The Quadratic Franchise

Many, many years ago I read an essay by the science fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein about civics.  He was making the case that democracy was the proposition that a million men were smarter than one man or a few men.  And he batted that idea around.  His point was that the average man might not be the right decision maker for society.  And then he thought of how we could rig things to make democracy better.  Now, being an engineer, his first idea was based on the type of tests that would appeal to a technical mind.  He imagined the voting booth being equipped with a visual display of some sort that communicated a problem to the voter to solve before being allowed to vote.  Heinlein favored solving a quadratic equation as the qualifying test.  I can’t remember if it was a multiple-choice question or not but at the time, I saw the sense of it.  Pick some minimally difficult standard of intelligence and make it a condition for voting.

But intelligence is not the only criterion for citizenship.  Moral fitness may be even more important.  You may be smart enough to know something is a bad idea for society but if you think that you’ll personally benefit from it then you might go along with it.  So, another way to rig the franchise is disqualify people who have chosen to live antisocially.  Currently, most states disqualify felons from voting.  That seems a reasonable measure.  But I think there are other larger voting blocks that should be looked at.  Perhaps civil servants should not be allowed to vote.  After all, teachers and prison guards have controlled politics in California and other states like Illinois and New Jersey for decades based on their habit of voting in Democrats to keep their pensions and salaries robust.  Maybe anyone on welfare should be taken off the voters’ roll because they’ll vote for the liberal who will keep their gravy train flowing.

Or maybe we should go the other way around.  Maybe people’s votes should be weighted according to how much taxes they pay.  So, Elon Musk pays on average ten million dollars in taxes a year and I pay fifty thousand so his vote should count for two hundred of mine.  And the guy who pays no taxes has no vote or maybe some minimal fraction of a vote.

But of course, the absurdity of this whole discussion is that none of this matters because as Dementia Joe recently pointed out, it’s not who votes but who counts the votes, that counts.  Even when unheard of numbers of Americans came out to vote in 2020 the people who rig elections in Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Madison and Phoenix simply ran the photocopy machines ten times as long and manufactured the votes needed to fake the election result they wanted.

We can talk about who the least responsible voters are.  My favorite is women because they vote with their emotions and because they’re gullible and easily flattered into thinking their self-interest is equal to the good of the country.  But even they will recognize grim reality when it comes in the likeness of a BLM mob.  So ultimately trying to fix representative government means absolutely nothing when the ballot box is being stuffed.

I think the attempts to fix this situation and the simultaneous attempt to codify fraud by the Democrats is the biggest struggle going on right now in our country.  I don’t want to overblow the criticality of the result because the bad guys never run out of ways to degrade our country.  Literally they never quit.  But I think the attempt to fix this problem is a fair test of whether there is enough strength left in our system and in our will to turn the country around.  If after what happened in 2020, we don’t solve this problem then we’re not going to have the strength to survive the diseases that afflict our country.  They will overwhelm the system like a parasitic disease that saps its host’s strength and eventually leads to death.

Heinlein thought about civics and ways that we could improve citizenship.  But he also predicted the decay of our society under the influence of progressivism.  I think he would have recognized the symptoms we are currently suffering from but he still might have been sad to see it happen to the country he loved.

War Pig’s Feedback

I prefer the government of “Starship Troopers”. I also like the idea he postulated in “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” – that any law passed can be nullified by I believe a 1/3 vote of the People. After all if a law is so poorly written or unnecessary that a full third of your citizens despises it, it is a bad law.

I do NOT trust the form of voting in Sam Clemen’s “The Curious Republic of Gondour”, since we have seen what craziness is professed in western colleges and universities. What was it William F Buckley Jr said;- “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”


(Good to hear from you War Pig.  All the best.