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Dangerous voters: My case for a required basic knowledge test

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posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 04:30 PM
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We all know there are tons of dangerous voters out there: People who will vote based on race

People who will vote based on gender

I had an encounter with a friends wife today who gave me the opportunity to talk to one of these knuckleheads. She is a pretty religious type person and the conversation went like this:

Today is caucus day in Nevada, so we were talking about our experiences while at the caucus this morning.

She stated she went for Huckabee and I asked why.

Her reply was: " I agree with his beliefs". I then asked if that meant his bible talk nutjob beliefs and she said yes.

I asked her what his position on healthcare was. She didnt know

I asked her what his position on immigration was. She didnt know.

I asked her what his position on national defense was. She didnt know.

I asked her if she knew Huckabee's position on any of the issues and she admitted she did not. I told her voting based purely on religion was just as dangerous as voting for Obama simply because he is black. We ended up getting into a somewhat heated argument, she said I made her feel stupid (she did that on her own).

Why shouldnt we require a basic knowledge test before people enter the voting booth?




posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 06:56 PM
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Then again if you forced people to learn about their world and make informed decisions you'd be running a dictatorship and have freedom fighters calling your name in the streets. You can't force people to care and make intelligent decisions.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Scalamander
Then again if you forced people to learn about their world and make informed decisions you'd be running a dictatorship and have freedom fighters calling your name in the streets. You can't force people to care and make intelligent decisions.


Then we should do whats best for the country and prevent them from voting.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 07:20 PM
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Simply put, no. You can't class a persons worth on their intelligence or their awareness of political issues.

I could vote for a candidate because they have good hair and my vote would be just as important as yours. Why? Because that is my opinion. You might think that their policy on foreign relations is important but it might not matter to me at all.

Democracy is founded upon the principle that every man is equal no matter his intelligence, his skin colour, his sexuality or his political affiliation. It is not up to you or anyone else to define what is important to someone and what is not. You might not agree with their reasons but if you believe in democracy you must respect their right to choose as they see fit.

[edit on 19-1-2008 by Chris McGee]



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
Simply put, no. You can't class a persons worth on their intelligence or their awareness of political issues.

I could vote for a candidate because they have good hair and my vote would be just as important as yours. Why? Because that is my opinion. You might think that their policy on foreign relations is important but it might not matter to me at all.

Democracy is founded upon the principle that every man is equal no matter his intelligence, his skin colour, his sexuality or his political affiliation. It is not up to you or anyone else to define what is important to someone and what is not. You might not agree with their reasons but if you believe in democracy you must respect their right to choose as they see fit.

[edit on 19-1-2008 by Chris McGee]


Unfortunately there are restrictions on other rights, there is no reason why a simple test couldnt be given before one votes.

I dont believe in democracy, I believe in constitutional republics, which luckily, thats what we are.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by slackerwire

Unfortunately there are restrictions on other rights, there is no reason why a simple test couldnt be given before one votes.

I dont believe in democracy, I believe in constitutional republics, which luckily, thats what we are.



Are any of those rights as important as that of self-determination? The right to vote represents a persons ability to control his life, to have a say in how the society he is a part of is run. Taking away that right makes him nothing more than a slave, bound to serve the will of his 'betters'.

I for one would never tolerate a society which discriminated against any individual in that way.

[edit on 19-1-2008 by Chris McGee]



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 


There should be no requirements for people to have to believe the way you do in order for them to vote.

The lady that you started the argument with may feel that you shouldn't be able to vote.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 08:05 PM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee




Are any of those rights as important as that of self-determination? The right to vote represents a persons ability to control his life, to have a say in how the society he is a part of is run. Taking away that right makes him nothing more than a slave, bound to serve the will of his 'betters'.

I for one would never tolerate a society which discriminated against any individual in that way.

[edit on 19-1-2008 by Chris McGee]


So you believe resident aliens, convicted felons, and those dishonorably discharged from the military are slaves? They cant vote.

[edit on 19-1-2008 by slackerwire]



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by Blueracer
reply to post by slackerwire
 


There should be no requirements for people to have to believe the way you do in order for them to vote.

The lady that you started the argument with may feel that you shouldn't be able to vote.



It has nothing to do with sharing my beliefs, it has to do with a basic knowledge of the issues youre voting on.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by slackerwire
So you believe resident aliens, convicted felons, and those dishonorably discharged from the military are slaves? They cant vote.

[edit on 19-1-2008 by slackerwire]


Apart from resident aliens, yes. The distinction is because resident aliens are not citizens of that country and will have a right to vote in their country.

Convicted felons and those dishonourably discharged from service should have as much right to vote as anyone else.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 


What would be on the test?



