Clarifying comments made…..

What comments I hear you ask…….?


For quite some time now I’ve been a constant follower of what I consider to be the ultimate ‘Blogger’; I must admit that whenever I boot up my machine and check my mail boxes, the first thing I check is are there any new posts from ‘PiedType’, most days I’m lucky. For those not familiar with PT, let me explain why.

There are times when one opens a new post and is greated by perhaps just a photograph and maybe a few words of explanation, other times it may be a cartoon that caught PT’s eye, and a droll comment may appear. When PT writes a blog it’s always to the point no fluff or padding. PT doesn’t seem to suffer the’Blogger’ syndrome; verbal diarrhoea. (I take “Gastrostop” but it doesn’t seem to help).

All that being said PT posted a political cartoon a few days ago, probably one of thousands doing the rounds in the US at this time; and reading the comments from all of the followers of PT, “I sticks me bib in for my couple of bobs worth”; (that’ll confuse them) and happened to mention our system, which I naturally enough called ‘compulsory voting’ which as all fair dinkum Aussies know is absolutely rubbish / true but with a loop hole; which I like many others have used on occasion.

Our Yankee cousins were aghast at this!

What is compulsory is the enrollment! Every eligible person over the age of 18 years must register with the Electoral Commission, an independent body, who on receipt of a new registration assigns the newcomer to hers/his correct electoral division for local,state and federal elections.

Too, it is compulsory to attend a polling station, on all polling days, and have your name marked off the ‘Roll’ and receive the Polling papers.!

Now what you do then is your own business; you can either vote for a party a person or you can just place unmarked papers in the boxes and depart. You do not have to vote per se, to attend, have your name struck off the roll is really all that’s compulsory.

I have marked my papers ‘None of these’ on occasions, also ‘Are you joking’ and ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’. These votes were counted and classed as informal!

Do I agree with compulsory voting? Yes indeed! It does get everybody to a polling station and when they get there they usually exercise their right to vote and do I believe do it honestly and diligently; of course there are a few/many who do it grudgingly but they do it, which is important to my way of thinking.

No matter what our cousins over there think, I do believe that our system is better fairer more open and honest than theirs can ever be!

And with that little lot I’ll get off me soapbox and move along to the next corner!       🙄        

 

67 thoughts on “Clarifying comments made…..

  1. That’s the thing with belief . . . the believer seldom challenges said belief.

    But, let me summarize it so that I make sure I comprehend this wonderful system of yours.

    You believe it is fair and open and honest forcing someone to “check in” at a polling place, after which they can do what they wanted to do in the first place, namely, not vote, which they could have done by staying home.

    Then, in a display of patriotic fervor, they self-congratulate and proclaim “we have mandatory voting!” right before saying “but we don’t have to actually vote!” and “they just take attendance.”

    Then, you look over here, pointing and mocking the person who just sat home instead of going to a polling place and not voting, or voting for “You’ve got to be kidding!”

    Did I summarize that about right? THAT’s your basis for feeling your system is superior . . . sorry . . . fair, open, and honest? THAT’s what supporting your soapbox?

    Pray tell, what is the penalty for disobeying your government forcing you out of your home, going to a place where you don’t want to be, and then allowing you to not do what you didn’t want to do in the first place?

    . . . and they call me strange . . .

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    1. Strange as it may seem when we go to the polls and the votes are counted there is ALWAYS more than 90% of votes that are valid, and counted, which indicates to me at least that whatever the feelings are before going to the polling booth once they get there the voters take it very seriously.
      The voters do not vote for the candidates that pick them up and take them to the polling stations as I believe happens in the US.
      On election nights here you can bet your bottom dollar that the counting of votes and the declaration of the poll is watched most fervently by most Australians! SAs i said on a previous occasion, we’re a weird mob!

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      1. To my knowledge candidates in the US do not pick up voters and take them to the polls. Not sure that’s even legal. And even if they or their workers did, they have no way of knowing or dictating how that person votes. The actual counting of votes here is watched very closely by representatives of both parties.

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        1. I thought I saw something about getting voters to the polls in a TV series, perhaps The Wire or The West Wing, I agree with what you say dictating the way to vote would be difficult

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    2. I hope that the people who you say I mock sittingg home not bothering don’t complain about the government that they get! There is a small fine that would not bother anybody under $100 I think, seems to be just a token fine really.

