AerospaceFan
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Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:11 am

Voters who help determine the course of their country are the backbone of democracy. The political decisions of a large and powerful country often have fundamental effects on the fate of the world.

By comparison, whether or not -- for example -- you can turn right on a red light in California is of far less importance than you might be told is the case at the Department of Motor Vehicles. But the truth is that if you're not smart enough to understand that you can turn right on red, but instead believe that a red light means that you're barred from doing that even when it's safe, then you could very well be too dumb to carry a driver's license. So saith the state.

Given this, why, then, are intelligence tests not required in order to qualify someone for the vote?

If you're 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of California, and not either a felon or ex-felon, you have the right to cast a ballot in any election for political office held in your area.

Therefore, it doesn't matter if you're Einstein's successor, on one hand, or a blithering idiot, on the other. You can cast a vote, given the above conditions, whether or not you understand the diffence between George Bush,the President, or Kate Bush, the singer.

Is this really the best way to run a democracy?

I understand that suffrage is fundamental, etc. But isn't the existence of an informed citizenry fundamental to democracy? And if so, isn't it presumed that the citizenry that is informed can actually process that information?

We all understand that political office can be held by any old idiot. However, does this mean that the electorate can be made of complete idiots? And if so, why?

Thanks in advance for your cool answers.  

[Edited 2006-06-12 23:21:58]
What's fair is fair.
 
Newark777
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:14 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Is this really the best way to run a democracy?

Yes.

Maybe we should give two or three votes to people who show even superior intelligence? They obviously know what they are doing better than the rest of us. Better yet, let's just have a group of people who obviously know better choose our leaders for us.

Harry
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:16 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 1):
Maybe we should give two or three votes to people who show even superior intelligence? They obviously know what they are doing better than the rest of us. Better yet, let's just have a group of people who obviously know better choose our leaders for us.

Maybe we should, though.

If the point is to run a country by electing the best of us to office, then why shouldn't meritocracy apply to their supposed bosses -- the electorate?

Would you trust a dummy to represent the interests of state? If not, then why should any of the people who elect those representatives themselves be dummies?  Confused
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RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:20 am

A dumb persons opinion counts as much as an intelligent persons. Otherwise it wouldnt be democracy, it would be a two tier system with the upper tier dictating to the lower tier.
 
jpetekyxmd80
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:22 am

What do you get when you take the backbone of democracy out of a democracy?

Not a democracy.

And, any reform towards your idea would never, ever, ever happen.
The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
 
Newark777
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:22 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):

It all sounds fine and dandy on paper, to have the best of the best run the country. But it just wouldn't work out. Who would choose? It's a very slippery slope to go down. Communism looked good in theory, and we all see how that turned out.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:24 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
However, does this mean that the electorate can be made of complete idiots? And if so, why?

Well if you want half of the Republicans disqualified from voting, go right ahead.  stirthepot 
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:26 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 3):
A dumb persons opinion counts as much as an intelligent persons

I understand the principle, but is this really a good way to run a country? What if the voter -- for example -- is so dumb that he basically always votes the wrong way? What if he can't even read or write? What if he thinks, for example, that "Republican" sounds like "pub" and votes accordingly because he likes beer? This is worse than a wasted vote; it's a vote that insults the essence of democracy. It makes a joke of the election process.

And, if suffrage is all that matters, why not give the vote to extraordinarily intelligent young people? What if you're 15 but more intelligent than 99.99 per cent of all 18 year olds? Why shouldn't you be able to vote? And, wouldn't allowing someone to vote if he's intelligent enough actually expand the franchise in these cases?

Thanks in advance.  

[Edited 2006-06-12 23:28:03]
What's fair is fair.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting JpetekYXMD80 (Reply 4):
What do you get when you take the backbone of democracy out of a democracy?

Not a democracy.

If that's true, then why are felons and ex-felons disqualified from voting? There are probably more than a million felons or ex-felons in the United States.

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 5):
It all sounds fine and dandy on paper, to have the best of the best run the country. But it just wouldn't work out. Who would choose? It's a very slippery slope to go down. Communism looked good in theory, and we all see how that turned out.

That may be true at first glance, but aren't we resourceful enough to try to figure something out?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):
Well if you want half of the Republicans disqualified from voting, go right ahead

LOL.  Wink
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RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:45 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):
I understand the principle, but is this really a good way to run a country? What if the voter -- for example -- is so dumb that he basically always votes the wrong way? What if he can't even read or write? What if he thinks, for example, that "Republican" sounds like "pub" and votes accordingly because he likes beer? This is worse than a wasted vote; it's a vote that insults the essence of democracy. It makes a joke of the election process.

There is no wrong way to vote, theres only a personal decision between you and the ballot, and however you come to that decision is your choice.

