Jock and Vivienne have already got the IPPR’s compulsory voting pamphlet covered, so there is little for me to add. All I will say is that before Geoff Hoon decides to force this measure through, he ought to consider the obstinacy of the British. I live in a Labour-Tory marginal; I vote Lib Dem simply to keep the national average up and to get the Lib Dems a bit more public funding (which works out at approximately 12p per vote). Compulsory voting however would mean that if I and another 10,000 or so people didn’t vote we could use polling day to make a political statement about how poor our voting system is. With so few votes that count under our electoral system, frankly, I’d be surprised if it is as low as 10,000.
A lot of people are already feeling pretty bloody minded about ID cards; this is an invitation for a mass civil disobedience campaign. I can think of nothing else that would more quickly hasten electoral reform. Perhaps Geoff Hoon and the IPPR are fifth columnists secretly plotting to bring down the status quo through the sheer incompetence of their scheme?