A month or so ago, Jonathan Hunt gave up the Speaker's Chair to Margaret Wilson. And now, after 39 years of service, he has finally left the House. His parting suggestion? Compulsory voting. Despite being an ardent democrat, I'm not sure that I like this idea; it seems to me that the freedom to vote must also include the freedom not to vote - and this goes beyond simply allowing people to spoil their ballots in imaginative (and unimaginative) ways, to allowing them to choose to have nothing at all to do with the process, lest they be sullied with the implication that they supported any of the candidates. And while I am concerned about declining turnout, the answer there is for politicians to work to reconnect people with formal politics. Electoral turnout is an important indicator of the health of the overall system (as seen in the US, and more recently the UK); allowing politicians to boost it simply by passing a law is simply cheating.