Why are people allowed to vote?
M.A. Groenink - 10/01/2018
Last March 21st the Netherlands held general elections and the Dutch of 18+ were allowed to elect a new government. Coming March 21st the Dutch will once again go to the ballot box. This year they will elect per municipality their local government. A question that has been bothering me since I was able to think rationally, is: why on earth is everybody (18+) allowed to vote? Literally everyone, thin, thick, dumb, smart, mentally handicapped, poor, rich, old, young is allowed to vote in the Netherlands, or actually in every democracy. All the while, people are generally too dumb to rationally vote.
First of all, let’s look into semi-historical examples. Scaringly recently, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Seriously, what the hell!? That means that 63 million people voted for this orange narcissistic diluted maniac. People that have completely ignored all his lies, inconsistency and political incorrectness and just voted for his radical battle cries. A little further back in history the Germans elected Hitler. Although with intimidation, violence and deceit, Hitler got the majority of the votes in 1933 and democratically put parliament out of play. Nobody forced the Germans to do that, they just loved what he had to say. Back to the present, the U.K. voted for a Brexit, the Turkish elected a clearly fascistic potential autocratic Erdogan and there are still 5 official Communist countries worldwide and even more officious ones; all the while communism is plain stupid. Likewise, people vote on base of religion. Not even regarding the fact that religion is complete nonsense, it is not a way to govern a country. Simultaneously, there are morons in the Netherlands who vote for Geert Wilders or perhaps even worse Thierry Baudet. What is wrong with all those people?
People tend to wave this away with the term ‘populism’. However, this does not explain why people are susceptible for politicians claiming plain blather. Why do people groundlessly believe a politician who says that the U.K. is better off without the EU or one that claims he will build a wall to keep the ‘bad hombres’ out, while later claiming women should be grabbed by the pussy? Isn’t that completely backwards? Are people too incompetent to think? Sadly, the latter is true. History has taught us that the populace is too stupid to think clearly and will just blindly believe what any politician will tell them. We can all point fingers to the misleading politicians, yet they are merely the ones exploiting us. Furthermore, even without being deceived by populists, most people do not care or think critically at all about an upcoming election. Many just choose au moment supreme in the booth, vote for someone they like, vote for the same as their best friend or vote for the politician whose name is most similar to theirs. Others retain themselves from voting. Moreover, if people younger than 18 years old are not allowed to vote, why are people above 80? The first 18 years of a life, so is argued, a person is too irrational and too busy with other things to make a well-considered decision. Although a person does not become childish again once he nears death, his interest declines. An old person does not care about the future; he will nonetheless not live it. His vote will thus be useless, since, generally, one votes for the future. Lastly, as a result of elections every few years, politicians only have a small window to actually do something. Approaching elections namely make politicians behave as exemplary as possible. Otherwise they will not be elected. Secondly, their actions in their reigning years cannot be to profound for the same reasons. So many fallacies with the system most broadly used globally.
This election system is a major problem. Not only because it is very dangerous, but also because we can never get rid of it. Once the universal suffrage was implemented at the end of the 19th century and begin 20th century, there was no turning back. Simply for the reason that two third of the votes is needed to make a constitutional change and no one will be voting for a law that takes their vote away. A sad truth, since the geniocracy, a form of governance based on intelligence, or the aristocracy are far better forms of government. How can we solve this problem than? Solutions would be to install an age maximum, an intelligence threshold or a participation test. The first would be to install a maximum of let’s say 80, depending on the life expectancy. The second would be to implement an exam to test the intelligence of the voter, which will than decide who can vote, but more importantly who cannot. The third would be to examine the knowledge of the political situation, determining if the insight in the subject matter is sufficient. Unfortunately, the same problem would arise. The populace will not vote to lose or complicate their right to vote. Democracy is hopeless.