Voter Ignorance and Democracy

On Friday I participated in a small seminar with a group of colleagues and law professor Ilya Somin, author of a new Cato study, “When Ignorance Isn’t Bliss: How Political Ignorance Threatens Democracy.” The paper and the conversation were quite interesting and raised a number of issues regarding democracy, representative government, the public good, and so forth. One conclusion of Somin’s paper is that there is good reason to believe that “voter knowledge and control of government policy will be much greater under a regime of strictly limited government power.” The paper is well worth downloading and reading. (The data on the knowledge of the electorate are fascinating, as are Somin’s responses to a variety of attempts by democratic theorists to square their support for an expansive view of the value of democracy with those data.)

4 Responses to “Voter Ignorance and Democracy”

  1. Tom G. Palmer

    Thank you, Dennis! (I mistakenly linked the title to a piece on the BBC web site that I had found interesting. Thanks to Dennis pointing the error out to me, I’ve fixed it on the posting.)

  2. Tom G. Palmer

    The BBC story had nothing to do with this topic. It was the story about the “bulge” in President Bush’s jacket during the second presidential debate. I link to it in the posting just above this one. Again, my apologies for the confusion.