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

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 05:27:22 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:
> 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.

Sure its different. Just because some people spend their money one way
doesn't mean you have to too or risk losing all of your money.

> 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
> that?
> (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.)

No, its not true. You can register as an independent voter. The
political parties in some states may not let you vote in THEIR primary,
(or they may let you vote, but it won't count), but the primary is not
the election. Any legal age voter that is not a felon or convict can
vote in an election.

> 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.

So you force people to appear and go through the motions of voting, even
if they don't want to or cannot afford the time off to do so. Hmmmm,
nice 'free' 'participatory' democracy you've got there.

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