More on compulsory voting: who actually ought to be entitled to vote?


David Davis

Sean Gabb earlier debated with Simon Hughes here, about the matter of state-forced-voting. Some of the commentariat rightly raised the point about, not only the whys and wherefores of compuslory voting, but if all persons ought to be allowed to vote at all, without preconditions.

In my humble opinion, the following ought to be the case:

(1) NO person in receipt of all his received money from the State (either) in the form of “benefits” (or) “salary” can be allowed to vote. (This is no different from MPs “having to declare an interest” in a firm for instance.)

(2) NO person (either) employed directly by the State (in any capacity at all) can vote while so employed.

(3) NO private subcontractor, however libertarian in outlook, may vote, while discharging contracts for the State.

Additionally, it would be right and proper to restrict the franchise to those (in private employment only, of course) who actually own taxable property. NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, and also its true corollary, ought to apply. This stricture would apply only so long as any kind whatever of State taxation is in force. Once all of it is abolished, this limitation on the Franchise can of course be removed, and “everyone can have the vote” again.

I would not favour discriminating about the franchise on the basis of IQ, race, religion or any of those eugenic-hingy-stuff-whatsits like that. Bozos, terrorists, gamma-minus semi-morons, nazis, trotskyists, gramsco-marxians and other forms of mentally-subnormal droids ought to be allowed to vote, exactly like anyone else who owns taxable property for the duration of statehood on earth. I’m not sure that, under such a civilisation, there would be any parties standing that would please them. they might have to invent one: it would be called the Monster Raving Socialist Party, and it would lose its deposit every time.

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14 responses to “More on compulsory voting: who actually ought to be entitled to vote?

  1. David — whilst I disagree with your three main points (they seem more about attempting to engineer matters such that those who benefit from the state would lose their say; surely there are more libertarian ways of limiting the state other than through social engineering?), can I pick you up on one of your suggestions:

    “Additionally, it would be right and proper to restrict the franchise to those (in private employment only, of course) who actually own taxable property.”

    I presume that you don’t actually mean what you said? According to the ONS’ Social Trends #38, only around 17% of the economically active own their own home outright, with 54% of the economically inactive (largely pensioners) doing likewise (table 10.5, pp 139).

    Just because you’ve got a mortgage does not mean that you own property, it simply means that you own a debt…

  2. For now, I have to say that I actually _do_ mean to engineer, that those whose income comes from the state, ought to be deprived of the right to vote for parties that take part in it.

    This is a sad result of the rise of socialism and state “redistributive” policies. I may decide to modify this position if and when the “State” becomes so small that its effects are nugatory.

    But whree the State is the largest distributor of largesse taken under sanctions from others more or less unwillingly, then people who are in receipt of this cash ought not to have the power to be able to vote for more of the same.

    As to property, perhaps I ought to have saaid “Freeholders” – but of course even this concept is flawed I know.

  3. Harry Haddock

    This is no different from MPs “having to declare an interest” in a firm for instance

    We all take things from the state. It isn’t good, it isn’t ideal, we all may do it against our wishes due to state monopoly. But we all do it ~ every time we walk down a public pavement, for instance ~ we have no user charges for pavements.

    Thus, to take your analogy to its logical conclusion, nobody can vote.

    Discuss.

  4. Dave:

    You receive income and benefits from the State, even if these may be indirect (Where do your customers get their money from? Have you looked closely at a five pound note lately? Where do you think the laws which define this particular “market” configuration come from?).

    Voting is a fundamental right. Having a say in what affects you. Ballots instead of bullets. You know the drill….

    “Selling” any kind of Libertarianism is hard. Telling people you’re going to cancel their vote, abolish the franchise or restrict it to Tory voters is preposterous nonsense, and well you know it…

    Best,

    Tony

  5. I actually don’t think it’s such a bad idea, there certainly areas of state employment where a vote means a conflict of interest. Such is the nature of heterodox ideas David. They usually need ‘refining’ shall we say, in order to be workable in practice, but their refutation of the orthodox often represents a powerful weapon. I don’t agree abouth the need to own property though, Mr Vessey was spot-on, most people don’t own a house, they own a huge inescapable debt. I personally would never consider such an undertaking. It’s cash or nothing for me.

  6. Perhaps we have to go through a “purgatorial” or cleansing period – in which it becomes socially an inferior thing to do, with attached disadvantages which are real, visible and inconvenient, to accept the State’s shilling.

    Yes, and I am also partly motivated by the desire for revenge against persons who have deliberately not only sought cushy, featherbedded lives within the State, bur who have consciously increased and yet even now increase, their wealth and its powers simultaneously, at the deliberate expense of the Workers.

  7. Being libertarians, we don’t agree about much. But I expect we all do think the compulsory voting is a no-no?

  8. “Yes, and I am also partly motivated by the desire for revenge against persons who have deliberately not only sought cushy, featherbedded lives within the State, but who have consciously increased and yet even now increase, their wealth and its powers simultaneously, at the deliberate expense of the Workers.”

    I agree on that. And it isn’t really ethical to force an opinion from someone, which is sort of what a vote is, given the fact that it doesn’t have much effect besides.

  9. landedunderclass

    I don’t think that on this basis I’d be allowed to vote. We own the house outright, but I was retired from a job in the private defence industry (with state contracts) and am now obliged to claim incapacity benefit (though Mrs. Underclass is still working).
    My LPUK membership hasn’t even come through yet. Are there now so many Party members that we can start disenfranchising them?

  10. Dave:

    In 1944, Nash-Kelvinator Corporation ran this magazine
    advertisement, showing a grim pilot, about to take on Zeros at
    twelve o’clock, imagining this staccato message to his partner:-

    “I want to tell you what I’m fighting for.. It’s you and our
    little house and the job I had before… and the chance I had,
    the fighting chance, to go ahead on my own. That’s what all of
    us want out here… to win this war… to get home… To go back
    to living our lives in a land — and a world — where *every* man
    is free to grow as great as he’s a mind to be… where *every*
    man has an *unlimited* opportunity to be useful to himself and
    his fellow men …

    “Tell ‘em we’ll be back… Nothing can stop us… And tell ‘em
    no matter what they say, no matter what they do… to stay
    *free*… To keep America a land of *individual freedom*!

    _That’s_ what we’re fighting for…

    _That’s_ what we’re willing to kill and die for…

    _That’s_ the America we want when we come home.”

    “We had better figure out what happened if we expect _any_ army,
    conscript or volunteer, even to _remember_ what it’s fighting for.”

    – Michael Levin

    ———– * * * * * ———–

  11. landedunderclass wrote: “My LPUK membership hasn’t even come through yet. Are there now so many Party members that we can start disenfranchising them?”

    landedunderclass — I think that you are asking on the wrong forum; the Libertarian Alliance is not affiliated in any way with the Libertarian Party, although we share similar goals.

    WRT your query, as you know I received your application two days ago, we exchanged emails, and I posted your pack the same day. Royal Mail permitting, it will be with you today or tomorrow latest.

    The forum for the Libertarian Party can be found here: http://lpuk.org/forum/

    [Sorry for the OT, David]

  12. I confirm what Patrick has just said: we here doing crazed-maniac-machine-typerizing-on-steam-linotypes in the LA bunker, are nowt to to with the LPUK! (Although we’d always help them if asked, and if we possibly can.)

    All I wanted to do was get a discussion going about whether and if and how the Franchise ought to be distributed (bad word, perhaps!) as this has often worried me since Lord Salisbury said in 1867 that extending it to all (men at that time) over the age of (I can’t remember) would lead to “disaster”.

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