Voters: Quantity or Quality?

Low Voter Turn-Out Is Good

Michael Williams has a quick post up on the fact that many people preparing to head to the polls don’t have the first clue about any candidates or issues.

Although I think everyone should vote, I also think everyone should get more than a general knowledge of things before they do. I’ve given this a lot of thought and I don’t really know where I stand.

I agree that democracies depend upon voters to function correctly.

But I got an email from a “flaming Liberal” (my label and not entirely accurate–for instance, I’ve never seen him on fire) friend of mine encouraging everyone to vote. “Even if you don’t know the first thing about politics, even if you vote for a guy based upon the color of his shirt, JUST VOTE.”

This, I’m fairly certain, wouldn’t help our government function correctly.

It would make the “dumb masses” demographic, which the Vote For Change tour seems to be catering to, easier to manage.

(Please note that I’m not claiming that the “dumb masses” actually exist. It’s just what the Springsteen concerts seem to be geared for.)

Some have brought up the issue of passing a law REQUIRING people to vote. Would they also require people to know the issues and give them thought before election day?

I’d like it if 100% of eligible voters participated in our democracy. But knowing what the hell you’re doing is just as important as doing it. I think my friend was kidding about basing your choice on shirt colors, but there’s no doubt that many voters haven’t put more thought than that into who they mark on the ballot.

I’m just not sure about this one.