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1.5 Let’s vote again — but differently!

<p>Metal voting box</p>

National Museum of Australia

<p>Metal voting box</p>

Scene 5: The same classroom…

‘Class, some of you have told me that you werent happy with my rules about the vote. You think its unfair, that its not democratic.’ (‘That’s for sure!’)

‘Let’s try again.’ (Cheers)

‘This time, everybody — all 1s, 2s and 3s — are able to vote and I will not be watching how you vote. Instead voting will be secret and all your votes will be put in a special secure voting box.’ (More cheers, ‘Hooray’).

‘But one more thing. From now on when important matters like this need to be decided I’m going to make voting compulsory. That means that you must vote and youll be punished if you don’t. Some of you might think you should have a choice about whether to vote or not, but I think you also have a responsibility to your classmates to have your say on things that affect all of us. So this time anyone who doesn’t vote will have to stay in at lunchtime and look after the pet.’ (A mixture of views … ‘That sounds fair’, ‘I’m OK with it’, ‘You can’t tell me what to do!’

1. Is this an improvement on the previous vote?

Explain your thinking.

2. Do you think all students should be made to vote on important issues that affect everyone?

Explain your thinking.

3. Think back to 1.4, where everyone got a vote, but the teacher was watching. Which of these options would deal with this problem?

How would this help make voting fairer?

These situations might sound ridiculous but something like them really did happen in Australia!

Youve identified a lot of problems with the voting systems you tried. But youve finally reached a good voting system: a democratic system, with…

  • all people able to vote
  • all people able to vote free from somebody’s unfair influence.

When Australia was first colonised by the British, nobody had a vote. The Governor made all the rules.

Then only men got the vote. But voting was in the open, so people could try and force men to vote in a particular way.

This system was changed so that people voted in secret and nobody could influence or bully them.

Eventually the vote was given to everyone and it was made compulsory.

And that’s what we have today.

The development of a fair voting system in Australia
Nobody could vote.
Then men could vote but voting was public.
Then men could vote in secret.
Then most people could vote.
Voting was made compulsory.
Finally everyone could vote.

4. Do you think our current voting system is fair? Is there anything you would change to improve it further?

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