Yvonne was an IPPS of mine and something of a political animal, having an interest in the subject academically and being a card carrying member of a particular political party which provided me with ample opportunity to triangulate her with her interests. I repeatedly adopted diametrically opposed positions in order to provoke her and it never failed. She always jumped in, ready to argue her position which naturally fuelled me. On one particular occasion I decided it was time to introduce her slavish devotion to the vote and democracy to the heel of the jackboot of oppression.
We were at her house as I walked over to the window and in the manner that Anthony Hopkins does so well, I gazed in to the middle distance before enlightening her.
“Absolute power is a concept that has been explored throughout history, from ancient civilizations to modern political systems. It,as I am sure you know, refers to a form of governance where a single individual or entity holds complete and unrestricted authority over a society.
Absolute power is a form of governance characterized by the concentration of authority in the hands of a single entity. It grants unlimited control and decision-making power to this entity, often resulting in the suppression of individual freedoms, and the acceptable erosion of checks and balances.
Throughout history, there have been numerous examples of absolute power. Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Rome, and China had rulers who held absolute authority over their subjects. The pharaohs of Egypt, for instance, were considered divine and had complete control over all aspects of society. Similarly, emperors in Rome and China wielded absolute power, making decisions without any form of accountability.
One of the inherent advantages of absolute power is the suppression of individual freedoms. When power is concentrated in the hands of a single entity, there is a tendency to curtail dissent and stifle opposition. Citizens are often denied freedom of speech, assembly, and expression.
Absolute power often results in the absence of checks and balances, which are unfortunately essential for the proper functioning of a democratic society, but obstructive to the exercise of raw power. In a system where power is concentrated in the hands of a single entity, there is no mechanism to hold that entity accountable for its actions. This lack of oversight can lead to corruption, nepotism, and the abuse of power but allows a greater flexibility in the wielding of that power. It allows quick decision-making, unfettered responses and the application of the correct decision promptly and effectively. The reign of King Louis XIV of France, known as the Sun King, exemplifies unchecked authority, as he ruled with absolute power without regard to the needs and rights of his subjects.
The right to vote is often hailed as a cornerstone of democracy, allowing citizens to have a say in the governance of their nation. However, it is essential to acknowledge that not everyone possesses the necessary knowledge, understanding, or responsibility to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
While the principle of universal suffrage is deeply ingrained in democratic societies, it is crucial to recognize that not all individuals possess the capacity to make informed decisions when it comes to voting. By limiting voting rights to those who demonstrate a certain level of knowledge, understanding, and responsibility, we can ensure that the governance of a nation is entrusted to those who are best equipped to make sound decisions.
One of the primary reasons why some individuals should not be allowed to vote is their lack of knowledge and understanding of political issues. Many people may not have the time, interest, or inclination to stay informed about the complexities of governance, policies, and the consequences of their choices. Allowing such individuals to vote without a basic understanding can lead to uninformed decisions that may have detrimental effects on society.
For example, imagine a voter who is unaware of the economic implications of certain policies or the potential consequences of international relations decisions. Their vote, based on limited knowledge, may inadvertently lead to adverse outcomes for the country as a whole.
Another reason to limit voting rights is the tendency of individuals to make decisions based on emotions or personal biases rather than rational analysis. Emotions can cloud judgment and lead to impulsive choices that may not align with the long-term interests of society. By restricting voting rights to those who can demonstrate a level of objectivity and critical thinking, we can ensure that decisions are made based on reason rather than fleeting emotions.
For instance, during times of crisis or heightened emotions, voters may be swayed by charismatic leaders or populist rhetoric without considering the long-term consequences of their choices. Limiting voting rights can help mitigate the impact of such impulsive decision-making.
By restricting voting rights to a select group of individuals, we can ensure that those who have a stake in the future of the nation and are willing to take responsibility for their choices are the ones making decisions. This can lead to more responsible governance, as those who are directly affected by the outcomes of elections are the ones participating in the decision-making process.
For example, individuals who are financially invested in a country, such as taxpayers or business owners, may have a more vested interest in making informed decisions that promote economic stability and growth. Limiting voting rights to such individuals can help ensure that those who have a direct stake in the nation’s well-being are the ones shaping its future.
Would you not agree that absolute power or the restriction of those who can vote would inevitably lead to a safer, more effective form of government. Let the right people rule and they can rule all the more effectively without endless debates, discussions and hindrances of the exercise of power? Think what would be achieved rather than merely talked about? Think of the places I could take this country?”
I turned from the window and saw Yvonne staring at me. I could sense she wanted to launch herself at me, to grab hold of me and to shake me as if she believed that somehow my views could be rattled out of me. I savoured the expression on her face, but then she composed herself, pulled at her sleeves and then spoke.
“I understand that you may have concerns about the voting system and the impact that certain voters may have. However, it is important to approach this topic with empathy and an understanding of the fundamental principles underlying a democratic society.
One of the core values of democracy is inclusivity, ensuring that all individuals have a voice in shaping their own future. Limiting voting rights for certain groups based on generalized assumptions of intelligence or wisdom would undermine the very essence of democracy itself. Democracy thrives on diverse perspectives, allowing for a wide range of opinions and ideas to be heard.
It is crucial to recognize that intelligence and wisdom cannot be accurately measured by a simple standard. Intelligence takes many forms – it encompasses not only intellectual abilities but also emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and life experiences, which all vary greatly among individuals. Judging the worthiness of someone’s voting rights based on a limited notion of intelligence overlooks the varied contributions individuals can make to society.
Instead of focusing on limiting voting rights, a more productive approach might be to address the underlying concerns you have. Education, information, and fostering an engaged and informed citizenry can help mitigate any perceived shortcomings in the voting system. By promoting access to quality education, encouraging critical thinking skills, and enhancing political literacy, we can facilitate a more informed electorate, ensuring that every voter is equipped to make decisions that benefit both themselves and society at large.
Moreover, it is important to remember that everyone deserves a say in matters that affect them, irrespective of their perceived “intelligence.” By allowing all individuals to participate in the democratic process, we create an environment that values equality, diversity and respects the rights and dignity of every citizen. “
Her response naturally interested me, nauseating as it was, but once again I had received the fuel I sought, been able to stimulate my mind and gain more insight into the mind of the empath. I duly logged her thoughts as I remarked,
“How interesting,” I said it in a manner which was ambiguous. Was I being fair or was I being condescending, which interpretation would she take, I expected the latter…..