No Such Thing As Majority Rule

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 07 Sep 2009 10:44:51 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Thomas L. Knapp at Center for a Stateless Society - points out that even if you believe in majority rule, the majority doesn't rule in his county. Less than half the people even voted in the election. Only 25-30% voted for the "winners".

Per the 2000 census, the population of St. Louis County was 1,016,315.

Of those more than one million inhabitants, only 726,325 -- 71.5% -- were registered to vote.

Of those 726,325 voters, only 488,400 -- 67.2% of those registered, 48% of the county's population -- turned out to participate in the ritual.

To put it a different way, 28.5% of the county's population boycotts elections entirely by not registering to vote, and 52% (including nearly a third of registered voters) boycotted the 2000 election in particular.

From this fact we can derive two conclusions, one indisputable and one debatable but reasonable.

The indisputable conclusion is that because a majority of the population didn't vote in that election, neither a single politician elected to office nor a single measure put up for public ratification can be honestly advertised as having secured majority approval.

The debatable but reasonable conclusion is that in declining to vote in the 2000 election, 52% of the population withheld consent to be bound by its outcomes or ruled by its winners.

The conventional wisdom has it otherwise: Refusal to participate in an election, we're told, constitutes consent to be bound by that election's outcomes and ruled by its winners. Silence is consent -- especially since non-voters make use of "public services" delivered to them through the whole process. Non-voting is a sign of "apathy" or "laziness," not of alienation or opposition.

This is akin to saying that by slamming my door in the face of a magazine salesman, I'm consenting to pay for subscriptions to Time, Scientific American and Playboy ... and that proof of this claim may be drawn from the fact that when those magazines begin to arrive, I read them rather than sending them back or throwing them away.

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