Monday, June 27, 2016

Ignorant Voters

Jack Trainer: Power to the people.
Tess McGill: The little people.
--Working Girl

The Brexit vote demonstrates once again how statists' affection for democracy ceases when their side of the vote is the losing one. This time around we hear the elitist argument that issues such as Brexit should never be put to popular vote because the voters are generally incapable of deciphering all aspects of such a complicated issue and are therefore incapable of casting informed ballots.

Instead, the argument goes, the voting should be left to the 'experts'--i.e., the bureaucrats who have presumably been previously selected by the electorate to noodle over such complicated problems and render informed decisions.

The rub, of course, is explaining how those same voters who are ignorant on complicated issues such as Brexit are capable of identifying those representatives who can do their thinking for them. Those voters would also need to be able to identify related agency problems likely to arise and implement timely recourse to minimize them.

Pushing this train of thought to logical completion, the question becomes when should people be allowed to vote at all?

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