Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club Message Board › criticisms of government by democracy broken down somewhat

criticisms of government by democracy broken down somewhat

Bill
penny_farthing
Seattle, WA
Post #: 142
Given Victor's deep interest in the subject, I will respond to some of the claims he made and issues he raised in the forum thread about self interested voting and vote selling. I'm starting a new thread because Gene generated the aforementioned thread as a place to discuss a work around that we won't dwell upon here.

Because Victor suggested that his questions about democracy had relevance to "the most basic question of all in political philosophy: what is the best form of government we can conceive for governing large numbers of people?", I will begin by very briefly examining how his method might relate to the possibilities of a credible answer to that question.

I'll try to address two specific claims Victor made about voting -- its lack of any effect on government and its supposed purpose.

Then I ask what relationship exists between the goodness of a form of government and the reasons or non-reasons of participants or citizens.

I hope to eventually follow this with a posting about the pairing of attitudes toward self interested voting and vote selling. I'll then suggest that attitudes against organ selling and vote selling might similarly serve some public good, but not in the way already discussed. Alternatively, the prohibition against vote selling might have its origins in a well founded desire for a secret ballot.

I offer this as a late Christmas gift. The final part requires further assembly and might not get to you until next Christmas. Regifting is always appropriate.
Bill
penny_farthing
Seattle, WA
Post #: 143
What is the best form of government conceivable?

In his search for an answer to that question, Victor focuses on something basic to democracy (voting), and points out possible inconsistencies or moral defects related to that basic element.

If the inconsistencies and moral defects are real and those traits of the parts somehow impugn democracy, some conceivable government form without impugning flaws of those magnitudes would be at least one step closer to an ideal conceivable government form.

However, such a hypothetically conceivable form doesn't bump democracy out of its spot. A conceivable form would itself have some elements that could be critiqued. The elements of merely conceivably conceivable forms are more often than not an empty set i.e., they aren't actually conceivable.

Another method (which Victor doesn't employ) might compare every conceived form of government to see which among them are the best. This will omit forms that haven't yet, but which could be conceived. Because it isn't exhaustive, it also can't answer that "most basic question of all in political philosophy".

For the sake of being exhaustive, we might ask, "What is best, conceivable form X or some unspecified non-X, a member of the set which includes every other conceivable form that isn't X?" The hopes for an answer to such a question might depend on some thing or things known to be unique to X as being clearly sufficient to either make it the best or clearly sufficient to make it not the best. If ruled not best, it seems that we would ask for the corroborating proof of being shown a better conceived form.

Voters in democracies are faced with different decisions. In a winner take all election, voters might consider whether to vote for the best of the politically feasible governments on the ballot, cast a protest vote, or vote in a way that gives no consideration of which governments come out of the election. I think that most voters consider which is best among the seriously contending governments offered, and vote accordingly.

Attempting to answer the unanswerable question "most basic to political philosophy" is seemingly futile. The choice which voters face isn't obviously so, but that is not the question we consider here.
Bill
penny_farthing
Seattle, WA
Post #: 144
In this post I'll examine an analogy and a claim. I'll address the homeopathy analogy and the claim that "...the supposed end of voting is to improve the well bing of all involved..."

Victor wrote "Perhaps voting is a form of political quackery akin to homeopathy: where the supposed active ingredient is diluted so thin that only a molecule [or less] is left in solution..." I think that here Victor is trying to charge someone with deception: either voters with self deception or the system with the deception of voters. However nothing robs votes of playing a crucial role in the outcome. If voters are deceived about voting, it isn't in the way Victor is suggesting.

The homeopathy analogy implies that there is no relation between votes cast and the resulting government. If votes were like the the supposed ingredients of homeopathic medicine, a ballot would be like the ingredient lists of homeopathic medicines. In that case, if the name Jim Inhofe had been substituted for the name Barrack Obama and the name Rick Santorum substituted for the name John McCain on the 2008 presidential ballot, the government in the four years since wouldn't have differed, in a way that really matters to voters, from the government we've actually had. This is an exceptional claim and I'm unaware of any evidence to support it.

Victor writes, "... the supposed end of voting is to improve the well being of all involved, not to worsen or leave it untouched. That sounds like a moral end to me." I'm not disputing that elections have moral consequences. This "supposed end" isn't one that elections (normally) achieve, as Victor certainly realizes. Should the fact that democracy doesn't achieve that supposed end count against it? I'll consider two ways someone might imagine it would.

