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  1. #1
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    Should thick people vote?

    In the UK anyone over the age of 18 who is neither insane nor a serious criminal can vote. I would guess the US is pretty similar.

    In the UK they're talking about reducing the voting age to 16 since the percentage of people who vote in a General Election is dropping and they want to raise some interest.

    Now, is this the best way to get a good government? Issues aren't black and white and on issues such as fiscal policy who but a few can really understand the complexities and implications of different policies?

    Elections are getting dumbed down into personality battles (a la Pop Idol) and sound bites.

    How about we only let clever people vote. Or at least not allow thick people to vote.

    That way we would have a more intelligent debate at election time and the government would have to sharpen up its act.

    For now, let's ignore the practicalities of measuring intelligence; in principal, is it a good idea to stop thick people from voting?
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  2. #2
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    Looks good on paper but such a thing would be impossible to implement because the definition of "thick" people is far too subjective.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    How about we only let clever people vote. Or at least not allow thick people to vote.
    Perhaps they should administer a test prior to voting each year, or every five years or something that would give the voter an opportunity to demonstrate their grasp of the political and world issues and platforms. If you pass, you vote. If you fail, you don't.

    I don't vote because I don't keep up on political issues. I feel I'd be doing a disservice to my country if I voted at this point. It is something I'm working on changing, though.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady
    Perhaps they should administer a test prior to voting each year, or every five years or something that would give the voter an opportunity to demonstrate their grasp of the political and world issues and platforms. If you pass, you vote. If you fail, you don't.

    I don't vote because I don't keep up on political issues. I feel I'd be doing a disservice to my country if I voted at this point. It is something I'm working on changing, though.
    Oh my god. HappyLady, I love you!

    This is exactly what I was going to say! That you realize unprepared voting is harmful, deem yourself unprepared and didn't vote because of it, and made this brilliant post warms my heart to no end!

    You are a true patriot, HappyLady. I bow to you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady
    Perhaps they should administer a test prior to voting each year, or every five years or something that would give the voter an opportunity to demonstrate their grasp of the political and world issues and platforms. If you pass, you vote. If you fail, you don't.
    HappyLady is exactly correct here. Unprepared voting can be far more harmful than driving a car, yet we require tests to prove eligability for driving. We should do no less for voting.

    Voting is the system used in a democracy to determine government action, or to elect officials to office. The reason for this system is that one group cannot rule anyone else. Policies and elected officials must be voted by a majority (sometimes not popular majority, but still).

    But I think we tend to forget the reason we avoid groups ruling over others in the first place: it's not healthy. It leads to violence and disparity.

    But if people are voting without any understanding of the issues at hand, how is that affecting the root goal of state health? It is a fly in the ointment.

    Voting licenses are a great idea. For every election, at the voting booth, you take a little test. What candidate stands for what? What would candidate X do that candidate Y wouldn't? Give a rational explanation as to why candidate X's policy on gun control is good/bad.

    You pass the test, you vote. You don't pass the test, you don't vote. This is fair. This is necessary for the system of voting to even work right. Without it, democratic voting doesn't ammount to much more than gossip.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    How about we only let clever people vote. Or at least not allow thick people to vote.
    Is this from a conservative angle, or liberal perspective, as the two are likely opposite?
    Just another hostile non-theist.

  7. #7
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    Does it make a difference.

    If you like it's from a pragmatic angle.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaysis
    HappyLady is exactly correct here.
    There are flaws with my ideas, however. I'm thinking of the same way that equal education is not provided in schools, like inner city schools vs. suburban schools, testing voters would segragate the classes. So, you would likely have the majority of voters being middle and upper class voters, who would most likely be voting in their best interests, and it would leave the less educated, mostly lower class, largely out of voting. Many people, even uneducated, choose a party based solely on the fact that one party is liberal and one is conservative. So, I'm not sure how we could hammer out that bias.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    In the UK anyone over the age of 18 who is neither insane nor a serious criminal can vote. I would guess the US is pretty similar.

    In the UK they're talking about reducing the voting age to 16 since the percentage of people who vote in a General Election is dropping and they want to raise some interest.

    Now, is this the best way to get a good government? Issues aren't black and white and on issues such as fiscal policy who but a few can really understand the complexities and implications of different policies?

    Elections are getting dumbed down into personality battles (a la Pop Idol) and sound bites.

    How about we only let clever people vote. Or at least not allow thick people to vote.

