Democratic responsibilities

As reported in the Guardian today, paragraph 64 of the coalition government’s white paper on proposals to reform voter registration, Individual Electoral Registration, states:

While we strongly encourage people to register to vote the Government believes the act is one of personal choice and as such there should be no compulsion placed on an individual to make an application to register to vote.

Is it really not the case that voting is part of one’s responsibilities for living within a democratic country? Democracy is a contract between the government and the governed, and this feels dangerously close to allowing opting out of this contract.

.:.