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Should politically ignorant people vote?

1dustpelt
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12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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12/9/2012 1:12:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

Because democracy is not an assessment of objective qualification. It's an assessment of opinion and public participation in government. The big and obvious problem with placing such restrictions is that it defeats the purpose of voting.

However, since it isn't fair for the morons to outnumber and outvoice the rational people, the national government should play a very small role only in necessary international, interstate and constitutional matters, and empower both state and local governments, where each individual person has the greatest say and the greatest capacity to reach an office of influence.

Literacy tests, like you propose, are just bad, senseless, and illogical.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
imabench
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12/9/2012 1:20:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

I want to say they shouldn't but I don't see any way we can prevent stupid people from voting on the grounds that they are stupid
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Greyparrot
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12/9/2012 1:29:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:20:37 PM, imabench wrote:
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

I want to say they shouldn't but I don't see any way we can prevent stupid people from voting on the grounds that they are stupid

We can't even seperate the lazy from the poor.
How on earth could we do this?
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socialpinko
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12/9/2012 1:37:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:12:21 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

Because democracy is not an assessment of objective qualification. It's an assessment of opinion and public participation in government. The big and obvious problem with placing such restrictions is that it defeats the purpose of voting.

: However, since it isn't fair for the morons to outnumber and outvoice the rational people, the national government should play a very small role only in necessary international, interstate and constitutional matters, and empower both state and local governments, where each individual person has the greatest say and the greatest capacity to reach an office of influence.

http://www.myfacewhen.com...

Literacy tests, like you propose, are just bad, senseless, and illogical.
Greyparrot
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12/9/2012 2:12:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:57:35 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
The strength of democracy is diversity and breadth of opinion. Issues that the politically unaware find important may still be important.

Besides, the ignorant would not be well represented by an intellectual.
I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations.
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection,
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.
socialpinko
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12/9/2012 2:13:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

There are three options.

(1) Let idiots vote. I've never seen someone justify (1) by recourse to good consequences or prosperity brought on by your politically retarded neighbor voting someone because he "seems like a guy I could have a beer with". Justification always stems either from ambiguous principles (civil duty blah blah) or the alternative being worse. No one ever says that letting Joe Moron vote actually results in good policy. But really who can expect your average jerkoff to understand anything more than the politician's religion or stance on abortion?

(2) Don't let idiots vote. If only smart people voted, surely things would be better right? Wrong. But of couse there's the problem of trying to have a free society while simultaneously keeping most of the population out of the decision making process. And I think if you're committed to not letting idiots vote you'll have to disenfranchise almost everyone. The whole idea of democracy (or any political setup based on any semblance of freedom) is civil participation. Take that out and you just have aristocracy.

(3) Scrap the whole damn thing. Democracy was an interesting experiment in the 1800's but I don't think it's worth pursuing. I'm pretty Marxian in historical analysis of politics. Democracy was a step up from monarchy. Capitalism was a step up from feudalism. But political/economics systems aren't meant to be set in stone. Grasping on to outdated principles/modes of organization doesn't help anybody and just holds back progress. Inb4 who would build the roads.
OMGJustinBieber
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12/9/2012 2:19:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I might very well be considered politically ignorant by some. Especially compared to a user like DanT my knowledge of facts about the political process or the candidates often is not to be envied. That's only half the battle though, in my opinion. The other half lies in establishing a coherent and reasonable theoretical framework where that knowledge can be worked into and evaluated.

tl;dr: Both facts and theory are necessary.
Kinesis
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12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?
socialpinko
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12/9/2012 2:26:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?

Correlation =/= causation. Just seeing that democracies don't fight each others (while at the same time fvcking over non-democracies) doesn't really prove that democracy is ipso facto preferable to alternative political structures. For instance, you never see anarchist communes going to war with each other. This is good of course but it's clearly not an argument for the superiority of anarchist communes to *every* other political structure as it only covers a single aspect that's covered by political philosophy.
Cody_Franklin
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12/9/2012 2:39:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

I like that you ask this question, because it involves a couple of interesting moves:

1. Whatever the cutoff for "sufficient information/rationality", you would apparently end up on the good side of it.

2. Someone, somewhere, must determine not only which information is relevant, but the precise cutoff for much you have to know to vote. So, it's not really about having an objective metric for intelligence or whatever--at some point, it's just some person or group of persons deciding who gets to be in the club, and who doesn't (though everyone is still governed by this club).

