Labour compulsory voting policy just a quick fix - expert

  • 07/11/2016
The proposal, announced at the Labour Party conference, is aiming to boost voter numbers
The proposal, announced at the Labour Party conference, is aiming to boost voter numbers

A political expert says Labour's proposed scheme to make voting compulsory looks like an attempted quick fix to our low voter turnout.

Massey University politics lecturer Victoria Woodman says Government can force people to vote, but can't force them to be politically engaged.

"Whether or not that actually remedies any of the underlying problems that contribute to voters choosing not to turn out to vote when they have the choice, I don't think that there's an awful lot of evidence to suggest that it is going to solve those problems," she says.

The proposal, announced at the Labour Party conference, is aiming to boost voter numbers.

Ms Woodman says Labour could be trying to appeal to lower socio-economic groups, but the proposal isn't necessarily a strong one.

"I suspect that part of what the Labour Party is doing here is noting that people of lower incomes are less likely to vote, and thinking, maybe this will benefit us.

"Whether or not that's actually going to help them - I'm not convinced that it will."

In Australia's voting system, people are fined if they don't vote.

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