Friday Flash Poll: Would you still vote if you had the choice?

If you had the choice to vote would you still do it?

Friday Flash Poll: Would you still vote if you had the choice?

While the state of politics in Australia may be considered a shambles by some, our democratic system seems alive and well. Or is it?

Early polling began this week, with over 350,000 Australians already voting for the 2019 Federal Election, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.

Compulsory voting is the cornerstone of Australian democracy. Early voting takes the pressure off a notion to make the polls in a single day, but is it degrading the democratic process?

Critics of pre-polling say that the drawn-out process may be ruining the traditional election campaign.

“Early voting is not a level playing field. Recruiting and organising volunteers for three weeks is more of a challenge for smaller parties and independents than for the major parties. Larger parties with the luxury of enthusiastic volunteers can use early voting as a means of keeping them engaged for longer,” wrote Stephen Mills and Martin Drum for The Conversation.

“Our research also revealed other important campaign changes. Early voting means early policy announcements,” they added.

“Fine. But parties still hold back on providing the nitty-gritty of costings until late in the campaign. This may amount to releasing unpopular revenue measures in the final days of campaigning, and then claiming a mandate for them if they win. So early voters almost certainly cast their vote with incomplete knowledge of what the parties and candidates are offering.”

While compulsory voting prevents Australia from going down the unsavoury path of US politics (just think who would have been past presidents if the US had compulsory voting, and how different the world today might be), is convenience killing the efficacy of the election process?

“There's an argument that because we have compulsory voting we should make it as easy as possible,” writes Caitlin Fitzsimmons for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I don't buy that given most Australians support compulsory voting and don't regard it as a burden. We should make voting easy but not at any cost.”

In the last federal election, 30 per cent of votes were cast early. Australian National University Professor Ian McAllister that number could be as high as 50 per cent by the early 2020s.

There’s an argument that early voting enables Australians to make uninformed decisions, relying on loyalty to a party rather than casting votes for the best party to run the country.

“It’s a terrible trend,” writes Ms Fitzsimmons. “Our entire system of representative democracy with periodic elections depends on citizens making a collective decision at the same time with the same information. This is seriously undermined by convenience voting over an extended period of time. If a week is a long time in politics, three weeks is practically an epoch.”

But if it were a choice between early voting and non-compulsory voting, Australians may eschew the polls for want of better candidates.

Trust in politics is at an all-time low. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, democracies around the globe are distrusted by 80 per cent of global citizens.

In Australia, democratic satisfaction has decreased steadily across each of the last four governments from 86 per cent in 2007 (John Howard), to 72 per cent in 2010 (Kevin Rudd), 72 per cent in 2013 (Tony Abbott) and 41 per cent in July 2018 (Malcolm Turnbull). It is estimated that by 2025, fewer than 10 per cent of Australians will trust government institutions and politicians.

So is being forced to choose the best of a bad lot a pathway to effective government? Or is compulsory voting and pre-polling actually saving our system? If you were given the choice to vote, would you still do it?

Why don’t you tell us what you think in today’s Friday Flash Poll?

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The quiz has closed. To read the results and member reaction, click here.

And, of course, we welcome your opinion in our comments section below.





    COMMENTS

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    Infinityoz
    3rd May 2019
    10:07am
    Many of the problems in the USA are caused by their lack of compulory voting! I would HATE to see us go the same way! One of the cornerstones of our system is that we all have to vote, and dropping that requirement would lead to the awful scenario of politicians hassling people, trying to get them to come out and vote. For goodness' sake, don't advocate for voluntary voting! It would be a disaster!
    Crowcrag
    3rd May 2019
    10:29am
    Completely agree. A democratic system expects that all citizens should participate by demonstrating their views through voting. It makes parties work harder to present their policies to all, not just a target audience of rusted on voters. Preferential voting, though, is highly questionable simply because a voter’s choice has every chance of being co-opted to another party.
    Franky
    3rd May 2019
    10:34am
    What a load of rubbish! Look at all the successful countries which don't have compulsory voting! Why compare us with the US?
    Rod63
    3rd May 2019
    10:51am
    IN fact, voting isn't compulsory. What is compulsory is turning up to a polling place and having your name marked off.
    So one can make the conscientious decision not to vote.

    However, I think that is a poor attitude. We should cherish having a democracy and being able to vote and hope all people do and make considered choices.
    Paddington
    3rd May 2019
    11:20am
    Yes, I agree Trump would probably not be there wrecking havoc if voting was compulsory in America.
    I think this last two weeks is too long so maybe shorten the early voting period.
    ScoMo on tv this morning was horrible. He was hateful and all he could talk about was Labor. Labor this, Labor that, ad nauseum! So, I really would like less time on this pre election period.
    It must be exhausting for all involved as well, whether we support them or not. A lot of people involved helping as well as electioneering and their families involved must be affected.
    I have voted already so I just want the results lol!
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    11:41am
    Paddington, that's because he has nothing positive or progressive to say about the LNP. In fact for the last six years the PM be it Turnbull or Scumo have said more about what Labor did years ago than what the LNP is doing now: guess why? Do nothing so little to talk about. No energy policy, no environmental policy, no industry policy no vision for the future. Scumo would have a mantra of no electric cars long after the rest of the world stops making petrol and diesel autos. And remember who of which party said, "I dare Ford to close" Mr Hockey the then treasurer of the "jobs and growth party" and they all closed down under the LNP.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    12:34pm
    Other big problems with the USA version of democracy are the entrenched gerrymander and the electoral college system. These would be better replaced by an independent authority similar to the AEC. Examples at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/05/15/americas-most-gerrymandered-congressional-districts
    Tom Tank
    3rd May 2019
    12:59pm
    The UK does not have compulsory voting and look at the mess they are in.

    Our voting system is, by and large, pretty good and superior to anything else around the world. The only change I would like to see is the removal of the above the line voting on the Senate paper. Alternatively if that is retained then anyone elected based upon that MUST remain a member of that party they were elected to represent or resign from the Senate.
    Tom Tank
    3rd May 2019
    12:59pm
    The UK does not have compulsory voting and look at the mess they are in.

    Our voting system is, by and large, pretty good and superior to anything else around the world. The only change I would like to see is the removal of the above the line voting on the Senate paper. Alternatively if that is retained then anyone elected based upon that MUST remain a member of that party they were elected to represent or resign from the Senate.
    AutumnOz
    3rd May 2019
    1:40pm
    Farside, I tried to access the Washington Post website and they won't let me in unless I turn off ad blocker or pay the charges. Neither is acceptable to me.
    I've always thought the US voting system was very odd but the citizens know no better as they get little news about alternatives.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:12pm
    AutumnOz, there are plenty of examples if you search gerrymandered districts in your preferred search engine. There is another story on this issue at https://www.ranker.com/list/most-gerrymandered-districts-in-america/eric-vega
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    2:44pm
    Tom Tank, i suggest you first look at the list of counties with compulsory voting and then let us know whose political system and economies you admire. I see that Mexico, Egypt, Libya, Greece, North Korea, Brazil and Argentina are amongst them. Yes I see what you mean about compulsory voting providing good government and booming economies! Get real, all it does is allow for the political status quo.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    8:05pm
    Infinityoz. The main reason that the USA has a lousy government is very similar to our own, vast amounts of tied or vested interest cash pumped into political parties with strings attached. Anyone who has lived in the US knows the political power of the vested interests and lobbyists, the NRA, no gun control and tens of thousands of deaths annually; the oil and mining industries, no climate control. Australia proves that uncontrolled political donations corrupt, the USA proves that they corrupt absolutely. If you think compulsory voting ensures good democracy, ask the people of North Korea, Egypt, Libya, Mexico, Brazil, Greece and Argentina how it works out for them?
    Straydays
    3rd May 2019
    10:36am
    Will possibly/probably vote informal this time due to insufficient choice in my electorate. Compulsory preferential is the antithesis of democracy. Why should I give any preference to those whose policies I reject, just to make my vote valid? Optional preferential is democratic. But I do definitely support compulsory voting.
    Hoohoo
    4th May 2019
    3:23pm
    As long as you don't do a donkey vote, Straydays. That will only benefit some random (maybe crazy) candidate first on the ticket.

    Will you still vote in the Senate? There is a wide choice there.

    What is optional preferential voting?
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    12:07am
    Straydays, don't waste your vote, otherwise you are letting others decide who should rule, and you are also responsible for letting that happen. Remember, there are 3 Million+ Retirees who can make a difference, noting that 44 (out of 151) Lower House seats are currently on Margins of less than 5%. At least, vote OUT all non-performers!

    The best thing to do in the current situation is to be assign preferences very logically & purposefully - I recommend a strategy as follows:

    Put as No. 1 for your favourite candidate (supporting Retirees preferably - currently UAP is possible, with many other good policies, however it's your choice),
    Put your No. 2 as the alternative one who you think can win and who may be acceptable to you,
    Put all extremists at the end (including Independents claiming to be able to fix Climate Change), and
    Put the remaining in between such that the sitting Major party MP is definitely below the alternative Major party candidate (always keeping the Greens, being extremists, near or at the end).

    If enough people do this, you will a) know you did your best, b) hopefully the useless sitting MP will lose their seat, and c) maybe even your preferred candidate has a chance to win.
    musicveg
    5th May 2019
    12:43am
    GeorgeM why are you telling people to vote UAP? They practically have no policies that are good for anyone, and what is so wrong with the Greens? What you say is extreme is quite the opposite.
    Hoohoo
    5th May 2019
    4:57pm
    So true, musicveg. It's simply madness to say the Greens are extreme AND NOT MENTION One Nation, some of the Nationals or Clive Palmer's crazy UAP as extreme.

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, Clive Palmer is baiting everyone on the entire political spectrum with some tidbit that appeals to the simple-minded. I read one pamphlet delivered in my letterbox that promised he would address climate change & protect the environment, despite your claim about him, GeorgeM.

