Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Brennan's Viewpoint on Voting in Our Society

From guest blogger, Rei.

Brennan argues that the power to choose the politicians in power is reserved for those who are well-educated regarding public policy and socio-economics who can make a well-informed decision. This is clearly an elitist position, but I feel it is the only way that democracy can coincide with a free market economy. For example, in the United States political system, Private funding of campaigns has allowed large corporations to influence which candidates can compete in the presidential election. While us non-CEOs may have the option to choose between candidates, the candidates who have a shot are those with enough money to campaign and craft their message. Who we choose between is ultimately decided by those CEOs and decision makers of large corporations. When there is unequal distribution of resources, it is without doubt that those with more resources have greater power. In a command economy, this is far less viable because there would be much lower disparities in wealth and education.
I feel that this view is morally permissible because it is necessary in order to have a democratic system in place, while still maintaining a free market. Command economies have a track record of failure and dysfunction, so I feel that this pseudo-democracy is a minor side-effect that we must endure for the benefits of a free market economy.


Liam Perkins said...

Hi Rei,
I don't think we have to accept that our political candidates are products of wealth and support from corporations. It is true that most candidates who reach their party's national are usually backed by great wealth from Super PACs but this raises a question: are the candidates successful because they raise money or do they raise money because they are successful? I don't know the answers but it's definitely something to consider.
Also, Bernie Sanders is an example of a political candidate who received remarkable political support without having a Super PAC funding his campaign. Yes, his campaign has fallen short but his massive support has led to a very liberal democratic platform for the upcoming presidential election.
I can't deny that corporations play a huge role in the political process but I don't think they are the deciding factor in elections. Corporations also groom many politicians to their liking but we are not powerless to support a candidate outside of corporate reach.

Hannah Blum said...


I do agree with Brennan's point that people who are not educated on the politics should refrain from voting; however, I believe that this just creates an opportunity for more education towards these people. If someone just says that someone who is well-educated can vote this can be construed many ways to prevent people who care from voting. The idea could be that someone without a college education is not eligible to vote because they are not educated enough generally. However, I feel that this creates an extreme inequality between those with enough money to have an education and those without it. Somebody who cares a lot about politics and the future of the country may not have attended college because they did not have enough money to afford it or they had to stay home for a sick family member. I think allowing people like Brennan to create criteria for who can and can't vote is a dangerous path to abusing power.