Monday, 16 May 2011

Tinkering with democracy.

Just a few thoughts I had.

The one vote/person thing works somewhat, but like a few philosophers have noted, not everyone deserves the vote (nor, as some would say, should everyone vote). The Western democracies are also facing a rise in voter apathy and needs something to spur voters to well---vote.

1-Assign votes based on level of education. Something like completed high school=1 vote, bachelor's degree=2 votes, completed master's degree=3 votes, PHD=4 votes. This will give a huge incentive to education, and though it would be imperfect, it would as least give us some measure of ensuring the most intelligent and well-informed of the populace wield the most influence. As for the high school thing---you could also give 1 vote to whoever completed remedial classes as well, for those thinking of dropouts stuck in a cycle of powerlessness.

2-Assign votes to people based on the number of children they have. Something like .5 votes per child, which should balance out given you kinda need two people to make a child. This might encourage more long-term thinking in politics, and totally change the perspective on things like sustainability and climate issues, by working on the theory that children who will have to bear the brunt of selfish short-term policies are going to have at least somewhat of a say in this matter.

3-Give out those nice shiny "I VOTED" badges, and make them good for something.

4-Add on a vote for good election participation (3 elections voted in a row) and dock one for bad participation (3 elections skipped in a row)---if someone loses all their votes, they must reapply for the right to vote.

5-Hand out tests before the vote which would quiz people on their knowledge of the candidates and key issues, and based on scores, hand out votes accordingly.

6-Make certain government benefits tied to participation in civic life---including participation in elections.

7-Give an extra vote to people who volunteered a certain amount of hours, or who have given a certain amount of money to (non-political) charities.

Yeah, it's treating votes like a currency---but maybe people will then respect the inherent power behind the freedom to vote.

works for those inherently worthless green slips of paper

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