New PDF release: Secrecy and publicity in votes and debates

By Jon Elster

ISBN-10: 1107083362

ISBN-13: 9781107083363

Within the spirit of Jeremy Bentham's Political strategies, this quantity bargains the 1st entire dialogue of the consequences of secrecy and exposure on debates and votes in committees and assemblies. The members - sociologists, political scientists, historians, and criminal students - give some thought to the micro-technology of vote casting (the satan is within the detail), the ancient relatives among the key poll and common suffrage, the use and abolition of mystery vote casting in parliamentary judgements, and the occasionally perverse results of the force for larger openness and transparency in public affairs. The authors additionally speak about the normative questions of mystery as opposed to public balloting in nationwide elections and of optimum mixes of secrecy and exposure, in addition to the possibilities for strategic habit created by means of diversified vote casting platforms. including past volumes on Collective knowledge (Cambrige, 2012) and Majority judgements (Cambridge, 2014), the ebook units a brand new commonplace for interdisciplinary paintings on collective decision-making

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This meant that both irrational prejudices and rational arguments now had the space to take effect in equal measure. Publicness advanced to be a dangerous power, as it were, opposing the traditional authorities of social dependency that influenced citizens’ consciousness. In their comments on the question of electoral law, Gneist, Mill, and Durkheim sought to do justice to this additional function of publicness and its potentially dangerous freedom to choose. Gneist examined the skeptical way of handling this diagnosis, while Mill and Durkheim focused on the optimistic one.

I base my argument especially on Rokkan (1961) and on scattered comments in Rokkan (1970), as well as the posthumous 1999 edition of his essays. Public Voting and Political Modernization 21 According to Rokkan, these three abstractions make up modern suffrage and thus the modern institutional solution to the creation of political legitimacy. It is easy to see that the three elements mentioned stand for the three maxims of election law of (1) free or secret, (2) universal, and (3) equal suffrage with which we are familiar from normative democratic theory and constitutional science.

In this psychological model, publicness provides the function of a kind of school of political mores. In addition to his general defense of public voting, Mill in his “Considerations” was not ignorant of the arguments that were made in the support of the secret ballot. Voting in secret, he writes, is not always and generally unjustified. Thus, Mill adds a contextual argument for the secret ballot to his general or abstract plea for public voting. In Mill’s view, there may be – and, as a matter of fact, there are – situations in which the secret ballot could and should be defended.

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Secrecy and publicity in votes and debates by Jon Elster


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