301

The most trite answer is a civil rights protection against the following algorithm: Win a legislative election. Pass any law which disproportionately imprisons the supporters of your opponents. Profit. This is relatively hard to prevent through other constitutional means, since the law doesn't need to be exclusively or primarily politically targeted to ...


168

What arguments are typically offered by those supportive of this taxation technique, both ethically and economically, in order to defend and promote its use? Inheritance Taxes As Taxes In Lieu of Income Taxes Inheritance taxes aren't taxes on dead people who paid taxes on what they earned during life. The dead people are dead. They suffer no harm and ...


164

Populism suggests emotion over reason to many. The negative connotation of the term populism respects the dichotomy of emotion vs. reason as it relates to public policy and its effect on political decision-making — particularly voting. Emotion is seen by many as a less-reliable basis for creating public policy (and decision-making in general) than reason ...


127

Democracy: Criminals (including those in jail) are affected by the results of the political process. Allowing them to vote gives their an option for their opinions to be heard. If you want to signal criminals that they are not full members of the society, do it coherently: convicted criminals cannot vote, but they get to pay less taxes, too. On the other ...


120

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. ~ a quote commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin So, to answer your question: When is a democratic vote actually the wrong tool? Any time the rights of minorities matter. Pure democracy is mob rule. That's one reason the United States is not a pure democracy. It's a constitutional ...


88

The vast majority of the time, a politician's negatives come from what they have said, not what they haven't said. A politician can refuse to answer questions a thousand times without it hurting their career. Anything a politician does say, even if it is reasonable, can be taken out of context, treated as an incorrect response when it is a fine response, ...


82

The state cannot wave a magic wand and generate the water, food, and raw materials necessary for providing what you've defined as basic necessities. The state has to either pay for those resources, or force someone to give them to it. In a modern state, the state usually pays for goods by collecting taxes in the form of currency from its people. So, in ...


71

A European perspective: in our part of the world, current populists are often perceived as crossing the line from saying "We are the people" to saying or implying "Only we (and no one else) are the people". This implies a racist and antidemocratic agenda, since the angry populists have to explain why, if they express the exact will of the people, they aren't ...


69

DISCLAIMER: The question can be interpreted two ways: (1) "What are the reasons not to provide" - which is a subjective question because not everyone agrees with said reasons; and (2) as @J.Doe's comment noted, "What are the major rationales that people use to justify the state not providing basic necessities". As such, I provided the answer to the second ...


63

It depends what you mean by communism. If you mean what the Soviet-bloc states ended up like then, yes, all historical examples of this communism were pretty authoritarian. If you want indulge the [far] leftist theoreticians, then no country actually achieved communism. Even the former Soviet bloc countries only declared themselves socialist and on the path ...


61

Here are some actual arguments given in cases around the world, extracted from a paper focusing on the Irish case: Israel: after Yigal Amir assassinated Rabin, there was a court case asking for Amir's voting rights to be curtailed. The Israeli supreme court refused stating that Amir's imprisonment was his punishment and that in denying the right to vote ‘...


58

The conservative view on this topic is that wealth inequality allows to create incentive systems which encourage people to contribute to society in order to increase their wealth. In other words: work more, work well, provide the goods and services other people demand and you will receive more wealth and live a better life than your peers. The conservative ...


53

The trouble with plain "social recognition" is that it doesn't scale. Dunbar's Number is the number of people you can "know" in the sense of having stable social relationships with them; its about the number in the average Christmas card list, for example. Its generally thought to be around 150, although there is no doubt that some people ...


51

All modern democracies are representative; it's for purely pragmatic reasons hard to see how a large community could govern itself directly by the people without introducing representative intermediaries. The really interesting question for me is whether the United States, though formally a democratic republic, are factually ruled by a relatively small ...


50

What is the purpose of democracy? It's more a philosophical question than a political question but let me try a brief answer: First, it's a reasoning bias to imagine that things always exist for a specific "purpose". Things exist for various reasons (historical, cultural, ...) which are not always optimal or even logical, let alone "virtuous". Whether ...


