Monday, September 24, 2007

Voting in Australia

‘That voting in Victoria should be optional instead of compulsory’

Who is your audience? In the state of Victoria (Australia), it is compulsory for people aged 18 and over to participate in general elections. Penalties in the form of fines are issued if you do not turn up to voting polls. Since this is the case, the target audience are for the Victorians who are affected by this law.

How much does your audience know or care about the issue? Compulsory voting has been in effect for many years, and is part of the Australian tradition. Thus, it can be assumed, that those who are 18 and above, would have experienced the necessity of going to sanctioned voting booths. Those who believe that compulsory voting is a waste of time and an oppression of democratic freedom or those who believe that voting is a necessary factor for being a democratic would be interested in this kind of question/issue

What is your audience’s current attitude toward your issue? The opinion of this issue varies among people. Those who have a strong interest in politics are most likely to be supportive of compulsory voting. Whilst those who have know knowledge or interest for ‘prime ministers’ or ‘Victorian premiers’ would find that compulsory voting a complete waste of time, being in support that ‘voting should be optional’

What will be your audience’s likely objections to your argument? Those who are objectionable to this statement may argue:

  • That compulsory voting has been around for generations and is an Australian tradition. To make voting optional would be ‘Un-Australian’
  • Compulsory voting would allow people to be more aware of the realm of Australian politics. This would increase their general knowledge.
  • If compulsory voting was not implemented, may result in ‘unfavourable turnouts,’ this the most appropriate leaders would not be chosen
  • ‘Unfavourable turnouts’ may lead insufficient opinions on political leaders.
  • That all of our rights are limited in a marginal way.

Finally, what values, beliefs or assumptions about the world do you and your audience share? Common links with the audience

  • Our age group: Those who are in the ‘younger generation’ may feel that voting is unnecessary and a waste of time
  • That politics play a major role in our lives since we are a democratic country, ‘where people rule.’ Thus, it is important for people to aware of politics so democracy is implemented properly
  • That our rights in a democratic country are preserved; we should not be forced to do things that we have no interest in.

1 comment:

brendan.chan said...

Help Create Democracy 2.0

Week Released: September 17-21, 2007

The Millennial Generation, including myself, is interested in being an
active part of changing public policy. This interest led me to be a part of
Mobilize.org¹s Democracy 2.0 Campaign.

On July 4, Mobilize.org began the Democracy 2.0 project to call attention to
the ways that our democratic process and institutions are properly serving
and failing to serve the interests of Americans, specifically young
Americans. The purpose of Democracy 2.0 is to call attention to the main
problems of our current political system, highlight the distinct
characteristics of the Millennial Generation, and provide guidelines for
change to help cultivate a renewed political process in America.

Currently, our political system is trying to manage a 21st century society
with 18th century political institutions. Democracy 2.0 will upgrade our
current political system, empowering citizens to identify community
problems, propose solutions, be a part of the implementation of these
solutions, and change the way politics is done in this country.

To begin this endeavor, Mobilize.org asked a series of questions and
collected data from youth, ages 16-30 that will be reviewed and evaluated by
Democracy 2.0 Ambassadors at the Democracy 2.0 Summit on October 3, 2007,
with the intention of releasing the Democracy 2.0 Declaration of Our
Generation. The Declaration of our Generation is a short statement of
principles describing a citizen-centered approach to democracy. The
Declaration will focus on three themes: 1) What currently works and what
does not work in our democracy; 2) What defines our generation; and 3) What
Democracy 2.0 should look like.

The Declaration will call attention to areas in which the government is
succeeding and failing to serve the public interest, highlight the unique
and defining characteristics of our generation, and provide guidelines that
will serve as a call to action for American citizens to help create this
renewed form of democracy.

I wanted to mention this opportunity since every posting here has an
interest in this. Mobilize.org is looking for people who want to serve as
Democracy 2.0 Online Ambassadors to be a part of the drafting process. If
you have any questions, please shoot me an e-mail at brendan.chan@mail.utexas.edu.