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Canberra, Australia
Servant of the public, pedant, dreamer, cynic and hypocrite
Interests: Politics, Law, Philosophy, History, and Ultimate Frisbee
Recent Activity
Isn't this just basically a tragedy of the commons? If one person doesn't vote Democrat it won't make a difference, but if every Democrat decides not to vote because their investment of time is a waste, then America would have had a Romney presidency. Which may well be a bigger cost to a single Democrat than the cost of voting (and vice versa with a Republican and the cost of an Obama presidency). The tragedy of the commons can be solved 2 ways. First, by everyone voluntarily paying their share in the hope that everyone will do likewise. Probably works OK sometimes - libraries and museums do get built from donations, even though a single donor could opt out and still enjoy the benefits. So why not canvass the possibility that voters recognise this problem and that the collective practice of voting is a rational response to ensure the self-interest of the individuals who vote a particular way? I vote not because I know that my individual vote counts, but because I know that if every Democrat didn't vote we'd all be worse off ... and, crucially, I know that other Democrats know this as well. So we all vote on this implicit understanding. Of course the other way to solve thew tragedy of the commons is to compel everyone to pay money to cover the cost of the common good. In Australia we do this via compulsory voting. But that'd probably be too socialist for you Americans :).
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mrminderbinder is now following The Typepad Team
Nov 21, 2012