49

Democracy works for decisions where (a) everyone is equally informed (or at least there is no reasonable way to exclude the ill-informed) and (b) everyone is equally affected by the outcome. So, bad situations to use a democratic decision making process are where either: (a) not everyone is equally informed. Voting on the value of the Planck constant, for ...


47

Not answering hypothetical questions is basic politics. There is nothing to gain in answering them. If you are running for political office (or even getting a promotion in your job) you should realize that any interview is about expressing your own agenda. Often your agenda is at odds with the interviewer's agenda. There are several techniques that a ...


47

From a very abstract point of view, the difference is that totalitarianism desires to completely (totally) influence the thoughts and actions of its citizens, even into the private sphere, while authoritarianism is primarily concerned with keeping public life ‘in order’ and will allow for private affairs to remain private decisions. Examples (albeit ...


46

George Orwell in 'Notes on Nationalism' said it best I think, By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of ...


45

Short answer: everybody hates somebody, and by extension that person/group's cherished pet cause. Seriously. Consider the following conversation: Person A: Hey there gun owner, did you know that you support school vouchers? Person B: I do? Why? Person A: Because the people trying to take your guns away hate them. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe: Person ...


42

First, I wanted to make clear that "authoritarianism" does not mean "enforces rules with some form of force" - if we were to use that definition, then every single system of government is authoritarian (such as when police arrest people for murder). To be authoritarian, it must go beyond simple enforcement of rules with some form of force....


39

There's a number of misconceptions about the estate tax in the US. It's a tax that only affects the very wealthy, it taxes income that can otherwise go untaxed, people with vast amounts of wealth are already able to minimize its impact, and it helps to increase social mobility (reduce income inequality) by preventing the ultra wealthy from hoarding too much ...


37

The mathematical phenomenon you're talking about is Arrow's impossibility theorem. The wiki article has an informal proof. Specifically, the theorem states that there's no way to design a voting system such that all three of these criteria hold: If every voter prefers alternative X over alternative Y, then the group prefers X over Y. If every voter'...


37

Political parties, lobbyists, and interest groups will exist the same: in your voting platform you will need ways to make proposals stand out: how would you deal with 10000 proposals per week? No one will read them. But things get worse: you say the system will be more efficient and that's not the case. It happens often that public opinion flips, so you ...


36

Perhaps the single, most fundamental principle within libertarian thought is voluntarism. Almost all other libertarian ideals (freedom of contracts, autonomous judgement, informed consent, individual freedom, labor theory of property, etc.) are philosophically derived from this principle. The best society is the one in which all people are maximally free to ...


34

Nationalism: I should do what is best for my country even at the cost of other countries. Nationalists sacrifice others. Nationalists also tend to believe in a zero-sum world. In order for their situation to improve, that of someone else must worsen. Patriotism: I should do what is best for my country even at the cost of myself. Patriots sacrifice ...


34

A few points not brought up by the other answers: Criminals are not uniformly of one party. In certain cases reformed criminals, or even unreformed criminals, might be much wiser voters who are less easily beguiled than the innocent. For example: Suppose a white collar criminal employs some blue collar criminals to perpetrate some unlawful deed. The blue ...


34

As originally asked by Allure, the header was "Apparently many US voters can't tell what their candidate's policy proposals are. Does this also apply to voters in other countries?" I think did answer that one, but since then there have been edits. Yes There are people who vote the way their parents always did. (And people who vote exactly ...


33

Venezuela's economy Venezuela is a communist planned economy with an authoritarian government. It is, therefore, an example of Socialism. Under Chavez and Maduro, Venezuela's economy became a planned economy based on oil production, with few other industries, its oil industry has been nationalized since 1973, and there were significant petrol subsidies for ...


32

It's not inconsistent to be ignorant about policies you don't care about. Imagine someone who is weakly in favour of mask wearing, but very strongly against abortion. So much so, they select their party based on abortion policy alone. If you survey such a person, they'll say they're voting for Trump, and that they're pro-mask wearing. And if they don't know ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible