Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

Should everyone vote?

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

Short answer is no. Long answer below.

Suppose there is a medical situation. Someone’s life is at stake. There is drama and national coverage on the media. Surgeons and doctors are unsure and propose several different solutions. Each with their share of risks and benefits. So they decide to hold a vote. Anyone can vote. Everyone, no matter their education or line of work, or even their knowledge of the medical situation at hand. Not only that, it’s been agreed that everyone should vote. It’s your moral obligation, after all, a human being is dying, and you should do whatever you can to help.

Being an average Andy, would you participate in the vote?

I would not.

Coincidentally, I’m a medical student, but I still wouldn’t cast my vote.

This for me is a perfect analogy to democracy. I do not vote. It makes me ignorant and ungrateful, some say. They have it the wrong way.

I am ignorant, that is why I do not vote, it’s not the other way around. If I had cast my vote, that would not have made me any less ignorant, but some seem to think so.

I am grateful, that is why I do not vote. It would be ungrateful and wasteful to cast a vote based on ignorance. Harmful aswell.

I do not hide behind my ignorance to cover up any laziness on my part. I recognize my ignorance, and there is so much of it inside me everywhere. There is no way I could vote without feeling dishonest. There are simply too many things that I do not understand when it comes to good and bad policies regarding anything.

If I had an agenda, I could find a suitable candidate and throw all my votes his way. But I don’t have an agenda. Every day I try to clean up the shards of the fixed world view I held before, and then smashed a long time ago. I did this before I turned an adult, otherwise I would surely have voted. It is very easy is to vote for those with fixed world views.

So now I’m in trouble. Because if I ever decide to vote, I’ll make sure there is substance to that vote. It will always count as just one vote, but it will have more value than any number can hold. For me, atleast. Trouble is, when do I tell myself “You know enough now, go vote”?

So here is what I’m saying. Two things. To those in ruling, keep the voting open to everyone. It sounds silly given the above analogy, but it is the best option. To the people, make sure your vote is not just yet another number. Do not vote unless you are confident that you have done justice to your right to vote.

My working theory is that most people are, at the least, as smart as myself. Like myself, I would trust most people to refrain from voting in matters in which they had no insight. Yet, this is not the case with politics. Why?

Because there are too many people with too many set agendas and static world views. When there is an agenda, you become ignorant of your own ignorance, and an expert on the ignorance of others. You start neglecting your own ignorance and spend all your time on the ignorance of others. This is a huge red flag. This is what agenda does to you. Suddenly, the world is filled with idiots, except yourself.

Look out for that. It will happen to you. Just pay attention when it does. When you think someone is an idiot, forget all about them for a while. First, figure out what it is about you that makes you think of someone as stupid. Forget that someone. Don’t bring them into this. This is about you. It is your judgement, and you have to figure out what it is made of. Here’s an example.

You can bake someone a cake for being nice to you. But their personality has nothing to do with recipe of the cake. Your judgement is a cake, and its recipe has nothing to do with the ones you are throwing it at.

So go figure out the recipe of your judgemental attitude. Break it down, rearrange it, play with it, do whatever. Just get to know it. Then perhaps the idiot will not seem so after all, or he still might. I don’t know.

Nadeem J. Qureshi