3 Jan 2013

Queensland could scrap compulsory voting

10:33 am on 3 January 2013

The state government in Queensland is asking voters whether compulsory voting should be scrapped for state elections.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has issued a discussion paper for consultation on possible reforms to electoral laws.

AAP reports the paper lists the pros and cons of abolishing compulsory voting and highlights other possible reforms, including changes to political donations, how-to-vote cards and political advertising.

A report on the 1996 federal election recommended that compulsory voting be abolished so Australia could be considered "a mature democracy".

The report argued that voting could be considered a 'right' only if people could exercise a 'right' not to vote.

AAP reports voting in Queensland state elections has been compulsory since 1915.

Mr Bleijie said the discussion paper aims to make the government more accountable.

"Fair and effective electoral laws are central to the promotion of participation in our democracy," he said in a statement on Thursday.

"The options in the discussion paper are not intended to be exhaustive and the government is after a variety of opinions and ideas."

The submission period is open until March 1.