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    3. I don’t believe that I was mocking anybody ej, and I do believe that the Australian system far excels the US system, here every voter is equal, doesn’t matter where you live you are equal; whereas in the US you have what you lovingly refer to almost reverently, as “States Rights”. This indicates to every thinking person that in the US states rights takes precedence over the people rights. I trust that doesn’t offend you. States rights in Australia are not paramount. All Australians are treated equally, on paper at least.
      I thought I’d give you a comparison between the 2 systems in respect of the last Presidential Election of 2012 and the last Australian Federal Electionof 2013.
      The US had 235,248,000 Voting age population, for the election 129,235,000 turned out to vote for the leader of the free world. 54.9% of the VAP. 45.1% couldn’t be bothered. President Obama received 65,915,796 Votes 51.1% M.Romney received 60,933,500 47.2% of the Votes. So out of more than 235million elegible voters 65 million selected your president!

      In the 2013 Australian General Election there was 14,703,354 eligible registered voters, on polling day 13,413,019; 93.88% turned out to vote of which 2.96% voted informal the other million and a bit didn’t turn out and would have received a please explain letter which may have resulted in a small fine but probably just a reprimand.

      We are one of the few countries with ‘compulsory voting’, there are others, this probably will not interest you but heres a link you could take a peek at. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/06/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/

      I read quite a lot of comments from Americans in your newspapers (on-line of course. the NY, San Fran, and Chicago) and it never ceases to amaze me at the amount of vitriol thrown at your President, and I wonder how many of these people actually voted in the Presidential Elections of 2012.

      In the USA the voters get what they deserve: In Australia the voters get what they voted for!

      I know what I prefer, but thats probably because I’m a lefty!

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      1. OK, you’ve known me for a while now, so I’m surprised you did not recognize a bit of tongue-in-cheek in my response . . . however, if you are to actually have a serious discussion , let me also get a bit serious . . .

        Let me get this straight . . . the answer to people who could not be bothered to vote is to force them to do so. And, you see this as fixing our problems here in the US.

        Sorry, but I don’t agree. I also don’t agree that the people who DIDN’T vote are to blame for anything. If anyone is to blame, it is the people who DID vote; they are solely responsible for voting idiots into office.

        Except, people voted into office are not idiots; it’s more like lackeys.

        And, yes, people complain. You mention the vitriol directed at Obama . . . that would be from the people who voted for the other guy.

        For some reason, this amazes you. Did it amaze you when eight years ago similar vitriol was slung at Bush by the people who voted for the other guy? I’m talking actual burning of effigies and alternatively comparing him to a chimp and Hitler. People openly voicing that he should be shot.

        Now liberals and democrats are shocked, shocked, I tell you, when their guy is called names. A short memory, they have.

        Let me explain . . . if you voted for the guy in charge, well, by golly, you’ll be damned before you admit that, hey, you might have made a big mistake. So you’ll say things like “sure, he lied, but he had to because of the summerbirches on the other side” and “Ok, he mislead everyone and screwed up a number of things, but look here, this tiny bit here . . . see it, underneath all the crap? Isn’t that shiny? The other guy wouldn’t have done THAT, I can tell you!”

        Lest you think I am taking sides, let me be clear . . . neither side offers up anything even remotely representing my interests. I was not impressed with Bush, and I am not impressed with Obama. I’m certainly not impressed with the current offerings on either side. Were the US force everyone to vote, we would still end up with people hand-picked by the respective parties . . . it’s not called a choice when the choice is selected for you. Except, this year we might end up with a Trump . . . you know why he appeals? Because he’s not handpicked by anyone. I dare say I might vote for the man myself just to see the two party system finally take a hit.

        So, yes, I’ll be first to admit our current process is screwed up and we are doomed.

        BUT, and this is important, you cannot convince me the answer is dragging people to the polls, people who have zero interest in voting. There is no scenario I can envision where forcing people to vote improves the current mess. Au contraire, I posit to you that it would be a disaster.

        We are talking about people who are not invested in the least in the political process (perhaps rightly so, recognizing it as big joke), who have no idea who their elected officials are (but know which celebrity was last seen sleeping with some other celebrity), what the platforms are (but are avid watcher of reality TV shows), what the issues are, would go and pull a lever based on five minutes exposure to some ad or other, and that’s if they paid attention at all. Worse, these mouthbreathers might pick some batshit crazy third party candidate who likes cats and believes in unicorns and astrology.

