Could support be waning for Australia's compulsory voting?

Aired on ABC's RN Breakfast on April 15, 2016.

Australia is one of the few countries in the world to have a compulsory voting system—and its merits have been debated since it was brought into effect in 1924. 

In early April, U.S. President Barack Obama praised mandatory voting, saying the U.S. might be better off following Australia's example.

But as a double-dissolution election looms, could support for compulsory voting be waning in Australia?

Produced and reported by Justin Bull
Guests: Senator David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrat, Professor Ariadne Vromen, Political Sociology at University of Sydney

  Image:   Voters queue outside a polling booth in the 2014 Tasmanian state election   (ABC News: Brad Markham)

Image: Voters queue outside a polling booth in the 2014 Tasmanian state election (ABC News: Brad Markham)

Rafting Into Adulthood

Live from Martyrs' in Chicago, IL on October 27, 2015 (Contains explicit language).

A Canadian Vacation

Aired on NHPR's Word of Mouth August 12, 2015.

In 1943, while the US was embroiled in World War II, FDR traveled to the Canadian side of Lake Huron for an eight-day fishing trip. Rumors persist as to what he was doing up there: Meeting with a mistress? Conferring with Winston Churchill?

On the 72nd anniversary, this is the true story. 

One Way To Learn About Violence

Aired on WCAI's Morning Edition June 3, 2015 and featured on

One reporter is admittedly naïve as to what domestic violence means to those who experience it. Using a Super Bowl ad as his springboard -- one featuring the story of a battered woman pretending to order pizza in order to call 911 -- he spoke with a specialist, a survivor, and strangers to get some perspective. 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 
| 1-800-799-7233
| 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Jesus is from New Bedford, Massachusetts

Aired on WCAI's All Things Considered June 8, 2015.

Alex Valentine had his career-defining moment of clarity early in life. He was five, watching a production of “Annie” with his mother at the Zieterion Theater in New Bedford. Then and there Alex knew he belonged on stage.

Now 36 years old, Alex has trouble recounting just how many plays he’s been in. But along the way he’s discovered – as does almost everyone eventually – that making a living while pursuing your dreams can feel like searching for a miracle.

You can see Alex play Jesus in the musical "Godspell" from June 11 through June 27 at the Woods Hole Community Hall. More information is available at

Youth Exodus from Cape Cod

The most recent census data indicate that 26% of Cape Cod residents aged 25 to 44 left the area between 2000 and 2010. Young people cited the high cost of living and a lack of both job and social opportunities as the primary motivators, according to a 2014 study by the Cape Cod Young Professionals.

Justin Bull asked shoppers of all ages in Falmouth, Massachusetts what they might say to a young person leaving Cape Cod for better opportunities.