Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#101  Postby Agrippina » May 26, 2011 7:54 am

Why an intelligence test, why not something else: minimum level of education, property ownership, taxpayers only, or all of those and an actual understanding of what voting means.

I would go with people only being allowed to vote once they have actually learned what their vote means and how they are entitled to use it. Too often, as we saw last week in our municipal elections, people vote for the party they are told to vote for, or for the party already in place, or because their husbands or fathers have told them to vote for that party. I would like to see only an informed vote and making education about voting being part of the school system and practiced at school level so that before people are old enough to vote in an election, they've already experienced the differences that voting outside of the party who've always run things can make. And I would like it to be compulsory, that they are fined for not voting, as I think is the case in Australia.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#102  Postby my_wan » May 26, 2011 8:13 am

Yes Asperger's are high functioning essentially by definition which put them generally ahead. Yet Raven's test puts them further ahead than some others. Also IQ is designed to measure a probability of success, yet that is effectively moot with Asperger's. Even the very form of the intelligence used to gain an IQ advantage is unknown, as is the level of triviality of skill leading to apparent IQ deficits. Hence, apparent IQ scores can often be greatly increased by rather trivial bits of information not even directly related to the questions being answered. Such as the patterns of test maker expectations I used to overcome problems with Raven's test myself.

I had a teacher in college that wanted me to help her come up some test problems to better access real world skills. I pulled a an 8 inch metal rod with a ball attached to one end out of my pocket (I was carrying for an unrelated personal project) and used it to explain to her why you could not even ask such questions on a test without providing them the very thing you were testing their skills at determining in real world situations. When she could not answer my question about the rod I mentioned the bits of information that must be included to put it on a test and boom, the answer was obvious to her. The question was how do you determine the weight of the rod without the bearing and without being able to separate the two? Only some other students in that conversations in her office objected with various things that was not known about the rod and bearing. So I had to explain why these unknowns were moot to the question asked and that the method generally entailed the means to answer these unknowns as well.

The point here is that any given test cannot determine the means or range of means used to arrive at a correct answer, nor the level of triviality in the conceptual deficits which result in wrong answers. I divide thinking skills into two very broad categories, process thinkers and sequential thinkers. Most people have at least some skill in both, but process thinkers can get good answers from highly complex problems in which no single process can effectively answer. Then again sequential thinkers can often run through vast sequences of mutually dependent data that would choke a process thinker, depending on the consistency of the nature of the dependencies. Schools tend to be geared around improving the skills of sequential thinkers and the range of dependency types they can effectively deal with. Sometimes when people learn to effectively deal with a sufficient range of dependency types they are taken aback by the extent of dependency type independence of the process outcome. Something that is intuitively obvious to a process thinker.

Each of these perspectives can and often is labeled stupid by the opposition in a debate, irrespective of the validity of either argument. Sequential thinkers often get bogged down in narrowly defined dependency types accusing the opposition of irrelevant claims. Process thinkers will often accuse sequential thinkers of claims they did not make by attaching a dependency type to an alternative dependency type for which the consistency may or may not be valid.

The notion that voting rights would be restricted to a presumption of validity in some narrow range of dependency types is abhorrent to me. Even worse is the presumption that limitation of voting rights based on intelligence will in any way decrease the range of disagreements between voters. In fact intelligence is a small statistical indicator of increasing the value of ends over means, and a higher probability of falsely accepting the perceived ends as as ends that will actually come to pass. The A1 credit ratings attached to the mortgage derivatives behind the market crash was in fact predicated on a Nobel Prize in economics.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#103  Postby jamest » May 26, 2011 10:23 am

MacIver wrote:
jamest wrote:Your problem is that you are conflating equality of rights with equality of capability, which is wrong.


No, you're problem is you're thinking I'm confusing equality of rights with equality of capability. I'm talking about rights. The rights of everyone to vote.

Why should everyone have a right to vote when much of the populace are incapable of making an informed decision?

Would you say that it was fair to be tried by jury if most of the individuals therein had either made their decision prior to hearing any evidence, or never got to hear or understand the evidence? Of course not! You don't want any Tom, Dick or Harry to be making judgements about you - you want intelligent people who are as open as possible to hearing your case. Here - if you were on trial - any principles about the 'equal rights' [of people to be on juries] would be utterly rejected in favour of a greater principle: the rights of individuals to a fair trial. The rights of individuals to a fair trial, though, comes at the expense of the rights of individuals to be jurors, due to their inequalities.

