Complex Government, Gerrymandering, Moral Foundations of Politics, Election Misconduct, Mandatory Voting

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In this listener comment show, Mike & Jay address questions concerning:

  • The complexity of the U.S. system of government.
  • Minimizing partisan advantage in redistricting.
  • The moral foundations of conservative and liberal thinking.
  • If Jay was wrong about election misconduct in Florida.
  • Whether mandatory voting is a good idea.

What Mike’s Reading
The inexhaustible desire to keep talking about Marx

What Jay’s Reading
President George W. Bush’s eulogy for his father.

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3 thoughts on “Complex Government, Gerrymandering, Moral Foundations of Politics, Election Misconduct, Mandatory Voting”

  1. Hey guys,

    I am a Floridian Democrat who also happens to be a citizen of Ecuador where mandatory voting is the law.

    I can’t beleive it, but I agree with Jay. The practical effect of mandatory voting is to flood voting places with people who wish to avoid the $40 fine, and are the least informed or interested in politics.

    The wealthy and educated (the most politically active class in the US) largely eschews voting in Ecuador because they rightly conclude their pro-business views will be drowned out by Leftist appeals to the bottom third of the income distribution- the only people that cannot afford to pay the fine for not voting.

    Great Show

    Erik J

  2. Hi Mike and Jay.

    As I am an Australian Citizen, I thought I should weigh in, as I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about ‘mandatory’ voting that often derails discussions such as yours in an unhelpful way.

    Firstly, and most importantly, our law does not force us to vote. And I mean that in a very literal way. The Australian law requires that on Election day you turn up to a voting centre (or mail in your papers ahead of time, if you have made those arrangements), and have your name ticked off on a voting register. That is your entire requirement. From that point, when you are handed your voting sheets, you can fill them in, of you wish, or drop the form, uncompleted in the box.

    No one checks whether you filled anything out, no one stands over you as your write your preferences. Whatever you do once you are handed those voting papers is entirely your freedom of choice.

    As I said, you are not, in any real sense, forced to vote – you are just compelled to be aware of the political process of which you play an instrumental part – whether by your action or no.

    It sounds like a semantic difference, but I assure you, it is profound in the impact it creates. Firstly, you not only have a more representative result, as it encourages people to pay attention to the issues and the promises of each respective party in the lead up to their social responsibility, but it places the requirement of providing sufficient facilities for voting upon the government. It’s also why our election days are on holidays, so no one is disincentivised to participate.

    Our system may not be perfect, but there is a reason you do not hear as many stories about voter disenfranchisement and vote suppression here, because that right to vote is sacred, and must not be impinged by political chicanery.

    Meanwhile, I was sadly unsurprised by the deft way that Jay pivoted from a promise to look into the misinformation he has been spreading for the past few weeks about election fraud to a full throttle repeat of said conspiracy rambling. ‘I’ll look into it and get back to you but…. something bad went on here and someone needs to explain those illegal ballots in the rental car…’

    Classic Trump maneuver. When presented with facts, repeat the lie.

    I look forward to Jay’s apology next week, which I’m sure will actually happen, and won’t just be a hand wave reference to some other story he definitely read somewhere (that he just can’t seem to find right now…) that made that original assertion. That is if he mentions it at all.

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