OK here is a hard hat post for sure, and I welcome any reasonable comment even ones that disagree, because I am not sure if I am right or being sensible and I am, as anyone who reads my stuff would guess, an Ardent (cool word) believer in democracy.
How often did you see or read about something stupid and think or read something like: “And these people get to vote?”
Several Bloggers have raised the fact that democracy does not seem to be working like it should so much any more. Especially a comment by Suboptimal Planet on the post above.
It was about a poll of UK voters and how absolutely badly informed they were, but it could be about most any voters. I should also give a wave to Nourishing Obscurity and Critical Faculty Dojo here for stuff that made me think.
"The poll asked whether the coalition (UK Government) would be keeping the (UK) national debt the same over the next four years, increasing it by £350bn or cutting it by £350bn. Just nine per cent got it right – 21 per cent thought it would be staying the same and an astonishing 70 per cent thought the national debt would be cut by £350bn."
Critical Faculty Dojo actually has a UK debt clock always climbing in the side bar, I guess they don't read that.
So some problems with the system:
Anyone too dumb, or too ignorant of facts just can not make a sensible decision about anything even slightly complicated. And life these days is complicated.
Anyone with too little experience of life is basically less likely to think long term and have experience to base their decisions on. Like you can’t believe politician’s promises for a start.
Lots of people are disengaged from politics, because they feel their votes don’t count, or because they are focussed on “single issue” stuff., or not committed to the society they live in.
Now like I said, I am an ardent ^_^ believer in democracy and I am very opposed to disenfranchising (another cool word) anyone because they are female or not wealthy, or not as sharp as others or some such thing.
So how can we fix some of those things?
Well first of all maybe 18 is a bit too young to have enough experience? Maybe 21 would be better?. I am not being mean about under 21s or anything and I would literally violently oppose going back to a system that didn’t allow the vote to women.
Safe driving might be a measure of a person’s judgement and insurance actuaries definitely pay attention to ages like 21 and 25 when they set premiums.
And thinking about driving people really value their driving licences, so maybe it would be an idea if a person needed to pass a test and get a licence before they could vote? The licence should cost only a token amount to pay for materials, maybe the cost of a couple of pints of beer.
Say 18 year olds could apply for a student voter licence and be able to vote but their vote would only count for a 25% share of a vote.
A person could pass a basic test about economics and such to be able to apply for a full licence, and if they did at 21 their vote might count for half, then at 25 their vote would count for 75% and at 30 it would count as a full vote.
Maybe give anyone in the armed forces a full licence automatically with at least a 75% vote and a special 50% bonus because they are willing to put their lives on the line for their society. Maybe include emergency services at 50% vote?
Maybe a special bonus for being a tax payer or property owner where whatever your vote was, was increased by 50% or maybe doubled.
Maybe cut the percentage vote of government workers in half.
Also maybe if someone never voted their licence would lapse. And need to get a new licence.
Jailbirds would have their licence confiscated and have to take the test and reapply when they got out.
I do think having a person vote for a person who represents them and where they live is important.
I also think it would be good to have more referenda on single issues. Maybe have a department specially looking into issues to decide on for the public to vote on and frame laws based on that, maybe have high number petitions trigger them as well. It might even include the removal of politicians, presidents, prime ministers, and governments.
Nothing would pass if it didn’t get a good turn out and more than 60% of the vote.
If we can have a weekly vote on dancing with the stars/strictly and electronically access our bank accounts then how difficult would it be to have a few referenda say once every 4 months.
Here are some quotes about voting I figured make some important points:
"Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.” - Will Rogers
"Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom” - Friedrich August Hayek
“If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves” - Thomas Sowell
"Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.” - Ambrose Bierce
“Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.” - lunaleelee Lucy Parsons
“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” - George Jean Nathan
That ought to set some cats amongst all the pigeons.. I do hope ^_^