Tory Maguire has a suggestion for those who think the way to deal with ignorant and uninformed voters is to make voting voluntary:
Those who argue that the uninformed aren’t adding value to our democracy should consider the idea that perhaps the answer is to inform the uninformed.
Exactly. Voluntary voting brings with it a whole host of negatives – electoral commissions that have no idea how many people will show up and thus can’t adequately plan for it, so you have people actually being prevented from voting (see recent US and UK elections); disenfranchisement of the poor; a further coarsening of our politics as parties ignore the moderate to chase the fanatical. And the one problem with it – that ignorant people have the same vote as the most informed, well, that’s incentive for the rest of us to make sure that the education system is not producing ignorant people.
As for “I don’t want to vote for any of them” – that’s a cop-out. Surely you have some you prefer to others – or, if you’d rather look at it this way, some you detest more than others. If there really isn’t a party out there advocating your views, perhaps you should sit down and figure out what they actually are and if there isn’t a party close to them, then start your own. (I bet there is a party out there close to your views, though.)
It’s not good enough to say “I have no opinion”. Really? You can’t decide between locking refugees in the remote outback and refusing to process their claims and processing them fairly and quickly? You can’t decide between governments wasting your money on political advertising or being prevented from doing that? You can’t decide between whether mining companies should pay more tax on the extra prices our resources are now receiving or not? You’re seriously incapable of forming an opinion on the issues of the day?
If that’s the case, the problem isn’t with the options you’re being offered. It’s with you.
PS Final retort to those who say “my vote doesn’t count” – it counts just as much as everyone else’s. Why should they take their share of responsibility for what happens to this country and you should not?
UPDATE: And rest assured, these sanctimonious pricks* will be voting. Do your part to counter their efforts to turn Australia into a theocracy.
*Note: that epithet is not directed at ordinary Christians – it’s directed at the hypocrites and liars at the “Australian Christian Lobby”. Especially Jim Wallace.