Letter: Poll positions (1)

June 22, 2001

Compulsory voting, as Robert Blackburn recommends (Soapbox, THES , June 15), is certainly something the Electoral Commission will consider carefully. It would make our objective of increasing turnout at elections very easy to accomplish; and, perhaps surprisingly, there appears to be more public support for it than might be supposed.

But there are serious objections. It is contrary to our democratic traditions and practices; it would introduce a degree of compulsion that is not usual; it would relieve our political leaders of the obligation to stimulate interest and provoke the electors to vote; and it could lead to large numbers of votes being cast by people who are ill-informed, uninterested and would rather not be participating in the process.

Graham Zellick
Electoral Commission

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