Voter ignorance and the democratic ideal

Critical Review 12 (4):413-458 (1998)
Abstract
Abstract If voters do not understand the programs of rival candidates or their likely consequences, they cannot rationally exercise control over government. An ignorant electorate cannot achieve true democratic control over public policy. The immense size and scope of modern government makes it virtually impossible for voters to acquire sufficient knowledge to exercise such control. The problem is exacerbated by voters? strong incentive to be ?rationally ignorant? of politics. This danger to democracy cannot readily be circumvented through ?shortcut? methods of economizing on voter knowledge costs. A truly democratic government must, therefore, be strictly limited in scope.
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DOI 10.1080/08913819808443511
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References found in this work BETA
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Democracy and Disagreement.Amy Gutmann - 1996 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Disaster and Debate.Alexandra Couto & Guy Kahane - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.

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