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Traveling in Australia this week. Wonderful place, nice people, four of the top ten most livable cities in the world out of a population 2/3 that of California. Didn't see a slum or an economically blighted area anywhere in 3 cities, 10 days of travel. How is it that Australia is such a great place?
I think universal voting has something to do with it. Look at this photo of an early voting booth in the secure gate area of Perth Airport Domestic Terminal. These polling places are everywhere - groceries, farmers markets, train stations - everywhere. Anyone can cast a vote here no matter where in the Country you live. It's just not that hard to sort out who is who and local polling places are not mandatory.
Aussie's really want everyone to vote, so politicians really respond to the needs of the people - all the people. All the tv's in restaurants, bars, terminals etc. are tuned to election coverage and politicians are earnestly discussing the issues at hand. What a concept. I travel a lot all around the world, and it seems consistent. The more people are involved and voting, the better the quality of life.
The presumption should be that EVERYONE VOTES. Then we will truly have a representative democracy. Progressives should call for universal registration, early and easy voting. How can anyone argue with that?