    That way we would have a more intelligent debate at election time and the government would have to sharpen up its act.

    For now, let's ignore the practicalities of measuring intelligence; in principal, is it a good idea to stop thick people from voting?
    What you are proposing is to essentially change our system of government from one where the majority rules, to one where only the "educated" minority chooses our leaders. This is not ethically right, nor what the founding fathers envisioned. The poll taxes and "literacy tests" of the past served only one purpose, which was to discriminate against blacks. In theory, not letting stupid people vote is a great concept, but who defines "stupid?" If a system like this was put into place, the vote would again be controlled only by rich white men. One has to realize that by prohibiting "thick," or politically ignorant people from voting, one is basically prohibiting almost the entire country from voting. Most people know so little about politics, it is hard for politically interested people to understand.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    In the UK anyone over the age of 18 who is neither insane nor a serious criminal can vote. I would guess the US is pretty similar.

    In the UK they're talking about reducing the voting age to 16 since the percentage of people who vote in a General Election is dropping and they want to raise some interest.

    Now, is this the best way to get a good government? Issues aren't black and white and on issues such as fiscal policy who but a few can really understand the complexities and implications of different policies?

    Elections are getting dumbed down into personality battles (a la Pop Idol) and sound bites.

    How about we only let clever people vote. Or at least not allow thick people to vote.

    That way we would have a more intelligent debate at election time and the government would have to sharpen up its act.

    For now, let's ignore the practicalities of measuring intelligence; in principal, is it a good idea to stop thick people from voting?
    I am pretty sure we do not have a restriction against mentally ill people voting in the U.S. That would be exceptionally hard to define in that context, i.e. "Who is mentally competent to vote?" We do, however, have a law against convicted felons voting. I personally disagree with that, and think that if a felon cares enough to vote, and has served his prison sentence and/or paid his fine, then he has every right to vote. I think there has been some discussion of lowering the voting age to 16 in the U.S., also. This is a ridiculous proposal. From my experience, most people have not seriously formulated their system of morals and political beliefs until at least their late teens or early 20s.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    What you are proposing is to essentially change our system of government from one where the majority rules, to one where only the "educated" minority chooses our leaders.
    True, though it might well be an educated *majority*.


    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    This is not ethically right
    Why not?


    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    nor what the founding fathers envisioned.
    Firstly I don't have founding fathers. Secondly, even if I did what is wrong with going against their principals?


    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    The poll taxes and "literacy tests" of the past served only one purpose, which was to discriminate against blacks. In theory, not letting stupid people vote is a great concept, but who defines "stupid?" If a system like this was put into place, the vote would again be controlled only by rich white men. One has to realize that by prohibiting "thick," or politically ignorant people from voting, one is basically prohibiting almost the entire country from voting. Most people know so little about politics, it is hard for politically interested people to understand.
    Therefore they shouldn't be trusted to vote. My argument exactly.

    If I had a heart condition I wouldn't ask a bunch of lay people what medical procedure would be best for me. I'd ask a bunch of doctors.

    If I want advice on how to improve my surfing I wouldn't ask a bunch of people who can't swim.

    Asking voters to be able to identify differences between candidates or perhaps identify where Iraq is on a map isn't asking for rocket science.

    Yes, this system of voting does discriminate. That's good. It discriminates against idiots.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    I am pretty sure we do not have a restriction against mentally ill people voting in the U.S. That would be exceptionally hard to define in that context, i.e. "Who is mentally competent to vote?" We do, however, have a law against convicted felons voting. I personally disagree with that, and think that if a felon cares enough to vote, and has served his prison sentence and/or paid his fine, then he has every right to vote. I think there has been some discussion of lowering the voting age to 16 in the U.S., also. This is a ridiculous proposal. From my experience, most people have not seriously formulated their system of morals and political beliefs until at least their late teens or early 20s.
    I believe it's those who have been official certified as insane. Those who haven't been certified generally end up getting elected.

    I'm not sure, but I think it's only the higher end of the criminal fraternity who can't vote: murderers and so on.

    I'm not sure I agree with this last category.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  13. #13
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    Now, is this the best way to get a good government? Issues aren't black and white and on issues such as fiscal policy who but a few can really understand the complexities and implications of different policies?
    While we're at it lets make make it so blacks cant vote, their scholastic records arnt as good as whites.

    What about women, lets ban them too.

    Oh ya, and poor people too, we all know their not as smart as rich people.

