Who should have the right to vote?

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M.C.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby M.C. » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:39 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
All Australian citizens 18 years and older are required by law to enrol and vote in federal elections,

I'm not sure how well it's enforced.


There is normally a very good turnout for Australian general elections. The last federal election, held last year, had around a 93% voter turnout. If you don't show up and are registered, you apparently get a small fine; I don't know how good they are at collecting the $20 from non-voters.

From personal experience, the prevailing attitude seems to be that it is not a particularly big burden for an individual. Even if you are not particularly interested, most people would be able to pick between one of the two major parties.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Qaanol » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:04 am UTC

M.C. wrote:There is normally a very good turnout for Australian general elections. The last federal election, held last year, had around a 93% voter turnout. If you don't show up and are registered, you apparently get a small fine; I don't know how good they are at collecting the $20 from non-voters.

From personal experience, the prevailing attitude seems to be that it is not a particularly big burden for an individual. Even if you are not particularly interested, most people would be able to pick between one of the two major parties.

If my information is correct, it is acceptable for an Australian person to cast a blank ballot, and thus count as having voted.

Nonetheless, from a standpoint of individual liberties I believe the government should make as few things be compulsory as possible. The individual choice to vote or not to vote is just that, an individual choice, and should not be mandated. The government should protect and guarantee the right to vote, not demand that it be exercised as a responsibility.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby yurell » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:13 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:If my information is correct, it is acceptable for an Australian person to cast a blank ballot, and thus count as having voted.


It's called an informal (or 'donkey') vote, and the number is recorded each year.

Qaanol wrote:The individual choice to vote or not to vote is just that, an individual choice, and should not be mandated. The government should protect and guarantee the right to vote, not demand that it be exercised as a responsibility.


And that's the difference between approaching voting as a civil right vs a civic duty
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Grog » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:54 pm UTC

Here in Switzerland every >18 years citizen has a right to vote, but it is not compulsory. The idea is that if you don't vote, you basically make the choice to let other people decide. When something that interests you is up to vote, you go to vote, if not, you stay at home. It is right to point out that we do not have high participation rates (about 45-50% for law voting, slightly higher for elections).
Granted, we do a loooot of voting (more that 4 times a year, without considering elections). There are case of abuse of mentally different capable people (i don't really know how to translate it)? Probably. But who will gain from such abuse? In case of the voting of laws (referendum, initiative, etc), it must be something that you really desperately want, to go through the hassle to abuse someone else's right to vote. And in case of election, you as politician do not really have any power (every decision can be, and normally will, pass through general voting) or special social status, so at the end only interested people run for office. And while abuse can still happen, the probability to have some jerk trying to be elected is really low.

Just fiy: the is a state in our confederation that have allowed women to vote only in 1991. True story. And why is that? Because this kind of decision goes automatically through general vote, and because only the male were allowed to vote, they have taken their time to allow women to vote. It is a practical example of what Qaanol was saying, for instance, about the right of felon to vote, though slightly different.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby tankman » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

So this might sound a bit extreme, but I believe a small test of political awareness should be given. Perhaps at the polls (when selecting who you are voting for) you have to write where your candidate stands on the issue that is most important to you and why you did not vote for the other candidate. Each ballot will be analyzed to check the validity of the reason given. If the reason is invalid, race oriented, or non-existent then the vote is not counted. Although this will make the voting process take longer and the tallying take longer I think that it could weed out those that at least pay attention to the issues (or campaign claims). Besides giving every second updates, the 24 hour news media could also tell people why/what percentage of voters are voting for a candidate and for what reasons.

Only issue I see with this is finding a neutral group to check validity of reasons given.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Azrael » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

First off, you just told the illiterate that they can't vote. Secondly, although it's been covered already from various views, you've also established a national language and the requirement to speak it fluently in order to vote. Lastly, you've entered a zone where someone else gets to decide if you're voting "for the right reasons" -- that's troublesome enough long before you get into the practical impossibility of drawing a consistent line in the sand regarding what's an acceptable answer.

I'm thinking that's a three-strikes sort of idea there.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby adonis » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:54 pm UTC

Is it is preferable to have literate, educated, and politically savvy voters over illiterate, uneducated ones?

Do educated voters will make "better" decisions than uneducated ones?

As a matter of fact, educated individuals vote at higher rates than uneducated ones. Should policy be implemented to actively change this? Why?

Why is voter turnout important given that (a) most people are apathetic about politics and (b) most people are poorly prepared to understand the issues?

