Friday, October 29, 2004

Mandatory Voting?

This is truly good stuff on the merits of mandatory voting (Australia has it):
Many of the least attractive elements of our election system derive from the fact that the composition of the actual electorate changes from year to year. Thus, both parties have reason to try and launch drives to register 'their' voters. This, in turn, raises the specter of fraud. The specter of fraud, as we've been seeing, can be a useful tool in trying to prevent the other guy's supporters from voting. Negative advertising, meanwhile, is primarily useful as a way of suppressing the other side's turnout, and much of the most egregious policies and rhetoric you see in any campaign season are aimed at 'motivating the base' rather than broadening a candidate's appeal.
Now just throw away the electoral college and teach young Americans to talk about politics and voila! you've got a vibrant Democracy again!

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