The world we live in has a history, full of wars, most of which were fought because of the greed for power. People practice power because they want to obtain such a piece of land where they can live freely. This freedom, in most general terms, is known as democracy. In some countries, it is necessary for all citizens to vote and in some countries, it is up to the citizen whether they want to vote or not. Democracy is, “government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system”, as defined by Oxford Dictionary. Then, in order to sustain the power and freedom, a group of people living in an independent piece of land has always required a leader. These leaders are chosen by a process called elections. Different people nominate themselves for the presidency and citizens vote to elect one of the nominatives who seems fair to them.
All citizens should not be required by law to vote because it leads to a more unclear decision, economic downfall and their freedom affected. Let’s suppose a person wants to buy a light colored paint to go on the long journey which is very hot and long. He enters the shop and comes to know that all light colored pants have been sold and only dark colored pants are left. Also, it is compulsory to something from the shop whoever enters it.
Then, he unwillingly buys a dark pant for him which would absorb the heat during the journey and would be a source of the great problem for him. Same is the case with the voting process when all citizens are required by law to vote. Many people think that those candidates elections are not worthy of governing. So they do not want to cast their vote to anyone nominated for election. However, when it is made compulsory for them to vote, then they make random choices because all of them are not worthy of that vote. So, there are more chances for the worse candidate to get selected in the elections as compared to the situation when it is not obligatory for everyone to vote. (info from New York Times) Also, compulsory voting also requires the youngsters to vote. Recent researches have suggested that the frontal lobe of a youngster is not at maturity level until they reach twenty. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain which tells us that what will be the aftermaths of the reactions performed. So they are unable to effectively judge their activities and choices.
Political parties take advantage of this weakness of youngsters and try to attract as many youngsters to their party as possible. They attract the youngsters through social circles of friends and relatives, motivational speeches and social media. There are very high chances that they get misguided and start to support potentially harmful the party. So, it is much likely that the results of elections are shifted towards the worse party or candidate and are a portrayal of an unclear picture of people choose. The yearly budget also has some percentage included in it for the election preparations. Even if the elections take place after 4 to 5 years but the yearly budget has the percentage for it because election commissions have to finalize everything before the election year so that neither the citizens nor the candidates have any sort of issue regarding either documents or the spellings of names.
In addition to that, political parties have to spend more during the campaign because greater the pool of people greater is the expenditure.Increase in expenditure has a negative impact on the lifestyle of the people especially in those countries that are under developed. In such countries, the money can spend on basic necessities such as food, clothing, education etc. Also, when it is obligatory to vote, time of those people is wasted who are at the very high post and have to do much more important tasks than casting a vote.
Those tasks are indirectly related to the economy of the country. As a result, the economy of the country is affected. Democracy always takes care of citizen’s liberty. If the law of compulsory voting is imposed on the citizens, then this principle of democracy is disobeyed as people are not given the option to choose ‘not to vote’. Also, one can have any serious problem that can abstain him from casting vote. So, if he casts vote rather than solving that crucial problem, then his right of freedom is being suppressed.
Also, voting is not an obligation or duty, rather it is the right of the citizens and it is all up to them whether they avail this right or not. It’s a fact that rights have inherent responsibilities and duties. For example, a right to keep the weapons carries with it the duty to make use of it properly and in a right way. Similarly, it is the right of a citizen that no one looks into his/her private matter. But with this right, there is an inherent responsibility of the citizen that he should also not look into the private matters of others. However, when citizens are required by law to vote, voting no more remains a right especially when people are punished.
Democracy also gives us right to practice our religion in the way we want. ‘‘Jehovah’s witness’’ according to oxford dictionary, ‘‘is a member of a Christian movement (the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) founded in the US by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916). Jehovah’s Witnesses deny many traditional Christian doctrines (including the divinity of Christ) refuse military service, blood transfusion on religious basis and participation in political activities.’’ Making it obligatory for them to vote in fact denies their right to vote.
Those against the point of view argue that when voting is not made compulsory, the underprivileged and unemployed do not vote and such disadvantaged people are taken advantage of. The point is that such people are ignorant and do not know about economics, politics and other such policies. So, requiring them to vote will create a pool of relatively ignorant people and hence they would make bad choices. All this would result in nominated candidates who show delusion and the hence bad government would take hold of the country. Then, in that case, religious, sexist and racist legislation will take place and the country would go into bankruptcy. In addition to this, giving an answer to those people ‘Professor Brennan says this objection relies upon the false assumption that people vote for their own interests. In contrast, political scientists have found over and again that people tend to vote for what they believe to be the national interest. We do not worry about protecting nonvoters from selfish voters. Instead, we should worry about whether voters will invest the time to learn which policies really serve the public good.’ (Brennan, Jason).
In fact, the disadvantages of obligatory voting are more than its disadvantages. Making it compulsory for the citizens to vote causes great problems voters. Some of the voters do not want to vote or they feel that no one among the candidates should be voted. Hence, their voting will not show their right choice. Involving youngsters also causes great problems especially when the number of youngsters is pretty large. They can easily be misguided and hence the results of elections can shift into the favor of those who are not favorable for the country. In addition to that, the government allocates more budget to elections when everyone is required by law to vote. Political parties spend more money during the elections. Sometimes, the election campaign takes the form of strikes and protests and huge damage is done. Hence, the economy of the country is badly affected. Moreover, citizens have a right to freedom and if necessary voting is imposed on them, their freedom is hurt. In short, it can be said that citizens should not be required by law to vote.
“The Definition of Democracy.” Dictionary.com N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
“Jehovah’s Witness – Definition of Jehovah’s Witness in English | Oxford Dictionaries.” Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Brennan, Jason. “Should You Be Forced to Vote?” Learn Liberty Main RSS2. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Brennan, Jason. “Mandatory Voting Would Be a Disaster.” NEW YORK TIMES7 Nov. 2011: n. pag. Print.
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