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Compulsory Voting in Elections

Comment 1st July 2010

Following the passing of the referendum on switching the UK's electoral system from First Past the Post to Alternative Vote, I would like to see leglisation on the statute book making it a criminal offence NOT to vote in an election (as is the case in Belgium and Australia). To counter those who say that this is taking civil liberties away and not safeguarding them, the following would be added to ballot papers:

  • A "None of the Above" box so that electors can cast a postive negative vote
  • Postal Votes issued to all claimants of Disability Living allowance, Attendance Allowance and other benefits aimed at disabled people
  • The Electoral Register taken out of the hands of local councils and managed nationally by the Electoral Commission

Why does this matter?

At the last election, less than 25% of the electorate voted for the Conservative Party, with 18% voting for Labour and 9% for the Liberal Democrats. This means that only 34% of the UK electorate voted for the government. If voting was made compulsory, then a greater share of the electorate would support any government and allow Britain to become a true democracy

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