    Palmer is simply harvesting the low hanging fruit of people dissatisfied with both Libs & Labor. Thoughtless people will be netted in his web, just as Pauline Hanson has done in the past. But please, don't let Palmer hold the balance of power in the Senate, or we are in for more useless governing.

    Last time Palmer got up with his PUP party, all his Senators jumped ship to become Independents, because he couldn't control them, (same as Pauline's circus). But of course he can't control them, because he HAS NO POLICIES, just useless promises. All he wants is your vote to give him power - not represent the people who vote for him.

    And the filthy rich bastard hasn't paid his workers - our taxes paid out $70 million as compensation. He's got a bloody hide even standing for election, given his shit record.
    musicveg
    5th May 2019
    6:10pm
    What gets me Hoohoo is Libs are putting UAP as there second preference in my electorate. We have a choice of Labor, Greens, Libs, UAP, two right wing Independents, and One Nation guy who does not even live in the electorate! So the Libs guy has put UAP second, Independent 3rd, Independent 4th, Labor 5th, Greens 6th and One Nation last. Our Labor candidate is only 30 years old and female, while the Greens guy is only 19! So what hope have we got here.
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    11:57pm
    musicveg, I didn't tell anyone to vote for UAP, only suggested it as an option as he DOES have a range of good policies - cutting down the Chinese takeover, process minerals here, heard he is considering universal age pension, etc, etc. I did say it's "your choice", but given the nasty track record of Liberals, Labor and Greens, any other choice with a change of direction in a positive way is welcome. I wouldn't expect him to win the PM role or anywhere near that, but a few candidates to oppose Libs, Labor & Greens would be great. While I am not defending him, he simply used the system (for shutting down a company after siphoning off funds, with taxpayers paying workers) as set up by Liberals and Labor which has been used in the exact same manner by tens of thousands of companies - another reason to get rid of Liberal & Labor for setting up the loopholes fore their business mates. I am sure there are many other "rich" folks in parliament (including in Labor) not paying their fair share of taxes using the many loopholes - how come people don't attack them?

    Greens on the other hand are the worst, toxic (anti-national) force in fact - will destroy the economy with their climate change targets, destroy morality with their gender agendas, and finally you can sit at the bottom of the garden smoking free marijuana awaiting your living wage without working! Get serious folks!
    musicveg
    6th May 2019
    1:28am
    You sure have a warped view of the Green's, just typical attitude towards a changing world. Morality was destroyed a long time ago, it is a matter of personal choice what your own morality is, can't control people.

    Palmer just wants to dig up minerals for his own benefits. Great that he mentioned Universal Age pension but he won't be able to make that change himself. He often fell asleep in Parliament when he was part of his Palmer party. Still wonder why Libs are putting UAP as their second preference in my electorate. Sounds like they expect him to help the LIbs.
    GeorgeM
    7th May 2019
    5:07pm
    It's certainly not a "warped" view, musicveg, as the majority would have that view of the Greens. We have seen them over a long period of time. In addition to the points I mentioned, with their global citizen (refugees) approach, they will certainly destroy not only the economy, but all cultural systems here which make Australia a good country.

    I don't agree that "Morality was destroyed a long time ago,..." - it still exists in large parts of the community - not sure where you live, but many we know still want to fight for what's good for our children and grandchildren.

    On the other hand, unlike the Greens, I believe Clive is basically a good person interested in Australia and Australians, and more importantly his policies are correct for Australia - go check them for yourselves, as I am not his mouthpiece. As I said, I don't expect him to become the PM, but his party can alter the stupid policies being pursued by Libs and Labor (with Greens attached) which have destroyed and will continue to destroy Australia and it's people. We also have very little choice of whom to vote for at the moment (sensibly), and it is very much time to shake up the system.
    musicveg
    7th May 2019
    6:06pm
    I already checked out UAP and though he says a few things that I might agree with him, I don't trust his self interest and also do not support nuclear power, that was what I disagree with the most because of the waste of nuclear power being stored for 100's of years, those countries that use it have a huge problem with waste stockpiling. That has to be sorted out first. So I feel that Clive wants to open up the country to more mining so he can make more money. I agree with him saying we should stop selling off the country though. So hard to find one party that you can agree with all policies and also trust that they will follow through. I still think Green's are not as bad as you say, they have instigated a lot of positive changes too. They are also support bringing back Government owned energy etc.
    Yes morality is alive and well for some people but what I meant is for some it was destroyed a long time ago and you cannot make people be moral if they do not want to.
    Franky
    3rd May 2019
    10:42am
    Compulsory voting is itself undemocratic. The world,s only true democracy is Switzerland which doesn't have compulsory voting. Only 10 countries in the world enforce voting. We do have at least the option to protest by casting an informal vote, which unfortunately not many people are aware of.
    Old Man
    3rd May 2019
    11:19am
    Actually Franky, there are 22 countries that have compulsory voting but, you're partly correct in that only 10 of those enforce it. You may be interested to know that there are only 19 countries that are considered to be democratic so 10 out of 19 is a majority.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    12:25pm
    Franky, I agree but why does everyone keep saying we are a democracy. We are not and its clear to see. The system works like this. The parties make dishonest promises about what they will do with our money over the next ten years, they bribe us with our money. Once they get in they forget the people and their promises and do the bidding of their party funds paymasters be they big business, mining, the banks or the unions. Then three years later we go through the whole scharade again. Democracy is power by the people for the people, not power by corrupt parties for corrupt business. In a democracy the LNP would have wanted a banking royal commission for the people, but they didnt. In a democracy the LNP would want the best super system with low fees, they dont and Labor would not put thuggish unions above the law etc. etc. So what's democratic about this and why should we be forced to vote for it?
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    12:42pm
    Cosmo,
    First we are not obliged to vote, rather it's just a matter of being crossed off the voting register.

    We are a democracy, there are few restrictions on standing for election and there is a free vote. I think the issues you raise arise largely from the average citizen being disengaged from the process. The interest groups are able to get their candidates up because they organise and use this organisation to take advantage of our apathy and willingness to form opinions on belief and imperfect information.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    1:27pm
    Farside, the parliament of this alleged multi-cultural country has disenfranised 40% of the population from taking an active role in politics because they are in fact what the politicians keep boasting about, they are multi-cultural. Then try getting pre-selection to either of the major parties on merit, if that were the case we would not have the political mess we currently do have. Any system that is there to serve vested interests rather than the people as a whole is not a democracy and there is no doubt that vested Interests are a higher priority than the people. I have mentioned banks, super and unions, but why do we allow gambling to destroy families, why won't they move against companies that kill their workers, why isn't stealing an employees wages by the millions or their super the same jailable crime as an employees taking money from the till? Its because the people don't matter, we only vote!
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:30pm
    Cosmo, perhaps the point you are identifying is that it is time for a new deal. Fewer people are voting for the majors and in those cases where one candidate does not achieve 50% in primary votes then the second placed candidate can win. Independents and minor parties have benefited from preference voting in both houses.

    The system is not there to serve the vested interests. It takes a concerted effort from the electorate to reject such interests and vote in favour of a strong local candidate even if on a narrow interest base e.g. Andrew Wilkie. Electorate apathy is what keeps the majors in power. You should vote for the candidate that you believe most closely reflects your values, wishes and priorities, even if your neighbours vote otherwise.

    You raise valid point in relation to the inequity of white collar crimes and negligence in governance but there are few votes in addressing these issues. Ditto gambling. I agree the penalties for governance breaches are woefully low; if it were up to me I would be extending culpability to the auditors who sign off on these frauds.

    I am not familiar with companies given a pass for killing workers but workplace deaths are rarely taken lightly.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    3:30pm
    Farside. I respect your posts but it is not true to say that the system doesn't serve vested Interests. It does so right at the start of the process and it continues.
    I live in a National Party electorate, State and federal. We have had do nothing seat warmers for years but come election time they pour $millions of party funds paid by vested interests into mass TV, radio, print and poster/billboard, direct mail advertising. The electorate is around 200km in one direction. The local independent told me that last time after the election he was able to claim $60,000 after he had spent $100, 000 of his own money. Is this the democratic level playing field you are refering to? This is political vested political interests maintaining the status quo. Do you really think any independent would stand a chance against Clive Palmer's $60 million advertising budget. You cannot argue against him being the total package of vested interest and we know from the past that he wont keep to any of the promises he has paid to broadcast to the nation. Our democracy is corrupted by unlimited funding of parties by vested interests be they business or unions and neither of the main parties has any intention of changing it. Your's and my votes certainly wont.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    3:32pm
    I come from Switzerland, Franky. From 1968 I had to vote by law, I left the country in '69 and with the introduction of women's right to vote the compulsion of voting was abolished and it was a free decision to make use of the democratic right. I still have a vote in Switzerland but never make any use of it. Think that also excludes me from political office in this country, despite migrating here in 1970.
    Switzerland is doing quite nicely without compulsory voting, economy is fine and so is the unemployment rate. In fact it is doing so well that a visit there is too costly for us oldies. Came here 1$A being CHF 5.50 and now 1$A is CHF0.71. So you what I mean.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    3:47pm
    I might add Franky - after looking at my voting instructions from the AEC in my letterbox there are an amazing number of languages you call helping in voting. In Switzerland the voting papers are in the 4 national languages of the country: German, French, Italian and Romansh Grishun (an old language like Gaelic in Ireland and Scotland, although the Swiss version is based on Latin). I still believe if you do not understand the language you do not vote. With understanding the issues you know how to vote; in this country migrants are told how to vote.
    Voted this morning - never had to prove my identity - so much for democracy!! I remember the old Labor saying: Vote Early and Often.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    4:44pm
    Cowboy Jim, I agree with you, my wife is Swiss and we have the same exchange issues going back. We usually base north of the border in another non- compulsory voting country that seems prosperous, stable and progressive Germany which has one of the highest positive balance of payment levels of any country in the world. It's odd really because these non compulsory voting European countires seem to be doing a bit better than North Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Libya and even Greece where they do have compulsory voting. Maybe we'd do better too!
    But you are right you couldn't get into parliament, no foreign ideas allowed here mate, we're making a big enough hash of things by ourselves without too many bright ideas from outside!
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    12:16am
    Cosmo, as I said it takes a concerted effort from the electorate to reject such interests and vote in favour of a strong local candidate, even if on a narrow interest base. It does not happen because of you or I voting so I agree this can be challenging but nevertheless it is possible for independents to get elected and it will happen more going forward. Trying to change the majors from within is futile because of resistance to change, be it progressive or conservative.

