Tuesday, 15 July 2014

When should we vote?

Given we have an election coming up we have to ask, When, if at all, should we vote? In this 2008 video from Bloggingheads.tv Will Wilkinson and Jason Brennan discuss Brennan's paper "Polluting the Polls: When Citizens Should Not Vote" which appeared in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 87(4): 535-49, 2009.
Just because one has the right to vote does not mean just any vote is right. Citizens should not vote badly. This duty to avoid voting badly is grounded in a general duty not to engage in collectively harmful activities when the personal cost of restraint is low. Good governance is a public good. Bad governance is a public bad. We should not be contributing to public bads when the benefit to ourselves is low. Many democratic theorists agree that we shouldn’t vote badly, but that’s because they think we should vote well. This demands too much of citizens.

A link to the Bloggingheads.tv clip is available here.

No comments: