This volume provides valuable insight into how compulsory voting has worked over the last century in Australia and beyond. The collection includes contributions by historians, political theorists and empirical political scientists, and in addition to Australia it also considers how compulsory voting has been debated in Europe and North America. The authors address a wide variety of different aspects of the institution and offer analyses that will be highly relevant to all who take an interest in electoral institution design and voter participation. - Professor Sarah Birch, King’s College London
Political scientists, historians and legal scholars regularly examine facets of Australia’s system of compulsory voting. But, for the first time, this volume provides a comprehensive set of analyses, spanning the history, justification, administration, public support and opposition, and — critically — the political consequences of compulsory voting. A long overdue and rigorous contribution to our understanding of one of Australia’s most important yet most understudied and undervalued political institutions.- Professor Simon Jackman, University of Sydney
Compulsory voting has operated in Australia for a century, and remains the best known and arguably the most successful example of the practice globally. By probing that experience from several disciplinary perspectives, this book offers a fresh, up-to-date insight into the development and distinctive functioning of compulsory voting in Australia. By juxtaposing the Australian experience with that of other representative democracies in Europe and North America, the volume also offers a much needed comparative dimension to compulsory voting in Australia. A unifying theme running through this study is the relationship between compulsory voting and democratic well-being. Can we learn anything from Australia’s experience of the practice that is instructive for the development of institutional bulwarks in an era when democratic politics is under pressure globally? Or is Australia’s case sui generis – best understood in the final analysis as an intriguing outlier?
Matteo Bonotti is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Monash University, having previously taught at Cardiff University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include democratic theory, political liberalism, the normative dimensions of partisanship and electoral design, linguistic justice, food justice, and free speech.
Paul Strangio is an Associate Professor of Politics at Monash University. Paul specialises in Australian political history with a particular focus on political leadership and political parties. He is an author and editor of eleven books.