What else, besides the slippery slope, is potentially at risk by implicit disenfranchisement, e.g. mental competency or political awareness tests?

Should we encourage voters to become more educated and politically aware (it seems obviously yes)?. Should we discourage voting for those who do not feel sufficiently educated (but still allow them to)?

Basically, it seems obvious to me that people are on the whole poorly prepared to make decisions in their best interest, yet traditional democratic values may be valuable for more important reason, if nothing else then perhaps simply to limit the governments power.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Роберт » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

adonis wrote:What else, besides the slippery slope, is potentially at risk by implicit disenfranchisement, e.g. mental competency or political awareness tests?

Are you completely forgetting that similar measures have been historically been proposed for the purpose of excluding certain races from the polls as much as possible? If so, you have your answer for why it is problematic. If not, than please explain why you don't think it's problematic.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Grog » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:53 am UTC

Everyone should vote. And the entire society must works towards the education of his citizen (the young ones), so that a significant proportion has enough critic spirit and analytical capacity to vote for someone or something he believes would do the best for his country. No indoctrination, but the government should really invest massively in education.

It is possible? Of course, but it's a long road. At the end there can be no solid houses on friable ground.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby tankman » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

My idea was a very general idea. I doubt it would ever come into practice because some of the issues you raised could be hard to address.

Issue 1:
Azrael wrote:First off, you just told the illiterate that they can't vote.


Counter argument: How can you know which candidate you are voting for if you cannot read? Thus how do you know if your vote is being counted for the person you want it to vote for?

Possible solution to issue: With the increased use of electronic voting machines and advancements in recording technology, and voice-to-text technology, a special voting booth could be established for those that cannot read. They would verbalize there reasons and would say the name of the candidate.

Issue 2:
Azrael wrote:Secondly, although it's been covered already from various views, you've also established a national language and the requirement to speak it fluently in order to vote.


I never stated that it would be restricted to one language (although is English not already the national language? (that's for another thread entirely)).

Possible solution: Have the first screen of the voting machine be similar to that of an atm: very first choice you make is which language you want it to be in.

Issue 3:
Azrael wrote: Lastly, you've entered a zone where someone else gets to decide if you're voting "for the right reasons" -- that's troublesome enough long before you get into the practical impossibility of drawing a consistent line in the sand regarding what's an acceptable answer.


I completely agree with you that this would be almost impossible to completely solve. Bias is in everything whether we like it or not. I will specify what I meant "for the right reasons". People should be elected for their ideas, values, plans to accomplish things and accomplishments as well. If you are voting for someone based on their religion, skin color, hair cut, sound of voice, or body type, why should your vote count? The sad thing is I've heard all of those voting reasons from people of various parties.

I only have a partial solution for this issue: after the reason is input into the machine and submitted, it gets checked by a program for things regarding physical attributes or religion. If it contains something about a physical characteristic or religion then it gets flagged for review by the vote checking group.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Puppyclaws » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:06 pm UTC

tankman wrote:I completely agree with you that this would be almost impossible to completely solve. Bias is in everything whether we like it or not. I will specify what I meant "for the right reasons". People should be elected for their ideas, values, plans to accomplish things and accomplishments as well. If you are voting for someone based on their religion, skin color, hair cut, sound of voice, or body type, why should your vote count? The sad thing is I've heard all of those voting reasons from people of various parties.


That is not how a democracy works. If people want to vote for John McCain because he is white, who are you to tell them that they aren't allowed to? You're essentially saying that only people who believe in and agree with the ideal democracy inside your own head should be allowed to participate in a society that they will have to live in. You and I can think that it's abhorrent that somebody would cast a vote for McCain solely because of race (and certainly if somebody told me they voted for him for that reason I would be disgusted with them), but that does not give us the right to disenfranchise them. I have to say, I find the idea of establishing a sort of educational aristocracy judging who is good enough to vote here in some of the comments almost as disgusting.

Also, since you are apparently unaware, no, English is not the official language of The United States; there is no official language. And your suggestion that people who are illiterate wouldn't know who they are voting for...well, apparently you don't know why those nice folks are there are the polling station. It's to help people exactly like that (and also the blind and visually impaired, as well as any other groups who might have an issue with seeing/understanding the ballots).

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby tankman » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:46 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:...well, apparently you don't know why those nice folks are there are the polling station. It's to help people exactly like that (and also the blind and visually impaired, as well as any other groups who might have an issue with seeing/understanding the ballots).


