Todd: Ah, so Ruth, you're British.
Ruth: That's right.
Todd: And you have an election coming up.
Ruth: That's right. There's going to be an election on May the 5th.
Todd: So are you going to vote?
Todd: Actually, in England is it compulsory, do people have to vote, or is voluntary, do they choose to vote?
Ruth: No, it's voluntary so you don't have to vote.
Todd: Ah, what do you think about that?
Ruth: Actually, I think it should be compulsory.
Todd: Really. Oh, wow. Why?
Ruth: Well, I think it's a real waste of a vote, when people don't vote. I think that everyone should vote. That everyone has the right to vote, and I think that when people don't vote, that's when parties get in that I don't really think should be in.
Todd: Mm, well I agree with the problem that people get into office that you don't want there, but I would argue that it's actually because if you have a mandatory voting system then maybe people will vote and they don't even know about the issues. Like in the United States, actually, we have a very low voter turn out, but we still have a problem I think of people voting that really get manipulated by the media and they don't know the issues, and I actually think there should be a test..
Todd: Yeah. There should be something that makes sure that people at least read what our politicians are going to vote on, that you shouldn't just vote on someone because he looks nice, or he's the same religion as you, or what you have it, because then what you get is, people go into power, that vote people into power and you really don't even know what those elected officials stand for.
Ruth: But that's discriminatory. You can't say, "Oh, well, you can vote but you can't because you haven't passed a test."
Todd: Well, I don 't think it would be a, that it would be a test, but I think that there should be a way that people actually know the issues. I mean if that's not the case then it really isn't democracy is it. I mean democracy to me is, everybody has an educated vote, like everybody is voting and making the best decision possible. It's not a popularity contest, and I think that the way the media is now, that they can really turn things around and people don't even know what they are voting for.
Ruth: So you are saying that only educated people are able to make the best vote?
Todd: Oh, I definitely did not say that. What I'm saying is, that people should only vote if they've actually read the issues and they know what's at stake. They've read what's going to be voted on and they know exactly what their politician stands for.
Ruth: But the majority of people will do that anyway surely.
Todd: Oh, I would disagree. I think very few people do. They think they have to vote because that's an obligation, like their a good citizen by voting, but in reality, they don't even know the issues they are voting on.
Ruth: I still don't think you can say, that not everybody should vote.
Todd: Yeah. I guess my argument is that I just think that you should only vote if you really take the time and look into the candidates and you know what they stand for.
Ruth: But again I think that's probably because you feel strongly about politics and not everybody does.
Todd: Ah, that's a good point, actually. I guess that's one way to look at it.