No vote insults the essence of democracy, infact each voluntary vote cast reinforces it whatever the circumstances surrounding it.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 9):
There is no wrong way to vote, theres only a personal decision between you and the ballot, and however you come to that decision is your choice.

What about my examples, though? What if the voter votes for Jeb Bush because he thinks that Jeb is Kate's brother? What if the voter votes for Democrats because he thinks that the word "Democrat" sounds like "them old cats" (  Yeah sure ), and he's both a cat lover and hard of hearing?

Why wouldn't the participation of these people be deemed an insult to the idea that an informed electorate is the fundamental basis for democracy?

And what justification for withholding the vote until the age of 18 would you give to someone like TV's fictional Doogie Howser, M.D., who at a tender age might have made even Mensa members hide their IQ results in shame?

[Edited 2006-06-13 00:00:29]
What's fair is fair.
 
TedTAce
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:50 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 5):
Communism looked good in theory, and we all see how that turned out.

Umm how is a fiscal policy related to government? It always amazes me that McCarthy era people think of the Russian government as 'communists' when in reality it was always and absolute dictatorship. The principal reason it failed was the government was oppresive. If the government had been more about what can we do for you instead of what can we do TOO you, the wall would indeed be working the other way as thier propaganda stated.

Now does that mean that communisim would work in a democracy, not necessarily. It certainly would not work in the US where greed is good and always will be.

That being said; we already do have an intelligence test, it's called the electoral college. if this was a DIRECT democracy as you seem to think ASF, you are right, there should be some proof the ballot can be read and properly implimented, but anything other then being able to vote for the candidate they believe in would be  redflag 
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Newark777
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:57 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 11):
It certainly would not work in the US where greed is good and always will be.

Except many people are inherently greedy, and strive for power, and this clashes with the idea that everyone is equal. And let's not start with the concept that people wouldn't work as hard since everyone gets the same no matter what.

Different topic for a different thread.

Harry
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RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:05 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
What about my examples, though? What if the voter votes for Jeb Bush because he thinks that Jeb is Kate's brother? What if the voter votes for Democrats because he thinks that the word "Democrat" sounds like "them old cats", and he's both a cat lover and hard of hearing?

A voter can vote based on whatever criteria they themselves want, they can flip a coin for all the system actually cares. If they arent making the choice based on reality then its a failure of the parties in the system, not the voter and not the system itself.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
Why wouldn't the participation of these people be deemed an insult to the idea that an informed electorate is the fundamental basis for democracy?

No, it should be deemed a failure of the parties that they havent managed to reach these voters and talked to them in a way or language that they would understand so they can make an informed choice. Everyone is reachable, its just noone tries these days.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):

And what justification for withholding the vote until the age of 18 would you give to someone like TV's fictional Doogie Howser, M.D., who at a tender age might have made even Mensa members hide their IQ results in shame?

18 is the level of criminal responsability with adult punishment, so its only fitting that it should be the point at which you can vote. Yes, its an arbitrary limit but its an equal limit for everyone.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:19 am

Fine.

If you want to take all those afternoon Rush Limbuagh listeners away from the GOP, that'll cost them quite a few elections, so fine with me.  Big grin


Seriously, are you out of your mind, AF? What kind of crap is that, basing democratic elections on intelligence?

Seems to me we've survived just fine the last 230 years without such a stupid concept, and I think we'll survive the next 230 or whatever it is, without it.

Unbelievable.
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777236ER
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:22 am

Black people are more likely to commit a crime, so prevent them voting and 'improve' the state. Men contribute more to the GDP of the state, and so pay more tax, so should have more say than women. Prevent women from voting. Etc.

Glad to see people from the right AND wrong side of the political spectrum agreeing on this one.
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SlamClick
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:30 am

Okay then, how about intelligence tests before being allowed to run for office?
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RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:32 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 16):
Okay then, how about intelligence tests before being allowed to run for office?

We already have them, they are called 'elections' - they prevent you from holding office if you are too intelligent.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:38 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
Why wouldn't the participation of these people be deemed an insult to the idea that an informed electorate is the fundamental basis for democracy?

Don't be an intellectual snob.

The failure is not the "stupid voter" - but the failure of a national educational system.

Sure we're always going to have stupid people. But if we have so many, as to effect the outcome of a national election, well then that's a failure of education.

Your solution is to cut the "stupid" people out of the equation. Well, why don't you spend more time on creating a world class educational system to educate the "stupid", and less time on long, verbose, intellectually snobby threads?

-UH60
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iamcanadian
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:38 am

Wow, this discussion is all over the place, isn't it?

1) Elections/voting have absolutely NOTHING to do with intelligence. Like it has been said in an earlier post, a vote is a personal opinion of what leader the voter sees fit to lead the country. It doesn't matter where that decision comes from, everyone has a right to an opinion.

