a hit, a palpable hit! (market compared to election)

From: Damien Broderick (d.broderick@english.unimelb.edu.au)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 00:03:28 MDT

At 11:23 PM 11/04/00 -0400, Matt wrote:

>The majority doesn't become any less oppressive because they're voting
>with their dollars instead of in an election.

The (shop-)counter argument is presumably that a market offers the option
of many different choices on display, with no obligation to purchase any.
If your (or my) political arrangements are less exhaustive, whose fault is

(As an ignorant and provincial Aussie, I'm simply flabbergasted by the
rumour I hear that in order to vote in the USA, citizens are required first
to *register* with *one of the parties*, although apparently they're
allowed to change their vote once inside the booth [and even write in a
candidate's name, a cool choice not offered here]... Can this be true? The
mind genuinely boggles.)

Equally boggling to an outsider might be *our* laws penalising those who
*don't* turn up at the polling booth. You're not obliged to vote, just to
take your pieces of paper, have your name signed off, and put them--checked
 or otherwise--into the boxes. I rather like this practice, actually. If
you're going to have the pretence of free and universal representative
government, you might as well powerfully encourage everyone to confront the
choices on offer. Those who oppose compulsion can pay the fine, after all,
a sort of market solution.

But I do like Matt's insight.


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