Sunday, October 19, 2008

Should Uneducated People Vote

Should uneducated people vote? This is not as simple question to answer. Functional democracy requires participation by the people. The people must chose their leaders in free and fair elections. This seems to have a fundamental unspoken assumption; namely that the people are qualified to select their leaders.

The law does impose some qualifications but minor ones at that. Those are age and citizenship requirements. There are also some disqualifying qualifications such as being a convicted felon. Notice that no where in that list is anything to do with intelligence.

This means that someone with no knowledge of the political process or any of the candidates who is only voting on a dare has an equal say to someone who has kept themselves completely informed throughout their life. Should this change; yes and no.

This is not an argument for changing the one person one vote system. This is also not an argument for a system that forces people to take and pass a test before they are allowed to vote. One vote each is fundamental to democracy, and a test would leave such potential for abuse and controversy as to be counter productive.

So, what is with the yes? Admittedly this is a bit of a dodge, but the yes refers to the ignorance of the voters. People should act proactively to remove that ignorance. Put another way, educate the people and/or allow them to educate themselves so they will no longer be ignorant.

What if people chose to intentionally keep themselves ignorant and then go vote? Hopefully there are not any people like that.

Want some advice? Do not be one of those uneducated voters, go educate yourself.

Hat tip for the video to (

Video embedded below.


  1. i totally see what your getting at.

    however, i think we should take a step back and say that in two of the richest nations on earth (the US, your country i think and the UK, mine) absoloutely no-one should be uneducated.

    i think it's important we look at what's going on if people are uneducated.

    there are variances in IQ obviously and people have differing desires for education, but despite that, there's no excuse for poor education

  2. I think we have reached a point in our respective countries where if people want to be educated on the candidates and their policies they can be. There are newspapers, news channels, and an almost endless supply of websites. Checking through a few sources in any of the aforementioned category would be enough to give someone a decent understanding of political current events.

    Given that, the most important thing seems to be to convince people of the need to educate themselves. Once that is done, the person can do the rest.

    Just to make it clear, the post was not talking about IQ intelligence, but political knowledge.


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