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by Blueracer
reply to post by slackerwire
 


What would be on the test?



While I havent thought out each of the questions I would like to see, I think something along the lines of a 25 or 30 question test asking basic knowledge quesitons concerning the Constitution, foreign policy, basic economic questions, and the basic functions of government would do wonders to improve the quality of government we have here.

Posting on these forums has exposed me to more than a few of the younger people who tend to think certain things are or should be "free", when they fail to realize that free to them means money is taken out of the pocket of someone else.



posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by slackerwire

Posting on these forums has exposed me to more than a few of the younger people who tend to think certain things are or should be "free", when they fail to realize that free to them means money is taken out of the pocket of someone else.


Can you explain this? What is anyone in this forum suggesting is free, and what does that have to do with a voter test?

2ndly who would write this test? How do you decide how hard the test should be? Clearly the test would have to be constantly altered and changed so that people could not give away answers. Therefore you would have to employ a large body and charge taxes on the people. Maybe you think such a test would be "free". Can you really ensure that editors of the said test could not be bought out by political entities or corporations, as has happened and may be happening already with our election system?

And do you really think a test would stop people from voting based on race, religion, age, personality, or looks instead of political ideas? People would research about John Edwards in order to pass the test simply because he has the look of president instead of his ideology.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 01:19 AM
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slackerwire,

I definitely agree with your sentiments that it's potentially harmful to the country when voters choose candidates based on their good hair or skin color, etc regardless of their policies. I too have wondered if there might hypothetically be some way to prevent this through some sort of basic knowledge test or other knowledge/intelligence requirement. however, i always returned to the same colclusion which is that in this case the cure would be much worse than the disease.

if eligibility to vote were based on education, that wouldn't be fair because there are definitely people who have dropped out of high school who are very smart and still educated. and to require people to have a college degree, well that's just elitist.

if it were based on knowledge, well who is to say that somone is smarter than someone else because they know a bit more trivia? an illiterate person could build houses and people who can't add fractions could write a novel. so who is smarter than whom? there is no real way to measure.

haha and we all know the problems that would come from having to be a propety owner to vote. i dont' have the answer of how to measure the intrinsic worth of a person, although i'm relatively sure there must be some yard stick for it. after all, a drug addict pedophile can't be worth as much as a productive member of society. i think the only real way to solve the problem is for parents, mentors, families, and other adults to actually educate the youngest generation rather than dropping them off at the baby sitter's for 12 years and hoping for the best.

and don't forget, drug dealers, gang bangers, and other sorts of undeisrable deadbeats...lol well they never vote anyway. look at paris hilton...last time she had the audacity to get on tv and tell me to vote lol and she didn't even go do it herself!



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
Democracy is founded upon the principle that every man is equal no matter his intelligence, his skin colour, his sexuality or his political affiliation. It is not up to you or anyone else to define what is important to someone and what is not. You might not agree with their reasons but if you believe in democracy you must respect their right to choose as they see fit.
[edit on 19-1-2008 by Chris McGee]


Fortunately we don't live in a democracy. We live in a Constitutional Republic.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 


Do you want to keep those people from voting?

Educate them! With enough political education they will know that they should vote thinking about what the elected person(s) may do and if that will be against their own ideas or not.

But, as most politicians, after elected, act in a way that is not really what they promised, choosing them based on their perceived personality is one way of choosing.

Religious beliefs may be used to "weight" someone's personality, so I don't think that it would be such a bad way of choosing a politician, especially when compared to those that agree with every thing that the politicians say but do not see that there is no way of keeping their promises.
 

Those that do not know that a republic may be a democracy and that a democracy may not be a republic show that education is the most important thing...



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 


What you are really saying is that you are afraid people will not vote for the candidate you feel is a decent or less riskier choice. But thats the whole point of an election. To get above the system where individuals decide what makes sense, and to allow the system as a whole to make that determination based on the underlying aggregate of individual choices. And that doesn't require any intelligence on the part of the individual, only the element of choice.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by SunSword
 


Unfortunately we do not live in a democracy.

[edit on 20-1-2008 by Quazga]



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 03:33 PM
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ArMaP-

I believe some people shouldnt vote: welfare recipients namely, however along with those already prohibited: convicted felons, and those who were dishonorably discharged.

That being said, I also think ID should be required to vote, and there is nothing wrong with expecting voters to be knowledgable on the issues. The decisions of voters affect all of us.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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slackerwire, I hear you and agree. Unfortunately, the gene pool is rife with stupidity. Under the system in place, we have no choice but to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

It's bloody scary that nutters can so profoundly affect our future in this way and we can't do a damn thing about it.

Thanks to Bill Shakespeare.



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