Friday, August 03, 2007

Should Voters Be Tested?

I agree with pretty much most of what Jonah Golberg is saying here, with the exception of instituting some form of testing to qualify people to vote.

Actually, I might even agree with some sort of test. Problem is, who decides what the test is comprised of and who decides who passes and fails? Sounds like a wide open invite to skullduggery there.

I understand Golberg's concerns, but I think he's not taking into consideration that when you give government the power to give you everything you want, you're also giving it the power to take it all away.

It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes.- Joseph Stalin

23 Comments:

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple test. Pay taxes or don't vote. The idea that people with no stake in the society should have a say is ridiculous and is totally inconsistent with the society that existed when the Constitution was framed. Everyone was self supporting and invested then. Now? +

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

That would have helped Kerry take the midwest states.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Thing is, pretty much everyone pays taxes in one form or another.

Even what one would consider the poor or homeless. They still pay sales tax on things they buy, and should they smoke or drink, they arguably pay more taxes, percentage wise, than others who don't.

I'm sympathetic to your suggestion. I'm one who questions whether people who don't own property should be able to vote on property tax increases.

Still, trying to figure out which taxes one pays qualifies him to vote would be a can of worms and open to the same skullduggery we see with redistricting and such.

Somebody will try to manipulate the situation to their advantage.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger hucktunes said...

Taxes weren't instituted in the US until 1913. The founding fathers were against the taxes imposed by Britain. So I don't think paying taxes should be a criteria for voting.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hucktunes is a sloppy thinker. He is thinking of FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. A brief reading of history would show that taxes have been around since the very beginning of the USA.

After all, it was Good Old Benjamin Franklin who said that nothing is inevitable except for Death and Taxes. (He said that several years before 1913).

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Here is what California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen is doing about it.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Greg said...

9:29 states: "The idea that people with no stake in the society should have a say is ridiculous and is totally inconsistent with the society that existed when the Constitution was framed. Everyone was self supporting and invested then."

Everyone? Wrong. Start with slaves, indentured servants, women, and plain old poor folks. They weren't "invested", and had very few of the rights given to white males. Voting is a right of citizenship. Period.

Good post, Fred.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

10:53 AM, the article is about national as well as local voting. Paying taxes is not and should not be a criteria for casting a vote. That would be exclusionary.

 
At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voting is the opiate of the masses.

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg, PLEASE for the love of all that is Holy (and Keep away from my choir members) GO PISS UP A ROPE

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

Greg makes a very good point. You seem to be deluded that life was somehow more romantic, folks more noble back in the good old days. The vote is now a very basic right enjoyed by every American, regardless of gender or status.

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two years of active military service; so that the people voting for the war, know what they are committing our kids to.

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teacher: All right, let's sum up. This year in history, we talked about the failure of democracy. How the social scientists of the 21st Century brought our world to the brink of chaos. We talked about the veterans, how they took control and imposed the stability that has lasted for generations since. We talked about the rights and privileges between those who served in the armed forces and those who haven't, therefore called citizens and civilians.

Teacher: You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote?

Student: It's a reward. Something the federation gives you for doing federal service.

Teacher: No. Something given has no basis in value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence -- the supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived.


Join the Mobile Infantry and save the galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

 
At 1:43 AM, Anonymous RMostranski said...

Ok people--lets look at a few things that may enlighten you all..

The founders absorbed the ideas of John Locke that the purpose of government is to protect individual liberty and property.

The Founders believed in a natural law, superior to any human-made laws that endowed each person with certain inalienable
rights---the right to life, liberty, and property. The Founders also believed that all people were equally entitled to these rights...

Hence the Bill of Rights....

14th Amendment--protects life, liberty, and property and the privileges and immunities of citizenship and provides equal protection of the law...

15th Amendment--guarantees that the right to vote shall not be denied because of race...

19th Amendment--guarantees that the right to vote shall not be denied because of sex...

24th Amendment---guarantees that the right to vote shall not be denied because of failure to pay a poll tax or other tax...

26th Amendment---guarantees that the right to vote shall not be denied to persons eighteen years of age or older....

Now if you all think that you want to change how people vote you will have to amend the constitution which is the supreme law of the land and therefore no easy task--I will let you research that one....

In other words people--lets all get a grip and rejoice this Republic we live in--a Republic in which all American citizens (18yrs and above) have a voice in choosing their own representatives in government. A government in which we have Life, Liberty, Property, --and the one we all like to cherish---the pursuit of happiness......

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say again, the idea that simply being born gives one the right to vote is stupid. And if you think you can prove that the Framers thought otherwise, you haven't done enough reading. And if the Framers had thought that, it would still be stupid. The Heinlein quote captures it pretty well. Service, commitment, or no vote. Rights, basic rights, yes. vote, no.

 
At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kind of agree with 1:43 AM. We might have different people in office if everyone voted, but the percentage of voters that actually vote at times allow some voters to decide for everyone else. I always have believed if you don't vote don't complain. I always vote.

For those that don't vote, you are letting me decide for you.

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grok that 12:17 am.

TANSTAAFL

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well thankfully the rest of us don't live in the People's Republic of Arcata where intelligence tests designed by communist professors and anti-corporate freaky freakies aren't required in order to access the ballot booth.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Starship Troopers quote pretty much says it all. Requiring military service for citizenship takes you down the road to a military dictatorship.

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read ST, you know it doesnt have to be militay service. and the idea is some commitment, some
contribuion, to earn the right to vote. and that is a sound principle.

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is the problem here that needs to be fixed?

Are some people unhappy with the results of elections and they'd like to change them?

Are some people unhappy with the inability of others to accurately answer questions about Government procedures and want to punish them for that by denying their option to vote?

Are some people feeling dissed' because other people don't care as much about the things they feel are important?

If I knew what the problem was I might have an opinion of how to deal with it. But in all this, I don't see any problem that changing voting qualifications would fix.

If the problem is how to strengthen our nation and ensure the best results for elections, I suggest everyone should be made to vote as I do or better yet just let mine be the only vote counted. I think thats what most of the complainers really want.

 
At 12:01 AM, Blogger kaivalya said...

Sure the idea sounds good, but it's just institutionalizing and standardizing citizen input. It's the kind of thing that substantiates standardized testing in schools.

In the end, it sounds too much like poll tax to me...

 
At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This country has only two serious problems.

First, way too many criminals get to vote in our elections.

Second, way too many criminals get to run in our elections.

 

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