Cenocracy: A New Government Perspective
No One Should be Forced to Vote

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Progressive Thinkers as of 3/31/2021

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Let us start off by saying that there is something fundamentally wrong with a system of voting in a so-called Democracy which does not take a full account of its non-voting citizens. It is a voice whose growing reverberations continue to go unaddressed as a flaw in a system that is not appreciably cognizant of its failure to recognize there is something wrong with the type of voting system being practiced. For citizens not to vote because of illness, infirmity, accident or other unforeseen obstacle, it is easily understood.

However, when we have a large population of eligible voters who deliberated choose not to vote because they perceive some injustice, inequality or other disparity in the system; this is a serious issue which needs to be comprehensibly addressed and not looked upon as a means by which a given political candidate or view can take advantage of the absence like a sports team patting themselves on the back when another team has to forfeit, thereby providing no obstacle for the other team to capture a win even if they are incompetent and have achieved their status as a contender by means suggested by the old adage of "by Hook or Crook", to which we of today need to go beyond this dichotomy and express it as "By Hook, By Crook, By Rook"... the latter referring to some strategy that may or may not be legal.

Forcing people to vote is like saying you will believe in the system... or else face consequences so dire you will not think otherwise but to comply... just like slave, indentured servants and those whose King had no clothes on, but citizens were expected to accept the delusion that he did have clothes on. Non-voters are trying to tell everyone that the voting system is a nasty old beggar masquerading in regalia that obscures the fact it has no clothes on and that no matter the treatment and enforcement of expected voting, it will never be able to clothe the deformed body of voting that exists.

For those unfamiliar with the tale or know it instead as the Emperor's New clothes, here is a fuller reference:

Two swindlers arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and then the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Each sees that the looms are empty but pretends otherwise to avoid being thought a fool. Finally, the weavers report that the emperor's suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking more proudly than ever.

Indeed, instead of admitting it is wrong, the governing systems of the world double-down and simply chase good money after bad, send in more troops, or engage in some equally stupid gesture analogous to the king parading around as if this expression of defiance extricates themselves from any wrong doing by doing more of the same... often under different guises run by different people in different contexts... and claim it as "real change", progress, or "dealing with the problem in a bipartisan way". More B.S. (Bovine Sewage) gobbledygook compound by more of the same.

. Not Everyone Should Be Made to Vote Dan McLaughlin (National Review, March 31st, 2021)

In my last column, I looked at one of the fundamental philosophical divides in voting-rights debates: Republicans and conservatives believe that the voter-registration system should be used to ensure that each vote is cast by an eligible voter in the right place and that no eligible voter votes more than once, while Democrats and progressives refuse to treat these as legitimate objectives. Now I’d like to consider a second divide: the question of whether every eligible voter should always vote.

Again, Democrats and progressives hide behind the simplest rhetorical position: Of course, everyone should vote. And if you suggest to them that not everybody should always vote, they immediately assume that you mean that some people should be prevented or prohibited from voting. Too many progressives have difficulty grasping that not everything is either mandatory or prohibited.

To start with, there are some countries where voting really is mandatory — not just dictatorships but even democracies such as Australia. This is fundamentally un-American. If you regard all the candidates as morally intolerable, you should be free to dissent from the system by not voting. That was the stance of William Lloyd Garrison, and while Abraham Lincoln had the better of the argument on the virtues of working within the political system — Frederick Douglass, who once shared Garrison’s view, came around in time to Lincoln’s — it is entirely legitimate for a free society to allow people to take the Garrison position. The freedom not to vote is just one aspect of the freedom not to speak. As Justice Frank Murphy wrote in the 1943 Supreme Court case establishing the right not to salute the flag, "The right of freedom of thought and of religion . . . includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all."

It is also entirely appropriate for voters who are totally uninformed about an election to sit it out. Probably most of us have done that at least once in our lives, even if it was just a local school-board election. Voters who do not have a strong allegiance to one political party are especially rational in deciding that their votes in a race they know nothing about would be worse than worthless. This is both a free and responsible choice, and we should not try to hector or pressure them out of making it.

There are, to be sure, intellectually respectable theories of government that explicitly design the franchise to be limited to informed, responsible voters with a stake in the system, and historical examples of imprudent electorates that swiftly voted themselves out of democracy entirely. The men who gave us American democracy in the first place saw things in such terms. For various good historical reasons, however, we have moved toward a more universal vision of who has the right to vote. This is not just a shift in our philosophy, but also a rejection of specific hurdles such as literacy tests that have been used as particular tools of racial oppression in American history and as weapons of oligarchy in Latin American history. Moreover, even in terms of the results they deliver, extremely low-turnout elections tend to produce bad government, as we have seen in New York City. The participation of the broadest possible number of people is the common thread uniting modern conservatism’s classically liberal and populist enthusiasms for democratic popular sovereignty, free markets, tradition, and the rule of written law as superior to rule by an administrative state of judges, experts, and central planners. Other than convicted felons and children, we do not and should not exclude anyone from the electorate on the grounds that we do not want them to vote. And we could probably even do with narrowing the list of felonies that get you permanently barred from voting.

