There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. –Barack Obama.
When those charged with enforcing the law have a monetary incentive to see the law broken. Same thing happens in the U.S. Can’t we ever get a sane political structure to handle these things? One would think that there would be an incentive to ensure that the law is followed, not the other way around.
I read this snippet on Google News:
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday night that it had missed repeated opportunities to discover what may be the largest financial fraud in history, a Ponzi scheme whose losses could run as high as…
and the first thing that came to mind was Social Security. (The actual article is here.)
that anyone would be the least bit surprised when politicians begin distancing themselves from their campaign promises.
“One person, one vote” is a basic principle of American democracy. Everyone has an equal say in the electoral process, and no one’s vote counts for more than anyone else’s. It is frequently viewed as a fundamental, perhaps the fundamental, egalitarian political principle.
But what if it weren’t? “One person, one vote” seems reasonable because of our contemporary notion that everyone has an equal stake in the political process. This in turn depends on the idea that government should be equally at the service of all; that is, the government’s equal due to each citizen corresponds to the equal influence that each exerts in the electoral process. But if this is so, how is the service due to minors represented in the political arena? In the present system, no such representation exists; yet, legislative policies frequently affect children almost as much as they do adults—the issues of education and health care provide two obvious examples. In view of this fact, it seems only a matter of justice that children should be represented in a fair democratic system.
On the other hand, we do not give children the vote because they lack the judgment and experience necessary to make an informed political decision. We are thus in a dilemma insofar as children are in many cases subject to and affected by legislative policy, yet cannot participate in the election of their legislative representatives because of a certain lack of judgment.
How might this dilemma be resolved? Our current position takes the latter horn of the dilemma as decisive and simply ignores the representation due to minors. In effect, this position takes the representation of the young and divides it equally among the of-age electorate. But rather than ignoring the other side of the dilemma, why not resolve the difficulty in the same way we resolve related difficulties pertaining to children? For instance, children need food and shelter and clothing and other basic necessities, but most are too young to earn these things by holding a job. Of course, we do not conclude from this that children should not be fed or clothed; rather, we judge it to be the duty of a responsible adult to provide these things for his children until they are of sufficient age to do so for themselves—not the duty of all adults equally, but of those who have care of the children. The logical conclusion is that heads of households, just as we oblige them to care for their children, ought similarly to exercise the care of their children’s political representation until they are of age. In this way both horns of the dilemma can be satisfied.
I propose, then, that each household be given an additional number of votes equal to the number of children residing in that household. The justice of this proposal can be manifested in other ways as well. As a father, I have care not only of myself but also of my family, and thus have a greater stake in the common good than does my childless friend. If it is not obvious that this constitutes a greater stake, consider who will, in the future, be paying the taxes that allow the government to function—for instance, to fund my friend’s social security check! This proposal holds the key to a more just future for civil representation in democratic republics.
Comment: As somebody on Slashdot said, the deck chairs on the Titanic have been thoroughly, and decisively, rearranged.
Explanation: As Aristotle said,
To judge from the lives that men lead, most men, and men of the most vulgar type, seem (not without some reason) to identify the good, or happiness, with pleasure; which is the reason why they love the life of enjoyment. For there are, we may say, three prominent types of life—that just mentioned, the political, and thirdly the contemplative life. Now the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts. (Nicomachean Ethics, 1095b13-20)
We get the elected officials we deserve.