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Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote.
Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes.
In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||376 KB|
About the Author
Jason Brennan is assistant professor of ethics at Georgetown University. He is the coauthor of A Brief History of Liberty.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Voting as an Ethical Issue 1
Chapter One: Arguments for a Duty to Vote 15
Chapter Two: Civic Virtue without Politics 43
Chapter Three: Wrongful Voting 68
Chapter Four: Deference and Abstention 95
Chapter Five: For the Common Good 112
Chapter Six: Buying and Selling Votes 135
Chapter Seven: How Well Do Voters Behave? 161
Afterword to the Paperback Edition: How to Vote Well 179