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Universal Sufferage.

prudence

Cyburbian
Messages
688
Points
19
Re: 20/20

El Guapo said:
The test was way too simple for anybody with a college education in this field. If you didn't get at least a 15/20 you shouldn't be allowed to vote in any country.
20/20 as well.

As for the voting thing...you should also own land. Oh wait, we tried all that once before.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
29
20/20 Too... but then, I was a geography major. If I didn't get those right, I should have had my degree revoked.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Re: Re: 20/20

prudence said:


20/20 as well.

As for the voting thing...you should also own land. Oh wait, we tried all that once before.
[ot]
Prudence,
I make no apologies for feeling that our democracy could use some fine tuning. Why should my vote be canceled by a guest of Jerry Springer's? Someone whose entire life is a Huge DON'T lesson for others? I have spent a lifetime educating myself and getting to know the issues. It seems a waste to allow so much "noise" to get into the system. And, I have yet to hear a good argument for motor voter and other "enabling" laws other than it helps the Democrats stay competitive.

I believe that suffrage should require more than a pulse. Because some mean old Southern Democrats (Yep - Democrats - most of America forgets that part) tried to use chicanery to discriminate based upon race, doesn't equate to a fairly applied discrimination based upon a desired level of civic knowledge and competency. Our society can only gain from removing what I see as base self interest expressed in the entitlement culture we live in now. Society's inability to discriminate "appropriately" where needed is killing us. We fear being labeled. Why, that is the worst thing you can be: a discriminator. We are headed for a cliff as a nation. We need to be smart enough to know when to discriminate and why we are doing it. We have become the land of Zero Tolerance. Which means we have given up judgment, taking a stand, and thinking things through.

I believe someday democracy will take the form of allowing suffrage based upon civic service and minimal competency, it may not happen here. But I think it is the next step in governmental evolution.

Oh, and I know this goes without saying, but I am not talking about a "Bell Curve" type of discrimination. I am suggesting a discrimination based upon competence and nothing more. So please no Nazi or KKK references directed at me for daring to think differently when the more enabling of you decide to join this debate. Let's talk about this without pissing each other off. :).
[/ot]

PS - Glad to see you back. All better?
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,860
Points
38
20/20....and I'm not a geog. major.

[ot]
Prudence, I don't own land. Should I not be able to vote?
[/ot]
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
All the Motor Voter campaigns irritate the hell out of me. I just don't buy the argument that it is so "HARD" to register to vote. If you are too lazy or ignorant to know how to/bother to register, how in the hell can you know enough/take the time to vote?

And, stop wasting money on these advertising campaigns. Voting is not a consumer product that needs to be "sold" by slick campaigns starring stupid rap stars. If, as some argue, the system is not producing candidates that the average person cares about, then the system is more deeply flawed than a stupid P. R. campaign can address.

(When I am benevolent dictator for life, one of my first actions will be to set up a special concentration camp for the entire advertising/npublic relations industry :( )

I am a Democrat, E. G. :), and I still feel this way.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Re: Re: Re: 20/20

El Guapo said:


[ot]
Society's inability to discriminate "appropriately" where needed is killing us. We fear being labeled. Why, that is the worst thing you can be: a discriminator. We are headed for a cliff as a nation. We need to be smart enough to know when to discriminate and why we are doing it. We have become the land of Zero Tolerance. Which means we have given up judgment, taking a stand, and thinking things through.

[/ot]

OMG. EG, were you watching South Park last night? The boys got sent to a Schindler's List-esque Nazi "Tolerance Camp" because Mr. Garrison was performing insanely innappropriate for school homosexual acts in front of his class in an effort to be fired for being gay, so he could sue and be awarded $25m. My favorite was the "Museum of Tolerance". sigh.

back on topic - 19/20 - the religion question also threw me. i hang my head in shame. I was counting on a billion hindu indians.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
ALTHOUGH, El Guapo, I understand your frustration ("Friends don't let friends vote Republican" should be on my bumper sticker :) )

History is full of persons/classes of people who just KNOW how superior they are to the great unwashed, who certainly can't be expected to know what's best for themselves, let alone the country.

Just let the educated/wealthy/landowning/of good blood/God-appointed/best hunters make all the decisions for everyone.