2) Driving license tests are a poor analogy to "tests" for voting. The reason there are tests to get a driver's license is to keep the roads safe. A vote is not going to affect YOUR safety, or the people around you.

3) As for the current voting age, like RichardPrice said:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 13):
18 is the level of criminal responsability with adult punishment, so its only fitting that it should be the point at which you
can vote. Yes, its an arbitrary limit but its an equal limit for everyone

Why should 14 year olds vote when half the implications of the new leader's reforms won't affect them in the leader's term in office?
Shut up and calculate.
 
bushpilot
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:41 am

Mostly going to play devils advocate here, but will try and have some fun with this.

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 1):
Better yet, let's just have a group of people who obviously know better choose our leaders for us.

This is the base of the parlimentary system that most of the EU, Canada, Australia use, there is no direct vote for an individual leader. One votes for the party and the party "being more qualified to choose a leader does"

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):
What if the voter -- for example -- is so dumb that he basically always votes the wrong way?

Covered in earlier posts, there is no wrong vote, I would rather see Forrest Gump and Woody from Cheers voting than all of these so called intelligent people who dont vote.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):
And, if suffrage is all that matters, why not give the vote to extraordinarily intelligent young people? What if you're 15 but more intelligent than 99.99 per cent of all 18 year olds? Why shouldn't you be able to vote?

IIRC it wasnt until after Vietnam that the US through Const. Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 based on the fact that 18-20 year olds were getting drafted and shipped to war when they couldnt even vote, the same is now pretty much said about Alcohol having a 21 and above law.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 8):
If that's true, then why are felons and ex-felons disqualified from voting? There are probably more than a million felons or ex-felons in the United States.

When one commits a felony, they lose certain rights, owning a gun, voting, etc. They had those rights before they committed a felony. It was thier choice to commit that act and therefore put those rights into jepordy.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
What about my examples, though? What if the voter votes for Jeb Bush because he thinks that Jeb is Kate's brother? What if the voter votes for Democrats because he thinks that the word "Democrat" sounds like "them old cats" ( ), and he's both a cat lover and hard of hearing?

There has been plenty of elections won based souly on name recognition. Kennedy's-Bush's-Clintons-Adams-Roosevelts-and many more on the state and local level.

Quoting Iamcanadian (Reply 19):
A vote is not going to affect YOUR safety, or the people around you.

It might not in Canada, but in the current state of partisan politics and scare tactics there is one side like this gem.
Less than a week before the third anniversary of 9/11, The Vice President said, "it's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again." Not only would be hit again, but we will "be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:33 am

Thanks to everyone for their excellent replies.  Smile

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 20):
Covered in earlier posts, there is no wrong vote, I would rather see Forrest Gump and Woody from Cheers voting than all of these so called intelligent people who dont vote.

But why? Would you trust Forrest and Woody with your life's savings? If not, then why trust them with electing people who could raid your life's savings, through taxation?

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 20):
IIRC it wasnt until after Vietnam that the US through Const. Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 based on the fact that 18-20 year olds were getting drafted and shipped to war when they couldnt even vote, the same is now pretty much said about Alcohol having a 21 and above law.

I understand the principle. This is an important consideration, but perhaps not the only one.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 20):
When one commits a felony, they lose certain rights, owning a gun, voting, etc. They had those rights before they committed a felony. It was thier choice to commit that act and therefore put those rights into jepordy.

That's definitely true, but why, then, do some states allow ex-felon re-enfranchisement, and others do not? Where is the principle where there is such inconsistency?

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 20):
There has been plenty of elections won based souly on name recognition. Kennedy's-Bush's-Clintons-Adams-Roosevelts-and many more on the state and local level.

Yes, but the problem I posed was that name recognition in the case of Kate Bush would be utterly mistaken.

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 5):
It all sounds fine and dandy on paper, to have the best of the best run the country. But it just wouldn't work out. Who would choose? It's a very slippery slope to go down. Communism looked good in theory, and we all see how that turned out.

Why not impose a basic IQ test? I believe that the armed forces require an IQ test of its recruits, or used to.

Quoting Iamcanadian (Reply 19):
1) Elections/voting have absolutely NOTHING to do with intelligence. Like it has been said in an earlier post, a vote is a personal opinion of what leader the voter sees fit to lead the country. It doesn't matter where that decision comes from, everyone has a right to an opinion.

Everyone has an opinion on what to do with your money, as well. Does that mean that they should have any say in what happens to it? You're giving them that right, indirectly, by permitting them to vote for politicians who make promises that may be very foolish. Isn't it better not to have dumb voters who believe the wrong kinds of promises and act accordingly?