3. Political practice becomes inextricably linked with security apparatuses. Policing, surveillance, even a "papers please" kind of mentality follow from what is here suggested, not merely because those who are privileged to vote will likely have to show some kind of special identification, but principally because, in the name of securing the nation (against ignorance/irrationality, ostensibly), you use politics to segregate and disenfranchise particular members of the nation deemed by some authority to be a "threat" to your democracy (insofar as their participation is barred for producing outcomes with which you disagree), and, therefore, in need of removal and political quarantine. I mean, you do seem willing to carve out, in both the social and political spheres--in the name of preserving some ideal body politic (where everyone's well-informed, sufficiently intelligent, properly engaged, etc.)--a space to which to condemn those deemed "unworthy" or "inferior" (a designation obviously reflected in their legal/political status).
Cody_Franklin
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12/9/2012 2:56:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?

Just to be clear, I don't think that's the only thing to worry about. There are a multiplicity of forms of power left to be exercised--there are the police powers exercised against protestors, for example. There are sophisticated techniques of surveillance--drones, CCTVs, wiretaps, data-mining--regulation, in the form of the PATRIOT ACT and its kin, the disenfranchising of felons, etc., and interrogation (the latter exemplified in the cases of Abu Gharib, Guantanamo Bay, Camp Cropper, Camp Lemmonier, et al.). It justifies bloody conflict in foreign states under the guise of humanitarian intervention, suggesting that, while democracies themselves often recognize the disadvantage of infighting, they're happy to gang up on the marginalized or the excluded (i.e., non-members of the Global North democracy club) to install puppets, cut deals with authoritarian regimes (e.g., the US and Mubarak, the US and Syria, much of the West and Qaddafi), or engage in statecraft to secure their economic and geopolitical interests.

So, you might be right that "democracies", in the strictest sense, rarely, if ever, engage in violent conflict; given what takes the place of inter-democracy war, though (the content of which list is not exhausted here, mind you), I'm not so sure it's a compelling argument in favor of democracy.
OberHerr
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12/9/2012 3:19:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:26:22 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?

Correlation =/= causation. Just seeing that democracies don't fight each others (while at the same time fvcking over non-democracies) doesn't really prove that democracy is ipso facto preferable to alternative political structures. For instance, you never see anarchist communes going to war with each other. This is good of course but it's clearly not an argument for the superiority of anarchist communes to *every* other political structure as it only covers a single aspect that's covered by political philosophy.

Kinda a bad comeback, as there are few anarchist communes, and none that are on a large enough scale to e en care about war, or anything like that.
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DetectableNinja
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12/9/2012 3:48:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Others have answered his quite well, but my answer would be:

1) It's impossible to determine what the cutoff would be.

2) It's simply diometrically opposite of the whole point of democracy. The idea goes that all the citizens get to have civic involvement so that they can consent to be governed/so that they, in a sense, ARE self-governing. Having only a specific sect of the populace decide the fate of everyone goes against the whole point.
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socialpinko
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12/9/2012 5:03:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 3:19:11 PM, OberHerr wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:26:22 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?

Correlation =/= causation. Just seeing that democracies don't fight each others (while at the same time fvcking over non-democracies) doesn't really prove that democracy is ipso facto preferable to alternative political structures. For instance, you never see anarchist communes going to war with each other. This is good of course but it's clearly not an argument for the superiority of anarchist communes to *every* other political structure as it only covers a single aspect that's covered by political philosophy.

Kinda a bad comeback, as there are few anarchist communes, and none that are on a large enough scale to e en care about war, or anything like that.

I'm glad you decided to look at my reductio example and not the actual content of my refutation.
royalpaladin
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12/9/2012 5:09:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
What does "ignorant" even mean? This is just a mechanism to disenfranchise people who disagree with you. Voting is secret, so you have no idea how people decide for whom they are going to vote. Getting someone on camera is meaningless because people change their minds, people lie about who they are voting for, and people troll.

