Nowadays, a significant number of discussions arise around the topic of compulsory voting. Some people are convinced that it is an integral part of democracy, and as many people as possible should express their appreciation or disagreement (Chapman 109). However, there are opponents to this position, defending the right to make a decision on a voluntary basis (Dassonneville 209). Establishing mandatory voting not only violates fundamental rights, but also leads to inappropriate motivation among the population and irresponsibility of politicians, and for this reason, this incentive should not be realized.
First of all, it is worth covering the supporters’ arguments. Their willingness to create particular legislation on this issue is predominantly explained by the concerns of low turnouts. This incentive is also intended to attract low-income categories of the population and people, who are not interested in politics at all (Chapman 101). The integration of compulsory voting would encourage them to participate, which would make the results more objective. In addition, a high level of turnout would prevent governors from adulteration. Politicians, who orient to small, but active groups, are highly likely to take advantage of such occasions stimulating their supporters.
Although the pro arguments seem to be beneficial for the entire society and determined to supply honesty, they encounter some ordeals, which make the realization of the incentive impossible. One of them is the fact that the establishment of mandatory voting violates fundamental rights (Dassonneville 225). Occasionally, abstention appears to be a conscious action demonstrating that none of the candidates represents the elector’s interests. It is also worth taking into consideration that, in particular cases, voting may confront religious beliefs. Furthermore, the opponents mark that the fundamental right to freedom of speech implies silence, as well as a willingness to express appreciation.
Another argument regards the incorrect motivation of citizenry, which can be caused by compulsory voting. In case there is a fine for abstention, an elector is likely to attend the event not for the reason of determination to support the candidate, but for the reason of avoiding money loss. Moreover, there is an opinion that the fine system implies the possibility of purchasing the right not to vote.
Finally, the aforementioned incentive may result in the irresponsibility of politicians. Today, during the agitational campaign, they set two primary goals. The first one involves a fight for rates, and the second one addresses stimulating the citizenry to attend the voting (Dassonneville 227). Depriving of the latter, politicians will perform less actively, and there will be electors, who will see the candidates for the first time. This way, the results will not be objective and dependent on accidental factors, such as attractive appearance, sex, age, and others. Although voting on a voluntary basis does not supply a satisfactory solution for this issue, the compulsory aspect will make this problem even more pressing.
Despite the fact that the establishment of mandatory voting could contribute to coping with low turnouts, non-participation of low-income and apolitical groups of the population, and the possibility of adulteration, it may raise serious problems. This incentive implies violating the basic right to freedom of speech and preventing electors from ignoring particular candidates in case they are determined to do it. Furthermore, it is highly likely to lead to the improper motivation of citizenry and irresponsibility of candidates. For these reasons, compulsory voting should not be implemented.
Chapman, Emilee Booth. “The Distinctive Value of Elections and the Case for Compulsory Voting”. American Journal of Political Science, vol. 63, no. 1, 2018, pp. 101-112.
Dassonneville, Ruth, et al. “Compulsory Voting Rules, Reluctant Voters and Ideological Proximity Voting”. Political Behavior, vol. 41, 2019, pp. 209–230. Web.