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Voting

Harper
Posts: 374
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3/20/2015 8:24:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Intro
There's a reason we live under political rulers: we need people who are fit for the job to make wise decisions to move the country forward. And there's a reason we try to expand voting power: to give the people a voice in the country they live in, and to divorce at least some power from the elite. Now, just having one or the other obviously leads to corruption or mob rule. Only having political rulers (oligarchy) without any input from the people leads to tyranny and the violation of the rights of its citizenry. Only having the common people vote without any appointed leaders, as in a pure democracy, leads to 1. unwise decision making and 2. mob rule.

One of the ingenious features of the American system (and the reason why it's lasted so long) is because it attempts to strike a balance between the two systems-- forming a representative democracy or republic, where registered voters put in political leaders into power to make political decisions for them. Now, one can argue that the American system has descended into oligarchy or that the vote has no meaning because of the electoral college or what have you, but it was still an overall successful effort in structural reform.

The Problem
However, the American system has many fatal faults that have led to corruption. For example, to become a registered voter, one only needs to be a U.S. citizen above the age of 18. No other requirements; it doesn't matter whether or not you are a competent and informed individual, you can vote anyway. And to become a ruler, all you need to do is win what is essentially nothing more than a popularity contest. Voters and rulers alike are bought and sold on a whim: most voters only vote to satisfy their emotional inclinations, rather than to put in a legitimately competent leader. Politicians take full advantage of that knowledge, turning the campaign into a cult of personality. The politicians, on the other hand, need money to stage their campaign. So they accept donations from all of these foundations and companies and are turned into money bags instead of the honest rulers they want to make themselves out to be to the public. Clearly, a new way of combining oligarchy and mob rule is necessary.

A Solution
I think there should be no elections to put people in power, because as we already noted, elections are rarely based on any substance and are usually corrupted by monetary interest anyway. Not only that, but they restrict political power to only those who can afford a campaign, already creating boundaries for those in the lower class to hold any real political power.

Additionally, I think we should heavily restrict voting rights. Only those that can pass a certain standard will be able to vote and therefore act as the sole ruling power of the country. Think of it as a "democratic meritocracy": a system where there is no ruling elite other than the voters, but to avoid mob rule and bad decision making, you restrict who can or cannot vote to those who demonstrate a capacity to make wise political decisions. That way anyone and only ones who are capable of making good decisions can be the rulers, regardless of whether or not they can win a popularity contest or have enough money to enter one. (The voter is the appointed leader, only they are appointed not by elections or birth but by merit. And that merit is verified or measured by their achieved status as a voter. And as a note: the words "leader" or "ruler", and "voter" are synonymous in this system.)

So how do we determine who can vote (and thus hold power)? Through testing. Not just your standard "pencil and paper" tests, but psychological tests as well. An example of a set of tests a prospective voter/leader would have to take to prove their merits (The creation and approval of these tests will be put into the hands of an oversight committee, made up of psychologists, political scientists, etc.):

1. An intelligence exam: Why? Because we need voters who can make competent and intelligent decisions. While it is true that intelligence exams rarely capture the entirety of a person's intelligence, they measure your ability to use logical thought to come to conclusions. That is an important part of decision making. I think at least an IQ of 110 should be required, because while it is still within the average range, it is at the high end of it. So only those who are slightly above average and up get to vote.
2. An emotional health/psychological exam: Remember how I noted that most voters make decisions with their emotions instead of objective logic? These kinds of people need to be weeded out. Only emotionally stable and stoic individuals should be allowed to make serious political decisions. Additionally, people with severe mental illness that prevents them from understanding reality, like schizophrenics, should not vote.
3. A literacy test: A successful voter base must be an all around well-informed, and therefore well-read, one. That is because reading is a good measure of an individual's educational merit. (I wouldn't want to institute any educational requirements, since not everyone has the means to attain higher education, but everyone in the U.S. has access to libraries, so everyone still has the potential to become literate.)
4. A political/economic knowledge exam: This one should be obvious; if you are not well versed in politics and economics then you really don't have any place voting on political or economic situations.
6. A foreign countries exam: Since the voters will be deciding foreign policy, they must understand how other countries and cultures work.
7. A military knowledge exam: This is an exam all on its own because it is vital for the ruling power to thoroughly understand how the military works and its various strategies. (Especially since the ruling power are usually in control of the military)

Now the beauty of this system is that it is 1. open to the general public (no age or sex or economic restrictions-- if you can prove that you're capable, you're in) and 2. actually better at weeding out bad leaders as one can take precautions to make sure that people do not cheat on these exams, even being able to bring a suspicious individual to court to make them prove that their scores were legitimate.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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3/20/2015 9:07:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
IMO one major flaw in your system is that morality is not tested. After they get power, they'll probably formulate public policies for personal gain, or to protect the interests of the 'literati' (since they're the only group who can vote), rather than for the common good of the entire country.

I think there should be at least a part where Mencius is tested as a set text. ;)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
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Harper
Posts: 374
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3/20/2015 9:48:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/20/2015 9:07:09 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
IMO one major flaw in your system is that morality is not tested. After they get power, they'll probably formulate public policies for personal gain, or to protect the interests of the 'literati' (since they're the only group who can vote), rather than for the common good of the entire country.

That's definitely something to test for, though I wonder how such a test would be structured so that it would be difficult to cheat. Maybe a recommendation from instructors or mentors? Maybe it could be included as a psychological test? I've heard that there are actually genetic components to what we call "moral" behavior, so perhaps a genetic examination?

I think there should be at least a part where Mencius is tested as a set text. ;)
Wow, you're already thinking of the required reading! Mencius is definitely a good idea.