The importance of informed voters

Economist Joseph McMurray discusses the impacts of Nicolas de Condorcet and concludes with:

If Condorcet’s basic premise is right, an uninformed citizen’s highest contribution may actually be to abstain from voting, trusting her peers to make decisions on her behalf. At the same time, voters with only limited expertise can rest assured that a single, moderately-informed vote can improve upon the decision made by a large number of experts. One might say that this is the true essence of democracy.

Condorcet has had an important influence in theories of voting in political science, most well known for Condorcet’s Paradox. But the gist of his view with regards to voters and information (which can be read in full summary in McMurray’s post) is this: even a voter with little but correct information leads the outcome of the vote toward the optimum, while society would be better off with uninformed voters not participating. So I encourage everyone to vote – but make sure you get some information first.

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