        Now, I’ve not visited Australia. I’ll take your word for it that a vast majority of your 13.5 million voters were acutely aware of the issues, informed about the candidates, and chose people who will do their best to represent the will of the people for the benefit of all . . . but I’m skeptical.

        You guys may be better educated and have a thing for Barbie, but political systems are the same the world over, and I doubt you have a political utopia . . . just a different versions of screw-up (http://bit.ly/1TC6hxZ).

        And yes, if you all voted, you are all to blame for whatever mess you find yourself in.

        Disclaimer: the above has some tongue in cheek, but very little. It reflects a fair amount of anger on my part as I watch this great experiment of ours go to shit. There is no scenario I can envision that will result in measurable improvement in the current cesspool of elected officials, special interests, the influence of money, and sheer dishonesty prevalent in the political, social, and economic arena.

        P. S. If you are referring to me as being a bit hot under the collar, you really are off your best. Have you ever heard the expression that arguing with an engineer is a bit like wrestling with a pig? After a while, you start to realize the pig likes it.

        p. p. s. I hope you are not calling me patriotic. Call me practical, but don’t accuse me of forsaking reason and logic. I live where it best benefits me. When that changes, and it looks like it might, I’ll move. Besides, patriotism is allegiance to an ideal, and neither of the two major political parties of the US are even close to any part of that ideal.

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        1. WOW, you certainly gave me a right going over, like many I was always told never discuss politics or religion, trouble is I enjoy both!. I’ll have to give to give your reply a couple more reads, seems to take me longer for everything to register these days, before I respond further, so bare with me.

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      2. Not seeing it as a “going over”. There is no malice intended.

        At best, frustration with what I see as a lost cause, not just here but around the world. I fear we are in the brink of reverting to some old ways. I think Europe will likely see a swing to the right. Soon, if it’s not already happening. We’re going to see it here because the left are still mincing words and people are not as stupid as they look. Also because all these promises of jobs and prosperity are so transparently idiotic that no honest individual can bring themselves to believe it.

        One can have all the lofty goals they want, but unless people have jobs, can see a reasonable future for their kids, they are quickly going to lose patience with “reasoned” approaches. We’ve seen it before, and I fear we’ll see it again.

        But, take your time. I’d like to hear where I’m being too pessimistic.

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  2. Well, now I’m blushing from all the nice things you said about my blog. And I must say that while we’ve disagreed on occasion, it’s always interesting to see what someone with a more objective, outside point of view has to say about life in the US. I still don’t see the logic of compulsory voting, but right now I can’t say much for our system either.

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    1. I believe that in some states Florida I think is one, that there is one person and one person only who can approve or disapprove a recount if requested and that they do this solely on their political leanings, If they are a Republican and the GOP candidate asks for a recount they will get it but if a Democrat candidate asks the same person the request can be denied. This cannot and will not happen in Australia

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      1. I’d have to go back and review the details of the Bush-Gore election and that particular recount debacle in Florida. It was a one-of-a-kind anomaly in American politics. Nothing about it was representative of a normal election.

        Normally, if a vote count is very close, the candidate who appears to be losing can ask for a recount and if the request is in keeping with state law, I don’t think any one person can deny it. If they tried to, the candidate would probably appeal to the court.

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  3. Here’s one Yank that agrees with you, Beari, but people over here are fond of saying that voting is a right, a privilege or a responsibility. If it was made compulsory – there’d be yet another reason for protests and riots!!!

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    1. I’m glad somebody does gp, one of my followers/ commentors seems to be a bit hot under the collar, with my thoughts. and kind of tried to pull me through the wringer it seemed. He is very patriotic and doesn’t take to well to criticism I think.

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      1. It has nothing to do with being patriotic – he wants the right to sit home and not go the polls; but we can vote by absentee ballot if we wish – so I don’t understand his beef outside being argumentative.

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        1. I can understand absentee voting if one is away on holidays (vacation) overseas or away on business or in hospital etc, but I cannot see why it is encouraged otherwise, I can be open to abuse, Voting papers sent through the mail possibly diverted to the wrong hands and votes cast by who knows who. I think it can be open to abuse,
          I don’t think ej is being argumentative I do think he feels very strongly about his personal freedom as do I, but I do not feel it at the exclusion to all els.

