Compulsory voting: Ensuring government of the people, by the people, for the people

Voter turnout is at record lows in federal elections. A review of non-voting penalties should be undertaken and consideration given to Scandinavian-style progressive penalties.

“Members of the Committee also regard compulsory voting as a corner-stone of Australia’s democratic system.”

Joint Standing Committee into Electoral Matters (2018) Report on the conduct of the 2016 federal election and matters related thereto

Compulsory voting is one of Australia’s most underappreciated assets, one that has made Australia a fairer and more democratic country.  Without it, the wealthy and powerful would be even wealthier and more powerful, the rest of us poorer and less satisfied, and Australia left more conflict-riven.  

Compulsory voting has ensured voter turnout at Australian elections has been the envy of the world, averaging around 95% since 1924 when introduced. In contrast, turnout rates in OECD countries averages 69%.[1]

[1] OECD (2018), Better Life Index


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