Suppose someone claims that a best form of government only contains processes that improve the well being of all involved. I'm not sure what that demand entails, but if it means meeting four criteria suggested by Arrow'simpossibility theorem, it is widely recognized that no government can meet this goal. There would be no "best" form of government.

Alternatively, someone might claim that democracy has set this unattainable standard for itself. Actually, it hasn't. In places where democracy has emerged, the ruling elite lost something when it ceded the power of self government to a wider swath of the population. It might have calculated that it would lose more in the inevitable episodes of civil unrest in which it would rightly be regarded as most accountable for the state of the state. The people involved surely didn't characterize the move as an improvement in the well being of all involved. Today, as then, people can understand that the government imposes costs as well as benefits and that some people's net benefits from the actual government will be less than what some government would provide.
Bill
penny_farthing
Seattle, WA
Post #: 145
Victor raises questions about the rationality and morality of voters' reasons or non-reasons for voting and writes "If the moral and conceptual problems with voting are real, then democracy is implicated ..." However, if the reasoning or non-reasoning of voters can properly count for or against democracy as a form of government, then there must be a relation between the noted facts about those reasons or non-reasons and democracy's adequacy or inadequacy as a form of government. Because Victor never spells it out, I will describe two possible types of relationships between reasons or non-reasons and democracy.

I understand Victor to believe that the morality of an act depends on the actor having a proper regard for other moral beings and that proper reasoning endorses (if not actually causes) this regard. While I have a very limited understanding of Victor's views on morality, I get the idea that good and bad have mostly to do with individual humans, particularly their internal processes of reasoning and "will". Therefore, I'll speculate that Victor could only be concerned that there could be a causal relationship running from the form of government to the reasons or lack of reasons used by citizens.

Other consequentialists typically assign importance to other material effects, and not simply governments' effects on individuals' moral compasses. Someone who is concerned that voting might make democracies particularly ill suited for providing justice or for organizing production and leisure might look for problems in the causal relationship going from voters' reason or non-reason through the democratic form of government to judicial and material effects.

There can be correlation at the same time there is no normatively relevant relation. Democracies contain voters and voters are people accused here of doing something irrational or immoral. The presence of "bad" people in democracy doesn't imply that democracy is bad, even if democracy depends on such individuals' badness. To believe otherwise violates the fallacy of composition or un-ecological fallacy.
Victor M.
user 12752879
Seattle, WA
Post #: 134
Hi Bill,

You write,

The homeopathy analogy implies that there is no relation between votes cast and the resulting government. If votes were like the the supposed ingredients of homeopathic medicine, a ballot would be like the ingredient lists of homeopathic medicines. In that case, if the name Jim Inhofe had been substituted for the name Barrack Obama and the name Rick Santorum substituted for the name John McCain on the 2008 presidential ballot, the government in the four years since wouldn't have differed, in a way that really matters to voters, from the government we've actually had. This is an exceptional claim and I'm unaware of any evidence to support it.

The homeopathy analogy is meant to challenge only one of the three possible motives we may have (I think) in voting. It leaves untouched the other two: that voting is a self-expressive good (apart from consequences) and that it is indeed about consequences---but consequences for the collective not for me as the individual voter with a set of interests specific to me. Votes collectively absolutely do have consequences---but so do a lot of other things including mass non-voting. In stadiums filled with fans, it has been shown that the volume of cheering has a measurable effect on the winning odds of a team. Fine, if you are a fan of one or the other team, if you can subsume your interests under one or the other. The target of my criticism with this analogy is the feeling that some people seem to have that voting is a personal act: a way of having their voice heard, not a voice heard (among millions of others). If that thought has never entered your head, then this criticism falls flat. But I think it does enter the head of many---at least to hear how voting is sometimes characterized as a "privilege."



Suppose someone claims that a best form of government only contains processes that improve the well being of all involved. I'm not sure what that demand entails, but if it means meeting four criteria suggested by Arrow's impossibility theorem, it is widely recognized that no government can meet this goal. There would be no "best" form of government.

Alternatively, someone might claim that democracy has set this unattainable standard for itself. Actually, it hasn't. In places where democracy has emerged, the ruling elite lost something when it ceded the power of self government to a wider swath of the population. It might have calculated that it would lose more in the inevitable episodes of civil unrest in which it would rightly be regarded as most accountable for the state of the state. The people involved surely didn't characterize the move as an improvement in the well being of all involved. Today, as then, people can understand that the government imposes costs as well as benefits and that some people's net benefits from the actual government will be less than what some government would provide.

