Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Compulsory Voting Again

This has turned into something of an on-going debate on the IPPR's proposals on compulsory voting (see my previous post here). Here are the results of my latest research:

This IPPR Statement claims compulsory voting is the only solution to low turnout.

The Fabian Society have a lengthy discussion on compulsory voting in the UK (PDF format). It's probably a bit out-dated now, looking like it draws from 2001, but it shows how long-running the issue has been that they published a tract by William Robson entitled Compulsory Voting: What it is and How it works in 1924! Their article also includes a number of reader comments, but sadly the references don't seem to be online.

The Australian Electoral Commission give arguments for and against, in quick bullet point form. Their longer information (PDF) makes it clear that it is compulsory to cast a ballot, not merely attend the polling place. Page 6 of this document gives a useful list of countries that practice compulsory voting, divided by whether or not they actually enforce it. This brief factsheet from the ACT Electoral Commission doesn't add much more.

The International IDEA site again gives arguments for/against, and a list of countries sorted by level of enforcement with sanctions and year of introduction.

The Guardian (back in 2005) gives a list of practicing countries, but only gives further information on a few.

Good old Wikipedia gives the basics, but is rather under-referenced for my liking.

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