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  #11  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:12 PM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

[ QUOTE ]
A short quiz on where the presidential candidates stand on major issues would be a good prerequisite.

[/ QUOTE ]

I disagree, since "where the presidential candidates stand on major issues" can be difficult to frame objectively.

A much better prerequisite test, if there is to be one, would examine two objectively measurable skills of great importance: 1) logic, and 2) reading comprehension.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:16 PM
DougShrapnel DougShrapnel is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

[ QUOTE ]
I wonder how many people proposing a civic's knowledge test as a voting requirement could actually pass the test they advocate.

[/ QUOTE ] Well the test can be fashioned in a manner to get any % you would like. Because of the way that polititians work, It is a bad idea to have these tests. But I would venture a guess that between 10% and 35% of the population would be qualified to have a direct vote on issues. I have no way of actually knowing what the political powers would chose to test, so I can't give an accurate answer. The rest would still require representation. I think the test should be fahioned not on candidates but on The Consitution, ethics, and government knowledge. I also wonder how many polititians would be able to pass it? There needs to be a migration from representative democracy toward direct democracy.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

Maybe the politicians should have to fill out a standardized questionaire. Instead, they are marketed by the same PR folks who make toothpaste commercials.

Nice to see the John Kerry smear campaign was effective. When the facts change, I change my opinion, what do you do?
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:25 PM
peritonlogon peritonlogon is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
A short quiz on where the presidential candidates stand on major issues would be a good prerequisite.

[/ QUOTE ]

I disagree, since "where the presidential candidates stand on major issues" can be difficult to frame objectively.

A much better prerequisite test, if there is to be one, would examine two objectively measurable skills of great importance: 1) logic, and 2) reading comprehension.

[/ QUOTE ]

That is how things were in the south until the 60's/70's... do you really think it's a good idea?
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:26 PM
elwoodblues elwoodblues is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

My father-in-law who went to college but never graduated (relevant for later in the story) came up to me to discuss this at Christmas one year (he's the type of guy who doesn't have a good sense of timing for conversations.) Anyway, he says that only property owners should be entitled to vote.

"Why is that?" I ask.
He gives some line about how you should have to pay taxes to vote and property ownership ensures that.
"Really, is there a federal property tax?"
"Okay, maybe not property ownership, but they should be educated."
"There's an idea. I think you should have to have a high school diploma. If having a high school diploma makes for better voters, surely a college degree would be better. Don't you agree?"
Silence...
"And if a college degree is good, surely a graduate degree would be better. I propose only people with phd's or the equivalent in their field of study should be able to vote. Agree?"
Silence...broken a few minutes later by "I just don't think all the idiots should be able to vote."
"me either" I mumble to myself and offer him another beer.

The problem with conditional suffrage is that it will ALWAYS be used to ensure those who favor your political positions will vote and those who disfavor them will not. In short, it will always be abused.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

"The problem with conditional suffrage is that it will ALWAYS be used to ensure those who favor your political positions will vote and those who disfavor them will not."

Mis-allocation of voting machines and rigged software work much better.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:45 PM
DVaut1 DVaut1 is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

[ QUOTE ]
My father-in-law who went to college but never graduated (relevant for later in the story) came up to me to discuss this at Christmas one year (he's the type of guy who doesn't have a good sense of timing for conversations.) Anyway, he says that only property owners should be entitled to vote.

"Why is that?" I ask.
He gives some line about how you should have to pay taxes to vote and property ownership ensures that.
"Really, is there a federal property tax?"
"Okay, maybe not property ownership, but they should be educated."
"There's an idea. I think you should have to have a high school diploma. If having a high school diploma makes for better voters, surely a college degree would be better. Don't you agree?"
Silence...
"And if a college degree is good, surely a graduate degree would be better. I propose only people with phd's or the equivalent in their field of study should be able to vote. Agree?"
Silence...broken a few minutes later by "I just don't think all the idiots should be able to vote."
"me either" I mumble to myself and offer him another beer.

The problem with conditional suffrage is that it will ALWAYS be used to ensure those who favor your political positions will vote and those who disfavor them will not. In short, it will always be abused.

[/ QUOTE ]

Of course, the rationality for such ‘knowledge tests’ inexorably leads to advocating some form of an intellectual oligarchy (when taken to its eventual conclusion, as you noted).

Which is why I’m genuinely wondering how many people here advocating such tests could legitimately pass it, and why they believe they’ll find themselves among the privileged few in power? I suspect it’s not a very high number.

I also suspect the same people who propose such tests, when they find themselves disenfranchised for not being able to answer what are rather simple questions posed by our intellectual overlords, would accuse said overlords of terrible elitism and ivory-tower subjugation.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:46 PM
DougShrapnel DougShrapnel is offline
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Default jimmy carter and suffragemandering

[ QUOTE ]
Maybe the politicians should have to fill out a standardized questionaire. Instead, they are marketed by the same PR folks who make toothpaste commercials.

Nice to see the John Kerry smear campaign was effective. When the facts change, I change my opinion, what do you do?

[/ QUOTE ]Jimmy Carter summed up the results of the 2004 election pretty well. 10% of the population votes for the sitting president during times of war.

If a test was introduced how do you think each party would suffragemander it, so that only people who vote for them would be able to vote.
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2005, 05:56 PM
Borodog Borodog is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

Suffrage is a bad idea, in general.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2005, 06:23 PM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

No matter how stupid and ill-equiped to vote some people might be, you can either let them have their say in the voting booth or staring down from the business end of a gun. Lots of poor illiterate farmers who were excellent shots proved that in the American Revolution.
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