Poll: Should voting be a right?
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View poll results: Should voting be a right?
Yes. Even the uninformed deserve a say, regardless of whether they understand what they're saying.
120 56%
No. We can't let the majority run the country into the ground.
93 44%
Voters: 213.
Page 1 of 10
#1
Now before you all rage at me, let me explain what I mean. Also, this is a long post, and I'm not posting a TL;DR, so feel free to **** off if you're not going to read it.

EXPLANATION: I think that the existence of uninformed voters endangers democracy. Idiots who don't know the issues and couldn't care less undermine the system. For example, Obama got 96% of the black vote. Now, I'm not casting aspersions on Obama or anything, but it's impossible that he got that many black voters because of his policies. It was because he's black.

But that's not the point. The point is that how can someone who is uninformed about the issues have the right to vote? IMO, rational agents should be voters, not people who don't understand what the "ecomony" is for.

SUPPORT: Now, this is far from a new idea. Thomas Jefferson designed the American system this way. He said that only white, male landowners should be allowed to vote. AND BEFORE YOU CALL ME A SEXIST WHITE SUPREMACIST, consider that in his time, those were the only people who were educated. Plato also said that a true democracy is inherently unstable, due to the populace.

"To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy." -Bertrand Russell

IMPLEMENTATION: Now, it seems that this system would be difficult to implement. This is true. But the results, I believe, would be more than worth it.

The way I'd do it would be to make people register to vote in person at selected centers (like public schools). This would weed out the people who just don't give a ****. When registering in person, citizens would have to answer a multiple choice quiz (3-5 questions) about basic politics and current issues, just to see if these people understand anything. It would have to be simple, of course, but it would weed out a good portion of idiots.

Result: apathetic people and idiots get weeded out, and those who want to vote will read up on the issue to pass the test and thus become informed and be able to vote, and those who are already informed will also be able to vote. It's win-win. This system would also legitimize referendums, and make them a viable option of introducing legislation.

Thoughts?

Also, for all those in favor of universal healthcare and controversial things like that, this would be a way to ensure that idiotic rednecks who think Obama is a socialist don't really get to decide America's future.
#2
Why is it only people can vote? Why not also intelligent animals like dolphins or, say sentient robots?
#3
Michael Bay, I'm pretty sure your films are a decent indication that you wouldn't be able to vote

Seriously though, if a dolphin could pass the test, I'd let it vote. If there was a robot with perfect reason, I'd let it vote.
#5



only kidding

i like your idea, but personally i would add in stopping this political party bull. washington said it would tear the country apart and hes been kinda right on that fact.
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Quote by trueamerican
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#6
Quote by k-train



only kidding

i like your idea, but personally i would add in stopping this political party bull. washington said it would tear the country apart and hes been kinda right on that fact.


Yeah, the Federalist Papers have a large section devoted to discussing the evil of "factions." I'm hugely against the two party system as well. You can't just embrace a good idea, you have to embrace your own party's ideas to garner enough support to win.
#7
Because people have the right to decide whos in control over them. Policies only go a certain distance.
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#8
It should be a privilege. Nothing bothers me more than the fact that some guy who spent 2 months researching candidates before voting has just as much say as some bimbo who voted for someone because they have nice hair or something...


The fact is, majority rule sucks. It's the only way to guarantee that the most people AREN'T happy...
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
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#9
With the presedential election, your vote don't mean shit. there is the elctorila college that votes for the presedent. The popular vote isn't worth anything. In most other cases your vote does mean something. You don't have to be an expert on something to voice your opinion, which is what voting is.
#11
Much as I hate this argument, it's a slippery slope once you start putting restrictions on how "informed" people have to be to vote, and what makes a voter informed. Right.
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#12
Quote by bastards
Because people have the right to decide whos in control over them. Policies only go a certain distance.


But people who don't understand the policies don't even know who they're picking. Yeah, they know a name (many people aren't even able to name the CURRENT VP OF THE MOTHER****ING US) and a skin color, but not policy, not the important stuff. All they're picking is a name, not a leader.
#13
Normally, I'd say that every adult should have the right to vote, but there are some good arguments in this thread. I'd support a test to weed out undeducated people (me) as long as I don't think it can easily be corrupted. It would also fit with my perfect, happy vision of the world that won't ever exist.
#14
Quote by DrakeTheOne
With the presedential election, your vote don't mean shit. there is the elctorila college that votes for the presedent. The popular vote isn't worth anything. In most other cases your vote does mean something. You don't have to be an expert on something to voice your opinion, which is what voting is.


No, voting is picking a name or an option. And I don't think you know how the electoral college works....
#15
I think you should be required to pass a basic knowledge test, but I'd be worried about the powerful using it as a tool to weed out voters they don't want voting, similar to the 'literacy' tests we used to have that kept black people from voting.
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#16
Quote by StewieSwan
but I'd be worried about the powerful using it as a tool to weed out voters they don't want voting, similar to the 'literacy' tests we used to have that kept black people from voting.


This is a more intelligent way of saying what I meant.
#17
Quote by StewieSwan
I think you should be required to pass a basic knowledge test, but I'd be worried about the powerful using it as a tool to weed out voters they don't want voting, similar to the 'literacy' tests we used to have that kept black people from voting.


Yeah, it's a potential issue. Which is why I think that there should be a few hundred questions drafted by professors of political science selected for the quiz at random.
#18
Quote by trueamerican
Yeah, the Federalist Papers have a large section devoted to discussing the evil of "factions." I'm hugely against the two party system as well. You can't just embrace a good idea, you have to embrace your own party's ideas to garner enough support to win.


most people dont agree with me on my two party system view.

i personally feel instead of the party system, have people "step up and volunteer" in a way, then just have the people choose the president by who he/she is not what there associated with. instead of "oh hes republican hes democrat" have it as "oh he believes that the economy can be fixed through bringing jobs back home, as opposed to <insert other person who stepped up>, so he might be a better president."
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Quote by trueamerican
Not only do you have good taste in music, but you have good taste in politics
#19
Quote by k-train
most people dont agree with me on my two party system view.

i personally feel instead of the party system, have people "step up and volunteer" in a way, then just have the people choose the president by who he/she is not what there associated with. instead of "oh hes republican hes democrat" have it as "oh he believes that the economy can be fixed through bringing jobs back home, as opposed to <insert other person who stepped up>, so he might be a better president."


Not only do you have good taste in music, but you have good taste in politics
#20
Quote by StewieSwan
I think you should be required to pass a basic knowledge test, but I'd be worried about the powerful using it as a tool to weed out voters they don't want voting, similar to the 'literacy' tests we used to have that kept black people from voting.


Exactly the pitfalls of chalking it up to privilege.

If you're a citizen, regardless of what you have proven you know, you should be able to pass judgement, however ill-informed it may be, on who you want to be in office.
#21
Quote by k-train
most people dont agree with me on my two party system view.

i personally feel instead of the party system, have people "step up and volunteer" in a way, then just have the people choose the president by who he/she is not what there associated with. instead of "oh hes republican hes democrat" have it as "oh he believes that the economy can be fixed through bringing jobs back home, as opposed to <insert other person who stepped up>, so he might be a better president."


I also don't like the two party system, but I feel it's only natural that these parties form. I can't think of how a system like that could be stable.
#22
Quote by trueamerican
Yeah, it's a potential issue. Which is why I think that there should be a few hundred questions drafted by professors of political science selected for the quiz at random.


Here's the problem with tests though - There's one single right answer to each question. We don't know what answer will be the right one without a trial-by-fire in politics because you're implementing it on tens of millions of people, each a completely random variable. So these tests are going to have the professor's bias, and that may end up causing the election to be disproportionately conservative or liberal in contrast to the country's desires.
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Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 75-87
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2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 52-39
#23
I've always thought people should take a simple test before they're allowed to vote.

You just don't know how many stupid highs schoolers I knew that ran and voted just because they were 18 and finally could. Then I'd ask them all questions about each president and they couldn't give answers other than "obama likes gays" and "I'm a republican so I voted McCain" and other bullshit.
#24
I personally think it's a right. Saying it's a privilege is a bit like saying public healthcare should only be available to those of working age because they are the only ones who can pay back the tax it cost to treat them.
#25
Quote by trueamerican
But people who don't understand the policies don't even know who they're picking. Yeah, they know a name (many people aren't even able to name the CURRENT VP OF THE MOTHER****ING US) and a skin color, but not policy, not the important stuff. All they're picking is a name, not a leader.


Not necesarily what I was saying. Someone might pick out a certain persons actions, study their image just to see what's what.

But since I don't vote (wasn't old enough at the time), I really don't give a damn what happens. I'm more of a hermit to social norms anyways. Politics is all rubbish and TV is annoying as hell.
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#26
Quote by blake1221
Exactly the pitfalls of chalking it up to privilege.

If you're a citizen, regardless of what you have proven you know, you should be able to pass judgement, however ill-informed it may be, on who you want to be in office.


"A respect for the will of the majority is more harmful than respect for the will of God, because the will of the majority can be ascertained." - Russell

This coming from a man who HATED religion and believed in democracy.
#27
Quote by necrosis1193
Here's the problem with tests though - There's one single right answer to each question. We don't know what answer will be the right one without a trial-by-fire in politics because you're implementing it on tens of millions of people, each a completely random variable. So these tests are going to have the professor's bias, and that may end up causing the election to be disproportionately conservative or liberal in contrast to the country's desires.