    Denison, Mayo and Indi showed it can happen in the Reps and this time around several blue riband seats in Vic may give it a dash, not to mention Abbott's Warringah in NSW. It is even easier in the Senate.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    12:41am
    Cowboy, Switzerland has a good story to tell for sure but the world, and in particular Australia, changed a lot after 1970. For instance, Australia soon after did away with USD backed gold standard and pegged the dollar to the TWI basket before floating its dollar in 1983. So at the time the exchange rate was roughly 1AUD was worth about 2CHF. You would have cleaned up if you had waited a couple of years to clean out those Swiss accounts of yours.

    You are right that people should not vote without understanding the issues however they do. Language is not the only barrier. Many voters are rusted on through tribal loyalties and vote with disregard to policies while others are disengaged from the political process and vote accordingly. That said, I still favour preferential voting though I acknowledge its weaknesses.
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    11:39am
    What do you mean Cosmo?, can't get into parliament?, Mathieus Corrmann is from Belgium, didn't stop him becoming a Finance Minister did it.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    12:28pm
    Misty, s44 of the constitution ... these guys don't want to give up their foreign citizenships
    Hoohoo
    4th May 2019
    5:33pm
    I'm enjoying the banter between Cosmo & Farside. I agree more with Cosmo but appreciate the exchange of ideas, WITH RESPECT. Such a difference to many of the posters who often appear on this forum. Thanks people.

    I'm all for compulsory voting, as at least it forces people to engage a bit - just hope they're not so dull they just believe the last bit of propaganda they heard.

    On the subject of pre-polling, I think it's good for people who aren't interested in politics to be able to pre-vote. It might even dissuade the candidates from playing dirty tricks just before election day.

    Leon states "Critics of pre-polling say that the drawn-out process may be ruining the traditional election campaign" but I don't care much at all for the drawn-out process of the traditional election campaign. I'm sick of vested interests pouring out the mouths of politicians during election campaigns, especially the interests of big business, unions & media moguls.
    Mondo
    5th May 2019
    1:02pm
    Hoohoo, many thanks for your thoughts and kind words. I have enjoyed the exchanges too. Despite the jibe at me for being a foreigner which I am happy to wear with pride. It all illustrates the farce of harmonious multi-culturalism. But then I live in a rural community that regards people living at the other end of the same electorate as foreigners so what can I change?
    As you say, it makes a refreshing change to find an intelligent person like Farside with whom to have a civil debate. Some of the abuse and offensive comments on this site sicken me. Of course in this debate which is centred on the best way to vote I inevitably got one person who said well if you don't like it go and vote in another country! It seems to be a typical response to "there may be a better way of doing things," ie "FO I don't want to do things any better." Again, the fact is that this debate was specifically about the merits or otherwise of compulsory voting, so if they don't like other peoples views why join the debate? The irony is that I was asked to come back to Australia by the then Industry Minister to help make improvements, to make a difference, I failed.

    I respect your views on compulsory voting but it still beats me how it is not clearly a simple fact that if the ultimate aim is good government then this is unlikely to be achieved by compelling people who are totally disinterested in the subject and do not consider the respective offerings and arguments, to become part of the selection panel. It is after all very clear to us all that we are generally very disatisfied with the standard of Goverment that we get, so why not make changes to how we get it?

    I have the advantage of having lived and worked in many different parts of the world. In some of my formative years I lived in Sandinavia. These countries have relatively few raw materials but they are amongst the best educated, happiest, wealthiest most prosperous countries in the world. They don't mind paying more tax for better services and good government. We by contrast have a PM who is abdicating government on behalf of the people by saying "even with the total purchasing power of the entire pupulation, we can't do a better job at providing services than you can by yourselves, so we are giving you your money back!" No wonder when we buy at a cost of $1billion a fleet of military hellicopters that can't fly in the dark or in the rain to be based in Nowra where it rains quite frequently; we build a fleet of submarines that cannot safely go to sea and submerge and by the time the US weapon systems were to be installed they were so out of date they were no longer made; we have brand new war ships that can't go to sea becausee the engines don't work. No wonder the Defence Minister has given up and resigned! So maybe the PM is right, they are incompetant at spending our money.

    Anyhow; thanks again for your kind words. However, you will not be seeing my alias appear here for much longer. Frankly I find the general level of debate very depressing so I will withdraw.
    Farside
    5th May 2019
    5:07pm
    stick with it Cosmo, you never know how many of the silent majority may join the conversation if they see they can share informed opinions and have a civil exchange without rancour.
    KB
    3rd May 2019
    10:47am
    I think voting should ne compulsory. Voting is expressing which parties serve your best intrests If you do not wish to vote for any candidates then you can vote informally
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    1:03pm
    KB but none of them do, they are not there to seve the people, they are there to serve their party paymasters, if we pick up a few crumbs along the way we think we are lucky.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:32pm
    Cosmo, have a good look at your independent candidates as these are not beholden to the political machine.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    3:50pm
    Yes, Farside! Look at them, what a rabble they are.
    Sundays
    3rd May 2019
    6:38pm
    I voted today, and truly they are a rabble especially in the Senate. Every single issue represented! The rules on who can register should be tightened.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    5:53am
    Cowboy Jim and Sundays, a rabble they may be but they are your rabble and putting their numerous hands up to represent you. Hobson's choice maybe however that is democracy in action. Don't like the candidates then don't vote for them or even better stand against them. Simple. Don't like democracy, well it's not perfect but it beats the alternative most of the time.

    Currently the threshold to nominate is $2000 registration fee (refundable if winning 4% of primary votes) and 100 eligible supporters or a registered party. What would you change to cull the "rabble"?

    I sometimes think about having two rounds of voting would be a step forward, especially with the lengthey senate vote. For example, a voluntary first round and then a compulsory second round comprising the top candidates from the first round vote.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    12:04pm
    Farside, Quite besides the fact that many people with global experience and so a broad range of ideas of how things could be done better are excluded from standing for parliament, (no bright foreign ideas here mate, we're already the best in the world) there are other reasons why your preferred system of compulsory voting maintains the status quo and mitigates against new entrants who may be able to do things better.

    Let's say that 30% of the population are disengaged from politics. I don't know what the figure is but it is quite high. So when this 30% go to vote, who do they vote for? Quite obviously they will choose the names they see on the billboards around them and the mass media advertising paid for by big business or the unions, with which the public are bombarded. If this disengaged percentage didn't need to vote, we may end up with a far better informed result from people who bother to examine the respective policies.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    12:45pm
    As I said Cosmo, a concerted effort is required to engage the unwashed.

    I would like to see people instructed in civics before being eligible to vote.
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    2:02pm
    There you go Cosmo, if you have a spare $2,000.00 next election start your own party, then all you have to do to avoid a fine is vote for yourself.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    5:03pm
    Misty, sorry but this proud multicultural democratic nation disqualifies 40% of its population, its second class citizens, from standing for parliament, we don't want any foreign ideas here mate, we're the best in the world! Funny though most of our top brain and neuro-surgeons are foreigners, so are many of our top medical and other scientists, engineers and business people but apparently no one is better at politics than the home team. It took a Dane to design the Opera House, an American to design Canberra, the Poms to supply the inspiration and materials for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.a German Jew to design the Victorian railway and power systems and then for the same man as an Australian to substantially win the first world war for the British Commonwealth. Yet if he were alive today, that same great man General Sir John Monash probably one of the greatest Australians ever would not be allowed to stand for parliament today.
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    5:28pm
    Cosmo, Mathius Cormann was born in Belgium and became a Liberal Finance Minister, being b a foreigner does not disqualify you from entering parliament, you just have to become an Australian Citizen.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    5:57pm
    Yes Misty and we have all witnessed recently what Cormann is prepared to do for his political ambition, some politicians would stab their grandmother's for a win, that's not my level. Maybe he had no pride in what he was and what made him, I can understand that but I would not want to share the same chamber as him. If I was good enough to fight for this country as I was and to represent and negotiate for this country at the highest diplomatic level as I was then I am certainly not prepared to renounce who I am to sit with a bunch of xenophobes.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:06pm
    Cosmo, plenty of second-class Australian citizens in the parliament but they are all required to comply with s44 and renounce other citizenships. Not an onerous task if you want to sit in the parliament, try it, you might like it.
    Mondo
    5th May 2019
    1:18pm
    . Thanks for the suggestion Farside but I am happy enough running and working on my property, helping to feed a few people and then travelilng the world when time permits to see how others do things. Thanks for past exchanges. Out.
    KB
    3rd May 2019
    10:47am
    I think voting should ne compulsory. Voting is expressing which parties serve your best intrests If you do not wish to vote for any candidates then you can vote informally
    Returned Serviceman..
    3rd May 2019
    3:47pm
    Why should I have to turn up at a polling place or any other type of voting just to please people who think voting should be compulsory. and then make myself a hypocrite by voting informally. A bit like paying for a meal and the sneaking out without eating it.
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:30pm
    Well Returned Serviceman you can just pay the fine for not voting if that is the way you feel about voting.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    8:28pm
    Misty, why should Returned Serviceman or anybody have to pay for refusing to vote for parties that do t represent his or their i nterests? If you go i to Woollies or Coles and you saw nothing that appealed to you or you thought they were a rip-off why should you pay not to buy? Do you think the people of North Korea, Libya, Egypt, Mexico and a host of other banana republics get a better deal from compulsory voting so why do you think we do?
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    11:31am
    Is it too much trouble Cosmo to get your name marked off and then bin your papers, people have 2-3 weeks before polling day to vote. Sometimes in life we have to do things we may not always be happy with, like wearing seat belts for eg, but it is the law and so we do it, same for voting, also you cannot compare Australia with those other countries, that is ridiculous.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    12:24pm
    So Misty, how does compulsory voting ensure a better result when a very large proportion of people are disengaged from politics, don't examine the respective policies and will most likely vote for the party with the most money from vested interest donors to put into mass advertising? How is that good for democracy?