    This idea is dicrimination pure and simple.

    But what the hey! If you dont care about democracy and equality what does it matter? Lets reduce the power to only a select few who are qualified: aka a oligarchy.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    While we're at it lets make make it so blacks cant vote, their scholastic records arnt as good as whites.

    What about women, lets ban them too.

    Oh ya, and poor people too, we all know their not as smart as rich people.

    This idea is dicrimination pure and simple.

    But what the hey! If you dont care about democracy and equality what does it matter? Lets reduce the power to only a select few who are qualified: aka a oligarchy.
    Slow down a little.

    Now, let's take a look, shall we?

    Did we mention skin colour? And why do you immediatley assume that women shouldn't be allowed to vote? Do you really believe they're not intelligent?

    Take a look at the concept before flying off the handle.

    We're talking about intelligence here. A basic grasp of issues; nobody's saying a voter should be able to construct a rocket ship so I'm not sure where you got that idea from.

    It's these wild inferences and non sequiturs that give voters a bad name
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  15. #15
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    No matter how you look at it, its still discrimination. Basically you throw the whole concept of human equality out the window.

    You also concentrate power into fewer hands (always a good start to eliminating freedom).

    The point of my last thread was to show that this policy is just as bad as any other type of discrimination.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    Did we mention skin colour? And why do you immediatley assume that women shouldn't be allowed to vote? Do you really believe they're not intelligent?
    As I stated before, if we didn't allow the less-educated to vote, we would likely be neglecting the lower class. In the US, there is a big difference in the quality of education delivered in suburban schools as opposed to inner city schools. Therefore, if we administered some kind of test to see who is "smart" enough to vote, it would most likely eliminate a large part of the poor population, and that would include a high statistic of black or Hispanics.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady
    Therefore, if we administered some kind of test to see who is "smart" enough to vote, it would most likely eliminate a large part of the poor population, and that would include a high statistic of black or Hispanics.
    On second thought, a large population of hispanics probably aren't citizens anyway.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  18. #18
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    If I had a heart condition I wouldn't ask a bunch of lay people what medical procedure would be best for me. I'd ask a bunch of doctors.

    If I want advice on how to improve my surfing I wouldn't ask a bunch of people who can't swim.
    This argument is flawed. The focus of a democratic election is to best represent the will of the population for their leaders. Even those who are ignorant are subject to the decisions made by their leaders. In your examples, you are in control of all decisions.

    If I generalize your analogy, elected officials will give you a "medical procedure" whether you personally have a "heart condition" or not. There's not a "bunch of doctors," there are a bunch of patients instead.

    If I generalize your position, only those qualified to run a country should be allowed to vote. Therefore, only those in power should be allowed to choose their successors. (And I thought royalty was just for the tabloids )

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    No matter how you look at it, its still discrimination. Basically you throw the whole concept of human equality out the window.
    But humans aren't equal. We're not all the same and not all capable of doing the same things!


    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    You also concentrate power into fewer hands (always a good start to eliminating freedom).

    The point of my last thread was to show that this policy is just as bad as any other type of discrimination.
    Why is discrimination bad? What is wrong with allowing the best people to do a particular job? A meritocracy if you like.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenstone
    This argument is flawed. The focus of a democratic election is to best represent the will of the population for their leaders. Even those who are ignorant are subject to the decisions made by their leaders. In your examples, you are in control of all decisions.

    If I generalize your analogy, elected officials will give you a "medical procedure" whether you personally have a "heart condition" or not. There's not a "bunch of doctors," there are a bunch of patients instead.

    If I generalize your position, only those qualified to run a country should be allowed to vote. Therefore, only those in power should be allowed to choose their successors. (And I thought royalty was just for the tabloids )
    I admit there are many possible ways the system could go awry - just like any other system.

    But the principal of allowing only those who actually know what they're talking about to choose a leader is a valid one.

    At the moment thick people are being wooed into voting one way or another by PR companies, media representation and image makers. Is that democracy? The candidate with the deepest pocket will win because they can hire the best advertising company to portray them as the best candidate.

    If a simple test is administered on each voter then elections would be about issues. The elected government would need to be seen to act on those principals. Of course they could be corrupt - just like many current governments - but because they're being watched by intelligent people they would either have to hide their corruption better or actually work harder to provide a better society because they know they will be judged on their results and not on how good looking their candidates are.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

 

 
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