Still, even if we maintain a broad conception of who may vote, there is nothing wrong with preferring that not everybody vote in every election — because voting is a responsibility that deserves deliberation. The progressive vision that everybody should always vote is at best one that sees the vote as a form of self-actualization, valuable in its own right in affirming that the voter is a citizen and has their say. At worst, it seeks the compulsory enlistment of people who don’t know what they’re voting for in the progressive project. Even the self-actualization view, however, misses something important: Voters do not only choose their own leaders; they choose leaders, and rules, for their neighbors, too. They choose how other people will be governed. That is the aspect of voting that makes it somewhat akin to jury service, which carries a responsibility to act with deliberation and attention. Would you want to be judged by a jury on which three of the jurors voted after the opening statement, three slept through the trial, and three more only signed up for jury duty on the day of closing arguments?

Let us at Cenocracy.org add a few comments at this point:

Interestingly, this author brings up the topic of jury duty as a valid analogy, but like many intellectuals of today, they do not carry the idea of a Jury duty practice into developing the idea for instituting a change in government whereby a Peoples Legislative Brance is established as a fit means of social self governance. They idea is so far beyond their consideration. They are routinely sighted as harboring the impression that their formula of practiced government is best, and therefore needs to be worked as a journalist's obligatory maintenance thereof.

Let's take a look at how a "Jury Duty" model of government might be illustated in a simple way:

There is a need to enhance the "Checks-and-Balances" design of the present government to include an active participation of the citizenry by way of a "Peoples Legislative Branch".

For example, the following three images illustrates the idea quite succinctly:

  1. Legal profile of a Checks-and-Balances model using a Will-of-the-People jury.
  2. Present Checks-and-Balances model used by the government.
  3. Checks-and-Balances government model utilizing a Will-of-the-People Legislative provision.

[1] Legal profile of a Checks-and-Balances model using a Will-of-the-People jury:

legalCandB (26K)
[2] Present Checks-and-Balances model used by the government:

Present Checks-and-Balances government model (49K)
[3] Checks-and-Balances government model utilizing a Will-of-the-People Legislative provision:

PLBcandb (150K)

(End Cenocracy.org comments.)

Mr. Dan McLaughlin continues:

America's voting system actually demands precious little deliberation or effort from voters. All that conservatives ask is that people register themselves in advance of the start of voting, show up on Election Day (or near it; almost everyone should be able to plan to vote within a week of the election), ask in advance if they need an absentee ballot, and bring identification, which the state can typically supply for those few people who do not already have a driver's license or other major form of state-issued ID. None of this costs money or requires proof of literacy or knowledge. Alabama has a mobile unit that delivers free IDs to people who need them. Georgia's much-criticized new law explicitly permits illiterate voters to obtain assistance filling out absentee ballots.

Yet Democrats and progressives demand that we register voters automatically, allow them to register the day of the election, or even send them unrequested ballots in the mail — and that we provide a full month in which voters can be pushed to the polls directly from candidate rallies or musical performances. There are solid practical election-security reasons to want voter-registration lists finalized before voting begins, and not to want voters to be eligible to register in one place weeks after they could have voted somewhere else. The theory of what Democrats and progressives urge is that they particularly want the votes of the subset of people (mostly younger voters) who are unwilling or unable to plan ahead, and can be swept into the voting booth on a momentary enthusiasm without deliberation or reflection. The point made by Republicans and conservatives is not that these people should be barred from voting, but that the system benefits from deliberation and reflection, and so should not bend over backward to accommodate voters who are unwilling to play by the rules of adulthood. If they are actually committed to having a voice in the system, they can register to vote next time — in the eleven months of the year available to do that.

So, yes: Everyone should have the right to vote, and ideally everyone should put in the effort to exercise that right. But our system should not go chasing down everyone who otherwise wouldn't vote. If you are not willing to inform yourself enough to find out where, when, and how to register and vote, your vote is no great loss to the system this time around. Come back when you've done your homework. The rest of us will keep the flame until then.

Date originated; 31st March 2021... (approx.) 11:00 AM
Date of posting: 31st March 2021... 1:18 PM