(By the way. I own the footprint of my townhouse. Does that count as "land ownership" in your system?)
 

statler

Cyburbian
Messages
447
Points
14
on the O/T tip:

El G,

The problem is who decides the 'basic' criteria? There are a lot of very smart people out there who think 'If you truly believe that an invisible being who lives in the sky controls the universe than you are too stupid too vote'
Are you comfortable with that?
Remember when people in this country think 'smart folks' they tend to think of Harvard and Stanford professors. Are they really the ones you want drawing up this test?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Rock the Vote -Dude!

Yep - that is the counter argument that blinds nearly everyone to the possibility of a better governmental model. Universal suffrage is a failure in my observation. It is now being extended to non-citizens through active campaigns by members of the Democratic party. Races are now being won via the turnout of illegals. I'm going to discriminate now and say that is WRONG.

I have been casting my net widely and I see requiring a competency test or a servivce milestone as the only way out. Not that we will ever take it. I feel a little bit like the NORMAL guys: Banging away at something they will never see in their lives, but without the good buzz they have.

And yes, I will go on record that I feel I am better able to make decisions for my community than someone who registered and votes based upon their watching MTV’s “Get out the Vote” and they thought that Moby was “deep.” I’m comfy with that.

I never said anything about land ownership. Pull back and examine the merits of the idea without all the "if it’s from a Republican it must be evil" perspective.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
statler said:
on the O/T tip:

El G,

The problem is who decides the 'basic' criteria? ....Are they really the ones you want drawing up this test?
Good Question! Right now I don't have the perfect answer for you. We will have to have some safeguards in place. How about having everyone pass High School, be felony conviction free, and have successfully served their country in some way to start. Public service is a subject that is probably best discussed in a separate thread.

Or we could just require everyone pass the same test immigrants have to pass to gain citizenship. Giving congress oversight of the standard. It would be something the society, the elected representatives, and the judiciary would have to debate. But it is doable. The pendulum would swing as in all issues. When it gets too restrictive society would chaff.

We set speed limits at the 85 percentile. Why not establish a standard and enforce it? Set up the test so that 85% of adults with a high school education would pass. Or we choose some other number. But let’s get the noise out of the system.

Most of us stick by universal suffrage because that is what we were taught was good in high school civics and society tells you not to "discriminate." Free your minds! So, is this scaring the hell out of you Dems? Or do you think it may have merits?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
No, No, No E. G. I was being confusing/obscure :(. I was just pointing out that many "educated" people think just that -Republicans shouldn't vote. Even though I would have (partly as a joke) that bumper sticker, I don't really think that :)

I think statler has a point. Education doesn't always equal common sense, competency, or the ability to listen to/understand what makes people tick. It is easy to sneer at "the Jerry Springfield watchers," but education and "success" are not guarantors of public spiritness. I would rather listen to Monica from the trailer park than some self-righteous CEO explaining why it is necessary to hire illegal aliens for 12 cents an hour or gut the Clean Air Act. Or some cockamamie Harvard professor who believes that we should just airlift 20% of our GNP to the Arab world so that the "Arab Street" "wuvs" us.

I just don't see how you could define this alternative model or test. I don't believe societies that lacked the universal franchise were that much better ruled, either. Unless we bring back some kind of hereditary aristocracy that has a severe culture of public service-and history shows that doesn't work either.

Passing a test doesn't make you a better voter or imply any real udnerstanding of the issues. Heck, "experts" may disagree with some of the answers to such a test.

I don't claim to know the answer to this dilemna. Our entire culture demands that people be dumb. Abolish advertising and make the media noncommercial and educational-maybe that will lead to a more educated population. But, what do you do when our entire culture celebrates ignorance?

Oh well, back to work.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
BKM said:
But, what do you do when our entire culture celebrates ignorance?
That's it exactly. Well put.
Maybe I am being reactionary!?!?. (That's a good lib word) I don't know what to do other than try something different.
Thanks for the fun debate. :)
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Guap - I'll jump on your bandwagon. I would vote for both the test and the highschool/GED completion, especially since so many schools have a "no fail" policy now that there is no gurantee that a high school graduate ever officially passed fourth grade social studies.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Where I do agree with you, E. G., is the concept that citizenship imposes obligations as well as rights. That, too, is not a "liberal" or "conservative" thing, either. One could say, for example, that there is an obligation to be educated (or even vaguely aware) and rational on issues that you as a voter are supposed to be involved in deciding. Voting for Rev. Sharpton (or David Duke, for that matter) does not show much rationality.

