Should You Be Forced to Vote?

[Music] many people believe low voter turnout is a problem as a solution some advocate mandatory voting their mandatory voting laws in other countries like Australia which require citizens to vote or face a fine or punishment are these laws a good idea I would say no here’s one reason why for over 50 years political scientists have continually found that most citizens are badly informed for instance most cannot identify incumbents if things are going well they don’t know whom to thank if things are going badly they don’t know whom to blame yet ignorant isn’t even the main problem citizens appear to make systematic mistakes about the most basic issues in economics political science and sociology well you can force someone to vote you can’t force them to know a lot about an issue the typical citizen would fail econ 101 do we really want to force him or her to make a choice about economic policy the typical citizen systematically overestimates the benefits of war and underestimates the human and material costs do we really want to force him her to choose between the hawkish and dovish candidates when political scientists and economists study political knowledge they find that the citizens who abstained from voting are typically even more ignorant or misinformed than the citizens who do vote if we force everyone to vote the net result is that we get a more misinformed pool of voters we would then get political candidates reflect voters misperceptions we then get bad public policy that’s not likely to be the electorate’s advantage or to the advantage of the most vulnerable members of society a common objection to my argument is that voter turnout isn’t uniformly low among all groups the disadvantaged poor unemployed and uneducated are much less likely to vote in the advantaged rich employed and educated so the argument is that maybe we should force the disadvantaged to vote in order to make sure that the better off don’t take advantage of them or ignore their interests but this objection relies upon a false assumption it assumes people vote primarily for their self-interest now you’re going to find this hard to believe but when political scientists study voting behavior they find over and over again that people do not vote selfishly political scientists themselves have had a hard time accepting this that’s why they’ve done so many studies instead they find that voters tend to vote for what they believe to be the national interest so we don’t need to worry about protecting non voters from selfish voters people mean well they don’t want to exploit their neighbors but we should worry about instead is that people do not invest the time to learn which policies really serve the common good forcing people to vote doesn’t fix this problem elections are high stakes if we make bad decisions of the voting booth we contribute to bad government needless Wars homophobic sexist and racist legislation lost prosperity and more all citizens should have an equal right to vote but if someone wants to abstain from voting because he doesn’t feel he knows the right answers or for any other reason he should be allowed to do so you can force people to cast votes but you can’t force them to cast smart well-informed votes however good their intentions may be mandatory voting guarantees high turnout but not better government want to learn more about Liberty click on some of our other videos if you’d like to do more than just watch videos click on the link for more student opportunities and other resources [Music]

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  1. This blank ballot idea is rather ignoramus. If you can still pot out and be politically neutral and apathetic because you have a blank ballot then the entire system of compulsory voting is useless. What's the difference between abstaining at home and abstaining at the poll? You get the same results, just a higher turn out, which doesn't equate to a higher quality in government.


  3. I would so take your $100 and check any box at random. Well if you're paying me to check off boxes, I'd probably vote for you.

  4. you can have higher voter turnout by not having a shitty 2 party system with FPTP voting.

    forcing people to vote that they don't want to vote is a waste of time and resources. they are already doing that by not showing up.

    they should make voting days national holidays, no one has to to work.

  5. Voting is a sham and most people know it. You shouldn't be forced to do anything. That's the moral standard we all understand yet when it comes to gov't we're all to happy to defend their 'right' to our wages and their 'right' to force us to comply with their rules.

    I wonder why we have such deference to authority? Wait, no I don't. Public education is propagandistic by definition.

  6. This is a common misconception foreign nations have of Australia's voting system of compulsory voting. In AUSTRALIA you don't have to VOTE, it is only compulsory to turn up to vote, you don't have to vote.

  7. WOW so American with no forced voting has no 'bad government, needless wars, homophobic, sexist & racist legislation and lost prosperity'. Hmmm that pretty much defines a lot of American political history

  8. I live in Australia and i've ALWAYS said this. Forcing ignorant people to vote– just vote for SOMETHING– only muddies the waters for everyone. Especially those people who are actually voting to affect change, not just because it's mandatory.
    I always thought it ought to be like in the U.S., where you can choose whether or not to participate in any given election/referendum.
    Although, those 'Rock the Vote'/'Vote or Die'-type campaigns have the same problem. Telling people to go vote for SOMEONE because it's their right, doesn't help anybody.

