Welcome to FOR/AGAINST, a new series that pits a topical discussion and balances the merits between opposing sides. It is also another fun way to think through an issue, and an opportunity for readers to chime in with points not discussed. The idea came from a class discussion that held many different views, and thought it would be an interesting project to list out all of the pros and cons.
Scenario: In Canada, voting turnout at the federal level has continued to be an all-time low; the last decade being the worst, each election staying well beneath 70% of the population. In response, a proposal has been put forth to make voting mandatory.
FOR: Mandatory voting will increase the turnout.
AGAINST: Forcing people to vote will do nothing to help educate people in voting for the right reasons, and true democracy will not reign.
FOR: Forcing people to vote will help them to take voting seriously in the next election and pay more attention to the political process.
AGAINST: False. People will feel more apathetic about voting that they will pay less attention, or worse, simply waste their ballot.
FOR: Wasting a ballot is still better than not showing up, because it sends a message that is clearly received by electoral officials.
AGAINST: Wasting ballots sends a worse message than not voting.
FOR: Other countries are already doing it, and they have high turnouts.
AGAINST: It will be a disservice to those in our history who gave their lives for the right to vote.
What about you? What point will you give FOR or AGAINST?