Essay on Compulsory Voting
SUNY Empire State College
Topic of the paper
Democracy is built on freedom to vote and have your political say, but the majority of people in the world’s ‘greatest’ democracies never vote at all. Is compulsory participation in the political system the answer? Investigate countries which make voting compulsory – weigh the advantages and disadvantages – then argue for or against this policy.
Compulsory voting solves the problem of low political participation during elections; therefore, winning politicians and political parties cannot be considered non-legitimate in mandatory voting. On the other hand, mandatory voting has more …show more content…
Advantages of compulsory voting The biggest advantage of compulsory voting is high political participation. The majority of people go to elections. When we compare a political participation in counties using mandatory voting with those not using it, countries with compulsory system of voting have usually 30%-50% higher voting turnout. Dr. Engelen analyzed the data from 2004 in European Union and the result was very clearly readable. In 2004, there were only two countries in EU using mandatory voting. These two countries had voting turnout of 90%, while the average of EU was 45.6% in 2004. The difference was almost 45%, so compulsory voting definitely reaches very high political participation. Compulsory system of voting can solve the problem of political legitimacy. Political legitimacy is a very discussed issue currently, because voting turnouts are very small and some people claim that their political leaders are not legitimate. Dr. Arend Lijphart from University of California in San Diego uses as an example of non-legitimate leader presidency of Bill Clinton. Clinton became a president even though he received only 43% of total votes. Turnout during these elections in 1992 was only 55%, it means he was actually voted by less