Interviewed on NPR, William Galston suggests that compulsory voting may be the answer to softening the deep polarization that currently exists in U.S. politics.
He argues that today, politics in the U.S. is as polarized as ever, and in order to have a healthier political discussion, that needs to be dealt with. The problem is that the people who actually vote are the ones who are most angry or political. Charging a fee to anyone who fails to vote will force politicians to appeal to a broader electorate.
I think it could help. But of course, forcing people who are completely uninterested or unfamiliar with political debates might not help. This highlights, in my opinion, the importance of a liberal arts education that produces active citizens, who refuse to listen to politicians who reduce their opponents to caricatures. This value of the college education is what many economists miss when they argue that it is inefficient for mail carriers to have bachelor degrees [ht:cr].