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Political Analysis

On Electoral Registry: The Single Most Significant Factor On The Democratic Deficiency/Fallacy


My argument, very briefly, is that the electoral registry is the single most significant factor accounting towards the Democratic Deficiency, or what I would rather prefer to refer to as Fallacy.

Anyway, the point is, with all the so-called overwhelming victories down the generations towards electoral equalities, for example, the rights of ”all men”, then women, minorities, slaves, etc., nothing is still as yet to be fully won, the overt factors present at the time against the previous generations rights to votes are persistent today, overtly as well (and legalistic), through ‘well-designed voting architectural systems” that really limits the freedom and the rights of every individuals to vote, minus few states that enforce the voting rights; Australia etc; the great electoral registry (I am trying hard to get my name off it, even if it means going to the courts).

In the West, lets take UK, you have to be registered to be able to vote, and this when done means you are among the key political consumers (discussed yesterday, see the post below), meaning, the others (as the old slaves, women, non-property holders male etc), , today are known as the unregistered sections, do not really count for much, other than been blown over by few ”charming winds of rallying support”, and after the votes, these groups get nothing, as the registered, who tend to be mostly well-off, and enthusiastically are into political affairs and civic concerns, or economic benefits of such a participation (the rational-choice theory), then are the one reaping the benefits: If you do not believe this ”fact” find out for me, and your benefit, what benefits, with no ‘links or associations’ of any sort to the ‘registered voting classes’, are of purely altruistic nature and towards the non-registered class of the right-to-be-voters???

Also those within non-registered section, enforced, as such to belong in such a grouping, tend to feel violated, when forced to register, and fearing the abuse of their privacy, or to ”be tracked down by collectors”, as most tend to be on lower social classes, or have their details ”auctioned off’ to the highest bidders and so forth.

In short, I would like to see the system scrapped and money spend on encouraging and improving a ‘non-registry voting system’, for all.

Any thoughts please feel absolutely free to share.

Thanks.

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About s.s.salim: Geopolitical Analyst

Political & Strategy Defence & Security Intelligence & Communications

Discussion

17 thoughts on “On Electoral Registry: The Single Most Significant Factor On The Democratic Deficiency/Fallacy

  1. I’m curious as to how one would know that someone was eligible to vote in a particular district if there were no record (registry) of voters? With no list to check against, couldn’t someone easily vote multiple times in multiple locations?

    If you’re going to get rid of voter registration because it creates a list of people that can be used by collectors or anyone else who wishes to pay for it, shouldn’t we also get rid of phone books? I suppose we should also prohibit the postman from keeping any lists as well….

    Posted by David Navarre | October 11, 2011, 3:57 pm
    • Hi David,

      Hence the need for some ”research and development fund”, as I have stated.

      If I was asked for my opinion, I will have many but perhaps this might be enough for the present;

      The Hypothetical Scenario: I as Unregistered Voter

      —I come in to vote, I am asked of my particulars, identifications and what-nots. Then before proceeding to ”Voting Area” (the first area of entrance is ‘vetting area’, clarifying identification) I am asked to ‘register’ my iris and fingerprint, while being informed these personal details will be held only for until all votes have been declared and the Electoral winner as well as been declared, that between 48-96hrs tops.

      –thus after declared winners and so forth, I am in peace that no state or federal government hold my details, and at the same time, I will be unable to cheat with multiple ‘characters’ as one IT system will share instantly voters identities as they vote throughout the country.

      In short, David there are many ways to beat cheaters, but the only standing issue is the ‘governments’ willingness to regiment such a tight control without infringing and ”restricting” for those undesirables.

      Here is a quote from Michael Freeden, author of Ideology writing;

      ”The representative model (of democracy), however, was heavily qualified by restricting (you see, restricting, as was throughout previous generations) the role to those who had an economic stake (remember my argument, only who care and have an economic interest in votes register to do so) in the system, and by preferring the governing class to be trained in certain skills (they tried to train me for my public office role)”

      page 73, Ideology: An Introduction by M. Freeden.

      Posted by s.s.salem: Independent specialist | October 11, 2011, 5:29 pm
  2. Interesting idea, though far beyond the capabilities of modern technology for it to be: fast, inexpensive, and available in every polling place. Just imagining “instant” identification of 140 million voters boggles the mind.

    I imagine there would need to be significantly more training for the polling place workers as well.

    So much cheaper, easier and faster to keep a registry with a print-out that the polling place workers check your ID against. If the concern is that the registry information can be sold, I would suggest that it would be smarter to simply outlaw sharing that information (which would upset political parties and politicians, since they currently use such lists to mail out information).

    In the US, there have been no actual former slaves in almost 100 years and they were eligible to vote at some point anyway. Similarly, women got the right to vote year long ago. Property ownership, literacy tests, and payment of fees were all dropped as requirements before you were born (though not all before I was born). Thus, the only impediment to registering to vote for an adult in the US is actually registering 30-50 days in advance of the election, though some US states do withhold the right from convicted felons. So, it is almost entirely whether someone cares about the result or not. I suspect someone who doesn’t care about the result isn’t going to care to put in any time figuring out who would do the best job and might vote for the prettiest/loudest/funniest one as you decry in your original note.

