Comment 72393

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2011 at 14:02:44 in reply to Comment 72391

And the very premise doesn't sit well with me.

Which suggests you may be predisposed to reject it no matter what the evidence says.

I'd have to take issue with the idea that more voters at the ballot boxes necessarily means that 'increasing the level of meaningful civic engagement' has been achieved.

So would I. It's not enough for more people to vote; more people also have to get engaged enough to make votes that are well-informed and produce a more functional government.

The question is: does mandatory voting play a role in making voters more engaged beyond merely showing up at the voting booth? That's a more interesting question, and I suspect the answer is more complex than either of us would assume.

I have a visceral reaction to the idea of being told you have to do what should be something you do out of a sense of duty

A duty is something you have to do. It comes from the Latin word for debt and literally means, "That which is owing."

If voting is a democratic duty, there's an argument for passing a law enshrining that duty. This is precisely what we do with taxation: we don't just leave it up to individuals to decide whether they want to contribute their fair share, or even to decide independently what a "fair share" should be.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-12-19 14:03:05

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