Polluting the Polls: When Citizens Should Not Vote

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):535-549 (2009)
Just because one has the right to vote does not mean just any vote is right. Citizens should not vote badly. This duty to avoid voting badly is grounded in a general duty not to engage in collectively harmful activities when the personal cost of restraint is low. Good governance is a public good. Bad governance is a public bad. We should not be contributing to public bads when the benefit to ourselves is low. Many democratic theorists agree that we shouldn’t vote badly, but that’s because they think we should vote well. This demands too much of citizens.
Keywords voting  common good  civic virtue  collective action
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00048400802587309
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Christiano (2004). The Authority of Democracy. Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (3):266–290.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jason Brennan (2012). Political Liberty: Who Needs It? Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):1-27.
Joanne C. Lau (2014). Voting in Bad Faith. Res Publica 20 (3):281-294.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

142 ( #16,330 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #118,705 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.