A chad never left hanging
October 29, 2012 § 6 Comments
Suppose that when we participated in mass democratic elections we were required to make our implicit endorsement of the legitimacy of the liberal governing consensus fully explicit: that is, suppose that in order for your ballot to be validated, you had to explicitly check off agreement with the following proposition:
I hereby declare that the choices of candidates and resolutions on this ballot are legitimate. I affirm my support of the process by which they were selected. I agree that the end result of this election is legitimate, whether my personal selections win or lose.
Suppose that on the ballot was a resolution to limit killing children in medical experiments to children below a certain age.
A few questions are raised by the scenario:
- Just how comfortable would you be checking that box? Just how comfortable should you be?
- Does making your endorsement explicit make a fundamental difference morally, or does it just make the voting ritual more honest?
The answers to these questions must take into account that, because of the nature of mass market democratic elections, it is literally impossible to make a pragmatic rather than idealistic/principled choice.