of compulsory and preferential voting
hadel abuhaishon 4 September 2012
Transcript of The significance of compulsory and preferential voting
and preferential voting By: Hadel Abu Haish
Tatiana Palu 2002 March (cc) image by jantik on Flickr
In 1924, the Australian Government introduced compulsory voting. Prior to that date, Australia's voting system was voluntary and, like many other countries, there was no system in place to compel Australian citizens to vote in federal and State elections. For a democracy to function well, every citizen should have an equal right to vote on the leadership of the country and the opportunity for that vote to be collected and counted. Compulsory voting was an important step for Australian politics and was not passed without some controversy. Compulsory voting has brought about great social debate about the nature of democracy and freedom in politics, both in the 1920s and today. Australia is one of many countries that use a form of compulsory voting in federal elections. On a
voting is held,
all the people in
Australia who are eligible
and enrolled to vote will go
to a designated local place,
usually a school hall, where they
can cast their vote. Once you are at the school hall you
must be marked off a roll which has your
name, address and voting enrollment details
to record that you have cast a vote and will not
be fined for neglecting your electoral duties. As voting is compulsory, electors are given
a number of ways to cast their vote at an election,
including postal voting, pre-poll voting, absent
voting, voting at Australian overseas missions and
voting at mobile teams at hospitals and nursing homes
and in remote localities, as well as ordinary voting at a polling
place in their electorate. If you are eligible or enrolled to vote and do not vote, it is
considered an illegal act. A penalty notice will be sent within three months. You can then cast a vote or go to court. If you don't vote and
can't provide a good reason why you didn't vote, a fine will be issued. If
the fine isn't paid and no vote is made, there is even the possibility of going to jail. According to the Commonwealth Electoral Act, a voter will then
'retire alone to an unoccupied booth where in private, a vote is
marked on the ballot paper.'
Then you number the boxes from 1-4, leave the booth, fold your ballot
paper and slide it into a box. Off you go, you've voted! INTRODUCTION
WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE EVENT? ADVANTAGES TO COMPULSORY VOTING Voting is part and parcel of being a citizen of a democracy - an important civic duty which is as important as paying taxes and serving on juries. Compulsory voting gives voters more power in electing their preferred candidates - it has been said that voluntary voting advantages the conservative parties as people from low socio-economic backgrounds do not feel as strongly about voting as conservative supporters. It equalises participation - people from all over the political spectrum have an opportunity to voice their opinions. The franchise that women and other disadvantaged groups have fought for can be used. Compulsory voting does not actually compel anyone to vote - voters can always choose to fill the ballot paper incorrectly or destroy it. What is compulsory is attendance at the voting booth, not the actual voting. It can enforce political education - when people have to vote, they have to have an understanding of who they are voting for and what the political parties are promising to achieve for Australia. The main advantage is the opportunity for the Australian voter to have an opinion on every party up for election.
The winning candidate will always be the one most preferred by the voters of an individual electorate. No votes are wasted - if a voter's first choice is not selected, the other preferences will still be considered for election. Voters have more opportunity to express their political opinion by voting for minor parties and independent candidates. THE ADVANTAGES OF
Preferential voting is much more complicated than 'first past the post'. It forces voters to rank parties which they may not support, otherwise their vote will be incomplete and illegitimate. As a result, the voter must have a better understanding of the voting process. Lack of understanding of the voting process can lead to informal voting or 'donkey votes'. Informal voting is where a voter does not follow the rules of voting. In such a case, the vote is not counted. An example is using a tick rather than a number in the appropriate box. A 'donkey vote' is a vote where the voter has not engaged with the process at all. An example is simply numbering the first box on the page without evaluating the various candidates.
These concerns, however, with preferential voting should not detract from the overall benefits that allow Australians more freedom in the selection of their government. PREFERENTIAL VOTING!!! Preferential and compulsory voting in Australia started in 1920’s. Every citizen in Australia has an equal right to vote on the leadership of the country and the opportunity for their vote to be collected and counted. Compulsory voting was a very important step for Australian politics and government but during this event there was a lot of controversy. In 1901 there was no reason for an Australian citizen to vote in a State or Federal election unless he or she wanted to. In 1908 people who eligible to vote were able to enroll themselves on a list of voters and by 1911 enrolment was made compulsory so that the government could keep track of the number of Australian voters. When compulsory voting first started all the states agreed to it besides Queensland. After a few years Queensland agreed to take part in voting with the rest of the nation. WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE EVENT??? Australia became a nation on Jan 1, 1901 after a referendum was held to put the six colonies together. All states and territories had the vote. Compulsory voting was introduced before the Australian federal election of 1925. Preferential voting is when a voter can rank the candidates listed on the ballot paper in the order of the voter's choice, and to indicate that ranking by placing the numbers 1, 2, 3…, next to the candidates' names. If no candidate wins a majority of the first preference votes, the ballots of the candidate with the smallest number of first preference votes are examined, and the second preferences are assigned to candidates who are still in the count. The process of excluding the least successful candidates and assigning preferences is continued until one candidate gains a majority of the vote. WHY DID THIS EVENT OCCUR??? Aboriginal men and women voted there in South Australian elections and voted for the first Commonwealth Parliament in 1901. That first Commonwealth Parliament was elected by State voters. Everyone in Australia had a chance to vote. WHO WERE INVOLVED IN COMPULSORY
AND PREFERENTIAL VOTING?
http://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/publications/voting/index.htm BIBLIOGRAPHY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COMPULSORY VOTING AND PREFERENTIAL VOTING PREFERENTIAL VOTING is a type of ballot structure used in several electoral systems in which voters rank a list or group of candidates in order of preference. For example, the voter may write a '1' beside their first choice, a '2' beside their second preference, and so on. ... Compulsory voting is a system in which electors are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. All enrolled electors must vote at ACT elections and referendums.