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The Importance Of Voting For A Candidate For Office

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One of the most critical ways that individuals can affect governmental decision-making is voting. Voting is a formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a resolution of an issue. Voting takes place in the context of a large-scale national or regional election, however, local and community elections can be just as poignant to individual participation in government. Every Australian citizen who is aged 18 years or more can vote in a federal election if validly enrolled and not disqualified from voting. Political participation is the basis of democracy and a vital part of the ‘right to vote’. Australia’s constitution has framed the progressive democracy Australia has become, however there is debate on the derivation of this right to vote and on the extent of the protection of that right. The right is not constitutional at all, instead being governed by international treaty obligations and commonwealth legislation. The right to vote has been defined as the right to cast a ballot in an election. However, in order to fulfil the democratic objective of representative government, modern definitions require that the vote cast is effective, that each individual may only vote a single time and that franchise is equal. Further, the right must have legal prevalence in order to prevent its erosion through legislation.

The “right to vote” is set out in Section 41 of the Australian Constitution (Cth) and states “No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at
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