Would Charging People Money to Vote Increase Electorial Attendance?

I've had a really hard time trying to convince people to go vote, with limited success. The 2004 electoral turn out was only 36.5% in my area, and the national average for the UK's a paltry 38%.

I keep wondering if you charged people money to place their vote whether attendance would go up (like they do with TV talent shows, who get far more of a voting response in the UK!)

Too many people think free means worthless, and so don't bother. I sometime consider it may be worth playing to the "If you gotta pay for it, it must be good" mentality just to get a better result. (For example, people rarely went for Linex computer OS when it was free, when they stuck a price comparable to Microsoft Windows on it, users numbers went up exponentially).

Heck, just trying to push a bill through to get people to pay to vote would stir things up enough, just the possibility of being made to pay for something that should be free could get people to actually use their hard earned right! ;D

My boyfriend suggested the Australian fine system, where if you don't vote you get fined, would be more successful - given that the Australian pallet actually has a "none of the above" option. It would also be a more accurate showing of how fed up people were with their politicians if lots decided to go with the exclude me option! However, something about being forced to use your right at threat of a penalty seems a bit at odds with the whole concept to me.

Does anyone have any suggestions or a better idea?

Tags: election, vote, voting

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