The question of what form the best government would take was not one I was directly addressing. It may be that representative democracy is it, with all its flaws (as Churchill famously implied). I am not convince that it is. But I do think we are morally required not to stop looking for improvement in government forms. This would require facing directly what is wrong with the supposedly best available by analyzing why it is purported to be the best. Most often it is merely assumed to be.


I understand Victor to believe that the morality of an act depends on the actor having a proper regard for other moral beings and that proper reasoning endorses (if not actually causes) this regard. While I have a very limited understanding of Victor's views on morality, I get the idea that good and bad have mostly to do with individual humans, particularly their internal processes of reasoning and "will". Therefore, I'll speculate that Victor could only be concerned that there could be a causal relationship running from the form of government to the reasons or lack of reasons used by citizens.

The problems with voting are different depending on whether you are a consequentialist or non-consequentialist about morality. But either way there are serious problems.

For the non-consequentialist (at least the deontologist), how the system shows respect for individual autonomy is crucial. Hence, the concern that conditions be conducive to individual opinion being morally developed, individually expressive, and effective within certain practical constraints (where those constraints are kept to a minimum). For example, a winner-take-all system is morally problematic on this view given that there are practical alternatives that show greater consideration of political nuance. Alternative voting schemes (that minimize tactical voting, i.e, institutionalized lesser-of-two-evils voting) would at least be a step in the right direction. (See the link in the meetup description to one such alternative scheme proposed as a recent referendum (unsuccessfully) in the UK.)

For the consequentialist, there are questions, of course, about consequences. Consequences for whom? The individual or the community the individual is part of? Presumably, the latter. (Because if the former, we have the very serious lack of difference the individual makes in a consequentialist system.) It is about the best for the greatest number.

That sounds good. But how does that necessitate or even suggest democracy? If social stability is the ultimate good being promoted, there are historical reasons suggesting that democracies do no better in the long run than other forms such as plutocracies, monarchies, etc. Viable democracies still don't have comparable track records to those forms. It is already stretching the notion to think that viable democracies have yet been in on the scene for as much as two centuries. And are they really that stable? And where they seem to be, how much of that stability is the result of other cultural and geo-political factors? I think it is empirically dubious that democracy is the best we can imagine in the realm of stable large scale human management. No doubt we are acculturated to like democracy. But as philosophers we want to know why it should be preferred over other forms.

I don't think the consequentialist grounds for democracy are indisputable.

And the non-consequentialist grounds for it are at least conceptually confused as things stand.
Bill
penny_farthing
Seattle, WA
Post #: 146
The homeopathy analogy is meant to challenge only one of the three possible motives we may have (I think) in voting. ... The target of my criticism with this analogy is the feeling that some people seem to have that voting is a personal act: a way of having their voice heard, not a voice heard (among millions of others).

The homeopathy analogy is off the mark for this reason. The thing that distinguishes homeopathic remedies from real medicine isn't that we can point to a molecule and say it didn't matter. In neither case is any one molecule even supposed to make a difference -- it's the entire dose, whether that dose contains a significant amount of proven medication or just distilled water. I think it was a bad choice of analogy which shouldn't be left to sow confusion.

Elsewhere I asked for what you believe to be the relation between facts about people's reasons (motives, etc.) and the form of government. Unless you do this, the criticisms of people's motivations are just criticisms of motivations, and have no clear relation to what could be right or wrong with any government.

Alternatively, you might try to show why I'm wrong to think there needs to be a relation.

But I do think we are morally required not to stop looking for improvement in government forms. This would require facing directly what is wrong with the supposedly best available by analyzing why it is purported to be the best.

Your task is to give actual arguments about what you see to be wrong and argue in a way that can be understood and, hopefully, put into context. I find the creative jumble of claims interesting to examine, organize, and critique. I don't think I'm hindering social progress by doing so.

For the non-consequentialist (at least the deontologist), how the system shows respect for individual autonomy is crucial. Hence, the concern that conditions be conducive to individual opinion being morally developed, individually expressive, and effective within certain practical constraints (where those constraints are kept to a minimum).

I'll leave aside the questions you raised about the relative merits of different voting schemes since that is a change in topic from supposed flaws with democracy generally.