Quoting Iamcanadian (Reply 19):
2) Driving license tests are a poor analogy to "tests" for voting. The reason there are tests to get a driver's license is to keep the roads safe. A vote is not going to affect YOUR safety, or the people around you

Politicians' decisions can easily affect your safety by enacting or carrying out laws that are promised to voters.

Quoting Iamcanadian (Reply 19):
Why should 14 year olds vote when half the implications of the new leader's reforms won't affect them in the leader's term in office?

Arguably, young people are the ones with the most stake in the future, since they will spend the longest time there.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 18):
Sure we're always going to have stupid people. But if we have so many, as to effect the outcome of a national election, well then that's a failure of education.

That's a good point to consider, but consider how our education system is determined in the first place -- by voters.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 16):
Okay then, how about intelligence tests before being allowed to run for office?

That's worthy of consideration, I think.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 13):
No, it should be deemed a failure of the parties that they havent managed to reach these voters and talked to them in a way or language that they would understand so they can make an informed choice. Everyone is reachable, its just noone tries these days.

Why is the parties' fault alone, however? Parties give the voters what they want, after all. And if you have an uneducated and unintelligent electorate who want unachievable things, isn't that part of the problem?

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 14):
Seriously, are you out of your mind, AF? What kind of crap is that, basing democratic elections on intelligence?

America stands for the best of many things. Why not have the best of all electorates?

Also, no one has disputed that democracies work only if the electorate is educated. "Educated" implies some minimal degree of intelligence, is part of my point. Thus, there is an implicit requirement of intelligence that is bound up in the right to vote -- a requirement that unfortunately no longer seems to exist.
What's fair is fair.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:15 pm

Intellegence tests or any similar requirements are illegal and unconstitutional per Supreme Court decisions and Civil right laws and Voter Rights Acts passed in the mid-1960's. In a number of Southern states, Blacks would get test that a College Professor would have trouble with. Most whites really didn't have to take any test, or they were given some token one. Such tests were given and used to prevent Blacks from voting, in violation of the Constitution.
Yes, I think one to vote should be aware of the world around them, something about the canidates beyond the sound bite commercials. Rules should also limit those whom are 'mentally slow' from voting. In the USA, voting is such a sacred right, one cannot do what the intital poster suggests.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:38 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 22):
Intellegence tests or any similar requirements are illegal and unconstitutional per Supreme Court decisions and Civil right laws and Voter Rights Acts passed in the mid-1960's.

I do realize that. And I do recognize, as well, that, as you say:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 22):
In the USA, voting is such a sacred right, one cannot do what the intital poster suggests.

But, by the same, token, how can you achieve the following:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 22):
Rules should also limit those whom are 'mentally slow' from voting.

...if there are no intelligence tests that may be used accordingly? Should only those who are so "slow" as to require medical attention, for example, be barred from voting? And, I wonder, why would this be fairer than preventing children who are incredibly intelligent from voting? After all, the intelligence of such children can also be medically (or scientifically) proved, just as the "slowness" of certain others can be indicated through psychiatric or psychological tests.

[Edited 2006-06-13 05:52:59]
What's fair is fair.
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:43 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):

Given this, why, then, are intelligence tests not required in order to qualify someone for the vote?

Yeah, that's a great idea. Let's take the voices away from the millions of people in this country who haven't been fortunate enough to enjoy a quality education. It sure kept the blacks from voting in the south during the '60s...
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:52 pm

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 24):
Yeah, that's a great idea. Let's take the voices away from the millions of people in this country who haven't been fortunate enough to enjoy a quality education. It sure kept the blacks from voting in the south during the '60s...

Wouldn't you agree that someone can be intelligent even without being educated?

Further, isn't it something of a "cop-out" to blame everything on "the education system"? Is it everyone's fault that schools are underperforming despite the fact that they are given some of the highest levels of per capita funding in the world?

And if it is the fault of the electorate that this is so, isn't it about time to improve the electorate, precisely by requiring a higher quality of voter, rather than the "any warm body will do" theory of enfranchisement?

Does everyone have a "right" to help dictate public policy? Does everyone have a "right" to be a medical doctor?
What's fair is fair.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:51 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 21):
Why is the parties' fault alone, however? Parties give the voters what they want, after all. And if you have an uneducated and unintelligent electorate who want unachievable things, isn't that part of the problem?

No, it is only part of the problem so far as if the parties themselves fail to reach these people. Election literature can be found in many languages for those voters who dont speak english, so parties should also strive to reach those voters you are talking about - if the party cannot speak the language, its a failing of hte party to understand their voters, not of the voters.

