Elections around the world
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Elections Around the World. What were elections around the world like in 2004?. the date and type of election from that country in 2004 the number of registered voters the party in power information about whether voting is compulsory some key issues, and results .

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Elections around the world

Elections Around the World

What were elections around the world like in 2004?

What are you about to learn

What are you about to learn?

What is compulsory voting

  • Compulsory voting is a practice that requires citizens to vote in elections or to attend a polling place to get their name crossed off the electoral roll. Because of the secret ballot, people can only be compelled to cast ballots and remain free to spoil their ballot papers. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, he/she may be subject to punitive measures such as fines, community service, or imprisonment. Voter turnout is very high in countries with compulsory voting.

What is Compulsory Voting?

What countries use compulsory voting

  • There are twenty-three countries that have compulsory voting in elections. These are:

  • Argentina,

  • Australia,

  • Belgium,

  • Bolivia,

  • Brazil,

  • Costa Rica,

  • Cyprus,

  • Dominican Republic,

  • Ecuador,

  • Egypt,

  • Fiji,

  • Greece,

  • Guatemala,

  • Honduras, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Panama, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela. Both The Netherlands and Austria had systems of compulsory voting, but these were later repealed.

What countries use compulsory voting?

South africa

  • South Africa

  • Election type: Parliamentary

  • Election date: 14 April 2004

  • Number of registered voters: 20, 674 ,926

  • Party in Government: African National Congress

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • On 14 April, 2004, Thabo Mbeki’s African National Congress (ANC) party won an overwhelming victory with 69.68 per cent of the vote in South Africa’s third multi-racial elections since the end of apartheid in April 1994. The nearest rival, the Democratic Alliance, came a distant second with 12 per cent of the vote. The Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party came in third, with 7 per cent of the vote. Voter turnout was high, at 77 per cent. President Mbeki has a two-thirds majority in parliament which would allow him to change the constitution, but he has stated that he has no intention of doing so.

  • In the general election of 2 June 1999, Thabo Mbeki took over the presidency from Nelson Mandela after the ruling ANC party won 66.4 per cent of the vote.

South Africa


  • India

  • Election type: Parliamentary

  • Election dates: 20 April, 26 April, 5 May, 10 May 2004

  • Number of registered voters: 671 524 934

  • Party in Government: The Congress Party

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • With voting now complete in the world’s largest elections, with 670 million voters going to the polls, the BBC takes an in depth look at the Indian elections. Areas covered include the campaign, key members of the cabinet, why Sonia Gandhi turned down the top job and why these elections matter. On 19 May, Manmohan Singh was appointed Prime Minister of India.



  • Japan

  • Election type: Parliamentary

  • Election date: 11 July 2004

  • Number of registered voters: 100 433 798 (as at the year 2000)

  • Party in Government: Liberal Democratic Party

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • This election was for Japan’s House of Councillors (Upper House) election. According to the Oxford Analytica daily brief of 13 July 2004, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) gained 49 seats and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) gained 50 seats in Sunday’s Upper House elections. This article discusses the significance of the results including implications for the position of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. There is analysis, detailed results, commentary on voter turnout, discussion of policy issues of significance, and commentary on implications of the results for Japanese politics.



  • The European Parliament

  • Election type: Parliamentary

  • Election dates: 10–13 June 2004

  • Number of registered voters: approx. 350 000 000

  • Party in Government: not applicable

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • The European Parliament is the assembly of the representatives of the 450 million European Union (EU) citizens. Since 1979, every 5 years Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have been elected by direct universal election. This European Parliament web site explains what the European Parliament is, how the vote works, about the candidates, the constituencies, the expanded EU, and gives election results.

  • In the 2004 election, 732 members of the European Parliament were elected from the 25 EU member states. The European Parliament elections map allows you to click on any of the 25 countries involved in the vote, to see candidate names, distribution of current MEPs by party in the European Parliament, and analysis.

  • Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) won its first seat in the European Parliament with the election of Mary Lou MacDonald in Ireland. This Associated Press article of 14 June 2004 says that this success may bring Sinn Fein more international clout.                                                                                                                                 

  • The bigger issues for the European Parliament elections, as discussed in an Economist article, ‘Unhappy voters send a message’of 14 June 2004, included low voter turnout, poor results for governing parties, and notably improved results for a clutch of anti-EU parties.



