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  #1  
Old 11-22-2005, 02:03 PM
vulturesrow vulturesrow is offline
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Default Universal suffrage a good thing?

So I am rereading Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind and I am really thinking hard about the idea of universal suffrage, in the context of the USA of course. Why is this necessary? Does everyone really deserve a voice? Or should we restrict it to those who bother to pay attention, learn about the issues, etc? I have no hard feelings against universal suffrage at this point but sometimes I think I would be more comfortable with a more restrictive system. Again, no strong feelings against the current model, just trying to stir up some debate.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2005, 02:17 PM
tolbiny tolbiny is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

One of the problems with limited sufferage is that those in power have an incentive to keep those who would vote against them out of the system. There were plenty of local laws aimed at keeping blacks from voting in post civil war america, and situations like those should be avoided.
On the other had i do think that some ability to identify the candidate you are voting for would be a good thing. Nothing strenuous, but each section of the ballot has four multiple choice questions- easy stuff, and you get to choose which two you answer. If you chooose right your vote counts. The questions would be along the lines of-
Which position has this person held- senator, govoner, mayor, none of the above.
Has this person had military service- yes, no
Crap just to show that they could identify thier candidate.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:04 PM
Cyrus Cyrus is offline
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Default Song of the beggar

[ QUOTE ]
Does everyone really deserve a voice?

[/ QUOTE ]

No, of course they don't. Let's cut off the voice of the downtrodden, the iliterate, the born sick, the deviants, the insubordinate, the beggars.

I am always going from door to door,
whether in rain or heat,
and sometimes I will lay my right ear in
the palm of my right hand.
And as I speak my voice seems strange as if
it were alien to me,

for I'm not certain whose voice is crying:
mine or someone else's.
I cry for a pittance to sustain me.
The poets cry for more.

In the end I conceal my entire face
and cover both my eyes;
there it lies in my hands with all its weight
and looks as if at rest,
so no one may think I had no place where-
upon to lay my head.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:14 PM
lehighguy lehighguy is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

People are not stupider then they used to be.
Despots are not less selfish and deranged then they used to be.

All that has change in this country is the limits on governmental power.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

How would you determine who gets suffrage and who doesn't?
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:24 PM
sam h sam h is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

[ QUOTE ]
People are not stupider then they used to be.
Despots are not less selfish and deranged then they used to be.

All that has change in this country is the limits on governmental power.

[/ QUOTE ]

What does this have to do with universal suffrage? And what time periods are you comparing here?
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:36 PM
lehighguy lehighguy is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

There seems to be this idea that people today are stupider then people in the past and are thus voting for worse candidates leading to our current problems. Thus, vulturesrow assertion that only letting smart people vote would fix this problem.

People aren't any smart know then any other time in this countries history. Voting is probably the least important aspect of our government. Constitutional controls over governmental power (not letting the mob force itself on minorities or hurt itself) is really what makes America successful.

If you want a bunch of people to vote for something go to Iraq, it just isn't the important part of government.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:48 PM
sam h sam h is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

I think the electorate is probably actually more knowledgable now than in the past.

I believe your example of Iraq is quite illustrative, but not necessarily of the point you are making. The problem there is not enough state power and legitimacy, not insufficient controls on that power.
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:51 PM
lehighguy lehighguy is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

What state controls should Iraq have?

A read of thier constitution makes one wonder how it's going to be different from Iran.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2005, 06:55 PM
mrmazoo mrmazoo is offline
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Default Re: Universal suffrage a good thing?

[ QUOTE ]

People aren't any smart know then any other time in this countries history.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sorry, but this really made me laugh for a long time.
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