Suffrage - A Modest Proposal

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Carolina Red, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Jul 31, 2018
    #1

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    Which is one of the reasons why the Framers of the Constitution had a very small voting population in mind.

    (I know, I know, racism and sexism played a role, but they had a point when they narrowed it down to a group of people who were educated on the issues)
  2. Jul 31, 2018
    #2

    Cal? CR7 fan

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    Brexit and Trump has seriously made me question if democracy really is better than all the other systems tried. :(
  3. Jul 31, 2018
    #3

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    It’s not democracy, it’s the idea of an unlimited franchise within a democracy.

    Everyone having the right to vote sounds nice, but is it really, ultimately, a good thing?

    We will never really know the answer to that though, because any thought of it will descend into forms of discrimination based upon natural characteristics instead of merit.
  4. Jul 31, 2018
    #4

    Cal? CR7 fan

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    That’s very true.
  5. Jul 31, 2018
    #5

    Javi Full Member

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    Maybe the context for the right to vote in the U.S. is subpar. Get rid of donations and change the election system to proporz and you'd have a whole different landscape.
  6. Jul 31, 2018
    #6

    Sweet Square Full Member

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    :lol:
  7. Jul 31, 2018
    #7

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    The context is definitely flawed. Our system was created for the well educated to elect our government without the presence of political parties.

    Senators weren’t even directly elected by popular vote until the 17th Amendment. The president still isn’t.

    The only positions voters originally could directly elect were local and state level positions and their US Representative.
  8. Jul 31, 2018
    #8

    Mockney Not the only poster to be named Poster of the Year

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    Editing my own posts.
    Democracy as a concept is still all good, providing enough immutable checks and balances are in place to guard against the possibility of those elected seeking to destroy it... which somewhat ironically means there always needs to be an unelected (or at least long standing, un-term constrained) body acting as a buffer...

    These are the kind of trial by error decisions, arrived at through centuries of constant feck ups, from Caesar to Hitler, that've lead to most of our current first world powers not allowing their elected leaders to have absolute God-head power... Which is basically proof of the idea that any ideology, however just, needs constant workshopping to be even slightly viable...

    We're currently at such a point with capitalism, and yet seem tragically unwilling to acknowledge it.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  9. Jul 31, 2018
    #9

    Cheesy Bread with dipping sauce Scout

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    I'd say so overall. I'd say the main problem is what happens when there's a lack of education on important issues. Americans aren't genetically inclined to be more sympathetic towards racism or more likely to vote for someone like Trump than Brits or Italians or Germans are etc; it's just that many of them have been raised in a bubble where Fox News parrots everything to them, and where things like Confederate sympathies and racism etc are to an extent still normalised. Educate people on those issues and they're a lot more likely to make sensible decisions. Democracy itself doesn't strike me as the problem here, although the obvious issue that's presented itself is that democracy can become distorted by people who wish to distort it, and that it should never be taken for granted.
  10. Jul 31, 2018
    #10

    mav_9me Full Member

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    Can you explain
  11. Jul 31, 2018
    #11

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    I’m not saying democracy is the problem. I’m saying universal suffrage is, for the exact reasons you’ve listed in your post.
  12. Jul 31, 2018
    #12

    Cheesy Bread with dipping sauce Scout

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    But if you exclude certain people from democracy then can you really label it as democracy anymore?
  13. Jul 31, 2018
    #13

    fishfingers15 Contributes to username and tagline changes

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    Of course, all free people and 1/3rd of the slave people etc
  14. Jul 31, 2018
    #14

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    Yes. Universal suffrage is not a requirement of democracy.
    What?
  15. Jul 31, 2018
    #15

    fishfingers15 Contributes to username and tagline changes

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    Didn't you edit your post to include that 'yea yea I know racism and sexism played a part'? Must have pricked your bleeding heart about the noble intentions of your founding fathers.
  16. Jul 31, 2018
    #16

    Cheesy Bread with dipping sauce Scout

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    It isn't, but I'd argue any state which excludes eligible members of the voting population from voting is an incredibly limited democracy. There are, of course, always certain limitations (children not voting etc) but that strikes me as different to deciding certain people aren't intelligent enough. What's the cut-off point for who votes and who doesn't before we no longer have a democracy?
  17. Jul 31, 2018
    #17

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    Uh, no. Anything else?
  18. Jul 31, 2018
    #18

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    If there are certain limitations, then any democracy is a limited one. I’m simply saying that if you say a 15 year old can’t vote, why can’t you say a 25 year old can’t either, if their understanding of the topics at hand are the same?
  19. Jul 31, 2018
    #19

    Eboue nasty little twerp with crazy bitter-man opinions

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    instead of trying to restrict people who dont agree with you from voting how about trying to actually have popular candidates and polices that make peoples lives better
  20. Jul 31, 2018
    #20

    Sweet Square Full Member

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    Because two elections didn't go Cal way suddenly ''democracy''(Although we don't really live in a democracy anyway comrade ;)) doesn't work anymore. I get the feeling some would be happy living under the rule of Royalty as long as they shared the opinion as the king.
  21. Jul 31, 2018
    #21

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    I couldn’t care less if they don’t agree with me.

    I’ve no problem with someone educated on the issues voting differently than me. I have a serious problem with someone completely ignorant of the issues having as much of a say in an election as (i.e.) an “Aristotle”.
  22. Jul 31, 2018
    #22

    Eboue nasty little twerp with crazy bitter-man opinions

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    lay out your desired qualifications then
  23. Jul 31, 2018
    #23

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    I’ve said this before... I agree with the critiques of universal suffrage that say that there should be an “election issues” test. If you’re ignorant of the issues, you fail. If you fail, you don’t vote.