I do agree that there are nice people at the polling stations (as I've worked with many), but I've also seen the flip side which makes me uncomfortable. People are capable of good but are also capable of manipulation. Perhaps I am paranoid but couldn't a not so nice person (or a person with an agenda) mislead you when you cast your ballot? After all if you can't see the ballot, or understand it you are dependent on the honesty of the person aiding you. In 2000 people were turned away from some polls because they had names similar (not identical) to those of people in prison.

Like I said earlier this would be hard to convince people to support. I am not truly for it, but I do like to debate different things from various angles. It was an idea I had that I was curious on other people's constructive thoughts.

I would like to thank you for making me a bit more informed that the US does not have a national language and your valid points in our discussion.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Puppyclaws » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

tankman wrote:I do agree that there are nice people at the polling stations (as I've worked with many), but I've also seen the flip side which makes me uncomfortable. People are capable of good but are also capable of manipulation. Perhaps I am paranoid but couldn't a not so nice person (or a person with an agenda) mislead you when you cast your ballot? After all if you can't see the ballot, or understand it you are dependent on the honesty of the person aiding you. In 2000 people were turned away from some polls because they had names similar (not identical) to those of people in prison.


While manipulation is possible, there is a system in place to prevent this; generally, you are supposed to be assisted by two different individuals, representing two different parties. Of course, in practice it would seem this is not always followed, just as some people are erroneously turned away from the polls by either mistaken or corrupted poll workers. Apparently there is a movement to create poll machines that work with a headphone jack system, much like ATM's have, designed for the blind but also I imagine usable by the illiterate (I am also under the impression that just because a person is illiterate it does not neccessarily mean that they can't tell the difference between the letters "R" "D" and "I" or candidate's names, which I didn't bring up in the previous post). It still makes me nervous unless there is a paper trail, but I can understand why some of the blind community would prefer this to having somebody else help them (and thus know who they are voting for). But voter disenfranchisement and privacy is a different topic.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby lalop » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:11 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Broadly speaking, voter apathy is greatest amoung the young anyway...


Even if true (and I suspect a change might actually encourage participation in politics from a younger age, effecting the opposite and causing increased turnouts in all future age brackets), this doesn't justify taking away a right.

Chen wrote:One of the big problems with age limits is the amount of influence a parent or other guardian has on their children. Not simply in terms of upbringing but in more overt "vote this way or we'll punish you". It seems reasonable that once you are legally responsible for yourself (an adult) it is reasonable for you to be able to vote. Doing so earlier seems like it would have little impact except to give parents more votes than non-parents.


That's why voting needs to be anonymous. You can even have a separate voting date in schools, in such a manner parents cannot directly intervene, if that's what you'd like. And in all seriousness, don't underestimate the ability of young people to actually think for themselves. In particular, don't expect them to think any more for themselves once they've turned 18.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby tomtom2357 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:55 am UTC

I agree that voting needs to be anonymous, but people need to be old enough (18 or older) to be able to vote, also if they have a criminal record, then they obviously should not be able to vote. However, forcing people to vote is a bad idea, forcing people to make a decision usually results in the decision being a bad one.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby yurell » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:20 am UTC

tomtom2357 wrote:also if they have a criminal record, then they obviously should not be able to vote.


Why is this so obvious? I disagree with the point. A pro-feminist in Iran that has a criminal record for going outside without a veil, should she be barred from voting for her criminal record?
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:37 pm UTC

As if Iran actually adheres to the true election results.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Fire Brns » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

In the U.S. concerning felonies (I'll leave other countries out of this). If a person commits a felony(a real one) they have generally proven to society that they cannot make inteligent decisions, and more than likely he'll vote for the canidate who is soft on crime.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

It's not that the person can't make intelligent decisions, it's that the person makes decisions that grieviously harm society as a whole.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby juststrange » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:47 pm UTC

Ive said it before on these boards, and I'll say it again. I'd like to think that the violent felon (murderers and rapists and robbers) contingent is not so large as to have a noticeable effect on the outcome of an election. I do not want the white collar felons voting though, them tax evading money laundering types are already in too tight with the politicians. But I can't have it both ways.

