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democracy is too important
|Posted By: jeff garsed on November 1, 2004|
|democracy is too important By: jeff garsed 11/1/2004|
As an Australian I am proud that through our laws we see democratic participation as so important that voting is compulsory.
A voting turn-out of 37%, as I believe was the case in the last US Federal Election, can hardly be considered sufficient to constitute representative government. The poor especially, for all their understandable cynicism about political processes and leaders, need to be reminded of the gravity of the outcome of election day. After all it will impact their lives more heavily than most others.
Rights in our society should be balanced by responsibilities.
It may sound heavy handed to fine people for non-participation. In reality, here in Australia, few people are fined. Only those who show contempt for the law as well as responsible citizenship, by providing no explanation for their failure to vote, are fined. Similarly, I believe that the good professor had no intention of failing anyone who showed genuine dissent.