[MG] Family pressure in public voting

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Sat May 7 05:29:44 EDT 2011

I was asked offlist about family pressure as a possible form of
coercion in public voting.  This fits in this broader context of the
ongoing debate about private and public voting:

The question has never been answered in detail, so far as I know.  So
here's a first attempt:

(1) Consider voting as a form of speech.  If speech in society is
free, then votes will also be free provided we encode the
formalizations such that no systematic impediments are introduced.
For example, children must not be barred from voting.

(2) Where family pressure is an impediment to free speech, we think of
it as a personal problem or a family problem, or even a social
problem.  But we do not consider it a medical problem of the speech
apparatus.  For the same reason, we do not consider it an engineering
problem of the voting mechanism.

(Sum) In other words, the question arises from a confusion of societal
categories.  Public voting (unlike private) is not part of the System
(government) but rather of the Lifeworld (everyday people).  As such,
the constraints and influences of the Lifeworld cannot be treated as
distortions of the voting medium.

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

More information about the Start mailing list