Perhaps there is a universe in which each individual can be king and master of every other individual, if that is his or her idea of self-expression. We don't live in that universe. In this universe, I think we should be perfectly happy with government that, in the bulk of its duties, can leave aside individuals' desires for self expression. A mark of maturity might be the ability and willingness to engage for for some duration in activities that aren't simply all about one's self. Another might be in the acceptance of how the world really is.

Although I wouldn't task a government with being a conduit for individuals' self expression, that in no way conflicts with the governmental duty of protecting much of individuals'autonomies. There is room for most everyone to explore their individual expressiveness entirely outside of government. It sounds like a contradiction for someone to look to blame others (the government) for their own lack of self expression.

I don't think the consequentialist grounds for democracy are indisputable.

Certainly a dictatorship could produce some consequences that no democracy ever would. Depending on what consequences you believe to be good, this might be an argument for some dictatorships. If you don't find many supporters of a particular brand of dictatorship, you might have to blame it on pro-democratic cultural conditioning.

Most everyone is busy enough living their lives: getting along, getting ahead, getting left behind, or getting pushed down. They don't have the time, mental energy, and connections to dream up a system of government that is workable and good. If you want to persuade people to abandon democracy, I'd suggest that you explain the better system and convince everyone that it is better. Saying that someone might dispute that democracy has the best consequences really doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

I predict that you would encounter skeptics. Someone might point out that even though there are problems in every democratic nation, as long as democracy exists, opportunities also exist for the government to change. Responsible citizens and activists will try to educate and motivate citizens to seek a government that will deal with the problems that hadn't previously been recognized as problems.

Perhaps something systematic to democracies makes a sufficiently good society permanently out of reach. The idea that we can socially progress using our collective knowledge might be some sort of delusion. You might soften up the skeptic by explaining what makes democracy systematically impeding and why people can't see this. In the absence of such explanations, there are other ways.
Victor M.
user 12752879
Seattle, WA
Post #: 135
The homeopathy analogy is off the mark for this reason. The thing that distinguishes homeopathic remedies from real medicine isn't that we can point to a molecule and say it didn't matter. In neither case is any one molecule even supposed to make a difference -- it's the entire dose, whether that dose contains a significant amount of proven medication or just distilled water. I think it was a bad choice of analogy which shouldn't be left to sow confusion.

I was not suggesting that allopathic and homeopathic medicine are to be distinguished by some characteristic one has that the other doesn't. (There are, of course, such characteristics.) For all I know, a single molecule, like a single vote, might well matter in some possible sense. But the kind of person who would trust evidence-based medicine because they can trace a comprehensible causal connection between a medicine and a successful treatment, I would think---barring some interesting explanation, would also want to see some evidence-based reason for believing that their individual vote makes a difference in a mass election. That causal connection is what is highly dubious.

What you are describing seems closer to our relation to taxes. The situation with voting is not like it is with taxes in this way: My taxes in some small (quantitatively insignificant) way do help support the massive projects our government takes on (wars, social welfare, regulatory structures, etc.). As small as it is, it is comprehensible how my taxes contribute to the massive public fund that supports these things. My contribution is a brick in a massive edifice (or perhaps a grain of sand in the mortar that holds those bricks together).

With my vote the situation is different. For the reasons discussed in the write up and in some of the discussion. It is one thing to ask me to contribute in a small but very material way to a cause where my contribution doesn't stand a chance of vanishing in mathematical insignificance (usually) or through institutional quirks (as it no doubt would, in a close election)---and another to vote. Larges masses of votes do elect and decide policies. Individual votes virtually never do (empirically, at least in mass elections).

Again, there are other reasons to vote besides the feeling that your individual vote matters. These other reasons do not pretend to the same efficacy that this motive does though they have their own set of problems.
Victor M.
user 12752879
Seattle, WA
Post #: 136
...the relation between facts about people's reasons (motives, etc.) and the form of government.

Here's a relation between people's motives in voting and a form of government: certainly one of the reasons people give for voting is because it gives them a "say" in how the society they live in is run. Among the possible forms of government, only one pretends to offer the ruled an opportunity for a "say": democracy. Democracy does so via elections and voting. So it seems natural to ask how that "say" is supposed to work? Democracy works comprehensibly in small groups. In a nation the size of a typical philosophy meetup group, voting very comprehensibly offers each member a say. Scale that up to groups of millions and things happen to make each member's say only symbolic, expressive, even sacrificial (in the sense that their say is sacrificed to the say of the many). In a nutshell, it takes religious faith to continue to see the connection between your individual say and the outcome of elections. Elections become like massive prayer vigils. As one Christian I used know who didn't vote, put it once: "Voting is not like praying. God listens."