A voter with a less than average intelligence is still a citizen of the country, and as such should be allowed to have his say - regardless of how that say is decided upon.
 
skidmarks
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:59 pm

Back in the early days of Parliament in the British isles, office and votes were only allowed for a small percentage of the population - those with money and power, and maybe some intelligence. It's taken years for the kind of system we enjoy today to develop

In one fell swoop you are suggesting a return to the "good old days" where only some of the populace vote and the rest have to abide by their decisions.

What would make the political systems of most countries better would be simpler and more transparent manifestos and agendas. Something that the less intelligent may actually understand rather than over complicating things in order to confuse and confound. Make Politicians more accountable and open - then maybe you'll get a fairer system.

Andy  old  and a peasant Big grin
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oli80
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:25 pm

It is interesting that you bring this topic to light as I was discussing it with some people from work last week.

We were talking about how the Latin American population of the US is increasing and how this would affect voting in future elections.

I sincerely believe that some sort of voting multiplier will be added to peoples votes. White males, 50-60 years of age with an ivy league education will have a multiplier of 10x, whilst an uneducated Latin American who does not speak English will have a multiplier of 0.5.

Now whilst this may not be the exact way it will turn out, I do truly believe that something will happen to prevent them from taking power.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:26 pm

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 27):
In one fell swoop you are suggesting a return to the "good old days" where only some of the populace vote and the rest have to abide by their decisions.

But that's the system we have today, anyway, here in the 'States. Certain groups of people are prevented from voting -- those under the age of 18 years, legal immigrants who are not citizens of the United States, felons, and -- in some states -- ex-felons.

Nor am I suggesting that one must have average intelligence in order to vote. I am suggesting that there ought to be a minimum level of intelligence (and another poster who nevertheless disagrees with the intelligence test requirement has also implicitly endorsed this idea by stating that there should be rules that bar certain slow people from voting), and that this is implicit in the requirement that elections take place among an educated citizenry.

Further, because a disproportionate part of the population of felons and ex-felons are members of certain minorities, it so happens that those minorities are disproporationately disenfranchised in any event as a practical matter, and yet this is not deemed objectionable under the Constitution.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 26):
A voter with a less than average intelligence is still a citizen of the country, and as such should be allowed to have his say - regardless of how that say is decided upon.

Please see above in my reply to Skidmarks.

Perhaps the resolution to the inconsistencies mentioned above is to give all legal immigrants, ex-felons, and extraordinarily bright children the right to vote; I haven't seen this mentioned as a possible alternative, nor are these ideas widely endorsed in popular culture, although there are in fact lobby groups that desire the re-enfranchisement of ex-felons.
What's fair is fair.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:38 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 29):
Perhaps the resolution to the inconsistencies mentioned above is to give all legal immigrants, ex-felons, and extraordinarily bright children the right to vote; I haven't seen this mentioned as a possible alternative, nor are these ideas widely endorsed in popular culture, although there are in fact lobby groups that desire the re-enfranchisement of ex-felons.

Immigrants I dont believe should get voting rights until they become citizens, otherwise you essentially have given foreigners a say in the countries running. Citizenship guarantees a longer term commitment to the country.

Ex-felons, yes - if theyve paid their dues, they should get their rights back.

"Extraordinarily bright children" - no, because theres no satisfactory or even reliable metric for measuring such a thing, and indeed many think it is impossible to create a totally reliable system to measure intelligence. The current adulthood age is satisfactory as its a set limit for everyone and it coincides with other responsabilities.

The entire point about voting is it makes everyone elegible equal, everyone has a vote they can cast in whatever mannor they like.

Or, put it this way, how about we subsitute 'intelligence' for 'financial' in your original post? People with a certain amount of money or above can vote because they have the biggest effect on the economy and can donate more to the parties. All of a sudden it doesnt seem so fair, does it?

Intelligence is not a cross spectrum thing, you can be incredibly intelligent about some things, and as dumb as a dog in others. You can know everything about a subject close to your heart, and nothing about others. You could answer every Jeopardy question on one genre, and none on another. Its not a good metric for judgement to be made unless the resultant selection is only applicable to the area required.
 
skidmarks
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:47 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 29):
But that's the system we have today, anyway, here in the 'States. Certain groups of people are prevented from voting -- those under the age of 18 years, legal immigrants who are not citizens of the United States, felons, and -- in some states -- ex-felons.

You actually missed my point here. I was referring to the system that only allowed people with money and power to have a vote. Your average man in the mud hut was simply there to provide the rich with property.

The classes of people you mention are pretty standard wherever you go. Under 18's, felons, immigrants who are not nationlised. The bulk of the population can vote. Whether they vote wisely is a moot point. However, the main point is they CAN vote. Once you start to deleineate between certain groups using something like IQ as a parameter, you will get a decrease in the voting population and an increase in the disadvantaged. Any move to lessen the voting population will only ever lead to an unbalanced and unfair system.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 28):
I sincerely believe that some sort of voting multiplier will be added to peoples votes. White males, 50-60 years of age with an ivy league education will have a multiplier of 10x, whilst an uneducated Latin American who does not speak English will have a multiplier of 0.5.