Seriously though, if I want to walk into the booth and flip a coin and vote accordingly - why shouldn't I be allowed to? Perhaps I believe in chaos. Or maybe I want to vote for Colin Powell because he looks like my grandpa. Or I want to vote for Reagan because I think electing a dead guy would prove to the world we are not to be fucked with. Every time I hear someone talk about a civics test before voting, I get a little more scared.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby TranquilFury » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:34 am UTC

No one, it's a stupid practice that exists only to give the citizens the illusion of control over their government.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby mister k » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:09 am UTC

So not being able to vote is a bonus punishment. We can rehabilitate them from murdering again but not from voting "incorrectly"
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby tomtom2357 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:16 am UTC

yurell wrote:
tomtom2357 wrote:also if they have a criminal record, then they obviously should not be able to vote.


Why is this so obvious? I disagree with the point. A pro-feminist in Iran that has a criminal record for going outside without a veil, should she be barred from voting for her criminal record?

Criminal record in the country, and for her to get citizenship to vote, they would have to prove that she hasn't committed an actual crime
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby TranquilFury » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:34 am UTC

I think criminals SHOULD be able to vote, simply because it's possible to pass unjust laws, and the justice system doesn't enforce perfectly. Lets take an extreme example: Government passes a tax of say 10k/year for everyone, and imprisons or conscripts anyone that can't pay it for felony tax evasion. Should those people have the power to challenge the incumbent government?

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

No need to make up examples; we already had a real one. It caused the draft riots.

But anyway, the courts having the right to decide who can vote or not is one reason that the decision is made by juries and not judges. It's not perfect, but it's better than letting convicted felons vote.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby dockaon » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

If we are going to ban anyone from voting it should be the politically well-informed.

1) Human beings are incredibly good at rationalizing away information that contradicts our beliefs. So good in fact, that studies have indicated that contradictory information more often than not increases the strength with which people hold a belief.
2)This leads to studies that show that paying attention to political news does not increase people's knowledge of accurate facts about the world, but rather increases their knowledge of their political party's version of the "facts".
3)This means political affiliation is static among people who pay attention to politics. People's beliefs are largely fixed and new information tends to reenforce those beliefs.
4)So when a country does poorly under a political party's leadership, that doesn't change it's supporter's beliefs. A country, where only the politically well-informed vote, would continue to elect a political party whose ideas and leadership are proven to cause problems. Only changing when death and birth have changed the composition of the electorate sufficiently or when truly catastrophic events get through the thick shell of selective knowledge and rationalization.

Does this mean we should chuck out democracy completely? No, because the ignorant save the system.
1)People who are poorly informed about politics tend to base their vote on how they feel the country is doing. If they like how things are going, they vote for the incumbent party. If they don't, they vote against them.
2)They may come up with ad hoc rationalizations about deeply held ideological beliefs when pollsters ask them, but they're basically lying. There is very little evidence that the uninformed have a stable set of ideological beliefs.
3) But if they're poorly informed, what do they base their opinion on? They base it on their personal experience and that of their family and friends.
4)Which leads to exactly what most experts on group decision making would say is the ideal situation, individuals pooling their personal knowledge about the state of the country, uninfluenced by others.

Of course, we don't have a perfectly ignorant population. They are influenced by the news and have some inkling of what's controversial among the politically informed, which biases their decision. Also, this doesn't lead to good decision making about issues that the ignorant don't have personal information about, like foreign affairs. Or when the political system is poorly set up (like in the United States), so that there isn't a clear line of political responsibility. (i.e. If the President and Congress are different parties which party do you vote out?) But it's better than the "well informed" running the country into an ideological ditch.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Fedechiar » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:26 pm UTC

The politically informed aren't always those with the strongest-held beliefs...A left-wing extremist might chuck the whole media system and hand-wave every fact that clashes with his beliefs, just like a right-wing one. In a two-party system what you say is true, but if there are more than two parties the choice of the politically informed might be the best one (as the uninformed, who base their vote only on their personal experience if we accept your statement, cannot get any difference other than in power/not in power).

So, your argument works only in a binary political system (of course, in the US it's perfectly fitting) and you make the assumption that the intellectual honesty of people is 0, or close enough as to not matter

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby mister k » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:01 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:No need to make up examples; we already had a real one. It caused the draft riots.

But anyway, the courts having the right to decide who can vote or not is one reason that the decision is made by juries and not judges. It's not perfect, but it's better than letting convicted felons vote.



Again, why? Why is there a bonus punishment that committing a felony leaves one unable to vote? Why do we assume that people can't change, and get better? Because the penal system does: we release them after all, which implies we have a certain amount of faith that they will not commit more crime... but not that their political judgments aren't astute enough? Perhaps there are political choices that having been in prison can give one a perspective on. I appreciate that one can argue that some of the things many felons believe are awful, but so are the opinions of racists and sexists and idiots who vote based on what fox news tells them, but we give all of those people the vote.