A similar argument can be made for electors: the rights of all individuals to vote comes at the detriment of having the best conceivable government for one's country - since many people habitually vote for the same party; vote selfishly, according to what's best for them; vote out of spite; or even just vote to get out of the house. The bottom-line is that there are a lot of uninformed, selfish and prejudiced, voters out there who are responsible for us not getting the best possible government. Imo, the rights of people to be governed by the best possible government supercede the rights of people to put a 'X' on a piece of paper.

You've wasted your time with that whole spiel.

I just think that you're not seeing the bigger picture. It's not really a matter of rejecting rights - it's a matter of seeing a hierarchy of rights where the right to good government must supercede the right to vote.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#104  Postby my_wan » May 26, 2011 12:07 pm

jamest wrote:
MacIver wrote:
jamest wrote:Your problem is that you are conflating equality of rights with equality of capability, which is wrong.


No, you're problem is you're thinking I'm confusing equality of rights with equality of capability. I'm talking about rights. The rights of everyone to vote.

Why should everyone have a right to vote when much of the populace are incapable of making an informed decision?

Because whoever decides who is or is not capable of an "informed decision" decides what decisions constitute "capable" thus decides before the vote ever takes place.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#105  Postby jamest » May 26, 2011 12:31 pm

my_wan wrote:
jamest wrote:
MacIver wrote:

No, you're problem is you're thinking I'm confusing equality of rights with equality of capability. I'm talking about rights. The rights of everyone to vote.

Why should everyone have a right to vote when much of the populace are incapable of making an informed decision?

Because whoever decides who is or is not capable of an "informed decision" decides what decisions constitute "capable" thus decides before the vote ever takes place.

I was advocating that voters should pass a test/exam entitling them to vote. I don't think that it's unfair that someone should exhibit a good grasp of political knowledge if said person is to be involved in selecting 'the best possible government'. Likewise, everyone has a right to drive, but we insist on drivers passing various tests before we let them loose on the roads - simply because it's in all of our best interests that this should be so. In other words, the rights of individuals should not supercede collective rights - the right to good government; the right to safe roads; etc..

As I say, what I've written is not an outright rejection of individual rights. Rather, it has been an attempt to show why there is a hierarchy of rights where the collective/general rights must come at a cost to individual rights. This is not unlike considerations of freedom, where we understand that personal/negative freedoms must not always supercede upon the collective/positive freedoms available to us. The freedom to do whatever one wants, for instance, will nearly always impact upon others. Likewise, collective/positive freedom necessarily constrains personal/negative freedom. A balance has to be struck.

That balance is best achieved, imo, by giving individuals the right to vote as long as they prove capable of voting. Consequently, this would give us our best chance of achieving 'the best possible government' - and it is the right of every man to be governed by the best possible government. Note too that if I was rejecting outright the right to vote, that I'd be advocating some form of totalitarianism... which I'm not.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#106  Postby rJD » May 26, 2011 12:57 pm

jamest

I can see why you'd argue for a test, and I can see the merits for it, but problems remain. What kind of test do we set? Who sets the syllabus and who marks the results? Surely the great strength of democracy is that it allows the people to peacefully change who governs them. What if the test was set with a political agenda that excluded large numbers of people, or else forced them to lie in order to pass? That wouldn't be particularly helpful.

So yes, we could set some criteria for the electorate, but it would need to be pretty basic and generally unobjectionable.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#107  Postby Grimstad » May 26, 2011 12:59 pm

Actually that is exactly what you are advocating. The elimination of the individual right to SELF determination.

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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#108  Postby Aern Rakesh » May 26, 2011 1:03 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:It's a stupid idea. Why? Because sometimes the ones who can pass IQ tests are often completely useless when it comes to real life, common sense, and understanding other people.


+100

I should have known you'd make the point I was just itching to say. :smile: IQ intelligence---even genius---is no indicator of a person's social skills or emotional awareness.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#109  Postby jamest » May 26, 2011 1:12 pm

Grimstad wrote:Actually that is exactly what you are advocating. The elimination of the individual right to SELF determination.

The elimination of individual rights to 'SELF' determination is an ambiguous statement, since the individual is not the collective. Actually, the vote is for a body which is primarily concerned with the collective, not the individual. The government represents the whole, foremost.

Further, I'm clearly not talking about eliminating individual rights to vote since what I propose allows everyone to vote as long as they pass a test/exam. This strikes a balance between individual and collective concerns. As I said, the elimination of the right to vote is synonymous with forms of totalitarian government.

