November 01, 2005

Should chavs get the vote?

At a house party for my mate neils 20th me and my boyf were having a obligitory fag break outside when we saw a large group of chavs getting pulled into a police van-which sparked a huge debate about whether chavs should get the vote.
His arguement was that anyone that isnt politically aware shouldnt be able to vote about issues that concern the population. Although he also said he shouldnt be able to vote on things that he knew nothing about.
My aguement was that he was being heavily stereotypical about chavs-i mean, we all know they wear crap clothes and swear a lot, but can we honestly say none of them are politically aware-so saying chavs shouldnt get the vote is really ignorant. I also believe that everyone should have the vote because otherwise the population wouldnt be fairly represented.
What does everyone think?

Lydia xx


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  1. Your housemate is proposing the Rousseau-ian system of General Will, i.e. rule by the intellectual minority for the benefit of all. Even Rousseau himself conceded that this was unlikely to work in any real nation of decent size.

    Besides most chavs probably don't vote anyway.

    01 Nov 2005, 01:52

  2. Carter

    Jesus H Christ…

    01 Nov 2005, 02:13

  3. You were right he was wrong. Voting isn't about understanding what is right for the general population. Given that the boyfriend doesn't understand this he should be banned from voting. ;-)

    Holly, where did Rousseau talk about rule by an intellectual minority? (I'm not saying you're wrong, but my memory of Rousseau doesn't include that and if you're right I need to find that out.)

    01 Nov 2005, 03:42

  4. I agree with both Cruise and Carter, whilst reserving the right to admit that I am scared of their ability to dominate (approximately) 50% of university djing.

    01 Nov 2005, 03:56

  5. Dan though I don't think Rousseau used so blunt an explanation as I did, he did propse "the general will";http://www.quebecoislibre.org/05/050715–16.htm and the this is often interperted as rule by an intellectual minority (chiefly him and his acolytes) by a lot of historians.

    Joe It's an oligarchy… albeit one which does like Ikara Colt.

    01 Nov 2005, 08:57

  6. I'm the boyfriend and I stand by what I said. Winston Churchill once, more or less, said that democracy is the worst type of government apart from all the others that have been tried. I wasn't arguing that things should be changed, I was asking why chavs should be able to vote when most don't know what an MP does. Most don't even exercise their right to vote anyway, and you can argue all you like about me sterotyping 'the chav' but sterotypes are there for a reason. In the Liverpool Riverside area for example two thirds couldn't be bothered to go outside and vote. This might have something to do with the fact that Labout are guaranteed to win (bricks are chucked through the windows displaying support for the Tories. Really.) but the point remains.

    Unless you're the type of person who would argue blindly about a citizens fundamental right to vote whilst ignoring the point raised. Yes, we all know that people should have a right to vote to decide who runs the county and yes, it would be ridiculous and implausible to introduce a system whereby we select people who are clever enough to vote.

    But you have to think, Lizzy from wife swap might be voting who runs the country next election. Frightening.

    01 Nov 2005, 12:39

  7. Holly thanks for the link (although libertarian webpages are always a little dubious). I remembered what my late night brain couldn't remember before. Plato, The Republic. Rule by an intellectual minority. I used to think that idea was great when I was an (even more) arrogant young fella.

    The boyfriend: "Yes, we all know that people should have a right to vote to decide who runs the county and yes, it would be ridiculous and implausible to introduce a system whereby we select people who are clever enough to vote."

    OK, sounds like we're in agreement then. But maybe not. I would say ridiculous, implausible and also wrong to introduce such a system.

    I would argue against the view of democracy that the idea of it is to elect a government that will govern well (in the interests of the people in whatever sense you want to make of that). The evidence suggests that this is not what the structures of democracy lead to. In a two party system (which is pretty much inevitable in a first past the post voting system like we have here), both parties will tend to promote policies which favour the median voter (the floating voter), the middle classes tend to do disproportionately well. Issues of funding mean that it is considerably easier for governments to introduce policies that favour the well off than the less well off, etc.

    So, my view of democracy is that it is a historical phenomenon, it came about as a reaction to the worst excesses of government. All that we can really expect of it is to stop governments from doing things which are outrageously against the interests of the whole of the population. So I agree with you and Winston Churchill about democracy being the worst form of government apart from all the others that have been tried. The consequence of this view though is that the vote MUST be universal and there mustn't be any restrictions on how you cast it.

    The challenge for people who think they understand things better than the masses is to try to create a political consciousness rather than to pour scorn on whole swathes of the population.

    01 Nov 2005, 14:37

  8. Oooooh, starting a debate lydia- i'm very impressed.

    04 Nov 2005, 22:29

  9. i know, im impressed too :D i suppose it gives me something to do rather than my transformations essay :s

    05 Nov 2005, 11:30

  10. Michelle

    you Geek! when did u care about the state of the world?! somebody trying to impress their boyf? me thinks so!!

    How u doin tramp long time no speak. hows tricks?

    xxx

    09 Aug 2006, 23:50


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