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      1. Gwendoline, that sounds ominous . . .

        But, seriously, no need to continue. It seems we’re upsetting the little Lord, and FSM knows he doesn’t need more stress in his life.

        However, if you still want me to convince me, how about this:

        Explain why someone who does not follow politics, drinks and parties, ignores his kids, beats his spouse, and who bounces from job to job because of their drug habit, should be forced to vote.

        Just so I’m not accused of being sexist, note that I wrote that requirement as non-gender-specific.

        I ask the above because it’s easy defending why forcing someone to vote is a good idea when that person is interested in politics, has a civic-minded outlook in life, is a responsible, compassionate, moral individual concerned for the future of their children and society in general. Of course, they are likely to vote without someone having to threaten them.

        So, if you want to convince me, think of the worst possible person you know or have heard about, and tell me why forcing them to vote is a good thing.

        Mind you, I’m not saying we forbid them to vote (although, that would be nice). I’m saying you give them the freedom to vote and let them decide.
        You think we absolutely need their vote . . . convince me.

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    1. Very little explaining “why” compulsory voting is a good idea. The piece is mostly about the political system itself. Great, but not explaining why being forced to vote is a good thing.

      The only definitive statement about the voting is “handed to us in a platter”. But, it’s not handed to you in a platter. It’s force fed down your throat.

      For that matter, everyone here can vote. Heck, we don’t even have to leave the house. We’ve not been to a polling place in years. The ballots are mailed to our home, we fill them out, and send them back . . . or not.

      So, having the right to vote is not a justification for forcing someone to vote. In fact, it’s neither a right nor a freedom . . . it’s an obligation with penalties for non-compliance. Call me stupid, but that in itself would have me vote for the donkey, regardless who is running.

      Now, I get you are all happy with your “choice” but I will posit that you have no more choice as to who gets elected than we do . . . it’s always some party hack that manages to convince the majority that they are better than the other party hack while in reality they are not all that much different in things that matter.