Now whilst this may not be the exact way it will turn out, I do truly believe that something will happen to prevent them from taking power.

If you make your illegal immigrants legal, and then they have the temerity to vote against you, that is life. Making them legal and denying them the chance to partake in society by reducing or removing their voting power would lead to a multi-tier society, which the USA prides itself on not having. We all know it has a class sytem, this would simply confirm and legitimise it.

Just my point of view. I'm not really one for politics so I expect my points will be firmly shredded. However, I can classify myself as a complete layman and not an expert. The kind of person who, if your ideas were to take fruition, would lose the power of the vote to someone richer and allegedly more intelligent. Who would then have even more power to decide what I can and cannot do - more than politicians and the powerful have now.

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darrenthe747
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:51 pm

"All men are created equal..."

Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson 1776.

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' "

I Have a Dream, Martin Luthur King

Idea sounds pretty unAmerican to me. Some of the biggest players in America's history all believing in all men are equal.

Have you ever read the book Animal Farm by George Orwell? The animals make the statement "All animanls are created equal," then later on the story the pigs add "but some are more equal than others..."

Here you have Orwell himself saying exactly what you are saying.
All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:58 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 30):
Or, put it this way, how about we subsitute 'intelligence' for 'financial' in your original post? People with a certain amount of money or above can vote because they have the biggest effect on the economy and can donate more to the parties. All of a sudden it doesnt seem so fair, does it?

That's not the same thing, however. For example, minimum asset qualifications are not required for entrance into the professions precisely because the abilities required are not sufficiently correlated with actual income. Intelligence, however, is. There is no jurisdiction in the United States where one can legally practice medicine, for example, unless one has already shown oneself capable of passing the medical boards, either of one or more states, or in some part of the world, and yet there is no state that requires that one have any particular level of wealth in order to be admitted.

Furthermore, correlation is not the same as causation. Even if it is deemed true that more intelligent people can be more financially successful, the mere existence of this correlation does not occupy the same causal relationship to elections as intelligence. (The existence of personal assets does not cause greater ability to understand politics to a degree that would naturally produce better results, whereas intelligence does.) Rather, even under this scenario, it is the case that intelligence is an underlying factor that causes both financial success and greater ability to understand politics.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 30):
"Extraordinarily bright children" - no, because theres no satisfactory or even reliable metric for measuring such a thing, and indeed many think it is impossible to create a totally reliable system to measure intelligence. The current adulthood age is satisfactory as its a set limit for everyone and it coincides with other responsabilities.

And yet the term "intelligence quotient" necessarily has a chronological character.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 30):
Intelligence is not a cross spectrum thing, you can be incredibly intelligent about some things, and as dumb as a dog in others. You can know everything about a subject close to your heart, and nothing about others. You could answer every Jeopardy question on one genre, and none on another. Its not a good metric for judgement to be made unless the resultant selection is only applicable to the area required.

It's true that the state of intelligence testing is not sufficiently developed to make certain distinctions, and yet there is no question that IQ points or their functional equivalent (e.g., aptitude points) are used to select for certain professions as well as entrance into many academic endeavors.

Further, I've never suggested anything other than a basic test that selects out those who are grossly incapable of understanding the issues at hand. If an arbitrary chronological age (18 years) can be set as minimum for voting, even if there is no longer a draft whose existence initially served to support an argument for lowering the age of voting, then why wouldn't an arbitrary level of intelligence (based on percentile, for example, excluding the lowest-scoring 33.3% of potential voters from voting in any particular election) be salutary for the political process? Both are, from a certain point of view, equally arbitrary.

By the way, there is no "magic" to the number "18", since while 18 is the legal age of majority, one cannot legally drink alcohol anywhere in the United States (except, as I understand it, in some cases, at home presumably under the supervision of a parent or guardian) until one is at least 21 years of age; by the same token, in every state I can think of, one can hold a learner's permit to operate a vehicle while one is still below the age of 18.

[Edited 2006-06-13 13:32:11]
What's fair is fair.
 
darrenthe747
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:09 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 33):
It's true that the state of intelligence testing is not sufficiently developed to make certain distinctions, and yet there is no question that IQ points or their equivalent are used to select for certain professions as well as entrance into many academic endeavors.

true, but the huge difference is that IQ tests for jobs are a means of narrowing down the stack of qualified applicants. No company would post an ad saying they are having an IQ test for whoever wants to take it and then hire those with the best scores. They go to physics/engineering departments of universities and post an ad saying they are having a job fair and there will be an IQ test. Then they interview those high score applicants and pick the one they like the best. An IQ test issued by the state would be a pretty inconclusive way of determining what kind of person scored a high or low score.
All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:15 pm

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 32):
"All men are created equal..."

