Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Answers, please

This being an election day, whilst out walking this morning I pondered this burning question: Should Americans who don't vote be penalized?

I used to be a dedicated non-voter, so for me to even consider such a thing is pretty darn surprising. Although I'm loath to penalize people for failing to exercise a right, at the same time our democracy* does not function properly when less than half the eligible population bothers to cast a ballot. I'm honestly divided about it, and I'm curious to hear what others think.

* BTW, don't tell me, "But we live in a republic, not a democracy", because it's the same damned thing. A republic is governed by democratically elected officials, so although the US is not a direct democracy, it's a democracy nonetheless. One of my pet peeves is pointing out the meaningless distinction between the two, so don't do it or I'll think mean things about you.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sarcasmo said...

Americans who don't vot *are* penalized. How do you think we ended up with our current administration?

1:21 PM  
Blogger Amy McWeasel said...

I don't think there can be penalties for real. As Sarcasmo pointed out, the penalty is getting a government of not-your-choosing.

I rather like the idea presented in Starship Troopers: some kind of voluntary service in exchange for the right to vote.

1:31 PM  

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