In case you don't know what that means, it means you are not just eligible to, but legally obligated to vote in elections.
I think, if the voting procedure were made less of a time investment (Go to polling booth, wait in line, cast vote) and everything could be done by mail or (better yet) the internet, our political landscape would be changed for the better.
Every voice (Or near enough as makes no difference) in the country would be heard and parties would have to work harder to continue to appeal to their constituents. Instead of a Republican who hated Romney simply staying home on election day, they would HAVE to go to the polls and cast a vote for someone other than him.
Every vote lost would directly translate into a vote for someone else.
I think it would be a great way to force the Republican party to turn around and make itself relatable to the masses.
1. It is currently illegal in most states for people registered to a third party to vote during the Primary election. This means that ONLY Republicans and Democrats are allowed to vote in the Primary.
2. During the 2012 Presidential Election Ron Paul won enough delegates to earn himself a chance to speak at the RNC. When he refused to use that speech to "fully endorse" Mitt Romney, the RNC changed the rules regarding the number of delegates required (raising them) and stripped Ron Paul of his right to speak.
3. During the 2012 Presidential Election members of the New Black Panther party were photograhed, in "uniform," standing in front of the doors to some polling stations in an apparent attempt to intimidate white voters.
4. Florida still hasn't figured out how to count votes.
I'd say we have a lot of problems that need to be addressed, to make the process even remotely close to fair, before we consider making it mandatory.
1. More voting times. I think there was one pre-election day and then the election day itself during our last election. I find myself sometimes after a long day at work summoning the energy to vote.
2. Get the election people to get their act together. Sometimes I get a voting card and sometimes not even though I haven't moved ever. If I don't then it becomes a pain in the ass.
3. Better voting stations. It's weird because you talk to friends, family and co-workers and I've had polling stations nearby but instead they want me to go out to timbuktu.
4. Give me someone to vote for. I think a lot of people like me are fed up with the current crop of politicians. Regardless of what party they are involved with you know they will cheat, lie, be involved with multiple scandals, and just overall do what's best for themselves and their party rather than their country. As Bonnie Taylor sang I'm Holding Out For a Hero.
Our congress/senate is unable to accomplish anything for trying to be reelected. If there were restrictions set on them for not doing part of their job, that being balancing the budget, it would severely reduce the waste and porkbarreling happening in the budget. There would, of course, have to be a grace period on the law, and if congress could not figure something out by the time it's out, they're out. The point of the law would be to force them to balance the budget. It's a sound idea in theory, but, then again, so are democracy and socialism. It's not a nutball idea, it's a permanent solution to a problem that has been swept under the rug for far too long. Drastic times call for drastic measures.
Of course it's never going to happen because of the people that just vote for the incumbents and leave the rest of the ballot blank, and if people were forced to vote that wouldn't normally they're going to vote either straight party or for the incumbent then leave the rest of the ballot blank because they don't care.
Congress's opinion should reflect the opinion of the constituents and no one else. Anything else completely flies in the face of the point of a representative democracy. Governments not listening to the people that put them in office is what causes revolutions, and governments exist because the people allow it. If that that ever isn't the case, it's time to reorganize.
OT: Compulsory voting wouldn't accomplish anything in the US but to waste time and money. The people that don't vote are either protesting the system, don't care about the outcome, or are just blatantly too lazy. Forcing people to vote would just increase the number of straight party and/or blank ballots submitted; neither of which are healthy for the country.