Friday, November 02, 2012

Video: Should Voting Be Mandatory? 13 More Reasons Not to Vote

The following video explains why mandatory or coercing people to vote will not be constructive for a society

From (thanks to Tim Hedberg for the video):
Professor Jason Brennan offers several reasons for not making voting mandatory. 

-Political scientists find that most citizens are badly informed. 

-Citizens appear to make systematic mistakes about the most basic issues in economics, political science, and sociology. People who would fail econ 101 should not be required to make decisions about economic policy. 

-People who tend to abstain from voting are more ignorant than people who vote. Forcing them to vote would lead to a more ignorant pool of voters, which leads to political candidates who reflect voters’ misperceptions. The end result is bad public policy. 

One objection to this argument is that the disadvantaged, the poor, the unemployed, and the uneducated are less likely to vote than other groups. Some argue that people should be forced to vote so the disadvantaged won’t be taken advantage of. Professor Brennan says this objection relies upon the false assumption that people vote for their own interests. In contrast, political scientists have found over and again that people tend to vote for what they believe to be the national interest. We don’t need to worry about protecting nonvoters from selfish voters. Instead, we should worry about whether voters will invest the time to learn which policies really serve the public good.

According to Brennan, bad decisions in the voting booth contribute to bad government; needless wars; homophobic, sexist, and racist legislation; lost prosperity; and more. While all citizens should have an equal right to vote, someone who wants to abstain from voting because he doesn’t feel he knows the right answers—or for any other reason—should be allowed to do so. Brennan concludes that mandatory voting guarantees high turnout but not better government.


If mandatory voting would not helpful, then refraining from voting could should be seen as an alternative. [See my previous posts here, and here.]

EPJ's Bob Wenzel has 13 quotes to justify non-voting:
1. If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal. --Emma Goldman 

2. The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting. --Charles Bukowski 

3.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 von Hayek 

4. Why do the people humiliate themselves by voting? I didn't vote because I have dignity. If I had closed my nose and voted for one of them, I would spit on my own face. --Oriana Fallaci 

5. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Next time, go all out and write in Lucifer on the ballot --Jarod Kintz, 99 Cents For Some Nonsense 

6. Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. ― H.L. Mencken 

7. Don't vote, it only encourages them. - - Old anarchist saying 

8. Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people. - - Oscar Wilde 

9.Representative government is artifice, a political myth, designed to conceal from the masses the dominance of a self-selected, self-perpetuating, and self-serving traditional ruling class. ― Giuseppe Prezzolini 

10. Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual). --Ayn Rand 

11. I have never voted in my life...I have always known and understood that the idiots are in a majority so it's certain they will win. --Louis-Ferdinand Celine 

12. No matter whom you vote for, the Government always gets in. --Unknown 

13. You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome. --Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard
I would add a 14th reason: It's not worth to risk one's life or limb to engage in a charade where the risk of political violence is high during election day.

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