    I’ve read other critiques have said it should come down to taxes, as voting is essentially deciding where you want tax money spent. If you pay state tax, but not federal, you vote in state elections only. If you pay both, you vote in both. If you pay none, you don’t vote.
  24. Jul 31, 2018
    #24

    Eboue nasty little twerp with crazy bitter-man opinions

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    ok what do you think though? if it was up to you, give us an example
  25. Jul 31, 2018
    #25

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    I said I agree with the first example.
  26. Jul 31, 2018
    #26

    Eboue nasty little twerp with crazy bitter-man opinions

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    can you give a couple sample questions and acceptable answers? im trying not to just post my interpretation without hearing you out
  27. Jul 31, 2018
    #27

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    Just to be clear... you’re not about to go into the “Alabama literacy test” argument, are you?

    Because I said this last page...
  28. Jul 31, 2018
    #28

    Eboue nasty little twerp with crazy bitter-man opinions

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    im not trying to go into anything. i just want to hear what you propose
  29. Jul 31, 2018
    #29

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    The test should be a collection of questions ranging from basic civics and government questions, knowing who the candidates are, knowing what the candidates stances are on basic key government issues (top 3 budget issues, domestic and foreign policy), etc.

    We already make people pass a civics test in order to gain citizenship, and therefore the right to vote, so it shouldn’t be hard to take the model for that politically unbiased test, and make it into one for voting eligibility for ALL citizens (not just ones who moved here).

    As it stands, the average immigrant US citizen knows a helluva lot more about our country and it’s government than the average native born US citizen, because they had to pass that test.
  30. Jul 31, 2018
    #30

    Eboue nasty little twerp with crazy bitter-man opinions

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    to engage with your proposed questions, why does it matter if a person knows how many people are on the supreme court or at what month ted cruz wants to ban abortion or if bernie sanders wants to reduce military spending by 14% or by 11%? who are you or anyone else to say what people should value? i'll never ever vote for a republican. i frankly dont need to know the difference between medicare or medicaid to make a decision between democrat or republican. do i need to know that allepo is the biggest city but damascus is the capital in order to oppose dropping bombs on syria?

    then theres the practical issues. who decides what the top 3 issues are? who decides what a correct answer is? do we have a new government agency to administer these tests? do we take candidates at the word? is trumps domestic policy to drain the swamp? you can see how this very quickly becomes absurd.

    and most importantly, what kind of electorate do you think this will lead to? how many forklift drivers do you think come home and log on to vox dot com? how many farm workers watch bill moyers journal? the obvious answer is that the people who have white collar jobs will form the basis of the electorate. how do you reconcile the future that brings about with your claim to be a socialist?
  31. Jul 31, 2018
    #31

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    Those questions you’ve taken the liberty of “engaging with” (creating yourself) are the exact opposite of what I said the test should contain.

    I don’t know why you did that, but you did.
    The top 3 budget issues are pretty straight forward, I would think. The people making the test look at what 3 things take up the biggest chunk of the US budget, then ask questions based on the candidate’s stances on those budget items.

    Again, I don’t know why you’re making it absurd all on your own here, but you’re doing it... seemingly on purpose.
    An educated one.

    Socialism isn’t about being happy with an ignorant population, as a matter of fact, socialism is geared toward giving the factory worker the freedom to gain an education.
  32. Jul 31, 2018
    #32

    fishfingers15 Contributes to username and tagline changes

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    No, nothing. Stupid idea of having intelligent people voting deserves nothing but a feck you, perhaps.
  33. Jul 31, 2018
    #33

    Jericholyte2 Full Member

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    This is the problem with democracy, that people with zero political knowledge or even interest have the same political power with their vote as the person with full active participation and knowledge. Socrates for example hated the idea of unlimited franchise and wanted compulsory political education.

    I remember the example used being a decision to vote for the captain of a ship, and giving people with no nautical knowledge the same power to vote as experts in the field who knew who could perform the job better.
  34. Jul 31, 2018
    #34

    Chekhov Full Member

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    Oh, how right you are! Socrates and Plato believed democracies are destined to fail, and that governments should instead be run by philosopher-kings.

    And those two were idiots, weren't they? Feck them indeed.
  35. Jul 31, 2018
    #35

    niMic Curvy gay

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    Are you seriously invoking Socrates and Plato in a discussion about modern democracy?
  36. Jul 31, 2018
    #36

    Ekkie Thump Full Member

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    Yup, as designers of societies - feck them. Everybody brought up to be subservient to the state. Little bronze, silver and gold people placed in castes for life and who doff their caps in humble acceptance. Certainly theirs not to reason why. A place for everyone and everyone in that place - except for the disabled and infirm who are weeded out and prevented from procreation. No family, no room for love - the demolition of aspiration and the individual. Let us ban art, music and poetry while we're at it. Shakespeare (and Chekhov) and Beethoven can get to feck and so can Van Gogh the wastrel tossers. Fantastic allegory on how to organise yourself as a person (which is what it is), far less magnificent as a prototype of a perfect state. The Laws is a better effort.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  37. Jul 31, 2018
    #37

    Kentonio Full Member

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    In future we need governance by AI. Not even joking.
  38. Jul 31, 2018
    #38

    afrocentricity Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid

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  39. Jul 31, 2018
    #39

    Kentonio Full Member

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    Haha, seriously though! Set up the constraints properly, include universal transparency of decision making and include an option allowing for democratic override of AI decisions if required, and it could be a much, MUCH fairer and more just and equal society than anything we have now. No corruption, no tilting the scales in favour of the wealthier in society, and no irrationality.
  40. Jul 31, 2018
    #40

    Carolina Red Moderator Staff

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    You’re right. We should reverse it and only have stupid people vote.