Shit, what a fucked up system! And in a modern by todays standards country. You guys need a revolution!
I happen to think it's a good system. At least we're not ruled by apathy where people couldn't even bother to vote.
And people who don't want to vote simply cross the ballot form. As someone whose been involved in vote counting many years ago, that's just what people do.
What is 10 minutes of your precious time every four years? As far as I'm concerned every citizen has a responsibility to state who they want in power, rather than whine and whinge when you don't get the government you want.
And if you refuse to pay the fine? For political reasons. You could simply state that none of the political parties represent your best interests. What then? Jail Time? Must have a lot of political prisoners in your country...
For a start, it's just a $40 fine for not voting.
Political prisoners? We don't have a Guantanamo Bay mate. We don't torture people or rendition them to other countries so someone else can do it. We don't people waterboarded in our prisons. We have really only have had one terrorist attack planned, which is currently in court ... our civil court and not some made up military tribunal.
I think that as far as political systems go, Australia is far better off. There is plenty of opportunity for people to put in postal and absentee votes ... or just turn up on polling day. If people are too lazy to contribute to that, then so be it. Cop a fine.
As for the censorship debate, changing the law or ratings requires a unanimous decision by the State and Territory attorney generals as the law is administered by the States and Territories. There are still ONE hold-out attorney general while everyone else is ready to change. It will require the South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson to either change is mind or being removed from office before we can get an R18+ rating. It's not going to happen overnight ... but it will happen. And we're a patient lot.