Jan 4, 2013

There’s plenty behind LNP’s voluntary voting thought bubble

The Queensland LNP's proposal on voluntary voting is aimed at creating a diversion, seeking partisan advantage and creating a smokescreen to hide possible changes on political donations.

Dr Mark Bahnisch

Brisbane-based political analyst and Centre for Policy Development fellow

The Sunshine State’s political season has begun early, waking Queenslanders from their summer torpor with two bombshells: the extension of public sector cuts to senior commissioned police officers and a discussion paper released by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie on electoral reform. Bleijie claims to be surprised that canvassing the abolition of compulsory voting has become a flashpoint for debate.

But Bleijie has somewhat of a history of being provocative, for example pushing an agenda favoured by conservative religious groups within the LNP for the reversal of same-s-x surrogacy rights.

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17 thoughts on “There’s plenty behind LNP’s voluntary voting thought bubble

  1. Steve777

    Voluntary voting would see the rise of voter suppression tactics as we saw in the recent US elections. And it would allow well funded lobby groups and interests a disproportionate influence on the result. Australia is good at elections. I think the view that has prevailed in Australia for 80 years or that voting is both the right and the duty of the citizen is correct. And it’s only attendance at a voting place that’s mandatory, with reasonable exceptions for inconvenience (e.g. Illness, distance). Anyone who really doesn’t want to vote can submit a blank ballot.

  2. jennyt

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it is the bottom line here. If you don’t want to vote nothing prevents you from leaving the ballot paper empty. You just have to show up, a proper acknowledgement of the sacrifices and struggles people have had all over the world to obtain the right to vote. It is precious and done better here than almost anywhere. I suspect chicanery.

  3. TheFamousEccles

    This is one occasion that I must agree with Barnaby Joyce (though he is not referred to in this article), who has spoken out against this removal of compulsory voting. Having said that publicly, I now need a Bex and a good lay down…

    Newman and his ilk are effectively anti-democracy and running amok, whilst there is no effective check or balance in the QLD parliament. I hope they are shown the door at the next state election.

  4. Nonda Pass

    I often think about the people of East Timor all those years ago – they lined up for days to cast their vote. We should continue to have compulsory voting. As mentioned in other comments, people can lodge a blank ballot if they choose but to have voluntary voting would result in the promotion of self interested, rich groups targeting certain areas with the apathetic in the background. Perhaps that is what Newman wants – his government is looking more like a return to the Petersen years than ever and those of us with long memories remember that era well.

  5. Arty

    Dictators don’t like votes.

  6. GF50

    Agree compulsory voting a duty and a right. Reinstate the upper house. total disclosure and limit of political funding.
    QLD state of the totaltarian right.
    Democracy requires checks and balances, no matter what political persuasion is in government.

  7. pritu

    Regular readers of the Murdoch press are already frothing at the mouth against compulsory voting. Say no more.

  8. Limited News

    Voluntary voting opens the door to large-scale vote fraud. People who can be relied upon to not vote and be identified as such by phone polling or some other means, can have their votes cast for them very easily.

  9. susan winstanley

    There is a classic bait and switch going on here, IMO. Voluntary voting has got everyone talking, and will be ditched. The real democracy killers are the other recommendations for voter ID etc. Keep eye on ball.

  10. Hamis Hill

    Via the state governor this LNP administration can be made accountable to the people of Queensland.
    The Governor can send Campbell Newman to the judgment of the people in an election.
    Election Now! Election Now! Election Now!
    All that we have heard from Abbott for several years.
    As an aside, it is almost one year since Newman was reported to have promised no less than a $100,000,000 increase in funding for “Private?” education.
    Election Now! Election Now! Election Now!
    End the Newman Dictatorship!
    The Governor Must Act!
    Or statements to that effect promulgated endlessly for the duration of the Newman Madness!
    who said there is no accountability?
    Democracy not Dictatorship.
    All available in the Abbott political playbook!

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