Ghastly little wankers

Compulsory first-time voting could overcome the current apathy among young voters and tackle the “inequality” in turnout rates which means older, wealthier people in society have more influence over politics, the Institute for Public Policy Research said. In a report published today, the IPPR says that all young people should be required to go to the ballot box even if they place a cross in a box marked “abstain” rather than vote for any of the political parties on offer.

The study, from the left-leaning think-tank

They would say that wouldn’t they?

For as we all know the young are more likely to vote left. Of course, they being young and ignorant.

23 thoughts on “Ghastly little wankers”

  1. It’s nothing to do with being young and ignorant it’s entirely economic self-interest. For the young have less than average wealth. They would be well-served by a one-off levelling out of all wealth. The older (and not necessarily wiser) would on average not be and thus also tend to vote with their wallets.

  2. So anyway, once it’s compulsory, what do you do to somebody who doesn’t vote? Fines? Prison? Public flogging?

  3. Actually, they’d probably not like the result. The young people who vote are generally the more politically active, Guardian lefty, student types. The young that don’t vote are the hairdressers, unemployed and car mechanics.

    They may still vote economic left, but their views on immigration and taxes on booze and cars will be a lot different.

  4. It’s the hubris that strikes me. “We’re doing very important things for you, you ungrateful oiks, the least you could do is notice and endorse our wondrousness”.

    You’ve got to have a really crappy personality to think in those terms.

  5. Australia has compulsory voting. If you don’t vote you get a minuscule fine, around $20 I think. Alternatively you can explain to a magistrate why you didn’t vote and he’ll let you off. It’s still an illiberal imposition, of course.

  6. Can never understand the logic behind this, from a democracy point of view*. Peeps don’t vote because they’re not interested enough in the issues to wish to have an influence on them. So how is compulsory voting likely to increase their interest? This is a “Never mind the quality feel the width” argument.

    *Yeah, I know. It’s got bugger all to do with democracy. Just pols scheming how they can get their vote up. If it was to increase democracy they wouldn’t want to do it.

  7. I’m against compulsory voting, but would agree with it if there was a ‘None of the above’ option. If ‘None of the above’ won then people from the constituency, picked at random, would be offered the post, until someone accepted.
    That might shake the system up a bit.

  8. Nothing to stop you from spoiling the ballot.

    Orchestrating a mass campaign of such civil disobedience would be a small, symbolic chance to remind them of their unloved status and rub their noses in it.

  9. “Nothing to stop you from spoiling the ballot.”
    Having been corralled down to the poling station on pain of pain, how many would? What they’re counting on is a cross in the box for the best performance of baby kissing & jam tomorrow promising. And what they’ll get.
    Or they’ll get themselves an ex-Austrian meglomaniac revival & a short ride to a grim end. When the ignorant vote you get ignorant votes. That’d be amausing for a limited value of amusement….

  10. Compulsory voting is very Statist, so not to be considered. However I would like a box on the ballot paper saying ‘None of the Above’, so that protest voting can be properly recognised rather than ending up in the ‘spoiled ballot’ count.

  11. “Having been corralled down to the poling station on pain of pain, how many would?”

    Not very many, if they aren’t reminded of the possibility – hence the “orchestrating a mass campaign.”
    And in such instances, I’d prefer it if they used their vote in such a way, given the lack of direct interest in current affairs.

  12. It is a fantastic idea. Let’s extend it to Parliament. All MPs must vote in person on ALL votes, fines of £1,000 per offence if they don’t.

  13. That 3% (between friends) at London University is about par for the course for voluntary organisations. I’m in one with 6000 members and election turnout is usually under 100. Can’t remember if I’ve ever voted for that organisation’s officers.

    You probably find in terms of number of shareholders the voting (rather than by-shareholding) is similar for listed companies. The only shareholders who bother to vote are the big institutional holders and the handful of activists who buy 1 share so they can make a scene at the AGM and fill their face with canapes.

  14. It’s very hard to even get dragged before a magistrate for not voting in Australia. If you are on the electoral roll and don’t vote, you get sent a letter telling you that you have been fined some small amount ($20 for federal elections – the amount differs for state and local elections). You can also return the form giving a reason why you did not vote. In recent times anything legible has been accepted as a valid reason for not voting, including such things as “I forgot”. If you don’t return the form, electoral officials are intensely reluctant to do anything further, both because magistrates and judges have better things to do with their time and also that the last thing electoral officials want is to be seen to be heavy handed about enforcing this particular law.

    This all assumes that you are on an electoral roll in the first place. If someone appears to be living at an address and has not registered to vote, the electoral commission may bug them a little bit, but if you still don’t register, nothing happens.

  15. Peeps don’t vote because they’re not interested enough in the issues to wish to have an influence on them.

    People don’t vote because they know it will make no difference worth the hassle of going to the ballot box. Or, if they’re in a safe seat, no difference whatosever.

  16. this on top of the proposal to give 16-yr-olds the vote. Even when I was 16 – and I was fairly politically interested and engaged – I didn’t think 16 year olds should have the vote. These days I’d be in favour of a return to Athenian style democracy, and withholding it until the age of 30.

  17. Even when I was 16 – and I was fairly politically interested and engaged – I didn’t think 16 year olds should have the vote.

    No-one should have the vote until they have contributed at least one Parliament’s worth of tax.

  18. @ Interested
    You are proposing rolling back centuries of “reform”
    Originally Parliament’s only purpose was to raise taxes so only men liable to pay taxes (or a simple approximation thereto) had votes (some tax-paying females had votes before non-tax-paying males but details are messy). Now Parliament rules the land and the Queen merely reigns all adult citizens have the vote.
    @ sam
    When I was 13 I was sufficiently politically interested and engaged for one of my teachers to ask me for political advice – I and my contemporaries did not realise he had his tongue in his cheek*. At that age and ever since I have been against giving 18-year-olds votes because they were too immature (the precise reason why Wilson did give them votes).
    @ James V
    My college voted overwhelmingly against joining a proposed Oxford Students’ Union and, because we couldn’t abolish the NUS, nominated the *only* member of the JCR who was in favour of the NUS to be our representative (even the college Communist wasn’t in favour – I think he abstained). So, the 3% turnout may have been higher than normal inspired by the alleged threat to student assets
    *There were a number of occasions when our various parents enjoyed the jokes that we missed (not all of them about me).

  19. Bit reductionist, isn’t it? Assuming that people would vote a certain way aged 16 to 18 because they’re thick?
    Voter trends can change and if they started supporting more classically liberal policies would you assume the same thing? Would you take umbrage if lefties said they were supporting those policies because that’s what idiots support?

    Compulsory voting aside (a disgusting idea) there’s a weird discrepancy in our various ages of adulthood. You can sign up to kill foreigners, drive a metal box at 70 mph (if disabled) and get preggers by the age of 16, but you can’t vote on any of these or have a shandy down the pub until you’re 18.

    Rather than get all smug about what a voter’s choice says about their age bracket, how about we look at setting an age we can all agree a person is an adult and they can decide these things for themselves. (I’m sure even the most ardent libertarian would agree you don’t want two year olds driving BMWs.)
    Once we’ve got that sorted, we can protect the kiddies and stop the nanny stating of people we agree are adults.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *