Comment 72381

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:42:26 in reply to Comment 72378

I somehow doubt it.

The thing about reasoning from a set of assumptions rather than observing and testing is that reality doesn't care a whit how carefully you have selected your assumptions or constructed your arguments. The only way to know if your assumptions and reasoning are sound is to test them empirically.

I'm no expert on compulsory voting and I've only done some cursory reading on it, but there seems to be some evidence from jurisdictions that have imposed it supporting the idea that, for example, compulsory voting serves to reduce income inequality by engaging the participation of the most disadvantaged voters - those people who, without compulsory voting, are most likely to take the self-fulfilling conclusion that politics does not represent their interests and voting is pointless.

There also seems to be some evidence that mandatory voting reduces the effect of myopic partisanship by 'diluting' reflexive partisan votes among a larger pool of overall votes. Again, the evidence seems to suggest that election results are different when everyone votes than they are when only motivated partisans vote.

This, in turn, suggests that election results based on voluntary voting alone are not actually representative of what citizens want and that compulsory voting would produce more representative electoral results.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-12-19 10:43:12

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