    If you get ripped off or lied to at one local store you are not forced to go back there again and if you don't you wouldn't accept a charge for not returning. Democracy is first and foremost about choice, you seem to accept a lower level of choice for what demonstrably provides a poorer outcome. If that were not the case there wouldn't be the current level of despondency about politics and the parties.

    Look at the list of counties with compulsory voting and tell us which country's system is more democratic and ensures a better standard of politics as a result?
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    2:06pm
    As I said above Cosmo, nominate yourself next election, start your own party, vote for yourself, no fine, problem solved
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    7:26pm
    As I have said above Misty, why would I? If i was good enough to fight for this country, create, hundreds of jobs in business and represent the country overseas, why am I not good enough to have my brain washed with a bunch of abusive time servers in Canberra? I have worked there, that was close enough.
    MICK
    3rd May 2019
    11:02am
    If you don't vote then celebrate what you get! You deserve it.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    2:24pm
    Mick, you'll get it whether you vote or not unless you think you hold the golden ticket but you don't. You first have to attend a few $10,000 lunches and make sure you keep up your regular donations, hire an ex-politician lobbyist or put one on the board then you get a look in about policy. Do you think the LNP looked after the banks and superannuation thieves because of your vote? Will the unions get a free run because of your vote? Will the gambling companies still be able to destroy families because of your vote? Will the crap food and beverage industries be allowed to continue fattening up our population at a cost to the health service of many billions a year? Will the politicians again resist a federal ICAC because of our votes? Will the pork barreling stop because of our votes after all we all vote and nothing changes despite the promises.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:34pm
    Fair point Cosmo but all you are doing is highlighting is how to influence the politics if you do not have the popular mandate. The challenge to you and others not happy with the state of politics in this country is how to get behind someone that does represent your views.
    Batara
    3rd May 2019
    11:12am
    A question you didn't ask: should we have preferential voting? I say yes.
    Hopeful
    3rd May 2019
    11:13am
    Preferences seems to be the problem with our voting systems. No deals just first past the post. But,no govt has the guts to even attempt to change this problem. Minority sections of the community are running our country, due to preferences..
    Rod63
    3rd May 2019
    11:31am
    The deals mean nothing unless you follow the how-to-vote cards.

    Do your own preference voting. It is a much fairer system and especially important when there are several candidates.
    Brissiegirl
    3rd May 2019
    11:16am
    I don't like to be forced to vote and certainly not under the preferential system. There are many important laws which require strict adherence, but voting should not be compulsory as those who just turn up to be crossed off the roll, or fill to in the donkey vote, can create an unrepresentative outcome. Being made to write a number beside the name of a person that I do not like or trust in order to make my vote count is undemocratic.
    Rod63
    3rd May 2019
    11:35am
    "Being made to write a number beside the name of a person that I do not like or trust in order to make my vote count is undemocratic."

    But it is the fairest system, especially if there are a lot of candidates. If there were 8, for example, someone could get elected getting only 13% of the first preference vote.
    Ted Wards
    3rd May 2019
    11:21am
    It is not compulsory to vote, it is compulsory to be on the electoral role and have your name crossed off the list...what happens next is up to you.
    Keithb
    3rd May 2019
    11:22am
    I think we should be voting on a parties ability to govern and general principles and the quality of their politicians, all of which are evident well before the election. So prepoll is fine.
    luddite
    3rd May 2019
    11:24am
    I agree with Hopeful. The biggest problem we have is preferential voting. I know we can end up with more people not voting for the winner but people will have think more about who they vote for, it would also rid major parties giving preferences to minor parties,promising to adopt some of their ridiculous programmes
    Rod63
    3rd May 2019
    11:36am
    YOU choose where your preferences go, as do I and everyone else.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:37pm
    As Rod says, you choose how to allocate your votes. Preference deals only help the feeble minded complete the forms.
    Brissiegirl
    3rd May 2019
    4:00pm
    We number our own preferences but oftentimes the preferences that remain to be numbered after our first choice is ticked just happen to be persons we do not like, trust or want to represent us. That's a fact. It is what I hear from so many people when discussing the "system". There's many people who don't like the preferential voting system for this reason.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    5:58am
    Brissiegirl, are you saying you have no preference among the other candidates after your preferred choice is eliminated? If it does not matter to you then allocate the rest of your votes however you like as you have no interest in the outcome.
    pedro the swift
    3rd May 2019
    11:25am
    There are valid arguments for and against compulsory voting. In the US system, pollies are forced to listen to the voters cos if they don't they don't get the vote. They are encouraged to contact their reps directly. In OZ they don't really care if you bitch to them about an issue cos you are only one vote, and mostly we vote for a party rather than a person. Compulsory voting at least ensures that everyone has to have a say, valid or not and then can't bitch when it they don't like what pollies do.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:41pm
    While I favour compulsory voting I think there is a strong case against. Do you really want voters that don't care or don't understand the issues voting to party lines or donkey voting?
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    3:39pm
    Farside, I see that North Korea, Libya, Egypt, Brazil, Greece and Mexico all have compulsory voting. Are you suggesting that care and understanding of the issues makes any difference to the political outcomes for their people?
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:02am
    Cosmo, of course not, it's a specious comparison. I would not trade places for quids but then I think you are probably smart enough to recognise that Australia's brand of democracy is very different to the countries you refer.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    12:40pm
    Farside, So its not about compulsory voting after all then? Its all about our superior brand of democracy that we are all so excited about and delighted with that provides us with such outstanding political outcomes. Its so good in fact that we have to compel people to vote! Now I understand. Yes why change anything when everything is so perfect, she'll be right mate!
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:11pm
    verballing me won't get you far Cosmo, I am not against improving our democratic procedures and I acknowledge the problem with compulsory voting however I prefer compulsory voting (ideally by as many engaged and knowledgeable voters as possible so the ratbags are minimised)
    invisible sock
    3rd May 2019
    11:26am
    This subject keeps coming up again & again on this site and is irresponsible in my opinion.
    If Australia is one of the best countries on the planet, why would you want to change such a fundamental pillar of our democracy?
    Old Man
    3rd May 2019
    11:28am
    As regards voting for the "best of a bad lot" I recall our history teacher who was a staunch Labor voter in an electorate that was 98% Country Party being asked which was the best party to vote for. His answer remains with me to this very day, we were told to vote for the candidate who we think will do the best for us personally, regardless of party affiliation, and not be swayed by the overall result.

    By this criteria, it gets down to a local contest where things like climate change, electric cars, coal mines and sea levels become meaningless for those living through prolonged droughts. If a candidate can promise to sort out a local problem and we can believe that they can what is happening with house prices in the city is white noise.
    dante
    3rd May 2019
    11:31am
    Australia does NOT have compulsory voting. Voting is secret. The only obligation is to show up at a voting centre. Once you are issued with ballot paper you can do whatever you like with them and put them into the ballot box.

    As a citizen we have rights and privileges. The Parliament plays a PIVOTAL role in setting these and it's both a right and an obligation to ensure that citizens PARTICIPATE into this process. Voting is the SOLE mean by which citizens can express their choice, and they are FULLY RESPONSIBLE for their choices. Citizens that FAIL TO MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE when voting are showing a FUNDAMENTAL lack of understanding of their rights and obligations as citizens.

    It's a well known and researched subject that those that advocate 'voluntary' voting are mainly Right Wing enthusiasts that consider their vote far superior to that of someone else in a lower class. The US is a classic on that and it goes as far as making voting difficult, eg voting is on a working day thus making difficult for ordinary low paid workers to vote. It's disgraceful.

    Those that don't vote or that complain that in "our system (one) is forced to choose the best of a bad lot" really only have themselves to blame. Our system is flawed because it allows minor parties to gain sufficient seats in our Senate to disrupt reforms that a major party could bring in. And they do this simply by advocating 'pie in the sky' policies that will never be implemented, eg Palmer and his blitz advertising on increasing pensions and other improbable measures, but a slice of the population is uninformed and gullible enough to fall for it and give these fringe parties the balance of power thus limiting reforms unless they get something in return.

    Unless Australia reforms its electoral laws to reduce the influence of these 'crazy parties' (eg 1 Nation, AUP, Fishers and Shooters, etc.) we run the risk of countries like Italy where some 50 parties are present in Parliament and reform are so slow and ineffective that their economy is effectively paralysed. A sensible reform would be to lift threshold to 10% before a party is assigned any seat in the Senate.
    Hopeful
    3rd May 2019
    12:35pm
    Dante, on the button, unless we rid ourselves of these 'crazy parties' we will always be in the same 'sinking' boat.
    4b2
    3rd May 2019
    2:26pm
    Dante, you are incorrect. The electoral act requires three things, turn up at a voting booth, have your name marked off, and cast the vote.

