It would be so very transformative, you know. Hope and change:
“If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country,” Obama said, calling it “potentially transformative.” Not only that, Obama said, but universal voting would “counteract money more than anything.”…
Obama said he thought it would be “fun” for the U.S. to consider amending the Constitution to change the role that money plays in the electoral system. But don’t hold your breath.
“Realistically, given the requirements of that process, that would be a long-term proposition,” he said.
I’m surprised he’s even mentioning something as old-fashioned as an amendment. Surely he can think of something more creative, so we can join the following countries with mandatory voting laws that they actually enforce: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cyprus, Ecuador, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Nauru, Peru, Singapore, Uruguay, and Schaffhausen canton in Switzerland.
I’ve noticed four things about mandatory voting laws. The first is that only half the places that have them bother to enforce them. The second is that with the exception of Australia, the ones that do aren’t places you’d especially wish to emulate (although that canton in Switzerland might be nice). The third is that it seems to be a real vogue in Latin America, especially if you count the countries that have such laws but don’t enforce them. And the fourth is that they often contain exceptions for illiterate voters and the elderly, and I doubt Obama would want to allow that.
Needless to say, I am against compulsory voting laws. I’m libertarian enough to believe that people should have the liberty to vote or not vote, as they choose.
Also, I don’t think that this was a real proposal on Obama’s part. He knows it’s not that popular yet (although the left loves it). Not for now.
For the future, though, it’s almost certainly something that Obama wants to happen. It’s not a new proposal for the left, which has been supporting this for years; you can easily find articles of that type that were written before this. Obama is just trying to normalize it for the American public by putting it out there in an ever-so-casual way.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]DONATE
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