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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 13, 2010 / 2 Menachem-Av 5770

Should the U.S. Adopt Compulsory Voting?

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | HOBART, AUSTRALIA -- California GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman has been taking a lot of heat for her voting record. Or non-voting record. The former eBay CEO didn't register to vote in California until 2002. She failed to vote in the 2003 recall election. She didn't register as a Republican until 2007. Too bad Whitman didn't spend her business-big-shot years Down Under. In Australia, it's against the law for citizens age 18 or older not to vote.

Ask Aussies about the system and they generally support it. The Australian government passed mandatory voting in federal elections after voter participation slipped to 59 percent in 1922 from an earlier high of 71 percent. In recent years, about 95 percent of Australian citizens have voted.

Besides, some Australians will note, it is not a crime to fail to vote if you are not registered. For the vast majority of those who are enrolled but do not vote, it also is easy to get out of the fine -- about $20 for a first offense -- by citing illness or another extenuating circumstance.

Then there's the phenomenon known as "donkey voting" -- or just randomly ticking off names on the ballot. Call it a protest, call it lazy. The outcome is the same.

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow William Galston has proposed that America adopt the same system to increase voter participation. In the 2008 presidential election, 61.7 percent of eligible Americans voted, according to George Mason University.

I object.

For one thing, Washington should not coerce citizens by making them vote. In a free country, those who do not wish to vote should be free to abstain. For another, if people are so ill informed as to believe their votes have no import, well, they're probably right.

And while there is no proving that higher turnout means more left-leaning votes, political scientists of both stripes tend to believe that mandatory voting delivers more votes to the left than to the right. Again, quantity does not mean quality.

Even in Australia, even with compulsory voting, however, high-profile, big-money candidates with poor voting records can prevail. Peter Garrett -- you know, the tall bald singer from the rock band Midnight Oil -- ran for office in 2004. At the time, he was forced to admit that for all his politically correct lectures and exhortations for political activism, he himself had not been on the federal election rolls for 10 years.

At the time, conservative Treasurer Peter Costello told the Herald Sun of Melbourne, "If you haven't been interested enough to have registered and voted in elections, it's a bit rich to ask other people to vote for you."

And: "It's like the pope saying he hadn't been to church for 10 years."

Today, Garrett is the Labor Party's minister for the environment. In both hemispheres, apparently, rich and famous count for something.

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© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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