What you want, apparently, is to perpetuate a system which is primarily concerned with the individual even though the outcome of any election is for the greater good/concern. In the hierarchy of rights/concerns of the individual and collective, you have the individual superceding the collective. That is at-odds with the point of government itself - which, as I said, is primarily focused upon the collective.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#110  Postby Agrippina » May 26, 2011 1:25 pm

Which is why people need to be taught what voting means and why it is important, including the history of how ordinary people (and women) have been denied the vote in history. I'm all for total democracy but I would like to see kids involved in the process at school. For example, we used to vote for a "class captain" every so often, I forget how often. We'd have an election from a group of our classmates who'd put themselves up for election, stating how they would take care of our interests. That child would then be responsible for seeing that we behaved when the teacher wasn't there and would be removed from office if they were unable to keep us in check. When we reached our senior year in primary and high school, these kids were then put forward as possible "prefects." The teachers had the final choice so that the most popular (usually the worst behaved) kids weren't elected, and of course there were certain criteria they had to meet. Then the Nats messed up the whole thing and stopped the kids being involved in the vote and left it to the teachers to appoint their favourites as prefects.

We're now reintroducing school student councils with elected officers. I think this is a good idea, so that by the time they are 18 children understand what the election process involves and how to vote for the best people. It doesn't help much for the people who vote for the ANC because they're given handouts for doing so (true, there are reports of people being given gifts by people who wanted their vote in this last election).
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#111  Postby Grimstad » May 26, 2011 1:26 pm

jamest wrote:
Grimstad wrote:Actually that is exactly what you are advocating. The elimination of the individual right to SELF determination.

The elimination of individual rights to 'SELF' determination is an ambiguous statement, since the individual is not the collective. Actually, the vote is for a body which is primarily concerned with the collective, not the individual. The government represents the whole, foremost.

Further, I'm clearly not talking about eliminating individual rights to vote since what I propose allows everyone to vote as long as they pass a test/exam. This strikes a balance between individual and collective concerns. As I said, the elimination of the right to vote is synonymous with forms of totalitarian government.

What you want, apparently, is to perpetuate a system which is primarily concerned with the individual even though the outcome of any election is for the greater good/concern. In the hierarchy of rights/concerns of the individual and collective, you have the individual superceding the collective. That is at-odds with the point of government itself - which, as I said, is primarily focused upon the collective.

There is already a mechanism to correct the system. It's excercising your right to free speech (part of which is voting) and convince others of a better way. So far you are failing at that. I mentioned way back on page 1 that Jez should read every thread started by Cjoe. Perhaps you should too. He thinks he's got the perfect idea too. All of human history was written by those that thought they had the right idea or the right to make decisions for others. After all of that, we have finally arrived at universal suffrage. There is NO test that can justify a minority removing the rights of others. You can dance around it all you want but it will never change what you want to do. Take away peoples rights.

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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#112  Postby jamest » May 26, 2011 1:54 pm

Grimstad wrote:There is already a mechanism to correct the system. It's excercising your right to free speech (part of which is voting) and convince others of a better way. So far you are failing at that. I mentioned way back on page 1 that Jez should read every thread started by Cjoe. Perhaps you should too. He thinks he's got the perfect idea too. All of human history was written by those that thought they had the right idea or the right to make decisions for others. After all of that, we have finally arrived at universal suffrage. There is NO test that can justify a minority removing the rights of others. You can dance around it all you want but it will never change what you want to do. Take away peoples rights.

It is usually the case that the policies/laws of a democratic country are imposed upon the collective, by a minority, and that often the collective do not agree with those policies/laws.
The only way for a collective to truly govern itself is via referendum on practically all decisions/issues. Of course, this would not work - just too impractical and costly to implement.

Again, you are accusing me of nullifying free speech when I have clearly stated that my proposals allow for free speech which is informed. Such a proposal would merely force potential voters to become informed in the electoral process. If they couldn't be bothered to inform themselves, or were incapable of doing so, what right have they in involving themselves in a process which delivers 'the best possible government' for the collective?
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#113  Postby rJD » May 26, 2011 2:11 pm

jamest wrote:If they couldn't be bothered to inform themselves, or were incapable of doing so, what right have they in involving themselves in a process which delivers 'the best possible government' for the collective?

That they are governed.

