As we citizens has civic to vote, should voting be compulsory? We can argue to make voting compulsory in order to increase turn-out. We can also argue that making voting compulsory will be a violation of citizens’ liberty. Other argument against making voting compulsory is that it will corrupt the notion of civic duty, which is supposed to be voluntary.
What about the argument that voting is actually inconsistent with reasoning, because even if one care about the outcome of an election, if you consider the actual probability that your vote will make a difference and you discount the value of your preferred outcome by the chance that your vote will actually make the difference? The answer to this will be that voting is not about making the difference but an expression of significance. On a game theory, you vote because you think if you don’t vote, enough people also not voting might mean your vote is significant, so you vote in the possibility that it might be significant. Should this be universalised?
On vote trading, the moment we began to monetize rights, you are away from what is considered a democratic system. The presupposition about democracy is that we are all equal, which means that, if I have no money, I can still vote. And, if I have lots of money I can buy lots of votes, then we are not talking about democracy any longer. Objectively, if we contend that our vote is not an assets but our right, we can object to that by saying I should be free with it. An answer to this will be that there’s freedom in a democracy, there are rights attached to one’s being –one’s vote is attached to one’s person. Hence, voting is as rights, as duty.
Different arguments against and for voting has led to consider different ideas of what voting is for, and this in turn let consider what democracy is all about. To answer this question, complete concern has been identified, the popular ideas of democracy in recent time is that the idea of democracy is for the sake of earning people’s interests and preferences so that the value of the majority can find it influences in public policy. This view of democracy is an “economics view” of democracy, or instrumental view which makes it difficult to distinguish between collective bribery and responding to campaign promises. This view also make it a difficult challenge to explain why not have a free-market in voting, and also struggling to articulate the possible alternative. Non-instrument view of democracy is connected with gaining expression to our collective, identity, deliberate about the common good, and the ways our political leaders challenge, rethink preferences and interests that we had in public life or cast our gaze upon politics and alternatives if offers. So, why vote without delving into the big question of ‘what democracy is all about?’