Conversely, the whole concept of "corporation" was supposed to involve granting very special priveleges (i.e., limitations on liability) in exchange for public good. Corporations were not supposed to have all the rights of an individual citizen. Dumping toxic goo into the local river is not a public good.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
The problem is TAXES. There are tons of idiots out there but we still require them to give up tons of money each year to the government. I can't imagine telling a high school drop tradesman that he can't vote.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
29
Or we could just require everyone pass the same test immigrants have to pass to gain citizenship
Slightly OT, but i have a story about this.

I used to work for some immigrants. Bill arrived in the 50's and had topay $5 for his citizenship, his wife, Tina, arived in teh 70's and had to pay $25. She always said she was 5x the Canadian as bill and since I got mine free she was more Canadian then me because she had to pay.
 

statler

Cyburbian
Messages
447
Points
14
Seabishop said:
The problem is TAXES. There are tons of idiots out there but we still require them to give up tons of money each year to the government. I can't imagine telling a high school drop tradesman that he can't vote.
Gaaa!! Of course! I can't believe I didn't think of that! Taxation Only With Representation is one of the conerstones of our country. So what happens when we start denying people thier vote? Stop taxing them? I'd bet the failure rate would jump WAY up!

I think our best bet it to somehow educate our populous a hell of a lot better. Of course then the question becomes...how?
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,115
Points
28
20/20

It was amazing to me how easy the questions were. For example, the one that asked you to identify Sweden on the map, didn't have any of the surrouding countries (Norway, Finland, Denkark) as possible choices to throw you off. Therefore this one should have been like shooting fish in a barrel.

Yet only about 25% of U. S Respondents answered correctly. Pathetic.
 

prudence

Cyburbian
Messages
688
Points
19
Think District of Columbia...

statler said:


Gaaa!! Of course! I can't believe I didn't think of that! Taxation Only With Representation is one of the conerstones of our country. So what happens when we start denying people thier vote? Stop taxing them? I'd bet the failure rate would jump WAY up!
?
Or District of Colombia when Marion Berry was in charge.

The DC has been taxed for years without a vote in representational government. THey have no Senators or Representives. Hell, Puerto Rico has more lobbying power than DC...

BTW, it is extremely rare that I let the comments of an individual speak for me, but I AGREE with everything EG has stated.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Why should my vote be canceled by a guest of Jerry Springer's? Someone whose entire life is a Huge DON'T lesson for others?
Do you think these people actually get of their rears to go vote???

((honest question, no flames please....))
 

statler

Cyburbian
Messages
447
Points
14
SW MI Planner said:


Do you think these people actually get of their rears to go vote???

((honest question, no flames please....))
Of course they do! Just look at the last election!!!

(Sorry...couldn't...resist...just..too..easy...)
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
SW MI Planner said:


Do you think these people actually get of their rears to go vote???

((honest question, no flames please....))
Honest answer: When the Dems make it worth thier time they do. I have seen the get out the vote bus working the winos first hand.


Pause for self examination: Do you really think I flame? I sure hope I don't come off that way. It is my intention to seriously debate and engage, but never to flame. I may make someone AbFab from time to time, but never flame.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Pause for self examination: Do you really think I flame? I sure hope I don't come off that way. It is my intention to seriously debate and engage, but never to flame. I may make someone AbFab from time to time, but never flame.
Nope, of course not! It wasn't really directed toward anyone in particular. I just didn't want to get flamed like I did when I said everyone who lives in the US should speak English.

Honest answer: When the Dems make it worth their time they do. I have seen the get out the vote bus working the winos first hand.
Ok, so the Dems work that group, but do the Jerry Springer guests, winos, hilljacks, and rednecks of the world really go vote? it just seems like its hard enough to get the "educated" folk out there so I can't belive that they do. ((But really don't know))
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
Them damn happy/chipper Fish Eat'in Nuns with all their Roman questions -that's whose runinin A'Merica!
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
I don't know about who deserves votes and who doesn't. However, being counted part of the most intelligent 5%(ish) of the country (scary, isn't it?), it does worry me that so many uninformed think that their view is a worthy opinion. It isn't. Mine isn't. It doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken into account but it shouldn't be the sole input, either.

Having said that, if they made votes more valuable with a more obvious impact, more people would take an interest in using them. But that's getting a little to Heinlein for my tastes...
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
I guess the optimistic view is that your vote is cancelling out the vote of the Jerry Springer wife/sister beater. On second thought, that's not very optimistic is it?
 
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