That's why the questions should be drafted by a few hundred professors, who would all look over each and every question. Questions would be voted on, and the 2/3 majority would make it.

Since these are all informed people, it would work.
#28
Quote by slipknot5678
I also don't like the two party system, but I feel it's only natural that these parties form. I can't think of how a system like that could be stable.

The British system is much better, I think. You have plenty of parties, and the more votes a party gets, the more seats in Parliament they get. Or something like that.

The problem is that there's no incorruptible system. If there was a test to decide who gets to vote, somebody would figure out a way to ensure only people who agree with them could vote.

What we need is a benevolent dictator. Might I offer my services?
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Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
#29
Quote by trueamerican
"A respect for the will of the majority is more harmful than respect for the will of God, because the will of the majority can be ascertained." - Russell

This coming from a man who HATED religion and believed in democracy.


I've read that quotation, and for the most part I agree. I just think the dangers and scandals and exclusionary nature of it would cause all kinds of troubles, and potential silencing of voices that third parties don't want heard.

Money influence could do a lot to damage the system, as it always seems to in political matters.
Last edited by blake1221 at Jul 11, 2011,
#30
The biggest problem with that is that whoever in power gets to come up with the little "voter competency quiz".
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#31
Quote by blake1221
I've read that quotation, and for the most part I agree. I just think the dangers and scandals and exclusionary nature of it would cause all kinds of troubles, and potential silencing of voices that third parties don't want heard.

Money influence could do a lot to damage the system, as it always seems to in legal matters.


The premise of your argument is that the current system can't fall prey to the same woes as my proposed system. Which is not true.
#32
Quote by slipknot5678
I also don't like the two party system, but I feel it's only natural that these parties form. I can't think of how a system like that could be stable.



look back when we had our first presidents. there were no political parties really until the 1st or second decade or so after we formed as a nation and put washington in place. he wasnt voted in i dont think. (might have been my memory is a bit fuzzy on the subject) i read somewhere that the people wanted him as a president and there was no elections if i remember right. i think the first election might have been john adams or jefferson. not 100% sure, but i know one of them had a scandal that was about there place in government and it formed the parties. i believe adams had the scandal and jefferson tried fixing the problem by creating parties. dont quote me though.


anyway my point is it can work, but it wouldnt be fool proof. looking at the florida votes in 2000 and other examples our current system isnt fool proof either, but it would reduce the "political stereotype" aka "i dont like reps" or "i dont like dems"
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Quote by trueamerican
Not only do you have good taste in music, but you have good taste in politics
#33
Quote by trueamerican
The premise of your argument is that the current system can't fall prey to the same woes as my proposed system. Which is not true.

Touché.
#34
Quote by rgrockr
The biggest problem with that is that whoever in power gets to come up with the little "voter competency quiz".


Huh, that's curious, because:

Quote by trueamerican
That's why the questions should be drafted by a few hundred professors, who would all look over each and every question. Questions would be voted on, and the 2/3 majority would make it.

Since these are all informed people, it would work.
#35
Quote by trueamerican
That's why the questions should be drafted by a few hundred professors, who would all look over each and every question. Questions would be voted on, and the 2/3 majority would make it.

Since these are all informed people, it would work.



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#36
Quote by trueamerican
Huh, that's curious, because:

Who gets to pick the professors?
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#37
I think it should be a right. I think prisoners should be able to vote too. Considering it a privilege completely undermines the foundations of a democratic society.
#38
Quote by k-train
look back when we had our first presidents. there were no political parties really until the 1st or second decade or so after we formed as a nation and put washington in place. he wasnt voted in i dont think. (might have been my memory is a bit fuzzy on the subject) i read somewhere that the people wanted him as a president and there was no elections if i remember right. i think the first election might have been john adams or jefferson. not 100% sure, but i know one of them had a scandal that was about there place in government and it formed the parties. i believe adams had the scandal and jefferson tried fixing the problem by creating parties. dont quote me though.


anyway my point is it can work, but it wouldnt be fool proof. looking at the florida votes in 2000 and other examples our current system isnt fool proof either, but it would reduce the "political stereotype" aka "i dont like reps" or "i dont like dems"


There was no election because nobody opposed Washington. The first election was for the second presidency, and it ended in disaster. The way it worked was the whoever came in first was president, and whoever came in second was VP. So Adams became president, and Jefferson was his VP. Disaster.
#39
That would just be dumb, because 200 professors could easily dictate as an acting senate.

It's like STAR WARS??!!??!?!!!!

*dons tin foil hat*
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#40
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