Whether you begrudge it or not, the majority of Australians go to the polls when required, I assume. Generating discussion about something doesn't at all mean its something people take joy or pride in doing. That isn't a requirement in the equation.
Transactional voting is perfectly adequate. Its the minimum requirement you need to have a successful democracy. It still leaves room for the politicians that want to inspire people, or try to make them fear the other candidate, etc. But it also makes people talk about the day to day business of getting by. We sorely are lacking that here in the US.
I don't care about improving the quality of voters implicitly. That is a side effect of mandatory voting. Improving the outcome is the primary target.
Overall, I appreciate your comments and take the view that they illustrate and expand on my points, rather than refute them.