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Requalify the Franchise October 31, 2008

Posted by federalist in Government, Natural Rights, Uncategorized.
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American liberals have been fought for years to extend the right to vote as widely as possible.  Not just to felons, but also to convicts still serving time in prison.  Not just to those who lack proof of citizenship or identity, but also to those who lack an address.  In essence, they think that every adult human being should have an equal voice in our government, simply because they exist and can make their way to a poll (or mailbox, if they can secure an absentee ballot).  This is a hazardous premise for democratic government.  We need to aggressively refute the assumption that the franchise belongs to everyone.  Instead the franchise should, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, be earned and retained.  Possible qualifiers might include some or all of:

  • Citizenship (i.e., an affirmative contract between an individual and a government).
  • Military service
  • Property ownership
  • Literacy, education, and/or other evidence of a sound and functional mind
  • Law-abiding behavior

After all, think of the moral hazard when:

  1. Those who don’t pay taxes vote on tax policy and the allocation of tax revenue?
  2. Those who have broken laws vote on the establishment and enforcement of laws?
  3. Those who have nothing to lose can vote on the use of government to take from those who do?
  4. Those who have no contract with or obligation to the government vote on its structure and policies?
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Comments»

1. deusexviro - December 14, 2008

In many ways I agree, but what if the person is serving time in jail for a law that is already unconstitutional (growing marijuana and selling it). Of course, having people potentially high voting is silly, but so is having people who can’t pay taxes and can’t read.

Liberals would embrace universal voting rights for adults, but why stop at adults? Children do not pay taxes, are still learning to read, do not have a job, and only have a home and food because their parents supply them with one. Of course this is silly…but so is all all the extreme enfranchising, in my (potentially correct) opinion.

2. federalist - December 15, 2008

Yes, unconstitutional laws are a real — but separate — problem in the United States.

Good question: I would like to hear “Extreme Franchise” advocates explain why people under the age of 18 should be denied the vote when adults who lack jobs, education, or a willingness to obey laws should be granted that privilege.


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