    This requires you take the voting papers and place them in the ballot box whether or not they are marked off correctly or not. Incorrect marking or blank votes are informal votes and do not count for any individual. They are however a vote, so we are compelled to vote not just turn up and have our names marked off Unlike many other democratic countries we do not the right not to vote.
    Charlie
    3rd May 2019
    11:31am
    Always somebody wants to waste a lot of time and money, changing something that doesn't need changing
    Nikolai
    3rd May 2019
    11:33am
    Definitely should be compulsory - You only have to look at the UK Brexit fiasco to see what happens when it is not
    Nikolai
    3rd May 2019
    11:33am
    Definitely should be compulsory - You only have to look at the UK Brexit fiasco to see what happens when it is not
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    3:48pm
    Nikolai, but look at North Korea, Lybia, Mexico, Greece, Brazil, and Argentina when it is compulsory. So which one is better than the UK? Your argument is flawed, it has nothing to do with compulsory voting.
    inextratime
    3rd May 2019
    4:08pm
    How on earth do you compare the Brexit vote as an example of a bad voting system ?
    The 'Brexit mess' was caused by an unelected EU government dictating policies from
    Brussels on behalf of Sovereign states. The 'mess' has been caused by the intricacies of the EU arrangement introduced since the original concept of the 'Common Market'. You'll be saying that the riots in Paris are also because of non compulsory voting system and have nothing to do with an undemocratic EU that is coming apart at the seams.
    inextratime
    3rd May 2019
    4:08pm
    How on earth do you compare the Brexit vote as an example of a bad voting system ?
    The 'Brexit mess' was caused by an unelected EU government dictating policies from
    Brussels on behalf of Sovereign states. The 'mess' has been caused by the intricacies of the EU arrangement introduced since the original concept of the 'Common Market'. You'll be saying that the riots in Paris are also because of non compulsory voting system and have nothing to do with an undemocratic EU that is coming apart at the seams.
    Paulo
    3rd May 2019
    11:36am
    Policy statements are propoganda used by all political parties in the lead up to the election, very few if any are acted upon when the election is over. These promises especially from minor parties or independents are absolutely futile and are not likely to be acted upon. The PROMISES, made by even the major parties, can only be acted on if agreed by the Parliament. It is long past the time when the media, as the fourth estate, held the politicians feet to the fire and exposed them for their childish behaviour, schoolyard chants and lack of ability to answer the questions they are asked in interviews. A pox on them, but despite all this, is this the best country to live in?
    Dougal
    3rd May 2019
    11:46am
    Voter's names are not entered on the ballot paper, so if the voter decides not to vote by simply leaving the ballot paper blank, no-one will know.
    Aileen Goodwin
    3rd May 2019
    11:48am
    I believe it is the greatest thing about the Australian voting system... every one gets to say who they want and there is no excuse for people to say they are dissatisfied with their local politician... It would be terrible if we ended up like USA or Britain.. we at least get what we deserve through our own actions...
    Aileen Goodwin
    3rd May 2019
    11:48am
    I believe it is the greatest thing about the Australian voting system... every one gets to say who they want and there is no excuse for people to say they are dissatisfied with their local politician... It would be terrible if we ended up like USA or Britain.. we at least get what we deserve through our own actions...
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    12:49pm
    spot on Aileen ... choices have consequences.
    SFR
    3rd May 2019
    11:50am
    Voting isn't compulsory, turning up & having you name crossed of is. Once you have the ballot papers you can do whatever you want, even just put the apers in the boxes without actually voting
    Eddie
    3rd May 2019
    11:55am
    The problem is that voters are uninformed. My view is that: 1. Every candidate should be given by the Government free reasonable space, and compelled to, record their own personal policies, with supported reference to verifiable reasons, in local media before the early voting period. Payments to winning candidates should be ceased. A low limit should be placed on media advertisements to prevent money controlling information . Compulsory optional preferential voting is essential to allow voters free choice and register disapproval of party control preventing proper candidate representation of their constituents.
    Eddie
    3rd May 2019
    11:55am
    The problem is that voters are uninformed. My view is that: 1. Every candidate should be given by the Government free reasonable space, and compelled to, record their own personal policies, with supported reference to verifiable reasons, in local media before the early voting period. Payments to winning candidates should be ceased. A low limit should be placed on media advertisements to prevent money controlling information . Compulsory optional preferential voting is essential to allow voters free choice and register disapproval of party control preventing proper candidate representation of their constituents.
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    1:49pm
    If voters are uninformed that is their problem, if coters are too lazy or disiterested to look up information on the candidates in their electorate, because that is who they are voting for then they shouldn't complain at the e;ection results.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    12:46pm
    No Misty, its not their problem its a national problem, its everybody's problem because as a result we all end up with the crapp politics that we are currently suffering from.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:14pm
    I am with Cosmo on this point. It serves nobody well for the uninformed, lazy or disinterested to vote someone into parliament without making an informed choice of who they helped put there.
    Misty
    5th May 2019
    1:36pm
    Maybe our political system should be a mandatory subject in schools, children, where possible could visit Parliament during a sitting session and maybe do a mock sitting in class as part of their lessons, does anyone know if politicis is taught in schools these days?, I will Google it later don't have time right now.
    Farside
    5th May 2019
    5:14pm
    back in the day it used to be taught as part of social studies but I know my kids have scant knowledge of civics.

    On 4 May 9:51 am LJ posted a link Link for Civics and Citizenship studies in the Australian curriculum, http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/civics-and-citizenship/rationale/

    LJ did not respond to question whether it is being taught.
    Ted
    3rd May 2019
    11:58am
    A few issues here.

    1. I agree with the current system of having people turn up to a polling booth.

    2. I have voted early, in accordance with the rules as I will not be able to on 18 May. Regardless, why do people vote early, possibly because nothing will change their mind and nothing in the campaign will. Abuse a rethink. Or, perhaps, they like the convenience, sure the parties and lollies dislike it but woe betide any police who wants to change the system, imagine upsetting almost 50% of voters.

    3. In a terrible campaign like this one, with many below par candidates, lack of vision, no coherent plan for the country, dirt units dragging up scandals from years ago no wonder people want to vote and get it over with.

    4. Surely this is citizen democracy in action, people seem to be saying enough let’s get it over with. Perhaps a lesson for lollies.
    Ladybug
    3rd May 2019
    11:58am
    There is no such thing as "compulsory vote", that idea is just plain stupid. If I don't want to vote for anyone I just scribble crap across the voting sheet. I have also spoken to many others who do the same thing. Forcing us to go to a crowded polling booth is just plain bloody annoying and a waste of our time.
    Rod63
    3rd May 2019
    12:06pm
    Be grateful.

    Many people in the world don't have the privilege of being able to vote. People have died for that right.

    What about the suffragettes? They fought hard to get the vote for women. Your post does them a great disservice.
    4b2
    3rd May 2019
    2:29pm
    Ladybug, you are still casting a vote which is compulsory. Your only other option is a $20 dollar fine. So much for democracy and the rights of the individual or freedom of choice.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    2:54pm
    semantics 4b2. You are given papers when your crossed off the register and there is no reason why you cannot put simply fold these and put in the collection box on your way out the door.
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:41pm
    Well I just hope all you people commemnting here about having to vote don't complain about the govt you get after the election is over, how hard is it to vote?, you don't have to go to a crowded polling booth, voting has already began in some areas and they are usually very quiet, no crowds or ques. how hard is that?, NO EXCUSES.
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:45pm
    Sorry should read "queues".
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    12:51pm
    Misty, so are you saying the people who do vote won't be complaining about the government they get? Really? Wow, so are you saying that all the people who complain about the government didn't vote? That's amazing!
    Ahjay
    3rd May 2019
    11:59am
    The leader of the elected government should be dismissed and given no entitlements at the first broken promise.
    I believe they deliberately lie to get elected and only stand for themselves, not the people.
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    12:13am
    Absolutely agree, Ahjay! The GG should give us return for the money we pay him and either do that (sack the promise breakers) or at least block any such legislation. I am not sure what the GG does, other than cut ribbons, give speeches and have great dinners, etc!
    Notoverthehill
    3rd May 2019
    12:03pm
    Does anybody find it ironic that we are compelled to vote or vote 'informally', a euphemism for not entering a vote or spoiling the ballot paper, yet our politicians have the right to abstain in parliamentary debate. Why is that privilege not extended to the electorate?

    If we must continue with the current system how about an 'abstain' box on the ballot sheet.
    Maybe it's a crackpot idea but at least the politicians would gain an understanding of the percentage of the electorate who didn't like any of them.
    Farside
    3rd May 2019
    12:55pm
    In parliamentary debate those who abstain are recorded. Voters are able to abstain by having their names crossed off the register and not entering a valid vote. Informal votes are scrutinised so if an electorate is not able to get behind a preferred candidate then that is their challenge to ensure there is a suitable candidate.
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    12:15am
    By abstaining, it means you don't care which donkey gets in!
    joy44
    3rd May 2019
    12:15pm
    We live in a country that gives us the vote ,some of my relatives in the UK have never voted ,that's there choice , even though we have had uncles and brothers that gave there lives in the 2 wars for them to vote, my answer to them , they have the government they deserve, I will always vote , even if I do not like any one , I have gone to the booth and written across voting paper what I personally feel, about them all , and wasted a vote , that's my choice and my freedom to do so, bet there are a lot of countries that envy me doing that ???
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    3:59pm
    But at least they could stand for parliament if they wanted to but I expect that like 40% of the population of this proud multicultural country you couldn't for exactly that reason? Is that democracy?
    joy44
    3rd May 2019
    12:15pm
    We live in a country that gives us the vote ,some of my relatives in the UK have never voted ,that's there choice , even though we have had uncles and brothers that gave there lives in the 2 wars for them to vote, my answer to them , they have the government they deserve, I will always vote , even if I do not like any one , I have gone to the booth and written across voting paper what I personally feel, about them all , and wasted a vote , that's my choice and my freedom to do so, bet there are a lot of countries that envy me doing that ???
    IndyLopos
    3rd May 2019
    12:30pm
    While I agree with compulsory voting, I really think that we should all be allowed vote pre-poll, online.

