Election time brings with it the old complaints of libertarians and the lazy who mumble about having to make their way to the voting booth to cast their vote. While Labor, Greens, and Teals down half a dozen espresso shots at the local hipster cafe before heading off to the polls, it is the conservative side of politics that drags its feet.
You’ve heard it before. ‘If we live in a free democracy, we should be free not to vote!’
Aside from the perfectly valid argument that belonging to a nation carries with it some responsibilities, chief among them electing the government every three-ish years, there are serious reasons to hold on to compulsory voting if you value a calm, centre-right government.
The rules state that you have to get your name marked off, not necessarily cast a valid vote. As far as fraud protection goes, it is your arrival at the polling booth that matters. In a society where you have nearly 100 per cent of registered voters showing up to vote, it leaves very little room for a nefarious entity to use the remaining names to cast false votes. Although it would be better if the AEC started using real-time electronic voter rolls to mark names off and prevent multiple voting, participation is the next best thing to keep democracy safe.
Only the politically engaged should vote
For those that value calm political democracies, the last thing you want is the majority of votes coming from the ‘politically motivated’. Those individuals who are most active in the policy conversation tend to be the easiest to radicalise – and they predominately fall to the fringe left.
These are the individuals that glue themselves to streets, scream at the sky, and have a shrine devoted to Greta Thunberg in their bedrooms surrounded by vegan candles.
When voting becomes optional, there is an immediate and dramatic shift to a majority left-wing vote as conservative voters stay at home ‘not bothering’. The truth of countries like Australia is that the disinterested bulk of hard-working people tend to vote conservative – to preserve their way of life. They are, fundamentally, resistant to change and any change on offer has to pass the ‘pub test’. When they are not required to vote, the country sits at the mercy of highly motivated political activists on the left.
It is the same reason that the Labor Party has been trying to lower the voting age. They want access to the Climate Change brainwashed youth who have no real-world experience to balance out the schoolyard propaganda drowning our education system.
An election of voluntary votes is an election dominated by the hard left that preys upon the quiet majority of politically disinterested workers.
The voices of those who don’t care about politics are the most important voices of all. They are the ones least affected by apocalyptic propaganda. They are the ones that side-eye the ridiculous policies that have been normalised within the crucible of politics and social media. When they vote, they are more likely to take a calm and rational view of the future of Australia.
Think of the politically disinterested as a ship’s ballast. They keep the vessel stable, centred, and calm.
The politically vocal on both sides of the spectrum attempt to steer the nation toward rocks and shoals, but while ever we have the sensible centre forced to show up at polling booths across the country, there is hope that Australia will be saved from the radicals and activists.
Only experts and those who understand policy should vote
This is the ‘argument from authority’ redressed by those political animals frustrated that the majority don’t agree with their ‘great ideas’.
Since Greek times, it has been observed that a small group of experts makes worse decisions than a large group of ordinary people. There’s something to say about the evolutionary pressure of ‘selfishness’ that results in large groups of people voting for their own interest evening out into a good decision for civilisation at large.
Experts vote for ‘what they think’ is right, whereas an entire nation of individuals vote for ‘what works for them’. That means that every corner of life is weighing in on policies and giving a real-world vote on their merit. Sure, some voters won’t understand the detail of economic policy, but en masse they tend to make good choices. More importantly, if one election presents a bad result, those same voters rarely make the mistake a second time because it is their hip pockets that hurt whereas experts, sheltered from the consequences of their ‘expert’ decisions, make mistakes over and over and over…
If you are one of those libertarians or conservatives moping about the effort of turning up at a polling booth today, just remember that it is the left who want to keep you at home. The left who don’t want your vote. The left who will cheer if you shrug off the most basic responsibility of citizenship.
Millions of people died throughout history to give you the right to vote.
Don’t waste it – and don’t complain.
Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at donor-box.
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