Re: ELECTION: problems/solutions

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Tue Nov 14 2000 - 08:36:37 MST

From: Damien Broderick <>

>>At 01:40 PM 13/11/00 -0800, Brian D Williams wrote:

>>everyone who votes gets a quick pick for a shot at a
>>million bucks.

>>I've never seriuosly suggested this because it would attract the
>>very people I would prefer to just stay home. Also why I hope for
>>bad weather on election day.

>They don't deserve a say in their own future? Even as a jest, this
>is a creepy implication, and one I have sometimes detected lurking
>beneath the surface of many posts on this list (not to say
>brandished with big flashing lights). [pre-emptive apologies to
>Brian; I do not mean that *he* is creepy, just that the suggestion

None taken ;) I think it's a good thing to get creepy feeling about
such things.

I've been heavily influenced in such matters by Robert Heinleins
"Starship Troopers". I guess the question I'm asking is "at what
price citizenship". It pains me that people who have never lifted
their little finger to actually do anything for this country, or
bothered to study the issues actually get to vote. I'm not
suggesting they have their votes taken away, but it's nice to see
them earn it, even if it only means going out in the rain.

Heinlein answered it in Starship troopers by only having Veterans

>In reality, all sort of outcomes could follow. The bored or
>incompetent could find it easiest to spoil their votes, thereby
>voiding their allegedly worthless or malign opinions anyway. Or
>you might find an enhanced `donkey vote' as it's called in
>Australia, where voters start at the top and number down (in the
>silly non-preferential US system I assume that means the candidate
>at the top of the ballot picks up the donkeys). But consider: in
>Oz, where voting is compulsory and failure to turn out (even in
>bad weather) attracts a fine, we tend to elect middle of the road
>standard Western-style representatives. In the last election, all
>those thumb sucking lottery besotted dolts voted in (by a small
>margin) a conservative party, one that promised to reduce many
>social security benefits.

Something to think about. The sad part is that I really do think
the lottery bit would dramatically increase turnout.


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