There are those out there who believe that voting in national and local elections should be compulsory and any who don’t vote ought to be fined for having the temerity to either not be interested or in a lot of cases not supporting any of the candidates listed. So it comes as no surprise that there are proposals to make it mandatory for anyone who is old enough to vote for the first time to be forced to vote…
Young people should be required to turn out at the first election in which they have the right to vote, the IPPR think tank has said.
The plans, to be set out in a forthcoming report, involve a small fine for young people deciding not to vote at their first election.
They would also offer first-time voters who did not back any political party a “none of the above” option.
Labour is reportedly considering whether to back the idea.
Shadow lord chancellor Sadiq Khan has also said his party might propose lowering the voting age from 18 to 16.
IPPR researchers found that the UK has one of the largest differences in voter turnout between young and old people in Europe.
In 2013 local elections, an estimated 32% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, compared with 72% of those aged over 65, the think tank said.
I’m not surprised Labour want to lower the voting age to sixteen as most adults who work quickly realise just which party want to get their hands on their money for their grandiose (and useless) state schemes. Sixteen year olds think that helping people the Labour way is just fine and dandy as they’ve never been in a position to count the cost of socialist idiocy, so are more likely to vote idiot.
Still at least they are offering first time voters a ‘none of the above’ option, though it does appear that only first time voters will get such an option.
Yet none of the people involved in the report seem to have an idea as to why it is that people don’t want to vote. Instead of making an effort to understand the disconnect, they feel it ought to be mandatory to get out there and vote, whether you want to or not. Freedom of choice also includes freedom to take responsibility for your actions or inactions. Hence we basically have the politicians we deserve as a lot of people who do vote don’t understand the issues and the cost and we have a lot of people who can’t be bothered because they can’t see the point as ‘the government always gets in’ and it makes no difference to their lives either way.
Coercion will not work, it won’t produce anything other than people voting once because they have too (though this may well suit Labour) voter disconnect from the political system is the real problem and forcing people to vote if they qualify for the first time will not solve this.