Obama praises Australia's mandatory voting rules

“You start getting 70-80 per cent voting rates, that’s transformative.”

In the 2013 federal election in Australia voter turnout for the lower house of parliament was 93.34% and 94% in the Senate, according to the Australian Electoral Commission. In the 2010 election the figures were 93.22% and 93.83% respectively.

This compares with just 36% of America’s voting-eligible population casting ballots at the crucial mid-term elections in 2014 –the lowest turnout in more than 70 years, despite control of Congress being up for grabs and state governor races contested.