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  1. #41
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    I sit torn by this issue. On one hand, it would be fantastic if voters were all knowledgeable. On the otherhand, what is an acceptable level of knowledge? Should only people with expertise such as degrees or work related experience in the applicable fields be allowed to vote? There's a part of me that cringes at intellectual snobbery, as well as being concerned about equality and rights associated to different forms of democracy.
    This is why I’d like to read the book, to find out exactly what the author is proposing- since he seems to agree that it’s too unethical to actually put some kind of restriction into practice. It seems like the crux is to change the overall/general social attitude from “voting is taking responsibility of a civic duty” to “paying close attention to what’s going on in one’s government is taking responsibility of a civic duty, and voting is a choice that people should feel fully responsible for imposing on others.” I really don’t know if the author proposes anything to incite this change in attitude or if he’s simply saying the attitude should change. I really do agree though with the notion that a change in attitude is necessary- removing the sense of accomplishment from the simple act of ‘voting’. Even though I think many of the people who constantly push others to vote are implicitly pushing for others to pay attention to what they’re voting for- as long as there’s something people can just show up and collect a reward for without really doing the work of earning it (the ‘reward’ in this case is the appearance of responsibility), that’s exactly what they’ll do.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #42
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    I'd rather see the apathetic voting in full force than the political extremists stacking the voting.
    I guess I kind of see the apathetic voters as often times being tools of political extremists- using fear tactics or simply appealing to a certain kind of identity to turn the apathetic must-vote-to-feel/look-responsible folks in their direction (it doesn’t take much for some people). But maybe I've got a different understanding of 'political extremist' bouncing around in my head.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  3. #43
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Man the counter revolution in the states is doing pretty well.

  4. #44
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I guess I kind of see the apathetic voters as often times being tools of political extremists- using fear tactics or simply appealing to a certain kind of identity to turn the apathetic must-vote-to-feel/look-responsible folks in their direction (it doesn’t take much for some people). But maybe I've got a different understanding of 'political extremist' bouncing around in my head.
    True, that could happen, however I expect here the majority of the apathetic would stick with one of the two major parties which are very similar in many ways and both pretty centre. We have a two-party preferred system so one or the other will hold government.

    For me political extremists are strong left or strong right in either their social and/or fiscal leanings.

    Extremists are more likely to be backing parties like the innocent sounding Family First which is an openly religious affiliated and driven party, as I'm left leaning my hippy bias wouldn't link The Greens party in the same manner but there but others would, where the former is uber conservative socially the latter is uber liberal socially. Both have policies that would cause harm if implemented. We are currently running with a minority government as neither main parties had the required majority, The Greens and 4 independents have joined with one party to form government and that support came with requirements. If a party like Family First or less innocent sounding Shooters Party were holding balance as they had the required votes I would be terrified.

    Apathetic voters are of course swayed, but generally not to extremes in the way I define them.

  5. #45
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    Voting is tyranny.

  6. #46
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    True, that could happen, however I expect here the majority of the apathetic would stick with one of the two major parties which are very similar in many ways and both pretty centre. We have a two-party preferred system so one or the other will hold government.
    I don’t really worry about extremists gaining any exclusive control (I don’t see the ‘apathetic’ voters being swayed all the way to the extremes either) so much as I see them causing the ‘emotional reactions’ which push people who might otherwise be somewhere in the middle (and perhaps willing to *consider* either major party) into instinctively voting left or right without putting much effort into investigating how accurate the views are. I do think a person’s immediate environment and the peers they have directly around them probably influence ‘emotional reaction’ choices more than the extremists, but I think extremists can influence those groups/environments. Really though, I suppose the reason I don’t worry about extremists gaining too much control in the first place is because they can cause such an adverse affect in the (what we’ve been referring to as) ‘apathetic’ crowd, the ‘emotional reaction’ vote against them does provide a perpetual safety buffer.

    Also, your new avi is delightfully superfly.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  7. #47
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guesswho View Post
    Voting is bullshit.

    At least where I live.
    We are fortunate that voting is compulsory here. And we are very happy with this. We could change it if we wanted to but we regard voting as our duty as citizens.

    And we are always shocked to discover that so few vote in the USA elections.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We are fortunate that voting is compulsory here. And we are very happy with this. We could change it if we wanted to but we regard voting as our duty as citizens.
    I see your statist overlords have conditioned you well.

    And we are always shocked to discover that so few vote in the USA elections.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_ignorance

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Voting is tyranny.
    Voting is democracy. I suppose you'd rather have a dictator, a king, or else just kind of live in the woods in a hut with a shotgun.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Lex Talionis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Your presumptions are pedantic at best, considering the Internet and access to many sources of media and any number of perspectives on the same issues. That people gravitate towards favourite media sources like Fox news, just affirms that voters are looking for confirmation biased sources. And what is truth, beyond perception?
    The mass or mainstream media derives its name from its function: it distributes information most widely. If private interests did not believe that they could sway the masses using such deceptive mediums of communication, they would not invest so heavily in promotion.

    Most people watch what is most visible. They either lack the willpower or ability to research matters thoroughly, which is hardly surprising, as our political system, much like our economic system, is designed to promote commodities (in this case, political figures and their derivative "services"), not to exist as an honest platform upon which to deliberate social issues.

    Furthermore, the entire question of "bias" (a subjective and universal phenomenon) is something I do not concern myself with nor does it envelop anything I have argued above: that our political system is deeply anti-democratic.

    Once again, presumptuous. Best informed would be the best way to run countries. Who defines where the bar's set for knowledge level?
    What is the "best" way to "run" a country? I do not care to engage you in a debate about some subjective perception of national interest and the semantic games that follow.

    The purpose of a democracy is not "efficiency" (a subjective and universally applicable notion), but accountability and equality of power. A democracy seeks to diffuse power amongst the majority, not concentrate it within a minority, on the assumption that social decisions should ultimately be predicated upon the will of the majority rather than one individual or a small elite.

    Any questions pertaining to the "efficiency" of various forms of government do not have any bearing upon what I've stated thus far. The majority is capable of electing representatives (although I favor the inception of participatory structures wherever feasible) who would possess the requisite knowledge and skills to advance national interests, which would themselves be determined by the majority.

    Why solely for local governments, why not for all levels of government? After all, information is key to informed voting. The more information, the better.
    I did not exclude participation in higher stages of government; I merely asserted that local participation would be most expedient. This would also follow from the ethical position that individuals should be allowed to decide upon matters to the degree that they affect them; naturally, local government is the first layer of community management.
    "Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily."
    —Bonaparte

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