Sorry, but it really boils down to that. I agree with those that propose we improve education and civic responsibility (Aggie's post about school elections is spot on) to encourage engagement but that we cannot enforce it.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#114  Postby chairman bill » May 26, 2011 2:43 pm

jamest wrote:... this would give us our best chance of achieving 'the best possible government' ...
We have different understandings of the point of democracy. It isn't about providing the best possible government, but a government that best reflects the wishes of the electorate. How on earth do you determine 'the best possible government'? Technical ability in management & economics? Most liberal/conservative values & principles?

jamest wrote:... and it is the right of every man to be governed by the best possible government ...
I don't want to be governed. I want the state to be governed. That is, I want a government that governs things, not people. And I want a government that reflects my views about how society should be, and thus implements policies that best help bring such a society about. Other people will have different ideas. The point is, people of equal intelligence will have different & competing ideas about what government should do, & how it should do it. They will have different ideas about 'the best possible government'. It isn't an objective state of being 'the best possible', rather it is a subjective process of governing & reflecting the views of the populace. And that is where the 'right' rests - in the right of the populace to elect those who act on its behalf.

I really don't see that intelligence will solve any of the problems associated with how we elect governments. It won't change what's on offer in terms of politicians. It won't change their competence. And we won't be voting for the most technically competent, not least because there's more to it than technical competence, and technical competence isn't a fixed ability in a fixed state. The elected are as much about reflecting the subjective & aesthetic, moral & ethical concerns of a population, than ever they are mere technocrats delivering a competent administration. And you don't need a PhD to decide whether someone reflects your values & beliefs more fully than another person, party or manifesto.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#115  Postby jamest » May 26, 2011 3:10 pm

rJD wrote:
jamest wrote:If they couldn't be bothered to inform themselves, or were incapable of doing so, what right have they in involving themselves in a process which delivers 'the best possible government' for the collective?

That they are governed.

Sorry, but it really boils down to that. I agree with those that propose we improve education and civic responsibility (Aggie's post about school elections is spot on) to encourage engagement but that we cannot enforce it.

Individual human rights and freedoms conflict with collective rights and freedom. It's simply an unavoidable fact of life. 'Social contract' theories argue - upon the basis that we do have natural rights (and this discussion has assumed such) - that the individual must curtail many of its own rights and freedoms in order to achieve the security and order inherent within 'society' which a sovereign or government will provide. Therefore, individual rights and freedoms only serve to constrain the collective good insofar as the primary concern of any governing body must necessarily be that of the collective.

It is the job of any government to implement policies/laws which are deemed best for the collective. The collective, therefore, must necessarily seek to empower the best available government. Therefore, it's in the collective's own interests to understand that the 'best available government' is a consequence of the most informed and open electorate. Therefore, it's in the collectives own interest to accept a system which only allows those individuals to vote who are willing to inform themselves of what politics is about.

The collective is not best served by those who habitually vote for the same party; or who habitually vote in tandem with their own selfish needs; or who just vote simply because they want to feel a part of an important event; or simply to spite a particular party (anti-liberal sentiment during the recent AV vote in the UK, for example); etc.. The collective demands the best possible government and that can only come about if the electorate are informed. The only way to guarantee that they are informed is to suscribe to some sort of educational/examination process.

Why is it a curtailment of your rights if I force you to learn about something you want to vote upon?
Do you think it correct that an individual should have a right to vote on a significant matter when he/she knows hardly anything about it?
Why is it a curtailment of your rights if a system is implemented which guarantees the best possible government for you? After all, as I explained, suscribing to the democratic system is to acknowledge that collective rights and freedoms supercede those of the individual.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#116  Postby rJD » May 26, 2011 3:19 pm

Hmmm. I don't disagree that we have to balance individual and collective rights. I don't disagree that we would benefit hugely from having a better educated electorate. I hugely disagree that we can impose this education on the electorate. As I asked previously, who decides what is taught and how this is judged? We are into questions of value judgements about what the electorate are expected to know, and this then becomes practically an invitation for the governing class to try and rig the game in their favour.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#117  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 26, 2011 5:11 pm

chairman bill wrote:
jamest wrote:... this would give us our best chance of achieving 'the best possible government' ...
We have different understandings of the point of democracy. It isn't about providing the best possible government, but a government that best reflects the wishes of the electorate. How on earth do you determine 'the best possible government'? Technical ability in management & economics? Most liberal/conservative values & principles?

jamest wrote:... and it is the right of every man to be governed by the best possible government ...
I don't want to be governed. I want the state to be governed. That is, I want a government that governs things, not people. And I want a government that reflects my views about how society should be, and thus implements policies that best help bring such a society about. Other people will have different ideas. The point is, people of equal intelligence will have different & competing ideas about what government should do, & how it should do it. They will have different ideas about 'the best possible government'. It isn't an objective state of being 'the best possible', rather it is a subjective process of governing & reflecting the views of the populace. And that is where the 'right' rests - in the right of the populace to elect those who act on its behalf.

