Read another article containing another survey reporting results that Americans are ill informed about just about everything. Makes you wonder how we dress in the morning.
The article asked about the relative importance of having a knowledgeable electorate. Studies had been conducted. Turns out that uneducated and ignorant people tend to overestimate their relative skills and abilities and have trouble discerning when others are competent leaders.
Now, as a write this, I think, I could easily be one of the uneducated and ignorant people overestimating my relative skills and abilities.
But I blew away that possibility. After all, I am me. I'm not like all of them.
The studies talked about how most Americans could not pass the citizenship test. It meantioned that 38% didn't know the name of the Vice President of the United States.
That is troubling. That's when I happened upon the brainstorm of creating weighted votes.
It's a simple idea. When someone votes in the national election, they then take a simple exam of ten questions regarding national and international current events, recent history and civics. Ten questions, and it's timed. Your results then determine how much your vote counts. If you score 50%, you vote has a weight of .5.
Right away, I know the system has problems. Number one, some people are not good test takers but also, study after study shows relationships between wealth and education levels which relate to knowledge levels. This happens around the world, including America, with a few exceptions. That's why it's so troubling that we're seeking to treat education as a commodity and a basis for profit centers. My thinking is, if you charge to learn, only the wealthy will be taught. There's all kinds of wrong in that.
Obviously education would be required before elections. I think that would be great. It could spew a whole new glut of game shows and another industry, plus another way to use unemployed teachers. We've already established the precedence of teaching to the test so we'd do the same for this. We don't need people to know and understand, we just need them to be able to mark the correct answer.
Political parties could launch grass root efforts to Educate the Voters. There could be mock voting tests, with results to analyze, and a whole new aspect to exit polls. We could also use new colors on our maps to highlight red and blue states' test results levels. "Oregon is mildly blue but as you can see by this map, fifty percent of them can't name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Ten percent believe America's national bird is the blue jay."
All kinds of new vectors emerge from having a weighted vote. I doubt it will ever come to be. It would just cost too much money to implement and it's much more important to save money than to have educated voters making knowledgeable decisions.
Next: weighing your vote by your effective tax rate. Discuss.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com