Ear worm chants:vote vote vote
That ear worm keeps chanting over and over … vote vote vote …
So I go looking for some good reason to vote.
I find this interesting paper by T.M. Scanlon in which he writes:
“… citizens have an important interest in being able to take part in politics not only in order to exercise their developed capacities but also in order to have an influence on their society, to protect themselves against unjust outcomes, and to advance their particular aims.”
So if by voting I am able to advance any particular aim, what might I wish to advance? I guess my wish would be the elimination of poverty. The knowledge that some people possess abundant wealth while others live in desperate poverty tells me that there is inequality in our world. So in order to eliminate poverty we need to establish equality. But then, doesn’t Mr. Scanlon go on to suggest that there needs to be equality in order to have equality? What can we possibly do with such a … Hmmm is that what some people call a conundrum … And good grief I am not sure what to say about a word I am not even sure I know how to spell.
“These interests support requirements of formal equality. They require substantive equality as well, since these interests cannot be advanced if one has formal political rights but lacks the means to exercise them effectively. These means include not only education but also the means to engage in effective political expression, to support political candidates one favors and so on.”
Preceeding this paragraph , Scanlon also wrote, in this same paper:
” The purpose of political institutions will not be fulfilled unless citizens not only have equal formal rights but also the education necessary to fulfill their role as citizens, and the means required to take part in political discussion, run for office, or support others who do. The form of substantive equality that is required in these matters will flow from, and depend on, the relevant conception of what it is for “the will of the people” to be expressed. For example, not everyone is going to run for office, and perhaps not everyone need have the means to do so. But if only the rich can mount effective political campaigns, then the “voice” that is registered will be skewed.”
So who is T.M. Scanlon? I have no idea but I like his writing.
Also, he must be someone important, consequently, someone whose opinion matters in our world.
“1 This paper was originally written for presentation at a conference on equality at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in April 2004. Subsequent versions were given in Berlin at the Kulturforum der Sozialdemokratie, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as the Wei-Lun Lecture, and at Nanjing Normal University, at a faculty discussion sponsored by the Harvard Program in Justice, Welfare, and Economics, and at legal theory workshops at USC and UCLA. I am grateful to all of these audiences for helpful comments and discussion. I am also grateful to Charles Beitz and Tommie Shelby for helpful comments and suggestions. “