Question
Asked 2nd Mar, 2017
  • Institute H21

Should multiple citizenship allow the right to vote in multiple countries?

People in some countries are allowed to have more than one citizenship. This allows them to vote in elections in more countries. My immediate reaction to this is that it increases inclusivity which is good. However, even more I think about this from let's say "global citizen's" perspective this seems to me somehow unfair in the sense of unequal vote (some people can influence the politics in more countries than others). I think it's pretty tricky question because it has as pros as cons for integrity of elections. What is your idea about this?

Similar questions and discussions

Do you agree or disagree with compulsory voting in a representative democracy? How does your answer reflect your view of democratic participation?
Question
10 answers
  • David T. RisserDavid T. Risser
Compulsory voting is not a new concept, either theoretically or in practice. Currently, 22 countries have laws for compulsory voting, but they are not enforced in 11. The practice creates a legal obligation for a citizen to vote in elections.  If one fails to vote, he or she may be subject to punitive measures, such as fines or community service.  
Recently, US president Barrack Obama brought public attention to "mandatory" voting by advocating the practice.  He has defended his advocacy with an argument based upon expanding the electorate in the interest of greater democratic legitimacy.
Voter turnout in the US is quite low compared with turnout in other mature democracies.  Chronic nonvoters in the US are disproportionately poor, members of minorities, and in general, socially disadvantaged.  It is argued by Obama and others, that compulsory voting would increase both the size and diversity of the active electorate.
On the other hand, if voting is a right, then to simultaneously make it a legal duty, creates a moral contradiction.  Hannah Arendt, influenced by Socrates' position in Apology, argues that the right to participate politically entails a person's right not to participate in any way whatsoever.
The comments above suggest but a few of the important issues in democratic theory and political participation raised by the debate over compulsory voting.
(Please see my article, "The Moral Problem of Nonvoting".  The pdf is attached below.)

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