By disenfranchising felons we incentivise our politicians not to care about prison conditions, which makes criminals less likely to reform, and the cycle continues.

Add to that that the following are considered felonies

-drug abuse (by far the most popular)
-vandalism
-drunkeness.. apparently?
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:45 pm UTC

mister k wrote:idiots who vote based on what fox news tells them


As opposed to idiots that vote based on what MSNBC tells them? Don't assume that idiots are only involved on one side.

mister k wrote:Why is there a bonus punishment that committing a felony leaves one unable to vote?


I don't know if I can make it any more clear than "they have proven themselves to be such a danger to society that 12 people decided to lock them away for a year or more".

mister k wrote:Why do we assume that people can't change, and get better?


Let me ask you this. Would you trust your finances to an ostensibly reformed Bernard Madoff? Would you let an ostensibly reformed pedophile babysit your kids? Would you trust an attorney that had previously stolen from an escrow? Same thing with voting.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Shahriyar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

Would you let an ostensibly reformed pedophile babysit your kids?


Being pedant here, but pedophiles don't reform: they don't change a physiologically-seated sexual preference because of punishment or conditioning, though they might learn to repress it (or sublime it, the way Lewis Carrol is often hypothesized to have done). Child molesters, on the other hand, may or may not reform, though, like all criminals, usually the only way of proving it is to never recidivate until death ("Oh. Well, I guess that really had reformed.") While there is overlap between the two categories, not all pedophiles act on their pedophilia, and not all child molesters prefer children. At least, the Catholic church has claimed that most of their sex offenders were straight, and would prefer adult women: male children were just the most available (and vulnerable) targets.

12 people decided to lock them away for a year or more


I don't know about your jurisdiction but AFAIK juries only decide if the charged party is guilty or innocent, it's the judge that decides of what happens next.

As for the other examples you cited, what does that have to do with voting, and why would those people even try to keep practicing those professions, rather than something unrelated? Also, are you aware of the term "golden parachute"? Fiscal criminals and irresponsible directors can get away with a lot if they know the right people and/or the right secrets.

Someone has posed a very good question here: why should one be allowed to vote on a coin toss, rather than, upon expressing that stance, be classified as legally insane? Just asking.

In fact, why do we have to vote for people or parties? That only turns elections into a popularity contest. Shouldn't we vote for policies and laws and guidelines instead, and have a technocratic government tasked with carrying them out, under pain of prison were they to fail to follow the people's will? Isn't it desirable to simply get rid of parties? I know some of the Founding Fathers of the USA wanted to: what were their reasons?

Voting at age thriteen seems like a swell idea. It's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of having the right to have a modicum of power over one's fate. Obligatory voting, with the right to vote blank, seems like a fine idea too, with a minimum participation rate: if enough people feel that none of the votees are fit to govern, then none of them should: the government should be broken down, a state of urgency declared, and major reforms undertaken. That a group should govern over a larger group of which only a small fraction (like, say, 17 percent if participation is very low) actively wanted them to, seems absurd to me. Felons should have the right to vote, same as anyone else: there's the worry that some candidates would court that specific demographic with clientelist offers, but since those offers would presumably consist of reducing that contingent, the point is moot. Also, the worry itself will encourage less felon manufacturing: rather than imprison someone to silence them, you will avoid doing so so as not to reinforce that group's numbers, that is, its power.

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if you think my thinking is twisted, it's on purpose: I deliberately defend ideas that seem wrong but might be right, so that you can try to prove them wrong. Especially if them being right would have dramatic consequences. It's only when people consistently fail to prove such ideas wrong that I really start worrying, so please don't fail me
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CorruptUser
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:44 pm UTC

Shahriyar wrote:
Spoiler:
if you think my thinking is twisted, it's on purpose: I deliberately defend ideas that seem wrong but might be right, so that you can try to prove them wrong. Especially if them being right would have dramatic consequences. It's only when people consistently fail to prove such ideas wrong that I really start worrying, so please don't fail me
.


Spoiler:
I play devil's advocate from time to time as well. That what real philosophy is; questioning the things we don't normally question.

The reality is, most people's personal thinking almost always breaks down to "I deserve X, the system should either enable me to get X or not get in my way of X".

Socialist: I deserve a certain standard of living, everyone with more money than me should pay to support me.
Communist: No one should have more than me.
Libertarian: I shouldn't have to support someone else.
Utilitarian: We should allocate wealth to maximize (my own) happiness.
Anarchist: Governments keep me from being at the top.