If you are going to disenfranchise people, they should not be subject to your laws (they should not anyways, but I am assuming a state has to exist).
1Devilsadvocate
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12/9/2012 5:17:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Just make everyone write a RFD, like DDO. :D
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royalpaladin
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12/9/2012 5:22:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 5:17:23 PM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
Just make everyone write a RFD, like DDO. :D

Then you would have people like LordKnukle who would say, "Oh, this person values social issues more than the economy. Let's disenfranchise her."

You would also have other people say: "Oh, I think this person is racist/sexist. Let's disenfranchise him."
Cody_Franklin
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12/9/2012 5:37:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 5:22:47 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Restricting voting like this is entirely open to abuse.

Well, I think it's worse than that. Saying that something is "open to abuse" implies it has some proper function which could in principle be exercised. If you disagree wholesale with political exclusion, it's not just that disenfranchisement is open to abuse--it's fundamentally an act of suppressive violence.
royalpaladin
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12/9/2012 6:02:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 5:37:55 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 12/9/2012 5:22:47 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Restricting voting like this is entirely open to abuse.

Well, I think it's worse than that. Saying that something is "open to abuse" implies it has some proper function which could in principle be exercised. If you disagree wholesale with political exclusion, it's not just that disenfranchisement is open to abuse--it's fundamentally an act of suppressive violence.

Yeah, I guess that's true.
sadolite
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12/9/2012 6:20:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:12:41 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/9/2012 1:57:35 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
The strength of democracy is diversity and breadth of opinion. Issues that the politically unaware find important may still be important.

Besides, the ignorant would not be well represented by an intellectual.

Who says that the people being voted into office are intellectuals. I don't see "any" evidence of intellectual thought in Washington DC. Most are just as dumb and ignorant as the people voting for them.
Greyparrot
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12/9/2012 6:57:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 6:20:15 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:12:41 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 12/9/2012 1:57:35 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
The strength of democracy is diversity and breadth of opinion. Issues that the politically unaware find important may still be important.

Besides, the ignorant would not be well represented by an intellectual.

Who says that the people being voted into office are intellectuals. I don't see "any" evidence of intellectual thought in Washington DC. Most are just as dumb and ignorant as the people voting for them.

As it should be.
I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations.
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection,
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.
YYW
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12/9/2012 7:39:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 5:37:55 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 12/9/2012 5:22:47 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Restricting voting like this is entirely open to abuse.

Well, I think it's worse than that. Saying that something is "open to abuse" implies it has some proper function which could in principle be exercised. If you disagree wholesale with political exclusion, it's not just that disenfranchisement is open to abuse--it's fundamentally an act of suppressive violence.

This.
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YYW
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12/9/2012 7:41:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?

Well, it's true that at no point in history have democracies engaged in war with one another, it's equally the case that democracies seem quite prone to war with non-democracies. So, in that sense, "the democratic peace" is less about perpetuating peace then it is maintaining peace on the basis of ideological, political structural, etc. conformity.
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Ragnar_Rahl
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12/9/2012 7:48:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Literacy tests, like you propose, are just bad, senseless, and illogical.
What's illogical about them? They mainly get their bad rep from grandfather clauses.

Not that I'm a fan of any form of democracy.
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Ragnar_Rahl
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12/9/2012 7:51:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:20:08 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Democracy is the ultimate solution to war. There has literally never been a war in all of history between two democracies (without including some borderline cases). How about that argument SP?

Democracies, like all governments past, present, and hopefully not future, are at war with their own citizens. I applaud when governments go to war with one another, less attention left over for the rest of us ^_^.
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Ragnar_Rahl
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12/9/2012 7:53:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The immediately above is only 33% serious
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Khaos_Mage
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12/9/2012 8:48:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 12:22:09 PM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Should politically ignorant people be allowed to vote?

"One of the best arguments againt democracy is to have a five minute conversation with the average voter" ~ Winston Churchhill

There are people voting based on hair style, skin color, best car, etc. Why should they be allowed to vote?

If they didn't, we might as well be a dictatorship, as about 90% shouldn't vote.
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