    Are you contending that a significant percentage of the population doesn’t register to vote because they want to “stay off the grid”? Note that the people who don’t register to vote for that reason would also want to avoid registering for any government assistance, to avoid acquiring a driver’s license, to avoid paying income taxes. to avoid making any transactions other than with cash, and basically to either live in a cave or in a public park.

    Anyone who thinks they don’t have an economic interest in the outcome of a vote forgets that the government can both take away your money (taxes) and give away money (entitlements). Even if one somehow avoids both of those, actions taken by the government affect the economy and thus affect everyone (though the rural cave-dweller would be well insulated).

    Posted by David Navarre | October 11, 2011, 6:24 pm
    • Hi, David

      Read this article, appearing today on a respected international newspaper, an attempt by ”my” political party, Yes, I am a Liberal (&) democrats (one of the UK major political parties, at the present in unnatural coalition with conservatives in government: I have never supported this nor will I change my mind).

      Anyway, this has been one of the attempts by the party, based on its reverence for individual rights and privacy, to reform ‘corrupted’ electoral system, but alas, again, the present leadership of the party are stabbing us and our policies at the back based on a cost-benefit analysis of being in government (after 50 years or so off it)….

      HERE is the LINK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/11/nick-clegg-u-turn-voter-registration

      Posted by s.s.salem: Independent specialist | October 12, 2011, 1:30 pm
  3. Ah, the UK has a significantly different system for registration than the US.

    In the US, you register one time and your registration stays active. (I’m not sure what provisions are made for removing dead voters. We always joke that they still vote in Chicago.) Everyone registers individually, not by household. To the best of my knowledge, it has always been that way in the US, even when they thought voting should be restricted to property owners.

    In the US, there are also no penalties for not registering to vote and no registrants visit people to get them to register. People can choose to register either by visiting the local government office of voter registration or, in most places, at the same places where they get their driver’s licenses. This latter process was called “motor voter” when they proposed it several years ago and resulted in many more minority and urban voters being registered. In the US, there is no need to create a provision allowing people to opt-out of registering, since they already have to opt-in to register to vote in the first place.

    I think the core of the problem in the UK is that it is an annual registration process and that it involves a government official visiting people and forcing them to register. I can see where there could be corruption there as the registering official could simply put less effort into registering those who are unlikely to vote the way that official would like them to vote.

    With 26 million voting in the 2010 UK general election, missing 3 million voters is itself significant. Losing a third by changing how registration is performed sounds terrible. Of course, if someone makes a an effort to avoid registering to vote, what is the likelihood that they would actually vote?

    Posted by David Navarre | October 12, 2011, 2:19 pm
    • In UK is the same most of the concept and practises as those found in US, for example;

      1. one time registration, though they send out annually new registration papers to the address, no need for re-registration.
      2. only penalties you incur is when you seek to ‘de-register’ yourself.
      3. the ‘dead list’ is also in play here, a Labour-Favourite (socialists)
      4. 26m who voted in UK GE 2010 is a third of the country where the population stands at over 60 million.
      5. as you can see from the article, most of those ‘restricted’, or should say ‘disenfranchised’ contemporary are the ethnics, the poor, the largest chunk of lower classes, just like in the US (in particular the law that ”restrict” certain sections of Americans from voting, e.g. Black-Americans, Native-Americans and Hispanics).

      I love democracy, hence, I criticise it a lot, as I hope for the best of it’s practise, but alas realities are different, no political ruling classes, or any one with vested interest on it practises will allow ‘pure form of democracy’ be it via ballot box or not, reforms will never come; not because of ‘time-consuming’, ‘feasibility’, ‘cost-benefit’ etc, but rather it is in the interest of the interest-groups to have ”an open for an exploitation lesser perfect model of democratic practises”, and it is this which does my head!

      Posted by s.s.salem: Independent specialist | October 12, 2011, 2:57 pm
  4. There are no penalties in the US for de-registering. I would think that disenfranchising oneself would be punishment enough.

    The 140 million who voted in the 2008 US election was about a third of our population as well.

    You state “in particular the law that ”restrict” certain sections of Americans from voting, e.g. Black-Americans, Native-Americans and Hispanics”.

    Which law restricts those sections from voting? Please be specific.

    Posted by David Navarre | October 12, 2011, 3:14 pm
  5. I suggest you re-read this bit from the Huffington Post article.

    “An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on their felony convictions, 4 million of whom are out of prison. About a third of them are black, including 13 percent of all African-American men.”

    That is, two-thirds (a majority) of the convicted felons are NOT black. That is, 3.6 million non-blacks are denied the right to vote due to being convicted felons, while only 1.7 million blacks are disenfranchised for this reason.