There may still be other reasons for voting having nothing to do with what my "say" is suppose to express but with achieving certain changes to the political environment: consequentialist reasons. Voting then becomes less about expression, wise or unwise, and more about participation. Something like this seems to be what you are defending. But non-democratic forms of government are in fact built on the idea that participation is more important than personal expression. They are better at managing participation more coherently.

Perhaps there is a universe in which each individual can be king and master of every other individual, if that is his or her idea of self-expression. We don't live in that universe. In this universe, I think we should be perfectly happy with government that, in the bulk of its duties, can leave aside individuals' desires for self expression. A mark of maturity might be the ability and willingness to engage for for some duration in activities that aren't simply all about one's self. Another might be in the acceptance of how the world really is.

The universe you imagine recalls an ideal expressed by Kant as the grounding of his type of morality. Indeed, he thinks we should think of ourselves as members of "a kingdom of ends" by which he means that we should treat each other as though we were all autonomous ends, that is, as though we were all kings and deserving of being treated with awe and respect as such. Our opinions would deserve deference simply in virtue of the fact that we are members of this kingdom of kings. This Enlightenment idea which had its roots in the Renaissance rebellion against Medieval religious subjection where we should all just shut up and do as God tells us.

Needless to say, Kant didn't think his imagined kingdom reflected the real human world. The point was this picture was something to aspire to. In his ideal world, we would all be very rational and respectful and absolutely unswayed by fear, habit, sentiment, and, most of all, narrow self-interest. In such an ideal world, the distinction between self-interest and the general interest is eroded. Since in such a world I would want what is best, and so would you, and we would both be as rational as could be, convergence in our views would be inevitable. Actually, voting in such a world would be redundant.

The one indisputable virtue of democracy over more exclusive forms of government is that it offers people (the ruled) a chance to show how worthy they might be of being autonomous beings. As such, democracy is training for just such a world as imagined above. If that is not what it is, and you still place autonomy high on your scale of value, you will have a hard time defending democracy over more efficient, but also more exclusive, forms of government.

If voting is the principle tool of democracy, then it seems it should be refined to serve the supposed virtue of democracy: it should actually be as respectful of individual opinions as possible. (This is where alternative voting schemes are relevant.)

If one does not place autonomy quite so high on one's list of good things, if it is just one among the other goods we can aspire to, then like them it is subject to cost/benefit considerations. People like to have their voices listened to, they like to believe their voices matter. But they also like many other things which may not always be compatible with having their opinions treated so deferentially. They like their money. They like simplicity. They like to be entertained. They like camaraderie. They want to have fun. The fun of a game is not wholly about the best team winning. People seem to like a substantial element of chance in their entertainment. Why not also in their politics? I think this is, in fact, what the electoral system, as it stands, offers them.

And this is fine if autonomy is just one good among others.

But there is a tension though between this reality and the ideals that so many of our institutions pay lip service to. The reality undercuts a lot of the sanctimoniousness that often surrounds the idea of voting.
Bill
penny_farthing
Seattle, WA
Post #: 147
I don't know where you think I suggested that a vote is like an individual's tax payment -- a vanishingly small, yet real part of the total budget. That would have been beside any point that I have been interested in making so far.

Here are two points which I've tried, but failed to make. The first is a relatively small detail. More importantly, I note just one large missing piece to your line of attack on democracy. If you show that I'm wrong about the need for such a piece, I could be learning an important philosophical lesson.

The homeopathy analogy is malformed or misleading since in explaining its relevance you said that the "supposed active ingredient is diluted so thin that only a molecule is left in solution..." This is roughly true of homeopathic medicine, but you were apparently equating "the supposed active ingredient" of such a medicine to a vote. I explained how this equation won't work. You've since said that this could also be understood to mean that voting is like praying (with the understanding that asking a non-existent or unmovable being for something won't cause that thing to be delivered). The prayer analogy seems like an improvement because it avoids the problems implicit in the homeopathy analogy.

