Syndicated hairpiece Pat Sajak, host of television's beloved Wheel of Fortune, is the most brilliant American conservative. And he has a novel idea to share: Should public employees really be allowed to vote?
No but seriously. He thinks it's a conflict of interest, or at least, uh, should be a conflict of interest! Public employees might "benefit directly" if their choice wins. Isn't that terrible when human beings vote on the basis of what would be the exact right thing for them? There's no way that should be allowed in a democracy.
None of my family and friends is allowed to appear on Wheel of Fortune. Same goes for my kids' teachers or the guys who rotate my tires. If there's not a real conflict of interest, there is, at least, the appearance of one. On another level, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from nearly half the cases this session due to her time as solicitor general. In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it's only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted. So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly? The same question goes for federal workers in federal elections.
Not that he thinks public employees should be denied the right to vote, just... something like that? The stakes are too high nowadays to keep people enfranchised, is the point.
I'm not suggesting that public employees should be denied the right to vote, but that there are certain cases in which their stake in the matter may be too great.
Keep typing, rich man.
Of course we all have a stake in one way or another in most elections, and many of us tend to vote in favor of our own interests. However, if, for example, a ballot initiative appears that might cap the benefits of a certain group of state workers, should those workers be able to vote on the matter?
Yes. And then those votes get combined with the other votes, and a majority of votes determines the outcome. Then again, maybe we should have all public employees spin the Wheel of Fortune? The only prizes available will be "the right to vote," bankruptcy, and expired food stamps. [via The Awl]