Voting Lotteries, Compulsory Voting and Negative Freedom

The Journal of Ethics:1-19 (forthcoming)
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In this article I aim to counter Jason Brennan’s principled objection to the Representativeness Argument for compulsory voting, and to criticize the case in favour of voting lotteries, on which this challenge is predicated. In brief, Brennan claims that compulsory voting should be rejected because there is an alternative system, i.e. a voting lottery, which is able to ensure demographic proportionality in electoral turnouts without diminishing the freedom of citizens. But even on the most favourable conception of freedom which the argument can employ, voting lotteries raise a number of serious concerns in respect to this value. Furthermore, while comparing voting lotteries and compulsory voting on the basis of freedom cannot provide any generalizable support for the former, a plausible case can instead be offered in support of the opposite idea, namely that compulsory voting outperforms voting lotteries with respect to freedom.



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Alexandru Volacu
Bucharest Center for Political Theory

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Against Elections: The Lottocratic Alternative.Alexander A. Guerrero - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (2):135-178.
The Constitution of Liberty.Friedrich Hayek - 1998 - Law and Philosophy 17 (1):77-109.
Freedom as Independence.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):1043–1074.
In our name: the ethics of democracy.Eric Anthony Beerbohm - 2012 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
The Grounds of Political Legitimacy.Fabienne Peter - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (3):372-390.

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