    1. Legally anyone is actually eligible to pre-poll by saying they are travelling on the day, however, this means normally honest people may have to be "dishonest" if they want to choose to vote early
    2. Either an automated system like the US system(specifically the immediate vote entry into a computer) or an online system like the NSW IVOTE should be optionally available for everyone who wants to use it. Yes, privacy must be ensured for this to gain majority acceptance. A well-designed online system would be far less time-wasting and would result in election outcomes known much quicker.
    3. Queues at polling stations on election day have become disgustingly long in recent elections. That is unacceptable when voting is compulsory and encourages people to pre-poll without a legitimate reason.
    4. The current outdated voting process unnecessarily wastes government resources, taxpayer money, voter time, voter effort and results in too many accidental informal votes.
    rtrish
    3rd May 2019
    1:05pm
    I have a keen follower of politics but I can only stand so much! I don't watch or listen to every single program or piece of news. Pre-polling is already limited, it is not the complete length of time from when the election is announced. Some people cannot physically vote (e.g. going overseas) so it really needs to be open for a fairly long time. I gather enough information so that I feel I have sufficient to vote the way I want to, then I pre-poll. I went and pre-polled today.
    Huskie
    3rd May 2019
    1:14pm
    I believe that it is my right to exercise my entitlement to vote or not to. Perhaps if voting was not compulsory the Political Parties would work harder to get and keep my interest in their policies.
    ardnher
    3rd May 2019
    1:29pm
    the great unwashed would not vote and I wonder which party would suffer????
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:25am
    ardnher, it is not just the unwashed that would not vote but also the apathetic, which happens to be the national condition. I think it is a fair guess you would see a decline in votes for the major parties, a rise of the minor parties. Be careful what you wish for ...

    That said there are good arguments against compulsory voting and, while I favour it, I also think it would be interesting to have voluntary voting a trial as part of electoral reform.
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    12:27am
    No, Huskie, political parties would not bother with you! Yet, you also become responsible for the donkey selected because of people not voting.

    Remember, there are 3 Million+ Retirees who can make a difference, noting that 44 (out of 151) Lower House seats are currently on Margins of less than 5%. At least, vote OUT all non-performers!

    The best thing to do in the current situation is to assign preferences very logically & purposefully - I recommend a strategy as follows:

    Put as No. 1 for your favourite candidate (supporting Retirees preferably - currently UAP is possible, with many other good policies, however it's your choice),
    Put your No. 2 as the alternative one who you think can win and who may be acceptable to you,
    Put all extremists at the end (including Independents claiming to be able to fix Climate Change), and
    Put the remaining in between such that the sitting Major party MP is definitely below the alternative Major party candidate (always keeping the Greens, being extremists, near or at the end).

    If enough people do this, you will a) know you did your best, b) hopefully the useless sitting MP will lose their seat, and c) maybe even your preferred candidate has a chance to win.
    musicveg
    5th May 2019
    12:49am
    Why repeat yourself GeorgeM? Why UAP what policies do they have that are worthwhile, the guy wants to build nuclear power stations! Green's are not extremists, they care about more people than any other party, maybe that is their problem, they want equality whereas most people still support the lords and the peasants scenario.
    lrt1951
    3rd May 2019
    1:15pm
    Even when overseas on election day I've arranged to vote, either early or on-line. I didn't have to vote, but it didn't feel right not to vote.
    Huskie
    3rd May 2019
    1:18pm
    Firstly it is not coompulsory to vote. It is only compulsory to attend a Polling Place and be given a Ballot Paper. However I believe that I have a democratic right to vote or not to vote. Perhaps if voting was not compulsory the Candidates would work harder to get and keep my interest in their Policies
    Chat
    3rd May 2019
    1:22pm
    Compulsory voting yes, pre-polling a week before yes, compulsory preferential voting a definite no. How to vote cards NO. The Australian constitution does not make reference to "parties" in relationship to voting. We vote for an individual so no party should be able to "tell" people how to vote.
    ardnher
    3rd May 2019
    1:28pm
    women fought long and hard for me to get the vote and I would be denigrating their hard work by NOT voting
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    1:36pm
    People fought hard for the right to vote, why give it up?.
    Nicky
    3rd May 2019
    1:39pm
    Voting must remain compulsory (eg Brexit). My husband and I always vote early to avoid the queues.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    4:09pm
    Yes and so it remains compulsory in North Korea (but not the prosperous stable south), Libya, Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Mexico and Argentina all have compulsry voti g so you must be right, they dont have Brexit either. What's your point, that compulsory voting gives good democracy??.
    Brissiegirl
    3rd May 2019
    4:13pm
    What has non-compulsory voting got to do with Brexit? Is this saying that if people were forced to vote the Brexit outcome would have been different? Is this saying that non-voters are so disinterested that their compulsory vote would have changed the Brexit outcome? If it is only, as implied, educated, thinking, mature and interested people who vote, aren't they the people who will make the most informed, thought-through decisions?
    Sundays
    4th May 2019
    8:14am
    Brissiegirl its saying that after the fact, many people say that they were shocked at the Brexit result, and had they known that the vote would be for Brexit, they would have voted. If they can be believed a compulsory vote would have had a much different outcome
    Brissiegirl
    4th May 2019
    8:43am
    So we are saying that if non-voters are shocked with a referendum result because it didn't result as they thought, they now declare they would have voted. This logic says oh dear if we don't get the result we expected, we will keep forcing people back to re-vote, and we will also vote on the assumption next time we get the answer we demand. There's many polls in Britain that suggest the Brexit leave vote has increased since the original vote. So if the non-voters decide to vote and the answer is the same, what then? Another vote? And another? No. People who are engaged, informed and interested should have the option to vote and if they don't, accept the democratic result. The Greens want to give the vote to immature kids of 16. I've been on the inside of the Green hierarchy and I can tell you that while most Green politicians are very nice people, their policies are extreme, usually aimed at life-inexperienced kids many of them ferals who are easily influenced and besotted with the idea of belonging to a culture more so than what's possible and best for the wider community.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    1:16pm
    Nicky, I'm with Brissiegirl on this. Take the Brexit debate as you suggest. If the 30 odd percent of people who didn't vote because they were not engaged and din't know were compelled to vote, the final result would have been even far less informed than it was anyway. These people would vote based on the loudest biased voices ( Farage and BoJo) and who could spend the most on advertising including from those who broke the law on excessive advertising. If only the engaged and informed had voted the result would have been better for everyone. Remember that the day AFTER the Brexit vote Google UK crashed with the question "what is the EU?" That tells you why Brexit is a disaster, ignorance!
    Charles
    3rd May 2019
    1:58pm
    the Preferential voting system that we have is stupid and should be abolish asap. We should have first past the post (most votes) is the winner. Just imagine if in the Stawell Gift the winner (being the first past the post) was robbed of his victory and given to the last to finish because the other runners prefered him . Ludicrous!!!! Yet this is what we have with the present Parliamentary Preferential Voting system. The first past the post can lose because of the 'Trickle Down' effect of preferences of the rest of the field(who may well be 'also ran' candidates). Also, we must keep the compulsory voting system. So what if the 'drop kick' mucks up his/her vote. Like all eligible voting Australians they have had the opportunity of voting for their informed choice. They have exercised their "right".
    Jenny
    3rd May 2019
    2:01pm
    There are many people who are not interested in politics, and only vote to avoid the fine for failing to do so. This lack of involvement results in what is known as the donkey vote. A better result could potentially come from voluntary voting, but unfortunately that relies on all interested voters making the effort to attend. This is where that system fails. I don't know what the answer is, maybe to have voting online so that people can do it in their own time without leaving home.?
    gerry
    3rd May 2019
    2:10pm
    I would say all intellectuals, businessmen, tradeunion reps and people like me who would be prepared to take a moderate form of IQ exam
    gerry
    3rd May 2019
    2:10pm
    I would say all intellectuals, businessmen, tradeunion reps and people like me who would be prepared to take a moderate form of IQ exam
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:56pm
    How difficult is it to vote?, who thinks twice about going out for a coffee etc, just call by a booth and vote or do it early to avoid the rush, just don't make excuses
    gerry
    3rd May 2019
    2:07pm
    I don't believe the rabble should be made to vote,the problem is that they will always vote for those who promise the most,or "We need a change" We now have parties which are frightened to death by the media ,This election is being hijacked by facebook ,GETUP and other anarchists
    there is a site called ''The conversation run by 22 yrold lefties in our universities who post everyday ""What we need is this and that" I always posted back 'But wheres the money coming from" so I and ordinary men in the street were expelled

    Anarchy is coming my friends ,we have the French revolution all over again ,Yellowshirts, brexiters, Italian and Greek resvolutioners who believe in the street not elected parliament
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:58pm
    The money is coming from people who do not pay their fair share of tax and companies who pay NO TAX AT ALL.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:31am
    aluminium foil shortage in your area gerry? The Conversation is not run by 22 year old lefties, well they may be lefties but not all are millennials.

    https://theconversation.com/au/team
    gerry
    3rd May 2019
    2:07pm
    I don't believe the rabble should be made to vote,the problem is that they will always vote for those who promise the most,or "We need a change" We now have parties which are frightened to death by the media ,This election is being hijacked by facebook ,GETUP and other anarchists
    there is a site called ''The conversation run by 22 yrold lefties in our universities who post everyday ""What we need is this and that" I always posted back 'But wheres the money coming from" so I and ordinary men in the street were expelled

    Anarchy is coming my friends ,we have the French revolution all over again ,Yellowshirts, brexiters, Italian and Greek resvolutioners who believe in the street not elected parliament
    DavoWA
    3rd May 2019
    2:07pm
    You don't have to vote. You have to turn up and have your name crossed off. Once you have your ballot paper you can do what you like with it.

