Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Ethics of Voting: Vote only for things you justifiably believe would promote the common good

In his book "The Ethics of Voting", Jason Brennan says, "There is no duty to vote.". He explains:
There's no duty to vote, but if you do vote, you have a duty to vote "only for things [you] justifiably believe would promote the common good."  
As a citizen, you do not owe it to others to provide them with the best possible governance.  But if you take on the office of voter, you acquire additional moral responsibilities, just as you would were you to become the Federal Reserve chairperson, a physician, or a congressperson.  The electorate decides who governs.  Sometimes they decide policy directly.  They owe it to the governed to provide what they justifiably believe or ought to believe is the best governance, just as others with political power owe it to the governed to do the same.
Read this in conjuntion with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's 'vote or face action' law. Modi says similar laws are being implemented in 32 countries.

Book summary via Bryan Caplan

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home