Effective Vote Markets and the Tyranny of Wealth

Res Publica 25 (1):39-54 (2019)
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What limits should there be on the areas of life that are governed by market forces? For many years, no one seriously defended the buying and selling votes for political elections. In recent years, however, this situation has changed, with a number of authors defending the permissibility of vote markets. One popular objection to such markets is that they would lead to a tyranny of wealth, where the poor are politically dominated by the rich. In a recent paper, Taylor :313–328, 2017. doi: 10.1007/s11158-016-9327-0) has argued that this objection can be avoided if certain restrictions are placed on vote markets. In this paper we will argue that this attempt to rebut an argument against vote markets is unsuccessful. Either vote markets secure their purported benefits but then they inevitably lead to a tyranny of wealth, or they are restricted so heavily that they lack the features that have been claimed to make vote markets attractive in the first place. Using Taylor’s proposal as a test case, we make the more general claim that vote markets cannot avoid the tyranny of wealth objection and bring about their supposed benefits at the same time.



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Author Profiles

Alfred Archer
Tilburg University
B. Engelen
Tilburg University
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Citations of this work

What’s wrong with vote buying.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):1-21.

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References found in this work

The Ethics of Voting.Jason Brennan - 2011 - Princeton Univ Pr.
Vote Markets.Christopher Freiman - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):759-774.
Against Vote Markets: A Reply To Freiman.Alfred Archer & Alan T. Wilson - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2):1-5.

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