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Voter Qualification Exam

capob
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7/26/2016 4:40:30 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
There are a number of problems with voting that arise from stupidity, insanity, and ignorance. What if, in order to vote, a person had to pass a logic and math (through calculus and including statistics) test, and functionally understand the scientific method?

I could imagine two immediate objections:

1. Smart people would vote for themselves at the expense of dumber people. To me, even ignoring the statistics that show psychopathy occurs more in the less intelligent, this would serve to help increase the number of smart people in society.

2. The government might try to introduce political agendas into testing. This, however, is combatted by the firm stance that qualification is only ever a matter of objectively testable factors on logic and math.
someloser
Posts: 1,377
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7/26/2016 4:55:34 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
This is a really dumb idea.

At 7/26/2016 4:40:30 AM, capob wrote:
There are a number of problems with voting that arise from stupidity, insanity, and ignorance.
Like?

I could imagine two immediate objections:

1. Smart people would vote for themselves at the expense of dumber people.
Such is the consequence of nearly all electorate restrictions. Replace smart and dumber with whatever.

To me, even ignoring the statistics that show psychopathy occurs more in the less intelligent,
Medically diagnosed psychopathy? Nepotistic behavior is another matter entirely.

this would serve to help increase the number of smart people in society.
Not unless the "smarter" people vote to kill off the lower echelons of the cognitive ladder. And why would they?

Just take the logic far enough and scrap the voting element entirely. Pseudo-faux democracies are tiresome.
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
capob
Posts: 73
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7/26/2016 5:57:14 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
This is a really dumb idea.

I suppose that means you wouldn't qualify

Like?

Is this an attempt at humor?

Medically diagnosed psychopathy? Nepotistic behavior is another matter entirely.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

The results of these sorts of studies, however, might just be a result of lower IQ people getting caught in their crimes/psychopathic-behavior more often than higher IQ people.

Not unless the "smarter" people vote to kill off the lower echelons of the cognitive ladder. And why would they?

Not very insightful. You don't have to kill off a class of people to diminish their breeding and subsequent population size. For example, take away welfare, and the capacity for a poor, stupid person to breed and sustain children decreases.

Just take the logic far enough and scrap the voting element entirely. Pseudo-faux democracies are tiresome.

More humor I suppose?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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7/26/2016 10:22:41 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/26/2016 4:40:30 AM, capob wrote:
There are a number of problems with voting that arise from stupidity, insanity, and ignorance. What if, in order to vote, a person had to pass a logic and math (through calculus and including statistics) test, and functionally understand the scientific method?
I think calculus shouldn't be required as long as people know the intuitions behind differentiation and integration (which is necessary for statistics). One can be a critical thinker without knowing how to derive reduction formulae or expand functions into Taylor series. The more important thing is that people know how to *interpret* the numbers they see, which - sadly - most people cannot.
I could imagine two immediate objections:

1. Smart people would vote for themselves at the expense of dumber people. To me, even ignoring the statistics that show psychopathy occurs more in the less intelligent, this would serve to help increase the number of smart people in society.
Being biased against psychopathy isn't the only bias that a smart-people bias would introduce, however. Your system is also biased against the lower class (since they have inferior access to education), against manual labourers (which means, for example, that manufacturing industries will be less represented than service industries), etc. I think the purpose of democracy is to act as a market mechanism that informs the ruling class as to what the majority of people want, and your system defeats that purpose.

What I'd suggest, and what I've always suggested, is to implement a similar system, but for candidates rather than voters. This ensures that all the candidates will have a reasonable level of critical thinking and statistical literacy, but keep the original function of elections intact.
2. The government might try to introduce political agendas into testing. This, however, is combatted by the firm stance that qualification is only ever a matter of objectively testable factors on logic and math.
I think the best solution to this isn't just the fact that you test people on objectively testable factors. The best solution is transparency in the testing process - establishing a transparent and precise curriculum, publishing past papers - that allows the public to scrutinise the entire process and detect potential cronyism, etc.
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:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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7/26/2016 10:24:28 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/26/2016 10:22:41 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 7/26/2016 4:40:30 AM, capob wrote:
There are a number of problems with voting that arise from stupidity, insanity, and ignorance. What if, in order to vote, a person had to pass a logic and math (through calculus and including statistics) test, and functionally understand the scientific method?
I think calculus shouldn't be required as long as people know the intuitions behind differentiation and integration (which are necessary for statistics). One can be a critical thinker without knowing how to derive reduction formulae or expand functions into Taylor series. The more important thing is that people know how to *interpret* the numbers they see, which - sadly - most people cannot.
I could imagine two immediate objections:

1. Smart people would vote for themselves at the expense of dumber people. To me, even ignoring the statistics that show psychopathy occurs more in the less intelligent, this would serve to help increase the number of smart people in society.
Being biased against psychopathy isn't the only bias that a smart-people bias would introduce, however. Your system is also biased against the lower class (since they have inferior access to education), against manual labourers (which means, for example, that manufacturing industries will be less represented than service industries), etc. I think the purpose of democracy is to act as a market mechanism that informs the ruling class as to what the majority of people want, and your system defeats that purpose.

What I'd suggest, and what I've always suggested, is to implement a similar system, but for candidates rather than voters. This ensures that all the candidates will have a reasonable level of critical thinking and statistical literacy, but keep the original function of elections intact.
2. The government might try to introduce political agendas into testing. This, however, is combatted by the firm stance that qualification is only ever a matter of objectively testable factors on logic and math.
I think the best solution to this isn't just the fact that you test people on objectively testable factors. The best solution is transparency in the testing process - establishing a transparent and precise curriculum, publishing past papers - that allows the public to scrutinise the entire process and detect potential cronyism, etc.
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:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
capob
Posts: 73
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7/26/2016 1:17:02 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Your system is also biased against the lower class (since they have inferior access to education), against manual labourers (which means, for example, that manufacturing industries will be less represented than service industries), etc. I think the purpose of democracy is to act as a market mechanism that informs the ruling class as to what the majority of people want, and your system defeats that purpose.

I agree with your notions, but, let's consider some factors.

Government serves as a monopoly in areas that benefit from there being a monopoly (roads, perhaps). The need of government to determine market demand from consumers is generally limited owing to the limited merit of government services, and is limited because those services government provides ought to be rather well established as meritted.

And, the laws/trade-deals/tariffs government employs often have complicated unexpected consequences ("The Wealth of Nations" went into this), such that government intervention in markets tends to cause problems. And, with stupid people voting for their manufacturing interests, they might vote for what appears beneficial to them, a tariff, without understanding the consequences. And so, I'd say, government becomes a tool who's consequences are too complex for stupid people to wield.

As for determining what the majority favors in general or in some specific group, polling would be less expensive, and would not mandate law (which most votes do).

I'm curious how things would have turned out if the laws/funding/incentives that promoted manufacturing in China (if I recall correctly, it was government intervention that moved manufacturing to China) were put to a vote among people qualifying under the system I proposed.

What I'd suggest, and what I've always suggested, is to implement a similar system, but for candidates rather than voters. This ensures that all the candidates will have a reasonable level of critical thinking and statistical literacy, but keep the original function of elections intact.

That would be fine, but, it appears to me, you are missing the biggest issue. The intelligence of leaders is generally not the problem. It used to be that most congressmen were lawyers (http://www.abajournal.com...), and to be a lawyer, you tend to need an above average level of intelligence. The biggest issue is the corruption/subversion of leaders. And, I have a few ideas on dealing with that, but I'll leave that to another forum post.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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7/26/2016 6:45:49 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
It's hard to see these kinds of suggestions as solutions to anything other than "people don't vote for who/what I want them to vote for." Dumb people don't necessarily make bad choices when voting, and smart people don't automatically make good choices. Even the brightest people can be led astray by a cult of personality or an especially close-hitting emotional appeal.

The way to improve a democratic government is to increase participation, not restrict it, and ensure that all voices in the process are equal. Encourage people to vote, and get money out of politics. That will do more for a democracy than any qualification exam could.
capob
Posts: 73
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7/27/2016 1:42:27 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/26/2016 6:45:49 PM, Burzmali wrote:
It's hard to see these kinds of suggestions as solutions to anything other than "people don't vote for who/what I want them to vote for."

I suggest, then, you take off your blinders.

Dumb people don't necessarily make bad choices when voting, and smart people don't automatically make good choices. Even the brightest people can be led astray by a cult of personality or an especially close-hitting emotional appeal.

You are right. Because experts sometimes make mistakes, and amateurs aren't always in error, I think I'll hire an amateur instead of an expert. Sound logic.

The way to improve a democratic government is to increase participation, not restrict it, and ensure that all voices in the process are equal.

That's right, get those who have little interest in politics, and likely no knowledge about the issues, to vote. What platitude do you have for me next? Oh here it is:

and get money out of politics.

I would refute this notion, but I'm inclined to think from your previous statements, I'd be talking to a wall.

How about you finish it off with a baseless claim?

That will do more for a democracy than any qualification exam could.

Excellent.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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7/27/2016 4:26:17 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/27/2016 1:42:27 PM, capob wrote:
At 7/26/2016 6:45:49 PM, Burzmali wrote:
It's hard to see these kinds of suggestions as solutions to anything other than "people don't vote for who/what I want them to vote for."

I suggest, then, you take off your blinders.

