Victoria votes and they count because we live in a democracy and that means a way of governing that depends on the will of the people. Many believe it is the majority rule but that is not quite right because people vote on issues with different agendas. For example, in Australia the population of people that want euthanasia or gay rights, or abortion is small but those that want these issues addressed come out to lobby for their importance. Democratically voting against those that equally oppose these rights.
We have just the Victorian State Elections and many are wondering what’s the point when the parties seem to be so similar. Indeed, many complain there are promises that take forever to deliver and are often broken creating skepticism.
However, we must never forget that the most important reason for voting is that everyone can. If we look at America, we can see that the extremely wealthy are clearly the most represented. Who benefits from private health care? Who are the most incarcerated? Who has easier college/university access? Who gets the best tax incentives? The list is endless and even the day they vote in the US is a Tuesday – who can go then?
There are two sides to the voting debate but when governments argue it should not be compulsory or try and make it hard for people to vote you should wonder why.
Reasons for voting
- Compulsory voting suggests that decisions made by democratically elected governments are more legitimate when higher proportions of the population participate.
- Voting voluntarily is said to have an educational effect on citizens.
- Political parties can derive financial benefits from compulsory voting since they do not have to spend resources convincing the electorate that it should in general turn out to vote.
- Individuals that get paid endorsements owe political favours once elected – very problematic in the US
- That democracy is government by the people – all people – it is every citizen’s responsibility to elect their representatives.
Reasons for not voting
- It is argued that voting is not consistent with the freedom associated with democracy.
- Voting is not considered an intrinsic obligation and the enforcement of the law would be an infringement of the citizens’ freedom associated with democratic elections.
- Many countries with limited financial capacity may not be able to justify the expenditures of maintaining and enforcing compulsory voting laws.
- It has been proved that forcing the population to vote results in an increased number of invalid and blank votes compared to countries that have no compulsory voting laws.
Voting and real estate
Real estate in Australia is not just accommodation, it’s an investment, a retirement strategy and security. Taxes and legal obligations are intrinsically attached to real estate and we vote to ensure what we want.
Major taxes like Stamp Duty and Land Tax impact our capacity to own or invest. Death Duties and Capital Gains Tax are hot-ticket items when governments want to raise revenue.
Taxes and legal obligations are intrinsically attached to real estate and we vote to ensure what we want. Even changes to Negative Gearing have been thwarted in the votes of citizens in Australia.
Voting is a drag for some people disillusioned by not feeling represented and that is fair enough. However, we have a say and donkey votes are still a very small percentage of the population indicating we like being heard.