Zoo Station

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Thoughts on democracy and equal rights

Posted by Chance on May 3, 2006

There is a discussion on Glen Dean’s website about democracy, and universal voting rights. Glen brought up whether the right to vote should be limited based on being able to pass a civics test, then it was decided that it would be best not to limit the right to vote. That is an interesting question: Should voting be an unalienable right, or should it be something attained only by demonstrating some kind of knowledge about the government? However, this can potentially be a dangerous thing to consider. I suppose if some type of test was administered, it should be done so based on the Constitution. However, I think it best that voting be universal. Even if one knows the Constitution front and back, there is still some room for interpretation.

Considering democracy, it probably is the best form of government, simply because it keeps those in charge accountable to the people, and it tends to distribute power more evenly and fairly. Why should someone rule simply because of their bloodline? It seems natural to have a leader elected by the people, rather than simply being born to a prior ruler.

However, even a democracy can trample on people’s rights, and that is why we have the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. The Constitution has been stretched however, and many presidents, legislators, and a certain 1973 Supreme Court have stretched the Constitution to justify their actions, or have outright ignored it. Now, is this because of flaws in the Constitution? Should the Constitution have been written more explicitly in declaring the powers of government and the rights of the people? Maybe so. Or maybe, no matter how the Constitution was written, it would be abused, no matter how clear it is.

I suppose every man-made government is subject to corruption, and all we can try to do is to institute a form of rule the best we know how. I support limited government, because the less power in the hands of a select few, the less likely it is to corrupt. However, even in a government limited to only protection purposes (not saying this is the ideal, but I am using the extreme limited government case), corruption can still occur, and limiting the power of government is only one aspect of having a just form of rule.

Note: I had some other comments in here, but they veered of topic, so I will save them for another day.

Really, the only perfect form of government would be one in which Christ rules the people directly. Fortunately, this will happen someday.


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