Should all people be allowed to vote

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Should all people be allowed to vote

Postby wolfnchains » April 7th, 2024, 8:17 am

In history class, I learned our forefathers did not think so. At least some of them were concerned with ignorant poor people ruining the country. I learned this more than 20 years ago and I could be wrong about some of the facts, but I believe some stipulations were put into place to prevent most of the masses from having a say.

With that said, I read this article recently. The link is below. And apparently the brains of those with moderate centralist views light up differently than those with extreme rigid views. And it does not matter whether you lean left or right. It is about how tightly you cling to an idea even if evidence proves otherwise. So the question is, should we test people to see who has this faulty wiring and limit their ability to destroy society? Thoughts? ... -ideology/
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Re: Should all people be allowed to vote

Postby robindf1 » April 16th, 2024, 4:47 am

You'll never be able to take away anyone's right to vote, but putting that aside, why would you want to? The whole point of a representative democracy is that the citizens don't need to be smart, because we elect representatives to represent our interests. We can agree on two things, I think:

1. The People know what they want.
2. The People don't exactly know how to get it.

Healthcare, gun violence, racism, terrorism, inflation, whatever--the average person does not really know these things work. So we elect people who do know how these things work to vote on our behalf. It makes sense, doesn't it? Discovering what we need to do to create the society we want to live in is a full-time job. Why not make it its own job? But as much sense as it makes in isolation, the system is not working. Why?

The problem is with the voting system, not the voters. What do we want out of a voting system?

1. We want our government to represent the will of the people as much as possible.
2. The ability to choose from candidates from across the political spectrum.
3. Maximum voter happiness with the result.

How does our voting system measure up?

1. In elections with a single winner, only the plurality of the voters are represented. If each party runs one candidate, and 30% vote Republican, 25% vote Democrat, 25% vote Green, and 20% vote Communist, the Republican will win, despite the fact that leftist parties account for 70% of the vote.
2. Elections with only one winner inevitably lead to there only being two major parties. This is what's known as Duverger's law.
3. There is no real way for voters to express their political preferences, since they don't have candidates that represent their views, and voting for a third party is effectively throwing away your vote, but all that voting for a third-party candidate will do is make it easier for the major political party they disagree most to win (this is what's know as the spoiler effect).

This is a complete disaster, and it's why so many people think voting is pointless. How do we fix this?

1. Do not have elections with a single winner. Ever.

Take our example from earlier and imagine if there were three winners. We'll use a system called STV. Each candidate would need 33% of the vote to win. To do this, the least popular candidate is eliminated, and the votes are transferred to the voter's second choice. In this case, it's the Communist candidate that is eliminated. Let's just say Communist voters all had the Green candidate as their second choice. Green gets 45% of the vote, 12% more than the 33% it needs. That surplus goes to Green's second choice, which is the Democrat candidate. The Democrat candidate's surplus goes to the Republicans. If you remember, in this district, 70% of voters are leftists, and 30% are staunch conservatives. We have 66% leftist candidates elected, and 33% conservatives. That's pretty dang representative of the district. Under the old system, everyone is represented by a Republican.

2. Merge districts together. With these larger districts, each election can have multiple winners without needing to increase the total number of representatives (though if you want to increase it so that citizens can have more local representatives, that's fine too!), and gerrymandering becomes pointless (so long as you have enough representatives per distict--somewhere between 6-9 minimum, depending on who you ask).

This doesn't solve every Big Problem that we have. Money in politics is an issue that this doesn't solve, for example. But it does create the foundation for a government that represents everyone.
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