Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Voter Ignorance

Interesting, this report from the Cato Institute makes the following conclusion:

The size of modern government is often so great that it is impossible for voters--even the most knowledgeable among them--to be adequately informed about its operations. Smaller government may actually be more democratic than that which we have now: voters would be more likely to exercise informed control over policy. Voter ignorance also suggests the value of decentralized federalism. In a decentralized federal system, citizens may "vote with their feet" by moving out of jurisdictions with policies they dislike and into those that have more favorable ones. Because each person decides whether or not to move, there is a much greater incentive to acquire relevant information with "foot voting" than with traditional voting at the polls.

The first sentence is especially interesting to me. Maybe there's some truth to that. The government's scope covers so many areas that it's impossible for one person to know everything about all of the topics, such as healthcare, foreign policy, education, etc. Exactly how much can you expect one man to know?

Link via Order From Chaos