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      1. Hi Disperser! Pleased to make your acquaintance. My blogging remit is “stories from a baby boomer surviving retirement”, so I don’t usually write opinion pieces – my style is more observational, occasionally insightful, – and hopefully amusing – slices of life, and the political one was written a couple of years back in the informative voice. However! More than happy to engage with you on this topic. I haven’t had the chance for a decent debate since high school days (and I dropped out at 16), so this should be fun! Indulge me 🙂 Okay . . so I haven’t mapped this out, so my input might be a little disjointed, but, my first thought is, there was a time in Australian society when only white male landowners were allowed to vote. So one argument for compulsory voting says that the adjudicator can be certain that everyone not only had the option – but the compulsion – to voice their opinion. So even people “who meant to get around to it” but were too busy that day, or those who think “who is going to listen to me anyway”, or those from low socio-economic groups who may think “what’s the use? How is this ever going to affect me?” know they are “forced” to stop and think about what they would like in their future. Much more importantly, the politicians also KNOW that – so it is no walk in the park for them also. They cannot be assured that it is only intellectuals or fat cats who can be bothered to cast their vote. So they cannot downtread the downtrodden any further (I just made up that previous word). So that argument can be extended to say that it removes self-interest in the voting system. Although a better way to explain it is, everyone who votes is self-interested – but that interest is made more representative by requiring people from all walks of life to say their piece . . . rather than concentrating all the decisions in the hands of the educated and/or privileged. Another way of looking at it is, it is our civic duty to vote. To ensure that policies and arguments put forward by the various parties are considered from the viewpoint of many levels of society, and it is the majority vote who wins. In other words, we have listened to the various proposals for our future and come forward for the one of greatest merit. (which is where politicians start ranting about having a mandate). . . . (Okay, so that last bit is theory, like going to university before starting out in work and discovering how the real world works). However, if you are completely opposed to the process, you also get some self satisfaction by mutilating your voting paper in the way that Lord BeariofBow has previously described.
        Our humble Lord has also provided some US statistics which I cannot recall right this second, but I posit (nice word :-)) . . . US is a democracy, yes? And proud of that? (Having lived in Yugoslavia before Tito died, there are times when I think we would all be better off abandoning any voting system and installing a benevolent dictator) – but! For the moment, USA is a democracy, methinks. So . . . what if every citizen of voting age decided NOT to vote? What happens then? Does the democracy crumble, or do the parties just vote amongst themselves???? You may say, that’s ridiculous, that will never happen. So why would it not? Because a percentage of the population are still prepared to vote? . . .
        If that was the case, if I abstain from voting, doesn’t that mean that I am leaving the decision for my future welfare entirely in the hands of someone who has never met me, and could be less than interested in what is good for my future? Would I be happy to forgo my voice in the matter? Not this little black duck, a woman, born into poverty – you can be sure that I am going to fight the good fight as long as I have my wits about me. Of course, that is only an argument for exercising my right to vote, not an argument to be compelled to vote – but when I was eighteen and went to the polls for the first time – do you think I realised what power I held in my hands???? NO! It’s like anything, mastering an instrument, a sport, whatever – I had to practice before I understood. Would I have experienced that practice if the maestro had not sent me to the (figurative) piano???
        Okay, to your point about choice in who ultimately gets elected. Well, I think the Australian system might be different to that in the US. Here, we vote for the policy and the party – not the personality of the individual. Although, I will confess, some people are a little confused – they probably watch too much American TV, so when there is a leadership spill, they rant “I did not vote for the (new) leader!”. “No, that would be right”, I think. The only way you could have voted for that PERSON was if you lived in their electorate.
        It might also interest you to know that my husband and I do not know share how we are going to vote, although after thirty years of marriage, we can have a good idea. Often times I am sure we cancel each other’s other vote. But what! I am going to be too busy in the kitchen to go to the polls, so what HE wants prevails? LOL. Again, that is an argument for the right to vote, not the compulsion . . . but if you extend that thinking across all stratas of Australian society, then you get the drift as to why it is a good thing to “force” people, for a few hours every few years, to STOP AND THINK PEOPLE. Stand for something. Make a decision for yourself. . . . On a tangent, I worked with many people in my worklife who were happy to criticise decision and actions of others. I managed very large teams, and my motto became . . . “fine, tell us why that idea will not work – but! Be prepared to table an alternative.” I guess that thinking can be extended to our compulsory voting system – . . . “you don’t like the status quo? – Then, come on, EVERY ONE OF YOU, don’t hide behind someone else’s coat tails – tell us what YOU really think/want/expect/dream, etc etc etc.”

        Okay, having said all that. I will confess that this moment in Australian politics is not is highest moment. And I suspect we can put some of those failings at the feet of Rupert Murdoch and his screwed media empire. . . . But that is another debate altogether 🙂

        cheerio 🙂 Garrulous Gwendoline 🙂

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        1. Don’t feel bad . . . I too seldom have a chance for a decent debate.

          In fact, right now I’m debating whether to take each one of your points in sequence or just go for the overall argument.

          I think at the center of the argument stands the idea that forcing someone to do something (their civic duty, as you say) is a good thing.

          Me questioning the premise is rooted in one word . . . why?

          You gave a few answers, and those I will take in order . . .

          ” So one argument for compulsory voting says that the adjudicator can be certain that everyone not only had the option – but the compulsion – to voice their opinion”

          Why? Why is this good? One reason you give is that politicians then “know” that it will not be a walk in the park for them. I’m not sure what that means. Indulge me, if you will, in the idea that professional politicians live well outside the interests of the populous. Also, no politician makes it to the final ballots without the support of the respective parties.

          You then say “they cannot be assured that it is only intellectuals or fat cats who can be bothered to cast their vote”.

          An interesting choice of words. One, it’s been repeatedly shown (here and around the world) politicians are already in the pocket of the “fat cats” (this can be proven by their actions alone). In fact, “fat cats” have no need to cast a vote to get their way.

          That leaves the “intellectuals”. Yes, I can see where one would not want intellectuals being the only ones voting. In fact, it is the dream of every political organization I know that the intellectual be overwhelmed by the masses of non-intellectuals. An informed voting public is very bad news indeed. So, if I am reading this right, the idea is to have all the non-intellectual engaged in making life-altering decisions.

          Probably based on listening to 30 seconds ads explaining to them the complexities of modern life. Pardon me for not being entirely convinced this is a good thing.

          Side note: it’s often stated the majority of US voting public is not that smart (80% believe in god, and nearly 40% believe the bible creation story). Generally, that’s seen as a bad thing. So, mandating that ALL VOTERS go to the polls practically ensures the US will become a theocracy. Again, not seeing this as a good thing.