    The article on Common Dreams makes no mention of illiteracy or other educational shortfalls as reasons for disenfranchisement. It talks entirely about bad voting machines (old manual ones that don’t mark votes properly and new computerized ones that COULD be hacked) and challenges about whether specific voters were eligible based on address. It makes no mention whatsoever of literacy or education, so your allegation is still unsupported.

    Living and working in the US is not the same as citizenship. It’s not just legal jargon. There’s a set of both rights and responsibilities one incurs on becoming a citizen. Please justify granting them the right to vote and also quantify how many voters this would involve.

    Posted by David Navarre | October 12, 2011, 4:38 pm
    • Actually my good man, I am learning more today in reference towards the US Electoral System from you, and since you are more knowledgeable in the area, dealing with social security, I think I will take your word over the rest.

      On illiteracy and other shortfalls is something one picks up from putting the threads together, for example, when watching the 2000 Florida votes we pick up senior citizens grievances over the impositions of technological options to voting as rather ‘too advanced for their age”, and the state with majority blacks and others, we had of ”already they had trouble with non-technological ways of voting and now this”: these sort of complaints and outcries for social researchers provide as clues of ”restrictive means of expressions”, If these were consumers for market products, they will be ”Customer Management System” and an officer and his team to listen to any of these minuscule of grievances and try hard to rectify, ”customers are kings”, but unfortunately, seemingly, not voters.

      Posted by s.s.salem: Independent specialist | October 12, 2011, 6:49 pm
  6. In 2000, it wasn’t that the technology was too advanced for the senior citizens, it was that the layout of the ballot itself was poor, with candidate names not laid out in a manner that made sense. Thus, it was equally difficult for everyone.

    There are no states that are majority black. The District of Columbia is the only place that is, but it’s not a state and no allegations of voting problems were made there.

    The turnout in 2008 was far larger than expected, especially in urban areas, where turnout was normally relatively low. The greatest complaints were in Ohio, but Obama won there anyway. I’ll be interested in hearing your rationalization for the election of Obama.

    I don’t see any merit to your allegations of disenfranchisement.

    If you wished to argue that we get limited choices, you’d be making a much more valid point.

    Posted by David Navarre | October 12, 2011, 8:33 pm
    • ”If you wished to argue that we get limited choices, you’d be making a much more valid point”.

      That was the point from the start, the ”limited choices”, hence analogies with consumerism and markets, with far broad ranges of choices and access points for feedbacks and complaints etc.

      So0, the argument goes, it is in the interest of all political parties, especially the dominant (2 in US; 3 in UK) to make sure that no thorough or real electoral reforms take place, what these will mean to them is shifting balances of power, with especially more attractive independent and smaller parties, or coalitions for example the Greens, the one-policy parties etc.

      Obama Victory, hahaha, it was based on many variables, it was not because US was ready for a Black President, or Democrats were as well, but it was the party ability to read the Nations ingrained passions and dissappointment with the Republicans, that they deliberately targeted their power-bases, as republicans did with their evangelical/christian groups, fiscal etc., the democrats went after;

      1. Blacks—-giving them their own
      2. Liberals—–fed up with extremes of Neo–Cons
      3. Swinging Votes—Promises for change embodied in Obama and his ”Hope”.

      A lot of factors were in play. 2012???????what are your thought, I reckon if the inability of the democrats to rejuvenate these bases fail, then Obama will lose, so far does seem only the Blacks are in for the fight, the Liberals are giving grounds.

      Posted by s.s.salem: Independent specialist | October 13, 2011, 6:46 am
  7. Ah, yes, the prior entry (http://spadoffice.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/a-political-analysis-based-around-my-jingle-for-the-modern-voter-copyrighted-ha/) was about the quality of choices. Lost track of that.

    What I’m saying in regards to Obama is that any problems with voting or registration did not seem to prevent his election.

    A joke I heard recently goes: With the deaths of Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope, we now have no jobs, no cash, and no hope….

    If the economy doesn’t turn around, I don’t think he has any chance of winning, as the folks in the center will vote for whomever runs against him just to try something different. I think you’ll find that even his base is turning on him because of it. (http://www.thegrio.com/politics/frustration-boils-over-at-black-caucus-detroit-town-hall.php)

    Posted by David Navarre | October 13, 2011, 1:59 pm
    • Hahhahah…….

      I love the Joke, absolute Gold: can I use it around please? Really Good. and thanks for the link Rep. Waters is right, and so are you in your analysis–if, and as things stand wont be, economy does not turn around, Obama is a a goner…He is probably in my view, the single most weakest US president ever in history, shows lack of leadership acumen, strategic management and really political independence that was pivotal to all US presidents (even Bush Jnr., with all the views that behind the him stood the real president[s], Rove-Cheney-Rumselfd, triad).

      Whatever happens, I hope it will be a Republican, I am Realist in the end, and only a Republican can really take a ‘hold’ of the present US crisis, or they, Democrats will have to dig up a replacement, which is unthinkable at this stage of the race, and never been done non-voluntary in the history.

      Again, I loved the Joke, Pure Genius!!!!!!!!!

      Posted by s.s.salem: Independent specialist | October 13, 2011, 2:55 pm

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