I really don't see that intelligence will solve any of the problems associated with how we elect governments. It won't change what's on offer in terms of politicians. It won't change their competence. And we won't be voting for the most technically competent, not least because there's more to it than technical competence, and technical competence isn't a fixed ability in a fixed state. The elected are as much about reflecting the subjective & aesthetic, moral & ethical concerns of a population, than ever they are mere technocrats delivering a competent administration. And you don't need a PhD to decide whether someone reflects your values & beliefs more fully than another person, party or manifesto.



Entirely agree Bill :thumbup:

This is an arrogant idea.
We are back to who controls the controlers.
This is the most stupid idea I ahve ever heard about an election system. Just because elections dont go your way it is just hard chukkies.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#118  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 26, 2011 5:30 pm

jamest wrote:
rJD wrote:
jamest wrote:If they couldn't be bothered to inform themselves, or were incapable of doing so, what right have they in involving themselves in a process which delivers 'the best possible government' for the collective?

That they are governed.

Sorry, but it really boils down to that. I agree with those that propose we improve education and civic responsibility (Aggie's post about school elections is spot on) to encourage engagement but that we cannot enforce it.

Individual human rights and freedoms conflict with collective rights and freedom. It's simply an unavoidable fact of life. 'Social contract' theories argue - upon the basis that we do have natural rights (and this discussion has assumed such) - that the individual must curtail many of its own rights and freedoms in order to achieve the security and order inherent within 'society' which a sovereign or government will provide. Therefore, individual rights and freedoms only serve to constrain the collective good insofar as the primary concern of any governing body must necessarily be that of the collective.


What a load of the worst crap ever. Arrogance pure fucking arrogance.
Sir you are forgetting a lot of history and all the people who have given their lives that we today can have protected individual human rights.

The green bit is another load of arrogance. It stinks of 1984!



It is the job of any government to implement policies/laws which are deemed best for the collective. The collective, therefore, must necessarily seek to empower the best available government. Therefore, it's in the collective's own interests to understand that the 'best available government' is a consequence of the most informed and open electorate. Therefore, it's in the collectives own interest to accept a system which only allows those individuals to vote who are willing to inform themselves of what politics is about.



The collective the collective? Who makes up the collective? Individuals all with equal rights.
Another good bit of arse pulling there. Who are you or anyone else going to say who is interested in politics?
Which Whitehall twat is going to make up the list?
Just get real will you.



The collective is not best served by those who habitually vote for the same party; or who habitually vote in tandem with their own selfish needs; or who just vote simply because they want to feel a part of an important event; or simply to spite a particular party (anti-liberal sentiment during the recent AV vote in the UK, for example); etc.. The collective demands the best possible government and that can only come about if the electorate are informed. The only way to guarantee that they are informed is to suscribe to some sort of educational/examination process.



Understanding the democratic process seams to be a big shortcoming in your education. We get the government we deserve simple. Like or not. You cannot have a rigged system based on a filter system controled by others.


Why is it a curtailment of your rights if I force you to learn about something you want to vote upon?
Do you think it correct that an individual should have a right to vote on a significant matter when he/she knows hardly anything about it?
Why is it a curtailment of your rights if a system is implemented which guarantees the best possible government for you? After all, as I explained, suscribing to the democratic system is to acknowledge that collective rights and freedoms supercede those of the individual.



That really is the icing on the cake of shit filled with the biggest turds of all time.
The best possible government! What did you need to pull that one out?
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#119  Postby jamest » May 26, 2011 6:18 pm

rJD wrote:I hugely disagree that we can impose this education on the electorate.

I have not advocated that we force people to learn politics. Learning about politics would just be a prerequisite for voting. Therefore, it all boils down to personal choice/freedom. Do I want to vote? Yes: therefore, I shall learn. No: stuff your voting up your jacksie.

All I propose, essentially, is that people should know about politics before they can vote. They've still got the right to vote as long as they put in a bit of effort. Yet, look at the uproar here - they're all up-in-arms because they might have to take a test.
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Re: Selective suffrage - has this been tried before?

#120  Postby DaveD » May 26, 2011 6:25 pm

jamest wrote:All I propose, essentially, is that people should know about politics before they can vote.

Who decides the standard against which that knowledge is judged?
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