  9. This video just single handedly made me understand why there's so much nonsense in Aussie politics.

    Gun restrictions, video game restrictions, any picture of any woman of any age with a flat chest is child porn…

  10. Government is by the consensus of the people. If someone chooses not to vote they give up their voice and in essence are voting for whoever the winner is and they shouldn't complain either when things don't go the way they want it to.

    I would rather that we be don't vote if we have have NO IDEA WHAT IS BEING VOTED FOR.  

    I know a few people who don't vote. Let's just say, I'm glad they aren't voting.

  11. voting makes no difference so why bother ? the last election the students got screwed which was a very good early lesson for them. so next election they know (as we all should know) whatever "they" say is all rubbish their words mean nothing .  voting is like watching a video on you tube which has a misleading title and we all have seen those. next time you vote you can tell yourself you will never get that time back

  12. Choosing not to vote is a democratic right also. Low voter turnouts is often a sign of lack of faith in government or election process.

  13. Most economist wonder why people would vote at all. It's unlikely your vote will decide the election. That being said I never miss a vote even if its for primaries caucuses special elections or local elections.

  14. why do people always say that voting is doing one's duty as a citizen? and then frown pretentiously down on people who choose not to vote? I mean, if I don't vote, and I am willing to accept whatever result happens and not complain because I know I'm responsible too 'cause I didn't vote against the result, then isn't that fine? I don't think other people have the right to say that "you have the right to choose not to vote but you SHOULD", as if it were a duty, because it's only a duty to oneself and not anyone else. The only argument I'm unsure of how to answer to is when they say that democracy relies on people voting… :

  15. This video makes a basic false assumption: that if people vote, they must vote for a candidate. In fact, most voting papers contain an abstention box. If we were to force people to "vote", they could still abstain, they would just have to do so formally on a paper, rather than simply not turn up. And if they have to turn up, it is likely they will think "Well, if I have to go and vote, I might as well see who is worth voting for." The simple act of forcing them into the booth would likely result in a more informed electorate.

  16. What if I wanted to vote for my own party but couldn't afford to register it etc. What if I didn't agree with the format of the political system? What if I just plain knew all the parties are no good?!???

  17. yes force everyone to vote. This is a terrible video. We have bad policy now because of  Special interest groups. People are not educated because the system is a failure.

  18. Seems like we're been force to do a lot these days, just wait until its two low down evil people running for president, major or governor and we will be force to choose between the two. Smh!! Neutral is being eliminated.

  19. Voting for candidate A or Candidate B or Party A or Party B is not a legitimate choice.  In the U.S.A. we have two parties who are different sides of the same coin and that is our choice.

    I believe it is a bankrupt system without true choices and to be forced to vote for clown number 1 or clown number 2 or Political parties that have robbed and harmed us for decades is NOT a choice.

  20. Mandatory voting is very important because it will help the government and the people to better understand and work together an like improving artificial intelligence because there are many possibilities in many different viewpoints and for them to work together and agree on a decisive action is like voting and this is very important to include all view points and that will improve consciousness of Society…..

    Mandatory Voting?
    …you mean to say that it will be our peers who can't watch an educational International Space Station video without vectoring to the first lens-flare or window smudge as their ''proof'' of little green men will become the entire 'voting pool' that the suits in Washington will be throwing their campaigning-bribe-bananas to with the expectation that they comprise some random Shakespeare play by throwing their feces at voting booths?
    …and when you can snap your finger and cause our space program to begin paralleling the plot-line of your typical Scooby-Doo episode simply by demanding its viewers to tear their attention away long enough to press the button determining NASA's next course of action…just think what it can do for overturning all these decades of living under the harsh and primitive conditions Americans presently have in thinking and doing for themselves.

    …no…what we need are conscious voters…but that demographic is fast evaporating into the matrix. The cure for this issue is not more numbers…it is accurate numbers…and the only thing a brain-dead vote is good for is to deepen our collective coma. 

  22. The Typical Citizen: Overestimates The Benefits Of WAR, And Underestimates the Human+Material Costs. Really?  No, I'm sure it's the other way around.

  23. So basically dumb people shouldn't vote. People being misinformed should be fixed by making news networks to produce real news that informs citizens on what's important in the voting booth. Not by not having their votes entirely.