    In this election I refuse to vote Labor, Liberal, National, One Nation, Anning's party, Cullertons' party, any religion-based party or any of the other wackos on the ballot paper. So I've had to work very hard trying to decide what to vote.

    For the Reps I'm planning to list another candidate on the ballot paper called "None of the above" and putting an X in that box. For the Senate I've selected two independents on the ballot paper that I feel I can support. I'm putting them either numbers 1 and 2 or 11 and 12 in my list of preferences. For the other 10 choices I'm allocating them to candidates who I believe have no chance of being elected, but who are not wackos. That way I will be able to comply with the below-the-line voting requirements but still ensure that none of the parties that I refuse to vote for can receive my vote via preferences.

    It has taken me a few weeks to work out how to vote like this. I've really had to work at it. But I can't do that for the Reps ballot paper so I am obliged to vote informal to lodge my somewhat pathetic little protest. Not that it matters because I'm in a safe labor seat anyway so it doesn't matter what I vote. But I'm damned if I'm going to give my vote to Bill Shorten just because our preferential voting system says I have to.
    4b2
    3rd May 2019
    2:18pm
    The seats at the moment represent a majority of safe seats for each of the major parties. Why am I compelled to vote if in a safe seat if I don't like the parties policies. There is nothing in it for me except a waste of my time. I usually vote informal rather than vote fore a party hack who has no chance of winning. Our so called democracy is stacked in favor of the politicians.
    Local members represent their party not the electorate. The Senate was supposed to be a States house not a rubber stamp for the party in power.
    We need electoral reform, and electronic voting.
    WideBayMike
    3rd May 2019
    2:21pm
    I grew up in NZ and the first time I was eligible to vote was 66. I didn't bother. 69 I was in Australia. 72 I was in NZ but didn't vote. 75 I was motivated to vote the government out after three years of insane socialism. Non compulsory voting works just fine. NZ usually gets over 50% of eligible voters to vote. That's fine with me and a better system than compulsory voting. After all if you don't vote you are in no position to complain about the government.
    Mondo
    3rd May 2019
    6:10pm
    I agree WBM, no-one could argue that NZ has inferior government to us and no upper house to worry about either. But I didn't know you had to be 66 to vote? Not much crime over there either, they're all in Long Bay Mike!
    Triss
    3rd May 2019
    2:30pm
    I do think everyone should vote but I also think we should be allowed to only vote for candidates we agree with not be forced to number every box.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    1:18pm
    And what if we don't agree with any of them?
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    1:49pm
    Go to a country where you agree with their voting system maybe, this is Australia, it is our law so get used to it.
    rob101
    3rd May 2019
    3:05pm
    The American Voting can be over ruled by the Electoral College as happend in the last election.Trump did not get the majority of the Popular vote but they still gave him the Presidency.
    Rob101
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    4:02pm
    In Lismore the National Party got just under 50% of the vote but we have a Labor member thanks to the Greenies. So Trump deserves his win!
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:52pm
    What happened to the Liberal vote Cowboy Jim, didn't they support their Coalition partner?.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    5:14pm
    They do not normally contest the same seat, Misty. Lismore is a country seat so the National Party is the natural choice for Liberals.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:45am
    It is possible for a party or coalition to win the majority of preferred votes without winning the election. This can occur any time you have votes decided by electorates and has happened five times since 1945.
    Returned Serviceman..
    3rd May 2019
    3:41pm
    We are supposed to have rights in a democracy what about our right not to vote and if we do have to vote why can't we just vote for the candidate we want to not a lot we don't want with preferential voting. You have your right to vote but tell me I can't have my right not to vote.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    3:59pm
    Absolutely - first-past-the-post voting only. This morning I had to put a number against a lot of names I do not want.
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    4:50pm
    You do have the right not to vote Returned Serviceman, don't vote and just pay the fine simple as that, you don'e even have to go near a polling booth.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:51am
    First past the post is fine if the winner achieves 50% of the vote. Hanson lost Blair in 1998 with a comfortable 36% of primary votes after the majors preferenced each other ahead of Hanson resulting in a Liberal win.
    inextratime
    3rd May 2019
    4:12pm
    So our brilliant electoral system revolves around just two major parties who, thanks to compulsory voting know that they will get around 40% of the votes each without raising a finger. So you need to pursued 11% of the population that you are the best party and so you chuck money at every minority group that makes up that 11% and bingo you win. Great system,
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    12:17am
    Maybe things are changing - at least in this YLC poll, there are 32% swinging voters!
    Farside
    5th May 2019
    5:21pm
    that is why we have an upper house to review legislative changes proposed by the government.

    And in the lower house, seat by seat ... there will be a number of high profile libs closely watching the count in their "safe" seats with fingers crossed in the hope they make 40% or better on the primary votes.
    inextratime
    3rd May 2019
    4:12pm
    So our brilliant electoral system revolves around just two major parties who, thanks to compulsory voting know that they will get around 40% of the votes each without raising a finger. So you need to pursued 11% of the population that you are the best party and so you chuck money at every minority group that makes up that 11% and bingo you win. Great system,
    David
    3rd May 2019
    4:54pm
    I wholeheartedly agree with compulsory voting. It is a treasured right being a mature democracy. If I had a say I would abolish the Senate as it is & has been since Paul Keating was in ‘unrepresentative swill”. It is unworkable, has exceeded its mandate to review legislation not block (except Supply) legislation from the House of Representatives. At the very least start reducing the senators each election until we get to two for each state & one for each territory.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd May 2019
    5:20pm
    Agree with abolishing the Senate, not agreeing with compulsory votes, unless coupled with "first-past-the-post" system. Hate the One-eyed Cat Party, Left-Handed Lesbian Party, Social Misfits Party etc. standing for election just because they can.
    Bloss
    3rd May 2019
    4:55pm
    Approve pre-polling; however, three weeks pre- is too long and unfairly expensive for independents and very small parties. Suggest just one week or eight days. The public needs sufficient time to examine the issues and policies, promulgated and impartially criticized, prior to voting.
    old geiser
    3rd May 2019
    6:12pm
    What a load of crap compulsory voting is. I have been forced on the penalty of a fine to front up at the polling station to cast my donkey vote. The reason I always donkey vote.. my wife who is a New Zealander and chooses not to be an Australian citizen, She contributes to society here with the taxes she pays and is a law abiding member of society however she is disenfranchised by not being permitted to vote. I understand that a change of law is under way to allow prisoners to vote. These people contribute nothing to society and in fact are a burden on the tax system. Can anyone understand why I feel the way I do??
    Misty
    3rd May 2019
    7:15pm
    If you don't think enough of Australia to become an Australian Citizen then of course you should not be allowed to vote.
    Cowboy Jim
    4th May 2019
    8:43am
    Agree with Misty about non citizens voting. I think Bob Hawke brought in the law stopping British subjects from voting in Aussie elections. Remember my wife got fined for not voting in 1977, she was on an Irish passport. Everyone born before 1949 in Ireland was considered a British subject but she was born later; the fine was withdrawn when that was explained to authorities.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    9:25am
    geiser, are you saying you donkey vote because your non-Australian citizen wife cannot and therefore gamble on the election outcomes? Solidarity - way to go.
    GeorgeM
    5th May 2019
    12:20am
    So, by not voting (or donkey voting), you are also responsible for the donkeys we end up getting! If people were more engaged, the politicians would maybe care more too!
    Spud
    3rd May 2019
    6:22pm
    Non compulsory voting ? Hello Brexit
    Sundays
    3rd May 2019
    6:34pm
    People on other countries have died for the right to vote. We are lucky to have compulsory voting
    Teddyb
    3rd May 2019
    6:37pm
    My view is that if you have non compulsory voting there would only be the stalwarts that vote and so not representative of a large percentage of the population. First past the post voting, that non preferential could also lead to person being elected that did not receive over 50% of the vote so the majority of that seat electors still did not get the person that the majority wanted. My neighbour (long gone) once said he went to the booths, got his name ticked off, collected his papers and put them straight away into the boxes without a mark on them. His choice but my opinion is that if you do not vote (even if the person you vote for does not win) you cannot whinge and whine about what the government is doing.
    Teddyb
    3rd May 2019
    6:37pm
    My view is that if you have non compulsory voting there would only be the stalwarts that vote and so not representative of a large percentage of the population. First past the post voting, that non preferential could also lead to person being elected that did not receive over 50% of the vote so the majority of that seat electors still did not get the person that the majority wanted. My neighbour (long gone) once said he went to the booths, got his name ticked off, collected his papers and put them straight away into the boxes without a mark on them. His choice but my opinion is that if you do not vote (even if the person you vote for does not win) you cannot whinge and whine about what the government is doing.
    saintagnes
    3rd May 2019
    7:05pm
    Compulsory voting in Australia is a farce. It is only compulsory to have your name struck from a register and receive a ballot paper. What you do with the ballot paper is entirely your choice.
    Additionally we should abandon preference votes and go to 1st past the post.
    Politics in Australia are an absolute joke.
    Hoohoo
    5th May 2019
    5:09pm
    Compulsory & preferential voting is like a safety net to protect us from those who would be dictators. If we didn't have it, very wealthy megalomaniacs like Clive Palmer or Donald Trump could just buy their way into power.

    You haven't thought it through, saintagnes.
    Eddy
    3rd May 2019
    8:48pm
    I believe in our preferential voting system. With compulsory attendance at a polling place it is, without doubt, the best practical system; not perfect but the best we can hope to achieve at this time. An alternative to early voting could be mail or postal voting, similar to the system used for local council elections. I treasure my vote, compulsory attendance at a polling place is our best protection against government by minority.
    Thoughtful
    3rd May 2019
    11:02pm
    In my first year at high school we had a teacher who involved the whole class in a mock election. Different students were candidates, some belonging to parties and some independent. They each had to try and win the vote of the rest of the class with policies and had their advisors ( also students ). Voting was compulsory for the whole class. Ballot papers were drawn up. Results were counted under the different systems used in Australia and the results compared and discussed. What influenced our voting was also discussed.