Please give a couple of examples of the problem you think a voter qualification test would solve. Can you name a couple of candidates or issues that never would have succeeded, or you think should not have failed, simply because the "informed" voters were out-matched by ignorant ones?

Dumb people don't necessarily make bad choices when voting, and smart people don't automatically make good choices. Even the brightest people can be led astray by a cult of personality or an especially close-hitting emotional appeal.

You are right. Because experts sometimes make mistakes, and amateurs aren't always in error, I think I'll hire an amateur instead of an expert. Sound logic.

That metaphor doesn't fit. Voting is about representation. It's about having a say in how you're governed. Requiring a test to vote violates that principle. It goes against the reason the US was founded in the first place.

The way to improve a democratic government is to increase participation, not restrict it, and ensure that all voices in the process are equal.

That's right, get those who have little interest in politics, and likely no knowledge about the issues, to vote.

Encouraging participation leads to an interest in the issues, which spurs people to become informed. The people who would want to become qualified to vote already likely are. Adding more barriers to voting will increase disinterest and ignorance. You cannot possibly think that will benefit the country.

What platitude do you have for me next? Oh here it is:

and get money out of politics.

I would refute this notion, but I'm inclined to think from your previous statements, I'd be talking to a wall.

The large amount of cash spent on campaigns is intended to do exactly what you seem to have a problem with: sway uninformed voters through brute force. Cutting the influence of money in politics will force candidates to be more substantive and engaging with their campaigns.

How about you finish it off with a baseless claim?

That will do more for a democracy than any qualification exam could.

Excellent.

You started with BS that flies in the face of historical evidence. Maybe you should be a little more mindful of your glass house.
capob
Posts: 73
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7/27/2016 5:27:46 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Voting is about representation. It's about having a say in how you're governed. Requiring a test to vote violates that principle. It goes against the reason the US was founded in the first place.

Are you backing off on your idea that dumb people don't always make dumb decisions, and smart people don't always make smart decisions, and therefore we should treat them the same? Or, are you pivoting to taking away the vote from dumb people would remove their representation, which is sacrosanct?

In regard to the pivot:
-originally, only land owners could vote (http://www.infoplease.com...)(http://mediamatters.org...)
-the US was not founded to give everyone representation. There's a lot of nuance there that you will almost certainly miss

Encouraging participation leads to an interest in the issues, which spurs people to become informed. The people who would want to become qualified to vote already likely are. Adding more barriers to voting will increase disinterest and ignorance.

So, your argument is that people will become knowledgeable on the issues if you encourage them to vote, but that a qualification test, which might reflect their level of interest, is too much for them to study to pass? Rich.

You cannot possibly think that will benefit the country.

Is this satirical?

The large amount of cash spent on campaigns is intended to do exactly what you seem to have a problem with: sway uninformed voters through brute force. Cutting the influence of money in politics will force candidates to be more substantive and engaging with their campaigns.

It's almost as though not a thought went in to anything you said - almost entirely talking points. Are you familiar with how "getting money out of politics" efforts in the past had exactly the opposite effects - reducing the amount individuals could donate, while allowing corporations to donate huge amounts indirectly?

You started with BS that flies in the face of historical evidence.

Again, is this a joke, or are you referring to that period in 1940 when the US required an IQ of 130 to vote, and it failed horribly?

BTW, would you qualify to vote under my system?
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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7/27/2016 6:26:54 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/27/2016 5:27:46 PM, capob wrote:
Voting is about representation. It's about having a say in how you're governed. Requiring a test to vote violates that principle. It goes against the reason the US was founded in the first place.

Are you backing off on your idea that dumb people don't always make dumb decisions, and smart people don't always make smart decisions, and therefore we should treat them the same? Or, are you pivoting to taking away the vote from dumb people would remove their representation, which is sacrosanct?

In regard to the pivot:
-originally, only land owners could vote (http://www.infoplease.com...)(http://mediamatters.org...)
-the US was not founded to give everyone representation. There's a lot of nuance there that you will almost certainly miss


Encouraging participation leads to an interest in the issues, which spurs people to become informed. The people who would want to become qualified to vote already likely are. Adding more barriers to voting will increase disinterest and ignorance.

So, your argument is that people will become knowledgeable on the issues if you encourage them to vote, but that a qualification test, which might reflect their level of interest, is too much for them to study to pass? Rich.

You cannot possibly think that will benefit the country.

Is this satirical?

The large amount of cash spent on campaigns is intended to do exactly what you seem to have a problem with: sway uninformed voters through brute force. Cutting the influence of money in politics will force candidates to be more substantive and engaging with their campaigns.