  24. This argument is a collection of bad math and poor understanding of the problem. It is a shameful production from an otherwise decent channel.

    First: Let's go over Brennan's poor math skills. He claims that ignorant people will change the results. That's not true. Example: If we send 1000 ignorant people to the polls and force them to vote between two things they know nothing about, the odds are they will vote 50% for each. Adding 500 votes to each side might change the final percentage of victory, but it doesn't sway the vote or the victor. So no amount of ignorance should sway a vote.

    Second: Let's go over Brennan's ignorance of the problem. Compulsory voting serves an important purpose that Professor Brennan ignores in the video (and his book ridiculous book on the topic). Compulsory voting prevents voter intimidation and bribery. How does this work, in rural areas with only one place to vote, I can stand by the voting booth and watch who comes to vote. If, for example, I believe a number of people will vote against my candidate, I can now coerce them or bribe them into not showing up that day, therefore controlling the vote. Which is illegal. Compulsory voting prevents this problem and Professor Brennan ignores it.

  25. Compulsory voting reduces the influence of lobby groups. Do you want to make your vote actually mean something to the politicians? Then compulsory voting does that, plain and simple. As a population you vastly outnumber the members of lobby groups.

    For example the NRA is a powerful lobby group but only has 4.5 million members compared to the approx population of 244,500,000 over the age of 18.

    In Australia we have compulsory voting. What does that really mean?

    It means you have to turn up to the voting station and have your name marked off the role. That's it – nothing more.

    No one watches what you write on the ballot and no one checks it before you place it in the box. You can leave it blank, draw a doodle, change the names on the ballot (all of these things invalidate your vote). Or you can actually fill it out correctly, after all you did make the effort to come down in the first place.

    Because its compulsory you can vote before hand by mail or at special polling stations in person. On the day there are thousands of polling stations and the whole process takes less than 15 minutes.

  26. Forcing people to vote turns people that don't vote even further away from voting and proves that the politicians are the real big thieves.

  27. In Argentina if you don't know which candidate you like, you have the blank vote choise. But all people have to express what they think, what the ENTIRE country thinks. Thats democracy

  28. It's bad enough folks think it's ok to control their neighbors by state-imposed aggression via "voting". Even more laughable however are places that actually make it MANDATORY to vote (something Obama called for btw). Ain't that a grotesque twist of morality?

    Politicians in far away places get to demand everyone absolutely must choose which politician to rule their lives, and – even if the system is blatantly corrupt, even if all candidates are corporate whores and/or psychopathic control freaks, and even if the voters have no confidence whatsoever in it – they will be forcibly robbed ("fined") and/or assaulted & caged if they refuse to participate (in the vote and the robbery). To top it all off they are told these barbaric commands are done for their "right to vote", and they should just choose which 'representative' seems to care most about individual liberty (will that representative kindly allow the "freedom" NOT to vote? Apparently not). Even when there's a "none of the above" option, that begs the question why people have to take time to out of their day and go to some voting booth somewhere to write that down? Even with that option provided they'll still have to give a "legitimate reason" for choosing it (legitimate according to fucking who?). "Mandatory" and "Required" do not belong in a truly free society. Too bad most voting slaves don't see that.

  29. I love how it all boils down at the end of the video "Im afraid of how it will all turn out having non white people vote"

  30. If someone don't wanna vote for a specific party because you don't know enough about them (something that is probably extremely rare) you always have the option to cast a blanc vote. So "uninformed" voters being forced to vote for a party or candidate isn't really an argument for none mandatory voting.

  31. Mandatory voting is one of the worst things about democracy.

    I don't have a freaking clue who to vote for, but they want me to vote anyway or face fines and consequences.

    This pushes me to simply pick a candidate without thinking. Democracy by intimidation.

    Most people will just pick whoever they know…and whom they know is usually the guy who's been held up on a pedestal by the media….(cough Bernie sanders).

    Lowering the voting age too is just another way to trash true democracy and rational voting.

    All those 16 year olds who can suddenly vote would mean a massive influx of even MORE uninformed voters who vote along social parameters and whoever their favorite celebrities advocate for.

    System is corrupt.

  32. This is really stupid. Especially his statement that non-voters are even less informed than voters. Actually the opposite is the truth, if you are speaking about those who refuse to vote on principal, rather than just simple laziness or apathy. Those refusing to vote on principal, are actually the most informed.