    If we are to have compulsory voting then I feel it should be compulsory for all students to take part in such a mock election. Obviously some students will take more understanding and interest than others but everybody will have had a chance to see how elections work and how they are influenced.

    I for one will give my number 1 vote to any politician prepared to bring back core subjects like this into our education system. It used to be called "Social Studies."
    Thoughtful
    4th May 2019
    1:05am
    Compulsory education about compulsory voting.
    mudGecko
    3rd May 2019
    11:28pm
    If everyone boycotted and didn't vote because of disgust with politicians, they would lie and spin it as a vote of confidence in the status quo.
    musicveg
    4th May 2019
    2:13am
    Many people choose not to vote despite the compulsory voting we have, they just get their name crossed off the roll. Many people have no idea about how politics work or even care about it. Many people are illiterate and may not have the intelligence to even vote for what they believe in if they even believe in anything. I don't understand how so many people here think non-compulsory voting is going to change anything because it is too easy to make a donkey vote if you cannot be bothered to vote.
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    11:15am
    Yes musicveg, you only have to listen to the comments some people make when interviewd on TV about the election, some don't even know there is an election , some don't even know who the parties are or what they stand for, wouldn't have a clue who their local member is, so how do we overcome this problem in Australia when it comes to politics?.
    Hoohoo
    5th May 2019
    5:15pm
    At least there'd be some people who will give their vote some thought, that otherwise wouldn't vote at all is it wasn't compulsory.

    I can't understand why basic politics & critical thinking isn't taught in schools, though it could be problematic for some people. No doubt teachers would be accused of brainwashing children with their bias, just as the ABC is accused of bias, even though they are just about the only news service who shows both sides of the argument, without being compromised by corporate donations & corporate interests.
    ex PS
    7th May 2019
    9:08am
    Schools no longer teach us how to think, they teach us how to pass exams.
    Farside
    7th May 2019
    10:14am
    Sweeping statement there PS. The younger people you mix with may not be capable of critical thinking however that is not my experience. Your statement begs the question of why their teachers, largely trained by gen-boomer teachers, have not been able to teach thinking in schools today?
    On the Ball
    4th May 2019
    9:44am
    Think not about which party you WANT in power, and think about the mob you want NOT in power. If you dont vote, somebody else WILL vote for the mob you DONT want.
    VOTE! Its not rocket science!
    ex PS
    7th May 2019
    9:06am
    Yes, On the Ball, a common sense policy that I will be using this time and have used for many decades.
    They all want to spend our money, I decide on the party that spends it on what I believe in.
    LJ
    4th May 2019
    9:49am
    It is not surprising given the continual attacks by activists, some funded by an overseas billionaire currency dealer notorious for fomenting leftists disruption in the Western democracies, that the social contract is being contested and some even abuse the responsibilities of a citizen that have made our culture so successful that others pay smugglers to get a share of it.

    Cynical politicians whose quest for personal power and prestige deserve a mention upfront for NOT valuing and supporting and supporting our culture and way of life. They are doing the exact opposite: driving wedges in society and a good example of that is the truly nasty blame-shifting of all of the ills of society (many invented and groundless in reality!) onto the older generation and particularly 'Baby Boomers' who have become the most hated generation.

    Civics and citizenship is part of the Australian curriculum [click for link], but politicians and the chatterati on TV model the very opposite and there is no valuing of our Judeo-Christian values and the fortunate inheritance of our system of government and law from the UK. In the place of that there is a constant direction of unfounded sledging towards anything that our forebears valued and achieved through their blood, sweat and tears.

    As a test, I wonder how many older people and YLC posters might provide a measure, feel more valued and wanted today (when compared with their parents and grandparents generations) and whether they believe that the social changes and social reengineering for Australia that certain elements are pushing (and mimicing their counbterparts overseas) will serve them well for the future.
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    11:09am
    Commenting about the LNP are you LJ?.
    LJ
    4th May 2019
    9:51am
    Link for Civics and Citizenship studies in the Australian curriculum,
    http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/civics-and-citizenship/rationale/
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    12:56pm
    Is this being taught in all schools now? My three kids are lacking understanding in civic and australian history, youngest is still in uni.

    I have developed an appreciation of our social studies teachers back in the day and wonder if we really miss what is being taught in its place these days.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    1:42pm
    Slightly off the subject could some one tell me why we don't hear anything about Border Protection in this election? Remember only a few weeks ago the LNP was hyperventilating about a thousand Manus and Nauru sick refugees flocking to Australia, filling our hospital beds so locals would be denied treatment all at a cost of $16 billion. Then Christmas Island was reopened with a fanfare at a cost of $186 million and closed again quickly and quietly. This was going to swamp the nation two months ago but it doesn't rate a mention now. Was it all just another lie by the Lying Neanderthal Party or just part of our superior democracy? And where is our dear leader of the Interior Ministry anyway? Still looking for reds under the beds?
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    1:59pm
    No, planning how to topple Scomo no doubt, even though he says he won't, anyway that decision may be taken out of his hands if he loses his seat in 2 weeks, he is just hanging on by a thread.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:31pm
    You don't hear about border protection because the facts are out and do not fit with the LNP narrative. Despite all the bluster and bravado it is well known that the big drop in migrant boat arrivals occurred after Rudd announced the PNG solution in Jul 2013. The arrivals would not have exploded if the hypocrite laden crossbench had not joined with the LNP to torpedo the Malaysia solution in Sept 2011. Since then we have had the oxygen thieves Morrison and Dutton exploit the poor buggers that got nabbed and indulge in what they do best a FUD campaign to prey upon the fears of the ignorant.
    Mondo
    4th May 2019
    7:59pm
    I think we have to some sort of a accord, thats good. I raised the point because at the time that Dutton was explaining why he approved the visas for two French aupair girl's who entered the country illegally, for a couple of mates, I was being operated on by a brilliant neuro surgeon from the Cradle of Civilisation in the Middle East. This brilliant man who has saved numerous Australian lives, plus a few foreigners like me, came here as a refugee and was regarded by the same department as an undesirable alien. I thought this put things Into perspective.
    musicveg
    4th May 2019
    8:13pm
    Sure does Cosmo, goes to show you want you can get if you know the right people in the right places or just pay the money (bribe). I have heard of the neuro surgeon what an amazing achievement and so many refugees have done so well we should not judge them all the same.
    haveachat
    4th May 2019
    2:29pm
    Preferential voting should be abolished and first past the the Post wins. Those small minority parties that you have to preference, some you never have head about, how can you tick any of boxes when you cannot understand their policies, some are way out of this planet, they will never be able to Govern in own right and WE have to tick one of those on our Ballot paper, other wise our vote will be informal!!!!!! So just cant justify any of those candidates, so my vote will be informal!
    Misty
    4th May 2019
    3:55pm
    Doesn't matter how many people vote informal, it was only about 5% last Federal election, one of the 2 major parties will always be the winner. If you are not happy why don't you get your own party going, only costs $2.000.00 to nominate apparently.
    Farside
    4th May 2019
    6:38pm
    If you vote informal then you simply don't care who is elected. Fair enough if that is a deliberate choice, no different to abstaining.
    musicveg
    4th May 2019
    8:19pm
    Just had a look at the list of candidates I have to choose from in the lower house. 7 options, Liberal, Labor, Greens, United Aust. Party, One Nation, and two independents. Checked out the Independents one says not asking to preference, one says preference to United Aust. I was sent the Libs How to vote guide, Libs are also preference United Aust (second), 3rd preference for libs the Independent that chose United Aust as his preference, 4th is the other Independent, then Labor, then Greens and One Nation Last. Just goes to show no matter who you put for your first preference you better make sure you make your other choices the way you see fit and not follow the ballot paper. Have not got any of the other parties how to vote info yet. But making up my own mind by reading up on policies etc.
    BillF2
    4th May 2019
    11:06pm
    Compulsory voting is the method by which the winning party can claim it has a mandate. It was designed by the parties for the parties - not the voters. It does not guarantee good representatives or good government. Similarly with preferences. The saving grace of the system is that one does not have to vote for any of the candidates if none are up to the mark, simply have our name crossed off at the polling station.
    The fairest and most accurate indicator of support for a candidate is 'first past the post', with no preference deals. We may still end up with a bunch of donkeys, but at least we will know it hasn't been elected by mathematical trickery.
    Pass the Ductape
    5th May 2019
    5:25am
    Most sensible comment so far.
    Nerk
    6th May 2019
    11:07am
    Compulsory voting works fine in Russia.
    Cowboy Jim
    6th May 2019
    3:15pm
    Stalin said: It's not the voter that matters but who's doing the counting! Maybe that's the way it work here too.
    ex PS
    7th May 2019
    9:01am
    So, if we don't have compulsory voting, and only 10% of the population bothers, do we accept that the people they voted in are a legitimate government?
    At what stage do we say that we have not got enough votes to legitimize a government or do we just accept what we get.
    If you think about it, there are some very odd but very well organised people out there who could cause a great deal of harm in such a situation.
    Farside
    7th May 2019
    10:18am
    PS, imagine further if preferential voting done away with in conjunction with a small vote then you could see elected candidates with fractional support.
    Misty
    7th May 2019
    10:44am
    Or parties like CP and PH'S and who wants that.
    musicveg
    7th May 2019
    1:36pm
    But it is still possible even without compulsory voting if many people do not vote correctly or do an informal vote.

    Clive Palmer is like the Big Yellow Peril abstract art installation that they put in Melbourne federation square a long time ago. No one knew what to make of it and after many people complained it was moved to a less obvious location.


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