The committed statists of this world, i.e. the vast majority of people occupying planet Earth, all fervently believe that applying the force of government Authority! upon everyone all the time is the answer to every societal “problem.”
Statists create imaginary “problems” and then try to “solve” them by using force.
The mid-term elections mania in the U.S. has finally and mercifully concluded, but not for long. Now the frenzied statists will turn their hysterical attention to the next presidential election two years from now in 2016.
It never ends.
Democracy as a social activity in America today has become a lot like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. This week the Republicans prevailed but it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be able to save the ship of state from sinking. Instead, the new guys, just like the old guys, will continue to imagine more and more “problems” to be “solved” by force while the nation flounders.
The statists lately are imagining that low voter turn-out in the election process is a societal “problem,” and just like every other societal “problem” the answer to “solving” it should be by the application of government force.
CNN published an article entitled “Should Americans be forced to vote?” and invited several so-called political “experts” to opine on the question. Not surprisingly, most of them were enthusiastic about the prospect of mandatory voting laws for Americans. Many nations are presently forcing their citizens to vote, so why shouldn’t we, they reason?
William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who holds the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in its governance studies program imagines that founding father, James Madison would “be smiling” over the idea. “Reforming institutions to change incentives is always the most effective course,” declares Galston. Obviously, this “expert” thinks that incentives for Americans should be determined by government force.
Gretchen Helmke, associate professor and chairwoman of the political science department at the University of Rochester, thinks that American politicians would favor mandatory voting laws only if they thought such laws would benefit them politically. “Only governing parties with relatively under-mobilized electorates and a growing opposition find compulsory voting an attractive option,” she opines. “In other words, the politicians that will likely determine the rules of the game have no incentive to change them.”
Haydon Manning, associate professor at Flinders University's School of Social and Policy Studies in Adelaide, South Australia, admits that Australians “are required to attend a polling station, and upon receipt of their ballot, decide to vote or discard it.” Failure to attend one’s "democratic duty" may incur a small fine if insufficient excuse is offered. “Surveys consistently indicate that about 70% say they favor compulsory voting,” he adds, demonstrating that there is no shortage of statists in the Land Down Under.
“The arguments for compulsory voting seem persuasive.” opines Ari Ratner, a fellow at New America Foundation. “Yet, mandatory voting is ill-suited to America's current realities… Mandatory voting would be a bureaucratic and legal nightmare. Not to mention that refusing to vote itself can be an important form of protest.”
That’s right Mr. Ratner, but I think the better answer is that forcing Americans to vote is simply unconstitutional. None of the “experts” thought of that. What about the concept of liberty?
“You have to pay taxes, so why not have to vote? reasons Donna Brazile, CNN contributor, Democratic strategist, nationally syndicated columnist, and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. “I've come to favor mandatory voting… voting is the essential, central and indispensable feature of democracy. We require jury attendance, paying taxes, and public education attendance because those are also essential functions. Is voting less important?
Yes, the United Statists of America have succeeded in forcing a lot of unconstitutional obligations upon “free” Americans; why not just one more?
That’s statist style democracy.