          “but that interest is made more representative by requiring people from all walks of life to say their piece . . . rather than concentrating all the decisions in the hands of the educated and/or privileged”

          This is a repeat of the above, and again, it seems a strange thing to say . . . why would we not want decisions be made by the educated or privileged? Isn’t this the current status? I believe we mostly elect educated and privileged individuals to office. At least, I don’t see many politicians with no education being elected. And again, I’m pretty sure most government want the uneducated well represented in the polls. A non-thinking electorate is a malleable electorate.

          Next . . . “Another way of looking at it is, it is our civic duty to vote. To ensure that policies and arguments put forward by the various parties are considered from the viewpoint of many levels of society, and it is the majority vote who wins. In other words, we have listened to the various proposals for our future and come forward for the one of greatest merit.”

          . . . and the uneducated are best suited for this why? How can we ensure the majority vote also equals “the one with the greatest merit”? Is the best way to do one’s civic duty to vote in ignorance? If it’s anything like here, and I’m sure it is since human nature is not substantially different “down there”, people don’t vote for the “greatest merit”. They vote for the biggest lies, usually alternating between liars of one party and then the other. In fact, it takes a mature individual to make the “best decision”.

          At that point of the argument, you shift into asking what happens if no one votes. Would our democracy fall? Not at all. In case no clear winner can be decided after a vote, it goes to the U. S. House of Representative, and they can choose whomever they want. In fact, even when the popular vote goes one way, the Electoral College can vote differently (another argument why voting does not matter all that much). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)

          Now, it may be Australia is different. I don’t know.

          You then continue with why you should be allowed to vote:
          “If that was the case, if I abstain from voting, doesn’t that mean that I am leaving the decision for my future welfare entirely in the hands of someone who has never met me, and could be less than interested in what is good for my future? Would I be happy to forgo my voice in the matter?”

          That is not an argument toward why you should be forced to vote. Obviously, you want to vote. No compulsion is necessary.

          I’m asking why it’s a good idea forcing someone who is not interested in the proces. How does that serve your interests as stated above? You even admit this is only relevant to your right to vote, so it does not explain the “why” of the original question.

          You then say this:
          “Well, I think the Australian system might be different to that in the US. Here, we vote for the policy and the party – not the personality of the individual. ”

          Believe it or not, it’s the same here. No party is going to put up a candidate that does not buy into, lock, stock, and barrel, with the official party manifesto.

          Think of the candidates as salesmen or priests. They go out and “preach” the party line, trying to win converts to their side. No difference between us.

          You then say:
          “Again, that is an argument for the right to vote, not the compulsion . . . but if you extend that thinking across all stratas of Australian society, then you get the drift as to why it is a good thing to “force” people, for a few hours every few years, to STOP AND THINK PEOPLE. Stand for something. Make a decision for yourself.”

          Sorry, I don’t get the drift . . . we have ads upon ads here every year, and voter registration, all geared toward having people care. And still, many people choose not to vote.

          So, again, WHY is it forcing people to vote a good idea? Because you force people to think? Tell me, have you even been able to get anyone to think? I’ve been trying my best with Lord Bari of Bow and I’ve gotten NOWHERE!

          So, I will conclude with a Mark Twain quote:

          “If voting mattered, they would not let us do it”

          That can be modified to my saying “You are forced to vote because it does not matter”.

          Thank you for the opportunity to learn the WHY? of compulsory voting . . . even though I still don’t see the merit of it.

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  4. None of the above explains the benefit of compelling citizens to go to the polls — where they may choose to cast a carefully considered vote or may just throw their ballot in the trash. Had your voting not been compulsory, the first voter would still have gone to the polls and cast a carefully considered vote and the latter would still have tossed his ballot in the trash. Either way you get the same result. I see no advantage whatsoever to making the registration and voting compulsory (other than the government gets to collect a fine from those who don’t register). Nor do I see yet why or how your compulsory system yields any better results than ours. (Note I refer only to voting, not to the entire election process.)

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      1. No, no, this was fun.

        . . . and informative: compulsory voting is good “because”.

        Seriously, LBoB, I did have fun. As you know, I’m a huge fan of my own writing, so any chance I get to flex my writing muscles is welcomed.

