IF I were elected Prime Minister next Thursday, there is one civil liberty I would remove immediately from the population of this country.

I would make it compulsory by law for all adults to vote in elections. So I would revoke the current right of citizens to stay in front of the telly instead of going to the polling booth, simply because they are too lazy or too ill-informed to bother.

I am aware lots of do-gooders will clasp their hands to their chests and say it is everyone’s right to abstain in a democracy, but I disagree. For a democracy to work properly, people have to go to the polling station. Once there, they can spoil their ballot paper or they can vote for whoever they wish.

Anything less than a 100 per cent turn-out means that the democracy is flawed because the make-up of Parliament does not reflect the genuine will of the people, who include the apathetic masses. And, if non-voting was illegal, then candidates, parties and media could concentrate on issues as opposed to persuading you simply to turn up.

I hate to admit this, but we could learn a lot from Australia which has compulsory voting and a near 100 per cent turn-out. Compare this with the last General Election in the UK – 61.4 per cent. That is a pathetic indictment of our shabby, disinterested society. If this continues, one day a Fascist dictator will rise to power because of the low turn-out for everyone else.

It’s ironic that the only way to protect democracy is to use authoritarian tactics, but it’s the only way to protect lazy British people from themselves.