It's almost as though not a thought went in to anything you said - almost entirely talking points. Are you familiar with how "getting money out of politics" efforts in the past had exactly the opposite effects - reducing the amount individuals could donate, while allowing corporations to donate huge amounts indirectly?


You started with BS that flies in the face of historical evidence.

Again, is this a joke, or are you referring to that period in 1940 when the US required an IQ of 130 to vote, and it failed horribly?


BTW, would you qualify to vote under my system?

So no examples of the problem you're trying to solve with this exam? The rest of your response really doesn't merit a rebuttal until you demonstrate how this is an effort to do something other than exclude the opinions of folks who don't vote the way you want them to. I simply don't have time to deal with someone so belligerent who can't fully defend his ideas.
someloser
Posts: 1,377
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7/27/2016 6:53:51 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/26/2016 10:22:41 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
What I'd suggest, and what I've always suggested, is to implement a similar system, but for candidates rather than voters. This ensures that all the candidates will have a reasonable level of critical thinking and statistical literacy, but keep the original function of elections intact.
Yea this is a much better idea.
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
capob
Posts: 73
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7/27/2016 7:00:31 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/27/2016 6:26:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
BTW, would you qualify to vote under my system?

So no examples of the problem you're trying to solve with this exam? The rest of your response really doesn't merit a rebuttal until you demonstrate how this is an effort to do something other than exclude the opinions of folks who don't vote the way you want them to. I simply don't have time to deal with someone so belligerent who can't fully defend his ideas.

So, I guess the answer is no?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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7/28/2016 2:33:27 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/26/2016 1:17:02 PM, capob wrote:
I agree with your notions, but, let's consider some factors.
And, the laws/trade-deals/tariffs government employs often have complicated unexpected consequences ("The Wealth of Nations" went into this), such that government intervention in markets tends to cause problems. And, with stupid people voting for their manufacturing interests, they might vote for what appears beneficial to them, a tariff, without understanding the consequences. And so, I'd say, government becomes a tool who's consequences are too complex for stupid people to wield.
But that can be addressed under my system as well. If all candidates in the election understand economics, fools cannot be voted in in the first place...
As for determining what the majority favors in general or in some specific group, polling would be less expensive, and would not mandate law (which most votes do).
Polls could certainly be helpful, though I'm not sure if they'll be less expensive (since we'd need polls for individual issues rather than holding elections, which do these in one fell swoop). In any case, if the end result is that the ruling class is aware of the needs of the working class, it works.
I'm curious how things would have turned out if the laws/funding/incentives that promoted manufacturing in China (if I recall correctly, it was government intervention that moved manufacturing to China) were put to a vote among people qualifying under the system I proposed.
That's largely true. Though there were different policies in different regions (light industries in Guangdong vs heavy industries in the Northeast, for example), government intervention has always played an important role in the Chinese economy, even after 1978. It's a huuuuge stretch to say that China has turned capitalist after 1978, though one hears such claims quite often.
What I'd suggest, and what I've always suggested, is to implement a similar system, but for candidates rather than voters. This ensures that all the candidates will have a reasonable level of critical thinking and statistical literacy, but keep the original function of elections intact.

That would be fine, but, it appears to me, you are missing the biggest issue. The intelligence of leaders is generally not the problem. It used to be that most congressmen were lawyers (http://www.abajournal.com...), and to be a lawyer, you tend to need an above average level of intelligence. The biggest issue is the corruption/subversion of leaders. And, I have a few ideas on dealing with that, but I'll leave that to another forum post.
I'm not from the US, so I guess the situation is different. The majority of politicians here gain seats by knowing how best to stick up to their superiors, and the majority of the said politicians are dumber than rocks...
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:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
capob
Posts: 73
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7/28/2016 3:11:10 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
But that can be addressed under my system as well. If all candidates in the election understand economics, fools cannot be voted in in the first place...

I have no problem with your system, but mine is there to handle, in addition, a different problem. As I said, the major problem in government is corruption. It is, in a way, a reason socialism does not work. There are many ways to handle corruption, but the key is to have a voter base that can recognize corruption, and to have a voter base that recognizes corruption means the voter base must be smart enough to understand the reasons behind policies. And so, one way to handle avoiding corruption is to have a smart voter base that votes on policy.

What you seem to be describing is a system where the voter base only communicates desires, and the politicians determine policy. Now, there are systems to prevent corruption in this scenario, but, when you have a voter base likened to animals and a set of smart policy makers, there is tremendous temptation for the policy makers to manipulate the voter base.

Polls could certainly be helpful, though I'm not sure if they'll be less expensive (since we'd need polls for individual issues rather than holding elections, which do these in one fell swoop).

I suppose a mix of polls and voting would work, and with authenticating technology like public private key encryption and bitcoin, this can be done quite economically through the internet and card-based static polling stations that can be accessed continuously.