8/21/2010

Australia to fine citizens who didn't vote in Saturday's election

The real question is what type of people you are getting to vote when people don't care enough to vote. It is clear that it doesn't pay to vote in a purely economic context. Usually economists assume some altruism on the part of those who vote. So the implication is that the fine will force non-altruistic to vote. Also get people who are less informed on the issues. From Australia:

The commission will issue a notice to all non-voters requesting that they either provide a reason for their failure to vote or pay penalties.
Australia's compulsory voting system requires citizens show up at their polling stations on Election Day. Around 14 million electors took part in a mandatory vote in the pacific nation on Saturday.
The commission says if apparent non-voter cannot provide a valid reason within three weeks, then legally they are obliged to pay a 20-dollar fine.
Prosecution proceedings may be instigated against those violators who decline to pay the penalty.
If the matter is dealt with in court and the person is found guilty, they may be fined up to $50 plus court expenses.
However, penalties for failing to vote are not always strictly enforced.
This is while early vote counting in Australia suggests that the country could be heading for a hung parliament in one of the most closely contested general elections in years. . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger DonWorsham said...

I might be inclined to support this if there was an option to select "None of the Above".

Wait, we should have that option anyway.

8/21/2010 2:24 PM  
Blogger Lisa Maree said...

i was one of those people who chose not to vote because sadly there is no "none of the above" option. And to make things a little more ridiculous, apparently if I don't pay the fine they can suspend my drivers licence! I would be interested to know the statistics on the number of people who didn't vote in this election. My guess is that there was a significant increase and that this is a sign of times. Ordinary people are sick of the BS that traditional politicians carry on with and are looking for something real and authentic for a change.

8/29/2010 3:03 AM  

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