Agreed, but equality does not apply in every respect. For example, although God creates all men as equals, the occurrence of events after birth may make men unequal, and for this reason, felons are not the same as nonfelons. To take another example, equality of result has never been guaranteed in the Constitution, which guarantees equality under law (equal protection of the laws), but not equality of achievement. Since, under our system, not everyone can vote (e.g., felons cannot vote), equal protection is not violated by the mere fact that some people are able to vote while others are barred from doing so.

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 32):
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Please see above.

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 32):
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' "

A very good reference, but again, not a statement that guarantees absolute equality.

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 32):
Idea sounds pretty unAmerican to me. Some of the biggest players in America's history all believing in all men are equal.

Please see above.

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 32):
Have you ever read the book Animal Farm by George Orwell? The animals make the statement "All animanls are created equal," then later on the story the pigs add "but some are more equal than others..."

Here you have Orwell himself saying exactly what you are saying.

I think that Orwell was concerned about the inequitable and oppressive use of political power rather than the ability of everyone to vote. I doubt he would have argued that absolutely everyone should be able to vote, although it may be clear from what you've said that everyone is created equal.
What's fair is fair.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:21 pm

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 34):
No company would post an ad saying they are having an IQ test for whoever wants to take it and then hire those with the best scores. They go to physics/engineering departments of universities and post an ad saying they are having a job fair and there will be an IQ test. Then they interview those high score applicants and pick the one they like the best.

But if so, these companies have merely taken advantage of the fact that aptitude testing was already done through entrance and course-related examinations. Further, there are state-mandated entrance requirements for many professions, including, among many others, engineering. Concern for expertise and aptitude motivates these requirements, and therefore, for example, one cannot issue the final technical approval on the civil engineering plans required for the design of a freeway overpass without being a licensed civil engineer in good standing.

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 34):
An IQ test issued by the state would be a pretty inconclusive way of determining what kind of person scored a high or low score.

Entrance examinations are required by the state in order to be licensed for many professions, including, for example, those in the fields of engineering, medicine, law, architecture, and others. Those who cannot pass the relevant state-mandated tests are barred from practicing in such fields.

I might add, more generally, the issues of vote dilution (i.e., assuring that one's vote counts as much as possible by prevent unqualified individuals from voting) tend to militate against enfranchisement, and that preventing the diluting of the power of voters is a legitimate concern at law.

___________________________

Erratum: A statement in one of my posts should read, "Why is it the parties' fault alone, however?" and not, "Why is the parties' fault alone, however?"

[Edited 2006-06-13 13:41:45]
What's fair is fair.
 
darrenthe747
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:27 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 35):
I think that Orwell was concerned about the inequitable and oppressive use of political power rather than the ability of everyone to vote. I doubt he would have argued that absolutely everyone should be able to vote, although it may be clear from what you've said that everyone is created equal.

well if you start there, then where could it lead to? voting is the most FUNDAMENTAL part of a democracy, and if you deny a citizen of that democracy because he didn't score high enough on a state issued exam, then you are in essence degrading his/her equality and the pigs are right when they say some animals are more equal than the other animals.

and honestly, I believe felons who have served their sentence...paid their dues to society for the crimes they committed against it, should be allowed to vote. so I am opposed to that argument anyway.
All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:34 pm

AerospaceFan, you are talking about turning a democracy into a multitier dictatorship with a second class of citizen- would you really risk implementing your idea and getting caught just below the cutoff point because you didnt come in the top 10%? Would you settle for letting the more intelligent peoples judgement rule you?

You do realise that the US has already had a period in its history where a second class citizen held no rights or say - it was outlawed in 1854 and a civil war resulted. Now that those people have full equal rights, surely your country is a better place?
 
darrenthe747
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:42 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 38):
You do realise that the US has already had a period in its history where a second class citizen held no rights or say - it was outlawed in 1854 and a civil war resulted. Now that those people have full equal rights, surely your country is a better place?

couldn't have said it better myself.

as soon as a law-abiding citizen who pays his taxes is no longer allowed to vote for the simple fact that he has what the state defines as a low IQ, he is a second class citizen. think of all the men who DIED over this very issue. it meant so much to them they were willing to sacrafice their own LIVES.

by the way, would not that be taxation without representation?
All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:00 am

By 'mentally slow' I meant people who are 'retarded' or 'mentally challanged', that is with I.Q.'s of less than 85, are not able to get past 3rd grade.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:03 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 40):
By 'mentally slow' I meant people who are 'retarded' or 'mentally challanged', that is with I.Q.'s of less than 85, are not able to get past 3rd grade.

