Clarence Alderman Criticises Compulsory Voting In Council Elections

Denial of freedom

Article heading image for Clarence Alderman Criticises Compulsory Voting In Council Elections

Matthew Farrell

Clarence Alderman Tony Mulder will move a motion at Tuesday’s Clarence City Council’s meeting to officially not support forcing people to vote in local government elections.

Mulder described the compulsory voting as a “denial of freedom” and will attempt to have the motion reversed which was passed earlier this month.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Tasmanian Briefing - keeping you in the loop with news as it hits

“First of all is the issue of liberty, the freedom,” Mulder said. 

“It’s not a right to vote if you don’t have a right not to vote.”

Mulder believed voting in council elections did not compare to voting in state or federal elections and should the move go ahead, ir would result in less independency in representation and more party politics.

“Although you could make a case for compulsory voting for a government that makes laws, council isn’t a government at all, we don’t make laws and we don’t run a judiciary,” he said.

“On the mainland we have compulsory voting and there we have party tickets and there’s talk there about which party controls councils, that’s hardly right.

“We’re turning councils into party political forum.”

The move to legalise voting in local government elections was passed after a bill to amend the local government act passed its third reading in the Legislative Council.

It was rushed through parliament and tabled on May 24, so that it would be in place for council elections in September and October.

Local government minister and former Kingborough councillor Nic Street said compulsory voting would demonstrate the importance of local governments to Tasmanians.

“These decisions are just as important as those made at state and federal government level and in many cases, they impact the day-to-day lives of Tasmanian residents a lot more,” he said.

“By making voting compulsory, we will lift community’s perception of local government and its importance by bringing local council elections into line with State and Federal elections.”

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with Your Morning Agenda - supported by a network of local journalists from all major Australian cities, ensuing timely and first hand insights on local stories:

14 June 2022

Listen Live!

Up Next