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The beatings will continue until morale improves

Along with variations such as “The lying will continue until trust improves”, this jokey phrase is, alas, a completely accurate description of what many of our most lauded and influential thinkers believe is the best way for them and their class to motivate those less lauded and influential.

Guy Lodge is associate director at the Institute for Public Policy Research and a Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He writes:

Bad weather in parts of the country will no doubt have played a role in keeping some voters at home, but clearly this doesn’t account for the worrying levels of political disaffection reflected in the low numbers choosing to vote.

His cure for political disaffection?

This cycle can only be broken by radical means. IPPR research shows that the best way to boost political participation among “hard-to-reach” groups is to make voting compulsory.

16 comments to The beatings will continue until morale improves

  • Ed Milliband, whoever he is, is being quoted on the radio as saying that the results show that people are trusting the Labour party again. The vox pops are all of members of public saying that politicians lie and nothing ever changes. Seems like people are figuring it out.

    Would compulsory voting mean that smaller parties like Ukip would get more votes?

  • Sigivald

    The thing to do if there’s ever compulsory voting is to run on the platform of ending compulsory voting, thus nearly guaranteeing the vote of everyone forced to vote and disliking it.

    (More seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?

    My only working hypothesis is that they so fetishize voting qua voting that they don’t realize that making it compulsory undercuts the entire point…

    Either that or, perhaps even worse, they simply assume that the people who don’t vote would vote for their side if compelled to cast a ballot…)

  • Rob

    The IPPR? Aren’t these Labour’s authoritarian thinkers who came up with the ID card scheme and other such horrors?

    Imagine them wanting to make something compulsory!

  • If they don’t want to vote — I don’t want them to vote, either.

  • Sigivald- “their side” being almost every side you can vote for. Voting provides the illusion of a mandate, which is why they hate us not doing it.

  • I’ve never understood this obsession amongst statists over participation rates. Does anyone know?

  • Alisa

    wh00ps has it, Patrick.

  • Derek Buxton

    They obviously think that voting makes a democracy, it does not. Democracy requires the consent of the people and the three parties do not have that.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I’m inclined to think mandatory voting would be tolerable IF one of the choices were ‘none of the above’. Otherwise, no: you’re being forced to vote for someone even if you get to pick which someone.

  • another_anon

    “I’m inclined to think mandatory voting would be tolerable IF one of the choices were ‘none of the above’. Otherwise, no: you’re being forced to vote for someone even if you get to pick which someone.”

    This has long been my position, with an addition… If “NOTA” wins, none of the candidates on the ballot can run in the re-poll.

  • Paul Marks

    “There is so little faith that voting will change anything that people are not voting – so make voting compulsory”.

    The statists are indeed weird.

  • Australia has compulsory voting. In Queensland even down to local council elections.
    Can’t say it has done anything either way for the quality of our politicians. They are mostly crims and/or psychopaths

  • Dom

    Natalie — slightly off topic, but whatever happened to the Gleick fiasco? It’s strange that the whole affair just fell off the earth. Kind of makes me think that Gleick thought the investigations was getting a little too close for comfort.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I’m inclined to think mandatory voting would be tolerable IF one of the choices were ‘none of the above’. Otherwise, no: you’re being forced to vote for someone even if you get to pick which someone.

    How about approval voting, you should be able to vote for one, some or none of the candidates, you can vote for all candidates except one, which is a vote against a candidate, e.g. Anyone But Ken.

    Oh, and ban exclusive political parties as well. The recent London Assembly vote just had party names, you never even got a chance to vote for “someone”.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way “the lying will continue till trust improves” is the way Cass Sunstein (a leading Obama official) thinks.

    He wrote academic papers on how government should engage in more complex and effective disinformation and propaganda exercises – in order to improve public trust in government.

    The idea of telling the truth (of not engaging in propaganda and disinformation exercises at all) never occurred to Dr Sunstein.

    A sterotype academic, a “Guardian” (guardian of evil), a true son of Plato. Of the “noble lie”.

  • Julie near Chicago

    C. Sunstein inhabits a world where there IS no truth or lies…only mirrors, mirrors of evil. He is a creature OF that world, part of it, it is he and he is it…outside of that world he has no existence. In that world, there IS no reality except the words he speaks.

    He is not merely a Guardian of evil–he is OF the Evil.

    I don’t think he is a stereotypic academic. I think he is much worse than most. It seems to me a good many of them are bemused, misled, trained to the yoke…but maybe not evil, not hating Man for being alive and hoping to destroy Man and so to escape the boundaries of existence, in their deepest intent. I think maybe Sunstein would be quite happy to lead the troops at Tiananmen Square. Just as I’m sure Billy A. would be gleeful if he could gun people down at his pleasure, just like “Che”–except that he’d have trouble holding the rifle steady during his fits of giggling.

    Color me bitter….