Sunday, October 8, 2017

Read here to feel the Joy of Voting

The economic analysis of voting primarily takes voting as instrumental: like a bank account, a vote is supposed to be nothing more than a means to an end. A few of us have argued against this: e.g., Geoffrey Brennan, Bryan Caplan, and recently Becker and Mulligan, but that is a small minority.

Another way to appreciate the same point is to see what actual Catalan voters had to say last weekend:

The polling station workers thought that if they had computers with older technology they may be able to connect to a wifi system [the Spanish government was blocking polling stations' internet access] ... we all started clapping – it had worked! They were connected. One man inside excitedly ran to inform the others... “I’m going to be the first to vote!” he yelled excitedly, to laughter. The two elderly women and a handful of others inside took up their ballot papers and voted.

Then the gates opened and the first round of people walked through. Everyone was cheering and applauding jubilantly ...the faces of those who came through were still calm and resolute but some became tearful after they voted. It was a really moving moment, and it’s hard to accurately put it in words. The best way I can describe it to say there was an overwhelming sense of dignity about both the moment and the people.

You can read the full account here.

That voting is to many people not merely a means to an end is better understood by Catalan separatists than the Spanish government.

No comments: