Should everyone be allowed to vote?

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Mikeallison
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Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Mikeallison » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:55 pm

If not, what should be the the criteria (Besides age, and citizenship status of course)?

EdithKeeler
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:14 pm

Yes. All adult citizens should be allowed to vote.

prognastat
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by prognastat » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:29 pm

Although I'm not too confident in the average person and their capabilities for rational decision making it also seems that whenever we restrict who can vote the process for determining this is easily corrupted and used for the abuse of power by those in the position to choose who are and aren't eligible. Since most restrictions are are subjective when a restriction is created it also creates a need for someone or someones to judge these subjective factors which creates a power differential between those that do and don't get to judge this.

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Bankai
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Bankai » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:41 pm

Interesting question.

The following criteria have been tested extensively throughout history and generally yielded rather poor results:

sex
race
class
wealth

We can probably safely assume that these are out of question.

What has not been explored fully:

IQ
education
age
merits

In principle, I don't see why 'right to vote' should necessarily be given to everyone by default. This is already happening in cases of convicted criminals, foreign citizens, the mentally disabled, underaged etc.

Some ideas to play with:

one could 'earn' right to vote by 'serving' society in some way, i.e. paying a certain amount of taxes, serving in military etc.

a test designed to measure one's maturity, political & social awareness and lack of psychopathic traits would determine the right to vote

some combination of IQ, education, merits, net worth etc. would increase one's weighting - i.e. everyone still has a right to vote, but say university professor would have more weighting that regular person

raising the age to 20/25/30

None of this will obviously happen anytime soon - democracy is just such a well-designed system - once introduced, there's no way back (unless forced onto society and seen as oppression and not liberation).

EdithKeeler
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:45 pm

a test designed to measure one's maturity, political & social awareness and lack of psychopathic traits would determine the right to vote
I’d suggest that candidates should have to pass such a test. Not voters.

Mikeallison
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Mikeallison » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:59 pm

Downsides as stated are that you create a type of caste system if you pick and choose on one hand, and on the other you have people who may not be qualified to choose leaders.

What about this from Heinlein?

"Citizens are people who joined the Federal Service and were honorably discharged and given franchise. Joining the Federal Service does not necessarily mean the military, and applicants may be assigned to any field where they sacrifice their time and effort for the Federation (Teaching, any of the civil services, experimental test subjects, etc), though military service is the most glorified. It all falls under Federal Service."

Voting is open to everyone, but you have to meet the state halfway, earn the right so to speak.

too fascist?

Mikeallison
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Mikeallison » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:04 pm

@Edithkeeler

Judging by what I've seen in congress and the other branches, we would have too many vacancies if we made candidates take such a test.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:18 pm

Kind of moot given average voter turnout. Obviously, anybody who believes that they have some or any interest worth more than an hour of minor aggravation at stake does show up. So,my suggestion would be fewer voting booths which would result in longer lines which would result in only early-rising, mature, and patient people being able to cast their vote.

Seppia
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Seppia » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:30 pm

Yes all adults should be able to vote.
Yes a line has to be drawn on what “adult” means but the important thing is it has to be fair, not necessarily “right”, which may be a concept up for debate.

So I’m ok with “anybody above 16”
Or “anybody above 21”

Not sure which one is “right” but both are fair.
Mikeallison wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:59 pm

What about this from Heinlein?

"Citizens are people who joined the Federal Service and were honorably discharged and given franchise. Joining the Federal Service does not necessarily mean the military, and applicants may be assigned to any field where they sacrifice their time and effort for the Federation (Teaching, any of the civil services, experimental test subjects, etc), though military service is the most glorified. It all falls under Federal Service."

Voting is open to everyone, but you have to meet the state halfway, earn the right so to speak.

too fascist?
I love starship troopers, it’s probably my favorite fiction book together with I Am Legend*

Yes he’s been criticized for supposedly trying to push semi fascist ideas under the cover of children’s books.
But man does he do it flawlessly: the teacher’s tirade in which he promotes physical punishment on kids is amazingly engaging.

*note: I don’t consider 1984, animal farm and Fahrenheit 451 fiction or else they would be included

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by jacob » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:52 pm

Mikeallison wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:55 pm
... citizenship status ...
Perhaps having to earn that status by being able qualify as a citizen (passing the civics test, no felonies, no arrest record, all taxes paid, ...) and then repeating/renewing the qualification every 10 years, like at age 20, 30, 40, ....

prognastat
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by prognastat » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:43 pm

jacob wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:52 pm
no felonies, no arrest record
Though I wouldn't be opposed I could already see SJW types immediately calling this out as extremely racist as it would disproportionally affect black people.

Jason
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Jason » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:16 pm

I believe Maine and Vermont are the only two states that allow the incarcerated to vote. In all other states, people convicted of felonies have their voting rights revoked, possibility of reinstitution subject to individual state laws.

Riggerjack
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:59 pm

Well, since we have around a 50% turnout, would voter restrictions matter?

Looking at the last two decades, a more relevant question is: should we be required to count all the votes? And the answer has been a resounding "no".

Why? Were you thinking of adding a new demographic that wouldn't participate? Or eliminate one the currently doesn't?

FWIW, I think 7w5 is on the right track. Now if we could get SJWs and whatever we call the SJWs on the right, to show up and heckle the potential voters line, we might even do better.

IlliniDave
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:54 pm

Well we've tried literacy tests in the past--didn't really work out too good. Just asking that voters be able to verify their identity/residence is considered racist. Not for those reasons, but I think all adult citizens should be allowed to vote. If conditions are required, they should be required of the office seekers (props to Edith K), not voters. The state works for the people.

I like Starship Troopers too, but I was always more partial to the Yes song.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by ZAFCorrection » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:50 pm

I'd also be more interested in testing candidates on relevant facts and physical capability, the latter being about as important as the former. A number of presidential candidates, at least, have demonstrated sketchy health, and it is questionable whether they can really do the job while hobbling about between doctor's appointments.

@Bankai:

It's a little early to declare the end of history. Democracy of the kind we might find kinda sorta acceptable has existed at most for a century, and only in the West. Meanwhile, we have seen backsliding in Eastern Europe (with at least some general support), the development of de facto totalitarianism in Russia (Putin has an indisputably high approval rating), and the questionable results of the democracies that have recently sprung up in the Middle East.

Sid
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Sid » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:03 pm

how about a linear relationship between how much an agent's vote is worth and the ammount the thing the agent is voting on effects the agent.

Mikeallison
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Mikeallison » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:02 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:59 pm
Why? Were you thinking of adding a new demographic that wouldn't participate? Or eliminate one the currently doesn't?
Nope, asking this one out of sheer curiosity. I've been reading polybius and he has me thinking alot about the structure of government. You guys are diverse, cynical, and generally smarter than the average bear(s). Thought you would be useful in helping me explore the idea of franchise deeper.

If we were to hypothetically make it a right earned through service, do you think the participation rate of those eligible would be higher? What about a direct democracy over a representative model? Tragedy of the commons? Or a way to take back power from a political elite?

ThisDinosaur
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by ThisDinosaur » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:52 am

Mikeallison wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:02 pm
If we were to hypothetically make it a right earned through service, do you think the participation rate of those eligible would be higher?
That's what I was thinking. People generally value things they earn over things they were gifted. The Heinlein Federal Service idea has an obvious logic to it. Why should people who haven't contributed to the system have any say in decisions about the system? On the other hand, governments make decisions that affect "civilians" whether or not they choose to serve. If the civilian is generally anti-government, its pretty messed up to make them serve the government before they can vote to reduce its influence. The American idea is that the government serves the people, not the other way around. In any system, the people allow themselves to be governed. If too few people have franchise, and their conditions become poor enough, they start revolutions.
Mikeallison wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:02 pm
What about a direct democracy over a representative model?
There was a small political party in Argentina called Democracy Earth. Their platform was to elect politicians who promised only to vote legislation according to an online poll of the party members. Its possible that technology could make direct democracy more practical. Of course, then you have all the issues of the least informed people, with no barriers, using the vote they don't value because they didn't earn it.

Related; for those who have issues with the Electoral System, here is an interesting article about the mathematics of different voting methods.
https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/D6trAzh ... tionalists

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by Dream of Freedom » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:57 am

In ancient Athens you had to be able to trace your ancestry back to people who were there when the city-state was founded. But we are a nation of immigrants and genealogy hasn't been a priority in our record keeping, it is sometime hard to trace your lineage.

The starship troopers/civil service idea is interesting. But you know, I was looking in the classifieds a couple of years ago and they were looking for somebody to spray weeds for the county. They wanted somebody with a biology degree. So you need a stem degree to spray weeds for the county. So you say just join the army. God forbid that you are color blind or have flat feet or you'll be rejected. Somehow I don't think civil service is open to everyone.

Age has always been a piss poor gauge of maturity. I've known mature 13yo and immature 70yo and everything in between. Plus young people have far more contact with the local government than most adults via the school system being part of the local government. So how else could you test maturity?

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Re: Should everyone be allowed to vote?

Post by jennypenny » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:58 am

The people who vote tend to be more educated, more engaged, and more informed. Seems to me that the self-selection process is pretty good. The problem I see is that it's a little like the 9.9% thread ... people who have benefitted more see more value in voting. Eventually it might hockey stick to the point where no one except those in the 9.9% group vote.

The electoral college question is interesting. Studies done by Pew over the last few decades show that people who feel their vote doesn't count don't vote. Sometimes they feel that way because they are disenfranchised in some way. Oftentimes though, it's because their area is dominated by one political party so they don't feel it's important to vote if they are in the other party. Switching to a popular vote for national elections is often suggested as a way around this, but I'm not so sure it would change much.

First, it's hard to say how many minority party voters (Democrats in Alabama, Republicans in CA) would vote in a popular vote system. There are more red states but the blue states have larger populations, so it's difficult to figure out if there would be a net gain in voters for one of the parties. I have relatives in NJ who don't bother voting for president because NJ always goes democrat and they say they would vote in a popular vote system -- how many of those people are out there?

Second, a popular vote would change campaigning drastically. Trump couldn't win by working the swing states like he did. On the other hand, a Clinton-like candidate who might only campaign in urban and high population areas might look like even more of an urban elite than last time, turning off rural or lower education democratic voters. *Note here -- Don't assume those with less education are necessarily less intelligent. Those in the trades or farming don't need a lot of formal education yet tend to be engaged voters. Polling of these types of voters has been unreliable, particularly in red states. Even on the forum, we don't feel like everyone should go to college, so making it a requirement of voting or giving it too much credence in determining voting patterns would be a mistake.

Third, younger voters are three times as likely to vote for third party candidates. That would hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Bernie Sanders could have stolen away a lot of votes from Clinton if he'd moved to the green ticket early on -- both parties would seek to avoid that. I could see a strong push by both Democrats and Republicans to make it much harder for third party candidates to make the national ballot. Is that a good thing? And they would have to push for a nationally-controlled ballot, taking away an important right of states. In 2016,

Finally, what would happen if no one took a majority? That would probably be worse than today. I think it's possible in a popular vote system that the two parties would push much harder to consolidate power within the parties, incorporating more fringe groups to eliminate the possibility of third party candidates. This would cement the two-party system instead of breathing life into the process by giving more air time to third party candidates. OTOH, it would definitely lessen the power of the executive branch because Congress would be much more representative of the country as a whole.

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