        Also, no feeling of mine were hurt in the course of this discussion, and at no time was there a loss of temper. Can’t speak for others, but for me it was entertaining.

        . . . I leave unconvinced, of course . . .

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        1. Glad you’ve enjoyed it and had fun ej, I must admit that I did not expct the response that this post has garnered, most I’ve ever had. Later this year Australians go to the polls, when is at the discretion of our PM, he’ll go when he thinks he has the best chance of winning, (which is bad) and the US on the first Tuesday in November usually referred to in Australia as “Cup Day” ( Google that) which all Americans are aware of (which is good). I will probably do a post about it if I’m still in the land of the living, with pictures too hopefully; I always enjoy polling day.

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  5. I wonder if this fellow you speak of likes having others talk about him in third person. He seems like a reasonable chap, if you ask me.

    However, if he is a bit like me, he most certainly does not like others assigning attributes to him when he is being perfectly clear about his views. Certainly, at least I would imagine, when it’s done after

    1) he went to great lengths to expose the faulty, if not outright absence of, logic for compulsory voting,

    and

    2) since the people professing love for said compulsory voting can’t formulate a strong argument beyond “well, I like it, so it must be OK”

    Now, this unnamed fellow sounds at least mildly articulate. Mind you, not as well versed as someone who claim birthright to their language, but still, he uses words in approximately the right order.

    I would then posit that rather than question his motives, we might perhaps question whether we unquestionably accept compulsory voting as being “good” because, well, for as long as we have been alive, it has been so. Also, because we agree with it . . . which we do because we don’t have a choice. The mind reels at the possibility.

    Now, I read extensively read this “commentor’s” {sic} writings, I am fairly certain he is not, in fact, expressing any anger per se. I’m also fairly certain he’s not interested in being “argumentative”.

    Why, I surmise him to be wiser beyond his years and imbued with the patience of Job . . . Steve Job. Meaning, not very much. In fact, I surmise that failing any arguments beyond what was already presented here, he’ll quickly lose interest in this as a futile endeavor.

    Perhaps, then, he might even withdraw from the conversation, leaving behind the following link to an article on the subject. Please, pay particular attention to the “cons” arguments, and especially numbers 1, 2, and 3.
    http://www.fairvote.org/the_pros_and_cons_of_requiring_citizens_to_vote

    As I see it, disinterested individuals often will vote based on who’s first on the ballot, or vote straight party tickets, or, *gasp* vote randomly.

    Now, since apparently this “commentor” {sic} has a voice that magically gets ignored by people, these other links on the subject – pay particular attention to the comments about uninformed voters – might be of interest.

    Isn’t it wonderful thinking that perhaps one gets the a particular government because voters who would not have bothered to vote ended up voting randomly or just by the order on the ballot? Ah, yes . . . great voter turnout; Democracy must be working.

    OOPS . . . apparently, the blogger/owner of this blog limits the number of links one can add, so I could not include the informative references about ballot orders, random votes, and the practices of uninformed voters.

    However, one can certain do their own research on the matter. Why, it’s practically compulsory and their civic duty. But, don’t worry; I won’t fine anyone.

    Like

  6. Lord, your comments arrangement is awfully confusing . . . you need to add a couple of more levels so people can respond directly under specific individuals. As it is, know one knows which response goes with which comment.

    Just a suggestion . . . unless making it compulsory makes you more comfortable.

    Like

      1. I noticed the word Reply attached to the bottom of each and every coment I thought/think perhaps this might allow people to respond to idividuals, seems to work that way with PiedTypes site:?:

        Like

      1. Reply is only on new comments. Once there is a reply, it loses the “reply” option. Most people then either add a new comment (meaning it’s not associated with the any other comment), or pick a comment that does have a “reply”.

