Cityvisitor blog

Should voting be compulsory for everybody?

Here we are again, we’re in the midst of another election, and just two years after the last one.

Throw in the EU referendum and that means that the country has been asked to vote on massive issues for each of the last three years.

Brenda from Bristol captured the mood of a lot of people when she ranted: “Not another one?! I’m getting sick of this.”

But should we be so exasperated with having to vote? Isn’t it our moral obligation to make sure that we vote, given the sacrifices that servicemen and women have made to ensure our free democracy?

Maybe so, but in democracy, surely we deserve the right to say ‘No, I don’t want to vote?’

It is very difficult trying to work out which politicians are telling the truth, and which aren’t, and I think this mistrust is a contributory factor to people deciding not to vote.

Throw in a pure lack of motivation and a belief that decisions made in Westminster don’t really affect people on the ground level and it all leads down a path of apathy.

In countries such as Australia, it is compulsory to vote, which means people have to weigh up their options and just plump for the best candidate, even if they are not sure about them.

Of course, they have the option of spoiling the ballot paper, which people in this country can do as well. But is it necessarily fair to make people vote if they don’t want to?

A lot of people don’t feel qualified to be able to vote based on a lack of knowledge. Given the age we live in and the fact that so much information is available at our fingertips, this seems a bit of a weak argument.

Perhaps we have too much information to base our decision on, which leads to a quagmire of possibilities that bogs the electorate down too much.

There are 15 million people in the UK who don’t know who to vote for, and are unlikely to vote.

I’m aiming not to be one of those 15 million people, but it is difficult working out who to believe, who to trust, and who to vote for.


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