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Thread: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    In the U.S., everybody who registers is allowed to vote.

    Many - if not the majority - of people seem to be ignorant of some pretty basic stuff, like the U.S. Constitution, local, national, and world events, and that kind of "trivia."

    How can we expect to elect good leaders when people who are horrendously ill-informed get the same vote as those who take the time and put in the effort to understand important issues?

    Interesting article - The right to vote should be restricted to those with knowledge. From the article:

    Consider an alternative political system called epistocracy. Epistocracies retain the same institutions as representative democracies, including imposing liberal constitutional limits on power, bills of rights, checks and balances, elected representatives and judicial review. But while democracies give every citizen an equal right to vote, epistocracies apportion political power, by law, according to knowledge or competence.

    The idea here is not that knowledgeable people deserve to rule – of course they don’t – but that the rest of us deserve not to be subjected to incompetently made political decisions....
    So...

    Waddaya think?
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    The problem with limiting the vote is that someone decides who is knowledgeable and who is not.
    The problem with not limiting the vote is you end up with votes you don't agree with.
    That is why we have a representative government called a republic. We elect people who are more informed to make the decisions.
    The problem with that is we elect liars and thieves.
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    One of the larger criticisms with democratic systems is the ability for a majority to subjugate a minority and the affect that money has on the ability to sway the vote.

    I would say that ignorant voters are probably less of a problem than the mechanisms that are used to influence the vote.

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    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    I'm all in favour of Bassett Hounds being given the vote. Cunning little buggers, they are...
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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    well apparently they are allowed to actually run for president.
    So yes. Yes is my final answer.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    well apparently they are allowed to actually run for president.
    So yes. Yes is my final answer.
    LOL - but if you answer "no," maybe nobody allowed to vote would let that happen.

    My opie-onion...

    ...great idea, if it didn't have a near 100% likelihood of abuse.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylluan Penry View Post
    I'm all in favour of Bassett Hounds being given the vote. Cunning little buggers, they are...
    Beagles aren't real bright, but I think they could smell out a candidate overfilled with crap. Let them vote, too.
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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    I remember in Junior High 8th grade we had to pass a civics class to graduate. Learned all the Government stuff,and our civic duty in understanding how our system of government functions. I do not think they still do that in the schools(this was California) that at about 1960.
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    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    Recently in the UK there has been a leadership election in the Labour Party. The UK labour party is now the largest party in Europe. And yet... the powers that be (who really wanted to get rid of the present leader, Jeremy Corbyn) disenfranchised about 200,000 of its own members for really weird stuff like liking the foo fighters, or once tweeting in favour of the Green Party (it seems that while MPs can change allegiances, members cannot.) Rules were changes arbitrarily, court cases ensued and all sort of skullduggery.
    I did not know it, but according to the great and the good I am apparently some sort of Trot and deluded to boot.

    Therefore, I am very much against the idea of 'the ignorant' being excluded from voting because it seems to me that it would result in only those who fit a certain profile will have any say. That is not democracy.
    Mind you, democracy is a dangerous beast - witness the recent EU referendum in the UK. The moral of that tale, boys and girls, is never hold a referendum unless you know you can control the result. If you do not know (and do not care) at least have an alternative plan in place.
    But I digress. Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected with a bigger mandate.

    So yes, allow deluded old Trots like me to vote, by all means.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylluan Penry View Post
    ...Therefore, I am very much against the idea of 'the ignorant' being excluded from voting because it seems to me that it would result in only those who fit a certain profile will have any say. That is not democracy...
    This is precisely how I think the abuse would most likely manifest.
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 30 Sep 2016 at 14:31.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Should the ignorant be given a vote?

    As a quick response to the question:

    Yes because votes are about opinion - an opinion on who is most likely to do right by 'me.' Even those who may seem likely to be ignorant can be scarily articulate and shrewd when it comes to what is good for them.

    Case in point.

    On Monday, Mr Storrar addressed the Q&A panel: "I've got a disability and a low education, that means I've spent my whole life working for minimum wage. You're going to lift the tax-free threshold for rich people."

    "If you lift my tax-free threshold, that changes my life. That means that I get to say to my little girls, 'Daddy's not broke this weekend, we can go to the pictures'.

    "Rich people don't even notice their tax-free threshold lift. Why don't I get it? Why do they get it?"
    This said by a guy with a disability, a low income and low education. A marginalised person for sure and someone who the majority would definitely be prejudiced enough to label as ignorant at first glance.

    Ignorance also has a point of view and just because the education is not there doesn't mean it's wrong.
    Last edited by Azvanna; 30 Sep 2016 at 19:16.

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