Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Mandatory voting proposal
This is sometimes misused by dictators to prop up their image as a popular leader, but let's leave that aside at look at the case for it.
- Mandatory voting would make all citizens morally responsible for the government. They could no longer abdicate their proper role by saying "I don't trust any of them".
- Mandatory voting would cause more people to become politically educated and lower the risk of a determined minority to grab power.
- Mandatory voting would give people a feeling that they are part of the general society.
The mechanics of this should be made such that voting is made painless for even the most immobile person. This can be achieved by a combination of mail voting, online voting and traditional, in person, voting. In addition prisoners should be allowed to vote once they have served their term. They are still members of society and have as much stake in things as anyone else.
We can expect the power elite to oppose this with false arguments about fraud. No one seriously worries about fraud with mail or online corporate proxy voting or credit card purchases or even bill paying. The real motivation is that the nonvoters tend to be the poor and underserved and may start to support candidates that favor their interests.
All the more reason to require everyone to vote.
A 401(k) Christmas
People are all complaining about the rise in the cost of living, the abandonment of private pensions and the attacks on Social Security.
So I suggest that this year instead of giving holiday presents you take the money and contribute to your retirement fund (401(k) or IRA, etc.) instead. Send a card to each person who you would ordinarily get a present for and say that you are putting their gift money into your retirement plan instead. This way you won't be a burden on society in your golden years, and they won't have to worry about higher taxes that might be needed to support you. I'm sure they will agree.