Paul Lachine

为什么投票?

作为一名澳大利亚公民,我参与了最近联邦选举的投票。大约95%登记在册的澳大利亚选民也参与了这次投票。这一数字与美国选举形成了鲜明的对比,美国2004年总统选举的投票率将将超过60%。至于总统任期中间进行的议会选举,一般只有不到40%的适龄选民愿意参与投票。

这么多澳大利亚人参与选举是有原因的。20世纪20年代,当投票率降到60%以下的时候,议会规定强制公民参与投票。从那以后,尽管历经了不同政治面貌的多届政府,但从未出现过废除这项法律的严肃企图,民意测验表明,70%的澳大利亚人支持这项法律。

不参与投票的澳大利亚人会收到询问原因的信件。如果没有可以接受的理由,比如生病或出国旅游,不参与投票的人必须交纳一小笔罚款,但真正受罚的人只占适龄选民的1%不到。

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