JSI Seminar Series 2013: Piero Moraro
3 October 2013
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A moral argument for restricted suffrage
Whether or not voting is a citizen'sduty, it is certainly a citizen'sright: no one can be prevented from voting. Against this view, Piero Moraro claims that a citizen who is not interested in politics should not vote and, furthermore, could justifiably be prevented from voting. First, he describes cases where voting is morally wrong, that is, when a citizen has a moral dutynotto vote. Second, he considers the view of "epistocrats", who argue that incompetent citizens should not be allowed to vote. Third, he offers one main objection to epistocracy, and argues that rather than on "competence", we should focus on the subject's interest in politics, or "commitment". Fourth, he claims that "uncommitted" voters cause an unjust harm to voters who are "committed". In such cases, it might be morally permissible to prevent uncommitted voters from voting, in order to avert the unjust harm. His conclusion, thus, is that it is in principle morally permissible to deny some citizens the right to vote.
About the speaker:
Piero Moraro is a lecturer in Justice Studies at Charles Sturt University, and a fellow of the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE). He holds a PhD from the University of Stirling, UK, and a MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. His research interests focus on political obligation and democratic theory.
Location: Seminar Room 403, Level 4, New Law Building, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney
Cost: Free - Registration Essential
Contact: PLaCE Coordinator
Phone: (02) 93510323