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Editorial: Vote or else?

A country where every man and woman is required to vote? While it may sound like something from a totalitarian regime, think again, mate.

Australia, another former English colony with a history of elected representative government that rivals our own, has been requiring its citizens to vote in federal elections since 1924 … and it’s been working pretty well ever since.

What are the advantages of compulsory voting? Well, there’s the philosophical argument that every citizen should participate in the electoral process to demonstrate that they have a stake in their government.

But the real reason is one that American voters see all too often—the pernicious influence of special interests. With low overall participation, any group that can rally its members in support of a particular candidate or ballot initiative can exert an undue influence on the entire process.

Those groups are often found at the polar ends of the political spectrum, and their efforts ...

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