        Here’s what I would suggest:
        1) go to the dashboard.
        2) choose “settings”
        3) choose “discussion”
        4) enable “threaded (nested)” comments and set them at 3 or 4 levels deep (I use 4, but you can start with 3 and see how you like it).
        5) eat some vegemite
        6) admit yanks are good for something

        Like

        1. I did as PT suggested so it’ll probably work without trying to poison myself, I’m over the vegemite stuff 5) and 6) I’m still thinking and will advise you when I come to a decision 😈

          Like

        2. Hate to say it, but I just previewed this theme on my test blog, and this comment arrangement appears to be the blog’s default arrangement. It seems it cannot be changed with the settings disperser and I suggested

          Like

        3. I’ve been looking at that Settings> Discussion section again and I noticed there is a box saying all comments must be approved or something along those lines which might have something to do with the problem Emilio is having so I’ve unchecked that box, checked must be the default so I’ll see how that goes I’ll give this message to ej to get his opinion for what it’s worth, going rate is two bits as I understand it 😀

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        4. In reply to PiedType.
          I’ve been looking at that Settings> Discussion section again and I noticed there is a box saying all comments must be approved or something along those lines which might have something to do with the problem Emilio is having so I’ve unchecked that box, checked must be the default so I’ll see how that goes I’ll give this message to ej to get his opinion for what it’s worth, going rate is two bits as I understand it 😀

          Like

        5. Don’t know where this comment will end up, but here goes one-bit’s worth of advice . . .

          Get yourself a proper theme. Every year, WordPress releases a free theme named for the year. So, get yourself the Twenty Fifteen theme. It has all sorts of bells and more bells and extra bells. That way, if you’re going to claim confusion, you’ll have an excuse.

          BUT, also, their default settings are not bad.

          FYI (that, by the way, stands for ‘for your information’), I use the Twenty Ten theme (the year I started my blog). I’m happy with the look, but more important, I like consistency in blogs, including mine.

          Like

        6. Suggestion taken under advisement; however I must admit I don’t like those 20/10-15 themes mentioned and that I like to change every now and then breaks the monotony, I get bored pretty easily with the same old same old; I doubt I’ll ever find one that will suit me forever. I would like one like PT’s with all the gunk down the bottom instead of along the side, I suppose it’s possible to do that with any/all themes but it’s beyond my comprehension. 😦

          Like

        7. Let me get this straight . . . you don’t like themes that are designed for people who want flexibility and that in their basic form allow people who don’t know squat about formatting – and don’t care to learn – to have a presentable and useful theme.

          OK, I do get the part about having to change style when one lacks substance . . . the international automobile industry and the mobile phones industry are both based on that premise.

          The part about being bored, that I don’t understand. I presume you read books, yes? I’m pretty sure the formatting has been the same for longer than either of us have been alive. I’ve never heard anyone say:

          “Gee, every page is the same! Horizontal lines of words after horizontal lines of words. This is crap! I’m bored . . . I’m going to turn it sideways and read it from the bottom up.”

          But, whatever floats your boat. Me? I’m going to go slap 30+ photos on a blog post secure that you’ll lose interest after the first 10.

          Disclaimer: more humor. Saying it just in case, in your bored state, you fail to realize it . . . if you can even find this comment in your unique and unboring style.

          Like

        8. @Beari No, widgets at the bottom is a theme-specific feature; some themes offer them and some don’t. If you want widgets at the bottom, you’ll have to look for a theme that includes them.

          Like

        9. Should the ‘v’ have been a ‘d’ a typo perhaps the ‘d’ being slightly to the left above the ‘v’ which seems the reasonable answer ❓

          Like

        10. @disperser I’d love to switch to the Twenty Sixteen theme, which I’m using on Curves Ahead, but the way it handles featured images makes it impossible. If I switched, I’d end up with duplicate images on every post that currently has a featured image — and that would mean hundreds of posts having to be manually adjusted one at a time.

          Like

        11. I’m using TwentyTen, and I don’t use feature images as I find them distracting.

          But, to be clear, I don’t recommend others do what I do – I don’t need the competition. I merely suggested to LBoB that he could pick a theme written specifically for people who complain that they don’t understand what they are doing.

          Like

      2. Beari

        This might clarify your comments section, if I can explain it well enough:

        Go to Dashboard > Settings > Discussion

        That should put you on the Discussion Settings page. The second item is “Other comment settings.” The fourth check box there is “Enable threaded (nested) comments [3] levels deep.” Check the box and set the number of levels to 4.

        Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes.”

        If that works, congratulations to both of us!

        Like

        1. Thanks PT I’ve done as you suggested and hopefully it works, Emilio has suggested I do almost the same thing, but he gave me the option of 3 or 4 so I’ve gone along with yours 😀 tyvm 🙂
          Hopefully congrats are in order:D

          Like

All comments appreciated and acknowledged

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