Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):759-774 (2014)
AbstractThis paper argues for the legalization of vote markets. I contend that the state should not prohibit the sale of votes under certain institutional conditions. Jason Brennan has recently argued for the moral permissibility of vote selling; yet, thus far, no philosopher has argued for the legal permissibility of vote selling. I begin by giving four prima facie reasons in favour of legalizing vote markets. First, vote markets benefit both buyers and sellers. Second, citizens already enjoy significant discretion in their use of their vote, including the ability to use their vote in ways antithetical to justice and the public interest. Third, vote markets are relevantly similar to other democratic practices that are legally permissible. Fourth, vote markets enable elections to better reflect the intensity of citizens’ preferences. Next, I reply to two counter-arguments. The first contends that vote markets will increase the political power of the wealthy; the second contends that votes must be used in the serv..
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