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Voting tests

Filter out those electing parties about which they know nothing or little
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(+3, -6)
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By computerising the voting process we could fix it so that after a vote is cast a short (5 to 10 questions) multiple choice test comes up on the manifesto of the party that they've voted for. Voters who get, say, 70%-80% correct have their votes counted. Those who get less than this don't, but the votes should be kept in reserve for use in the event of a tied result.
dare99, Nov 23 2001


       Fishboned, for (a) implicit support of the party system, (b) imposition of restriction on voting. Informed voters is a good idea, but this is a bad means. Further, since the test is on party planks, rather than individual candidate positions, and is wholly geared toward furthering partisanship rather than substantive, meaningful political awareness, it wouldn't foster informedness.

Oh - and this idea is quite old, gets rehashed very, very frequently, and never gets much serious consideration outside of extremist political press and b-grade fiction. Solve this implementation problem first: if the parties themselves comes up with their own questions, then they have an interest in making as many people pass as possible, thereby making the test ineffective at screening; but if you have an "independent" agent come up with the questions, how do you free them from bias? And if you claim that a non-partisan government agency can be established, think again: Florida (regardless of how you view the election, we all know that Florida government is not without bias).
quarterbaker, Nov 23 2001

       PeterSealy - dead-on.
quarterbaker, Nov 23 2001

       Quarterbaker: NO government is without bias. It's kind of the definition...
StarChaser, Nov 24 2001

       Voting testes? Toting vests? Vetting toast? Stoving vets?
pottedstu, Nov 24 2001

       I'm not a very well informed voter, but it's not for lack of trying. For about two years prior to the first election in which I was old enough to vote, I read two local newspapers (this was before the merger) every day, cutting out virtually all articles about elected officeholders (at all levels of government), or past or known future candidates for elected office. I wasn't even able to fill out half my ballot. There are a lot of elected offices, such as Wayne County Drain Commissioner, that the media (even the local media) do not consider newsworthy, except in the case of unusually interesting scandals. I got a lot of stuff on local judges, mainly information about sentences handed out, and was amazed at the degree and consistency of differences between various judges, but on my first ballot for Detroit Recorders Court, there were ten candidates for ten vacancies.
LoriZ, Jan 12 2002

       The voting test was once used to keep 'undesirables' from voting in some areas of the US, as well. Acceptable people got questions like 'What is the U for in 'USA'?', unacceptable people got 'Who was the second vice president's secretary's sister?'
StarChaser, Jan 12 2002

       I think a lot of those people didn't have English as their first language either - grim stuff
po, Jan 12 2002

       Its a great idea. I have always been of the opinion that an uninformed vote was as good as a random vote, and therefore have abstained from voting in election for folks I knew nothing about. I feel that uninformed voters undermine the election process and democracy in general. The puzzle, though, as pointed out by others, is: who will write the questions? If the question fell out of the sky on the doorsteps of the polling places, we'd have all we need to ensure our leaders are chosen by informed voters...but as long as the biased and/or corrupt are writing the questions, this idea can not have my support.
autofyrsto, Dec 25 2003


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