  33. So for transparency's sake, this video is made by The Institute for Humane Studies, which says it is libertarian. Among its board of directors is Charles Koch of Koch industries.

  34. The most misunderstood part with compulsory voting is that you are not actually forced to vote, just to turn up to the poll site.

    Benefits include protecting voter turnout from lobby groups, and giving people stock in investing more thought into politics.

    Whether to turn up to the poll site is an emotional choice, who to vote for is (somewhat) more rational.

  35. Interesting how you refer to Australia as an example of compulsory voting but not to it being a vastly more fair society. Australia has cradle to grave health care, better access to education, better middle income wage growth, a better retirement fund system and we don't shoot our school children. Australian politicians have to generate policies for everyone not just for those likely to vote.

  36. "Most citizens are badly informed" Actually ALL citizens are badly informed. Thats why they all should be made to vote. Every point of view is valid in a democracy. Even the ill-informed. The reason why there are so many poor people in America is because poor people don't vote. Simple as that. If they all were voting at every election the politicians would work harder for their vote.

  37. No one should have to vote politicians so they can join a political party and then all progress ceases. Beheading journalists who refuse to comply with requests to investigate the actor based reality makes more sense.

  38. Why would mandatory voting lead to greater racism or homophobia (whatever this means)? The keast advantaged are least likely to vote voluntarily so forcing them to vote shouldn't increase either racism or homophobia unless the least advantaged are composed predominantly of racists and homophobics, which seems unlikely.

  39. There is no compulsory voting in Australia. You can chose not to vote by putting in an invalid vote. You are only forced to show up, maybe buy a charity snag and tick your name off on a public holiday. That's democracy!!

  40. voting should be compulsory. If you don't want to vote any party, that's ok. Spoil the ballot at the polling station. Spoilt ballots are counted

  41. I hate democracy. You guys even made a video on median voter theory . Democracy turned USA to socialism in so called national interest.

  42. lol….whatever….this is such an authoritarian elitist video. What he doesn't understand is that all americans are some of the most heavily propagandized people on planet earth. Right up their with N. Koreans and Chinese. Fundamentally propagandized to believe in a bias for the system right off the start. So the "knowledgeable" american voter is already pretty much a slave to elitist propaganda both on the democratic and republican sides.

    You want to understand the problems with america, go watch a Chomsky video. You'll learn far more about what's wrong than you ever will from this.

  43. I continue to be amazed at how behind the US is politically and socially. I always viewed the US as a beacon on the hill but increasingly realise that behind military power and (decreasingly) economic might, the country is distinctly 2nd or even 3rd world in social constructs and norms.

    The biggest flaw with the analysis undertaken in this vid is it assumes that voters are ignorant, dumb (yes that is different from the first) and petty and that’s why mandatory voting shouldn’t occur. Ironically US voters are those things BECAUSE mandatory voting isn’t in place. Studies in Australia dating back to the 1920s (that’s when we dealt with this issue) showed that mandatory voting created an incentive for voters to become informed and considered and to hold representatives accountable. Australia voters are on average more informed, intelligent and reasoned than their US counterparts because mandatory voting created a need for the individual to be all those things.

    Unfortunately this analysis is a perfect example of flawed circular reasoning, whereby the outcomes from the absence of something is used to justify its continued absence.

    Not that many US voters will understand what the hell I am talking about.

  44. This is the most stupid video on the internet. Compulsory voting works, and you are ignorant as hell, if you think otherwise or use are working for your own “self interests”.

  45. There are elections where some for some people they are compulsory, for some, they are not: Elections to the European parliament are compulsory in Belgium, Greece and Luxembourg; but voluntary in all other states

  46. if you don't vote you get fined ..if you don't pay the fine you go to court..if you don't go to court they can send you to prison…if you don't go to prison..they can shoot you? death for not voting..the Australian government are extremists

  47. Voting should be a *civic duty*, not a civic right. If you don't assume responsibility for upholding a representative democracy, you shouldn't benefit from it.

    Besides, countries – like Australia – only require you to show up and mark your ballot in any way, not necessarily vote for a candidate. This man is misinformed.

    And, he makes a lot of points which don't relate to the question. It is true that bad voting causes bad governments. So? Why should you decide what's a bad decision? It's a representative democracy after all. I suppose if it were the case that voting was mandatory, I'm sure you'd be very motivated to educate the population.

    Democracy is earned.

  48. Look at the USA…complacency gave you Trump…enjoy. I'll bet a lot more will get off their butts and vote in the half term elections.

  49. Surprising that a channel called "Learn Liberty" doesn't once question the constitutionality of compulsory voting or talk about how it's basically compelled speech.

  50. If the American people are too uneducated to vote on issues that take less than 3hours of research, why is the U.S. government spending over $70 billion a year on education. If there are some American people that are this uneducated, it seems we have a much larger issue that needs addressing.


  51. You are wrong! Only mugs actually cast vote and the system s rigged to only serve the politicians. I live in Australia and I am totally against being forced to vote so every vote is fake and useless ie a Donkey vote. We never ever have reasonable choice so its in fact a complete joke. we must vote for bad or bad. Australia claims to be a democracy but its a systemic dictatorship that demands we we vote for lousy of decline and pay a large fine.IF a country truly claims to be a democracy then the choice should be that of the individual ONLY
    There should be law that states Voting is NOT compulsory but 99% of the population needs to cast a valid vote or no party can win office. That way the Government would have to attract voters with real policies or risk missing out on a paycheck.

  52. Where are you getting your information from? Sources? Are any sources of information from a country with mandatory voting? Or did you source all your facts from places without it?

  53. Ok, I started writing stuff before the end and then I saw the crap about needless wars (US only) homphobia, bad government etc. I only have this to say:

    How is voluntary voting working for the US so far removing these misconceptions?

  54. Modern governments came from the same line (and even bloodlines) of historical mafia, bandits, robbers and warlords. Think of a historical gangster. Now think of a nation. A nation is a historical gangster grown through thousands of years into the size of what we now call a "nation". So now we call the big brother, the head of the gang, our "president", our "prime minister", our chairman, our king monkey, or what ever. So if you think that all the party candidates you're voting for are "still" the mafia, why should you? Well, because these governments came from the same root system as the historical warlords, bandits or whatever you call them, they behave the same. That is, they want you to vote for them over their competitors. So now we have all mafia gangs, all are the same war mongers, all trying to get us to vote for them to be the head of the nation (ie head of the gangster) and in some extreme countries, they fine people heavily for failure to vote. A truly democratic country should allow people the right to vote AS WELL AS not to vote. Quite a few so-called democratic countries fines people for not voting. These countries are in a sense less democratic than communistic countries. But they insist that they are democratic. But who cares what they call themselves. When they force people to vote, they are not a democratic government (ie, head of a gangster that enforces their rules on others).

  55. In my eye, the premier reason such a law would be morally wrong is the fact that if a citizen’s ideology, may it be uninformed or not, does not align or even slightly overlap with Democrats’ or Republicans’ one (Heck, even with Libertarians or other candidates of independent nature), NOT voting would be the only way not to personally pave the way for somebody you disagree with to the White House.

    The idea that a government will condemn such act by law essentially delegalizes having an opinion that differs from the set of which that run for election and that morally prohibits you from supporting existing candidates.


    That will wreck havoc on the free nature and libertarian spirit on the foundation of whom this country was founded – all before being struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional under the First Amendment and since it calls for unjust prosecution of us The People maybe under the Due Process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments too.

    Whooo that took way too long to compose.

    I think this channel viewers are mostly more hard-core civil libertarians than me so this may be more of an extra dimension to an already proven opinion rather than a way to persuade future-libertarians (at this level a little logic would suffice…. not that this issue is relevant and pretty obvious in most demographics) viewers………… But I hope it’s good at that too.

  56. In Australia we also have preference voting where most people do not understand what it means or how it works.

  57. Australia is a democratic country which means that we shouldn't be forced to do anything. Why should we be forced to vote?

  58. No, it is obviously sign of dictatorship. Voting is a (human) right, not an obligation.
    In Argentina the passport and drivers license is withdrawn when someone does not vote. Also some jobs are excluded and more executions and threats. Ridiculous abuse of power by government.

  59. No. People always vote their self-interest, it's just that most people understand their self-interest is often served by voting for the national good, when it is in fact *good*.

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