  • Russian Federation

  • Election date: 14 March 2004

  • Election type: Presidential

  • Number of registered voters: 108 064 281

  • Party in Government: Independent

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • The Russian Federation Votes 2003-04 web site gives a timeline, detailed information about each of the parties involved, biographies of the major players, maps, and reports from past elections. Vladimir Putin secured 71.22 per cent of the vote. Although Mr Putin is self-nominated, he has close ties to the Unified Russia Party. His five opponents together managed 25.6 per cent of the vote. Mr Putin’s nearest rival, Nikolai Kharitonov of the Communist Party won 13 per cent of the vote. The Oxford Analytica Brief dated 16 March 2004 explains why the election result was a foregone conclusion. It also gives analysis and discussion of the obstacles faced by Mr Putin’s opponents as well as commentary on the decline in the number of Communist voters.



  • Spain

  • Election type: Parliamentary

  • Election date: 14 March 2004

  • Number of registered voters: 34 403 965

  • Party in Government: Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE)

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • The Spanish legislative election defied most predictions and resulted in the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) winning government. Up for election were all 350 seats of the Congress of the Deputies (lower house), and 208 seats in the Senate (upper house). Led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the PSOE have formed a government with the support of the minor parties. The governing People’s Party (PP) was led into the campaign by Mariano Rajoy who succeeded outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.


  • Iraq

  • Election type: Parliamentary

  • Election date: not later than 31 January 2005

  • Number of registered voters: unknown at this stage

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • Iraq’s transfer to sovereignty occurred on 28 June 2004, two days sooner than expected. For background leading up to the hand-over, the International Crisis Group (ICG) Report of April 2004, entitled Iraq’s transition on a knife edge, discusses meeting the 30 June election date, the role of the United Nations, the formation, composition and mandate of the provisional government, and the status of the occupying forces.

  • On 28 June 2004, CNN reported that elections for the National Assembly will take place preferably by 31 December 2004, and not later than 31 January 2005.



  • Canada

  • Election type: General

  • Election date: 28 June 2004

  • Number of registered voters: 22 295 670

  • Party in Government: Liberal Party of Canada (LIB)

  • Compulsory voting: No

  • CBC News Canada Votes is a site designed to keep readers up to date with the campaign as it developed. There is information on the final election outcome, candidates, leaders, parties, and opinion polls, as well as analysis and commentary.

  • The Liberals have won a fourth consecutive mandate, albeit with a reduction in support, will form Canada’s first minority government in 25 years. A Canada Votes article of 29 June, 2004 entitled ‘Liberals keep ‘fragile’ hold on power’outlines the issues for Paul Martin’s minority government, how the pollsters misjudged the outcome, and conservative Stephen Harper’s reaction. At the end of the article are many links to items on the New Democratic Party led by Jack Layton, the Greens, Bloc Quebecois, voter turnout numbers and a look at the winning candidates and their seats. In later news, the Globe and Mail newspaper of 30 June 2004 reports that Prime Minister Paul Martin insists he has a stable minority government and will not need to form a coalition with the New Democratic Party (NDP) or other coalition parties.


Instructions: Please make the buletin board look like this. You should be able to copy/paste the information into the table.

Want to know more check these out these sites

  • Election web sites

  • Electionworld is a website which provides election information by country and by date. It also gives information on country background, recent elections, parties and parliaments.

  • CNN World/Election Watch provides a listing of current elections as well as historical listings by region.

  • International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) Electionguide.org gives election dates, information and results for elections world-wide, back to 1998.

  • Richard Kimber’s Elections and Electoral Systems Around the World has links to a wide variety of election-related web sites. Included is Adam Carr’s excellent coverage of recent elections, the Proportional Representation Society of Australia, The Global Initiative to Enfranchise People with Disabilities, the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, the Electoral Reform Society, the Center for Voting and Democracy, and voter turnout around the world since 1945.

  • The University of British Columbia Library—Elections, Political Parties and Parliaments gives an academic approach to elections and political parties. Here you will find links to information on electoral behaviour, an in-depth look at Australian, British, Canadian and American elections, manifestos, platforms, speeches and political thought.

  • ThePolitical Studies Association is a United Kingdom based organisation and provides a gateway to election portals, links to the Centre for Research into Elections and Social Trends (CREST), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). There is also information on internet voting, constitutions, gender and politics and electronic journals.

Want to know more??? Check these out these sites!


  • http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/pol/worldelections.htmhttp://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/pol/worldelections.htm

  • Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library

  • -Elections around the World

  • E-Brief: Online Only issued 9 August 2004

  • Adrienne Blunt, Information/E-linksPolitics and Public Administration Section