However, you bring up evidence of effectiveness as something one should want before undertaking a course of action. Both voting and prayer will provide such evidence. A person who carefully notes how they vote and who and what subsequently wins will find a positive correlation unless they happen to always vote for the losing issues and candidates. Similarly, someone who prays for things like their car starting when they turn the ignition key might often find their prayers "answered". I suspect that you are actually demanding some more stringent and complicated belief formation process.

The statement "If the moral and conceptual problems with voting are real, then democracy is implicated ..." implies the existence of a sort of relation which you have yet to spell out. Victor, some of your problems with voting have been people's reasons for voting. Therefore I expect you to be able to describe what you see to be the relevant relation between facts about the reasons of people who are involved in or living under a form of government and the adequacy of that form of government.

I misstated this question when I asked it in my most previous post, so I apologize for prompting you to answer a question I didn't mean to ask. I hadn't meant to ask about the existence of some relationship between anything about people's reasons and anything about the form of government under which they live. The question is about the relation between whatever are deemed to be the relevant facts about citizens' reasons and the adequacy, proper attitude toward, or goodness ranking of a form of government.

If you answer that, you will have made progress towards justifying the claim that "If the moral and conceptual problems with voting are real, then democracy is implicated." If there is another way to justify this claim, I will be very interested.

Rather than trying to figure out the Kantian argument about government to the point I could appreciate its charm, I'll probably stick to the specific problems you allege of voting and democracy.

Thanks for your work in putting together meetings and topics and for your patience with gadflies who find them such attractive bait.
Victor M.
user 12752879
Seattle, WA
Post #: 139
Bill, you make this comment in passing:

A person who carefully notes how they vote and who and what subsequently wins will find a positive correlation unless they happen to always vote for the losing issues and candidates.

The "unless" clause gets right to the heart of one of the major problems I see with voting: why on earth should I limit my voting to just those candidates who are likely to win? What does winning have to do with personal expression?

Here is a common definition of voting from a dictionary:

"To express one's preference for a candidate or for a proposed resolution of an issue."

If I truly voted my preference, there is no chance I could ever win. (Because if I take my preferences seriously, they must be well considered and highly discriminant. And the more discriminating we are the poorer the options presented to us by the less discriminating will appear. And the less discriminating will always vastly outnumber the discriminating. If the options before me are all bad, it is my obligation to express it, not suppress this feeling by selecting from a tiny field of possible winners. Not voting is one way of expressing this. Doing something more directly constructive of my preference is another.)

On the other hand, if it is about winning, it seems to me it can only be about constraining my preferences to something very close to the point that they become unrecognizable as my preferences.

Again, this is not like rooting for a team you've adopted. When you adopt a team, nothing hangs on the outcome but your pleasure in winning.

My problem with voting is that if I truly vote my considered preferences, I will ALWAYS lose. In order to have a chance at winning I must conform my preferences to usually one of two options that forces external to me have decided are likely candidates for winning. Under such constraints, I am asking, what is in it for me? Why should how I vote matter to me?

In other areas of choice, we are not usually so severely constrained: our choice of what to eat or where to work or what to wear. If voting is a species of actual "choice," it is a very peculiar one. So peculiar that it seems more akin to being told what to do by a self-deprecating dictator who stipulates your choices: "You may vote for me or someone like me. Take your pick. (Aren't you fortunate? It could have been worse: it might have been just me.)" Given the leveling effect of mass elections, candidates who are more like each other than they are different are more likely to win. Someone radically different has no chance at all in a stable democracy. (In an unstable one: maybe, but does that mean that only when unstable can democracies actually react to the possibility of change? If so, what does that say about democracy?)

I conclude from this that voting is not a species of choice. The best I can say for it is that it is an invitation to participate in a community endeavor, to subsume one's personal interest in a collective one. It has more of the ceremonial function of validating a way of life.

What's wrong with that? Perhaps nothing. Just that it should not pretend to be what it is not.

This point stems out of the second motivation for voting I addressed in the write up: the one about voting as expression.


The question is about the relation between whatever are deemed to be the relevant facts about citizens' reasons and the adequacy, proper attitude toward, or goodness ranking of a form of government.

I take the relevant facts about voting to be what the activity is meant to accomplish and then how well it does it. (Perhaps, I've been taking it for granted that it has something to do with a distinctive form of government when in fact it doesn't.)

What do you take to be the relevant facts about voting? How does it promote a good thing? And what is that good thing?
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