Would you pay to vote?

We do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic. A republican form of government was chosen for two reasons:

  1. To combat the tyranny of the majority.
  2. So that a small number of trusted individuals could become familiar with the intricacies of issues and vote upon them rationally.

The state of California has well demonstrated that letting the public have their way just leads to them voting in entitlements and turning down all taxes, shutting down gay partnerships, and otherwise ignoring feasibility or higher intellect in their voting.

Even in a republican system, you can still have things be far too democratic. It might repulse you that interest groups and business (the largest social security system in the nation) have influence beyond voting, but it’s almost certainly for the best that they do. It keeps things balanced between the general public and organizations which have honestly held and sane positions that deserve to be heard. So long as the politicians are sometimes going with the public and sometimes going with the interests groups, everything is operating as it is intended and as it is best.

It’s not just the voters and not just the businesses and interest groups that give a politician his job. It’s both of them. We want both of them protected, both of them heard, and for the government to come down on the side that makes the most sense on a conflict by conflict basis.

No. The political effect of voting is small enough that even the opportunity cost of voting makes it not worthwhile, except as a way to show off how well-informed and civic-minded you are. Unless the social signaling becomes stronger as the price of voting increases, count me out.

No way!