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A u s tralia is exh ib it a yo u s h o w u p to v o

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Unformatted text preview: s tralia is Exh ib it A . Yo u s h o w u p to v o te—o r y o u g et in tro u b le. A cco rd in g to th e ru les , all ab s tain ers are req u ired to tell th e A u s tralian Electo ral Co mmis s io n wh y th ey d id n 't v o te—eith er th at, o r p ay a fin e (ro u g h ly $20). If ab s tain ers fail to res p o n d with in 21 d ay s , th ey co u ld win d u p in co u rt with a s tiffer fin e (ro u g h ly $50). A u s tralia h as en fo rced th is p o licy s in ce 1925. Ev er s in ce, th e tu rn o u t rate in n atio n al A u s s ie electio n s (p articip atin g v o ters , as a s h are o f th e v o tin g -ag e p o p u latio n ) h as av erag ed a wh o p p in g 95 p ercen t. Th at's a tad b etter th an th e tu rn o u t rate in U.S. p res id en tial electio n s . W e'v e lately av erag ed 57 p ercen t; as recen tly as 1996, it was 49 p ercen t. W e d id man ag e to to p 60 p ercen t in each o f th e fiv e electio n s b etween 1952 an d 1968, b u t it h as n 't h ap p en ed s in ce. Gran ted , it's wid ely d eemed u n -A merican to fo rce A merican s to d o ju s t ab o u t an y th in g (alth o u g h , as p o litical s ch o lar an d ex-Clin to n W h ite Ho u s e aid e W illiam Gals to n h as arg u ed , " Ju ry d u ty is man d ato ry —wh y n o t v o tin g ?" ). It's www.newswor ks.or g /index.php/local//national- inter est/58603- mandator y- voting - is- a- g r eat- idea 1/6 8/30/13 M andator y voting is a g r eat idea — NewsWor ks wid ely as s u med th at we s h o u ld h av e th e freed o m to take o u r freed o m fo r g ran ted . Bu t ju s t imag in e th e p o s s ib ilities : If v irtu ally all A merican s v o ted , th e id eo lo g ical p artis an s in th e electo rate wo u ld h av e les s clo u t. Th e way th in g s wo rk n o w, a ty p ical can d id ate (g o ad ed b y th e s trateg is ts ) tries to maximize tu rn o u t fro m h is o r h er b as e, an d tries to min imize tu rn o u t fro m th e o p p o n en t's b as e. Th is is d o n e b y p an d erin g to o n e's o wn b as e an d ru n n in g n eg ativ e attack ad s th at d amp en en th u s ias m with in th e o p p o n en t's b as e. A s a res u lt, mid d le-o f-th e-ro ad , n o n -id eo lo g ical A merican s g et tu rn ed o ff an d ig n o red . So th ey s tay h o me o n electio n d ay , in d is p ro p o rtio n ate n u mb ers . Po litical s cien tis t A lan A b ramo witz s ay s in h is b o o k " Th e Dis ap p earin g Cen ter" th at id eo lo g ically p o larized A merican s are mo re mo tiv ated to v o te th an th e fo...
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This document was uploaded on 01/16/2014.

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