All right. Then that corresponds to a figure of 15%, rather than the 33.3% I mentioned above. It's a question of degree, then.
What's fair is fair.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:07 am

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 31):
Once you start to deleineate between certain groups using something like IQ as a parameter, you will get a decrease in the voting population and an increase in the disadvantaged. Any move to lessen the voting population will only ever lead to an unbalanced and unfair system.

I like the way you have highlighted some of the relevant concepts to this discussion, including the question of fairness.

As I've repeatedly noted, in the vast majority of my messages (as the signature line), "What's fair is fair."

Fairness counts.

It is true that the question of fairness, itself begs the question of what is fair, however.

I think that in our society, it seems intrinsically wrong to deny the franchise to those who are already disadvantaged. And this is a laudable sentiment. Query, however, whence this concept arises?

[Edited 2006-06-13 20:07:46]
What's fair is fair.
 
B777-700
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:00 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 3):
A dumb persons opinion counts as much as an intelligent persons. Otherwise it wouldnt be democracy, it would be a two tier system with the upper tier dictating to the lower tier.

You mean we dont have that now, just with the rich controlling the poor?  Wink
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Newark777
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:05 am

No, since then I wouldn't be able to vote!1

Signed,
Ba757gla
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iamcanadian
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 20):
This is the base of the parlimentary system that most of the EU, Canada, Australia use, there is no direct vote for an individual leader. One votes for the party and the party "being more qualified to choose a leader does"

Actually, that's not quite the way it works. The Canadian system is actually more similar to the American than you think. There is already a politician holding the position of "Party Leader" in their respective party, and when the population votes a party into power, the leader of the party becomes the new Prime Minister (Leader of the country). In co-ordination with his MPs (party members), he leads the country.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 21):
Everyone has an opinion on what to do with your money, as well. Does that mean that they should have any say in what happens to it? You're giving them that right, indirectly, by permitting them to vote for politicians who make promises that may be very foolish. Isn't it better not to have dumb voters who believe the wrong kinds of promises and act accordingly?

That's the beauty of democracy my friend. "Majority Rules" means that not EVERYONE will be pleased/satisfied with the decision.
Shut up and calculate.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:05 am

Quoting Iamcanadian (Reply 45):
Actually, that's not quite the way it works. The Canadian system is actually more similar to the American than you think. There is already a politician holding the position of "Party Leader" in their respective party, and when the population votes a party into power, the leader of the party becomes the new Prime Minister (Leader of the country). In co-ordination with his MPs (party members), he leads the country.

What he meant was that we dont get to choose that Prime Minister specifically.

The head of state, in Australia, Canada and the UK that would be the Queen, invites SOMEONE to form a government, it doesnt have to be an elected person or even a member of the elected majority, or even anyone within any party. The chosen person then attempts to form a government, and if he cant or he gets a vote of no confidence upon proposal to parliament, the head of state invites someone else to ad infinitum until a govenrment is formed.

Whoever that person is, gets to be Prime Minister.

This is called the Westminster System.
 
iamcanadian
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:35 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 46):
The head of state, in Australia, Canada and the UK that would be the Queen, invites SOMEONE to form a government, it doesnt have to be an elected person or even a member of the elected majority, or even anyone within any party



Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 46):
This is called the Westminster System.

Actually, that system is NOT the Canadian system, but thanks for coming out.  Wink

I've got some bad news for you Mr. Price, but the Queen in Canada is no more than a figurehead (ie. NO POWER). The leader of a party is chosen by vote, the voters being the party members. That leader then attempts to win votes from the Canadian public, and become the Government of Canada.

Once again, the Queen has NO power within the Canadian government. However, we DO have a Governor General (a figurehead of a figurehead) who "REPRESENTS" the Queen, and signs any bill that is passed into law. This action however, is merely ceremonial.
Shut up and calculate.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:37 am

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 31):
Under 18's, felons, immigrants who are not nationlised

Blimey, I new immigrants were getting spoiled, but nationalising them is taking it too far. Immigrants should be subject to market forces and get capital from the markets like everyone else  Smile

I think you mean "naturalised".

Quoting B777-700 (Reply 43):
You mean we dont have that now, just with the rich controlling the poor?

OOOH - cynical and bitter, but true ! Democracy is how rich people give poor people the illusion they have a choice. HAHAHAHAHAH


Anyway, in answer to the original question, it's simple. "We hold these truths to be self-evident - all men are created EQUAL..." - end of story.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Elections: Should Intelligence Tests Be Imposed?

Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:40 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 25):

Does everyone have a "right" to help dictate public policy?

Given that the public is constituted of everybody, I would say so.

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