The 'justification' is made up after the fact.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby mister k » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:11 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
mister k wrote:idiots who vote based on what fox news tells them


As opposed to idiots that vote based on what MSNBC tells them? Don't assume that idiots are only involved on one side.

...that was sort of my point. Which you didn't address. Why disenfranchise one group and not another?

CorruptUser wrote:
mister k wrote:Why is there a bonus punishment that committing a felony leaves one unable to vote?


I don't know if I can make it any more clear than "they have proven themselves to be such a danger to society that 12 people decided to lock them away for a year or more".[\quote]

Do you agree that all the felonies I mentioned should carry such a prison sentence? Do you agree that all the felonies I cited should lose one the ability to vote? does becoming addicted to drugs make one unable to form reasonable political opinions?

CorruptUser wrote:
mister k wrote:Why do we assume that people can't change, and get better?


Let me ask you this. Would you trust your finances to an ostensibly reformed Bernard Madoff? Would you let an ostensibly reformed pedophile babysit your kids? Would you trust an attorney that had previously stolen from an escrow? Same thing with voting.


No. I wouldn't trust those people at doing the things that they broke the law on. I wouldn't thrust temptation their way, but I would probably be fine with Madoff watching my kids, and the reformed pedophile doing my taxes (assuming hes an accountant!). Doing bad in one thing doesn't make one bad in all things!

And again, I would not trust many non-felons with many things. Why are felons singled out and not psychics, homeopaths and tele-evangists?
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

Popping in for a minute.

Any nonfelon citizen of the country in question over the age of 18.

I do not think that a felony desqualifying the right to vote is a detterent, I simply think felons make bad decisions so their judgment is flawed enough to be discredited in general elections.

18 is still pretty young for people to rational as the brain is still developing but it is the age you are an "adult" and was the age at one time you could drink at in the US.
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby mister k » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:45 pm UTC

I simply think felons make bad decisions so their judgment is flawed enough to be discredited in general elections.


But I think that people who take homeopathic remedies are making bad decisions. I think that people who vote based on which presidential candidate is taller are making bad decisions. I think that people who vote based on what their pastor tells them are making bad decisions. Why are felons, as a group, with no exceptions, singled out?
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby Shahriyar » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:45 pm UTC

Because they are eeeeeeeeevil, obviously, and less-than-human. They don't deserve to vote, those scumbag lowlives! The other examples you cited are idiots, or crazy, but those are okay, right? Fools are harmless! But evil people... they should be glad they're even allowed to walk among us! We, the just, who are sinless!
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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

mister k wrote:
I simply think felons make bad decisions so their judgment is flawed enough to be discredited in general elections.


But I think that people who take homeopathic remedies are making bad decisions. I think that people who vote based on which presidential candidate is taller are making bad decisions. I think that people who vote based on what their pastor tells them are making bad decisions. Why are felons, as a group, with no exceptions, singled out?


Because the fools that use homeopathy didn't harm someone else (unless you are an economist). Felons did. If you have numerous people continuously harming someone while not being a felon, such as <Lawful Evil>, thats more of a failing of the legal system to include those people in the list of felons.

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:39 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Because the fools that use homeopathy didn't harm someone else (unless you are an economist). Felons did. If you have numerous people continuously harming someone while not being a felon, such as <Lawful Evil>, thats more of a failing of the legal system to include those people in the list of felons.
Grand Theft Auto is a felony; isn't that also economical harm? Why is it reasonable to deny people the right to vote based on the harm they did? Does causing harm to others correlate with poor voting decisions more closely than buying homeopathic remedies? What criteria are we going to use to determine what a 'poor voting decision' is?

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

It doesn't have to do with "person makes poor voting decisions". It's about "person harms society".

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:55 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:It doesn't have to do with "person makes poor voting decisions". It's about "person harms society".
If the relevant point isn't that felons make voting decisions that are harmful to society--i.e., 'poor voting decisions'--then what does their ability to vote have to do with anything? Why do you care? What difference does it make?

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Re: Who should have the right to vote?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:35 pm UTC

You do realize that every extra person voting dilutes the vote, right? A person in a system with 1m voters has 100 times the importance as someone in a system with 100m voters. So by removing their right to vote, you give more power to the people that are not felons. You have to have a strict process for stripping citizens of the right to vote, which is why there is an investigation by police, a trial by jury, and sentence by judge. It doesn't always work, and it is often rushed, but it's the system that's there at the moment.


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