Philosophy and Voting

In case you didn’t already know, IdeaScale loves voting. We’re big fans of it– it’s built right into our system. Voting is one of the most straightforward, useful, and longstanding forms of tapping into the intelligence of a network and it’s a system that won’t soon evaporate. Whatever measure you’re considering, voting allows you to take the temperature of an issue.

So we love voting, but it’s an incredibly potent subject. Even volatile. Even for us.

Think about it: nearly 90% of respondents to a 2010 survey considered voting to be a moral issue; something that was on par with giving 10% of your income to charity and higher in moral value than donating blood. Whereas this article argues that voting is the opiate of the masses. That’s quite a spread of opinion. It is something people are asked to do conscientiously, reliably – words used synonymously with work that requires a great deal of responsibility. The two minutes that you take filling out that ballot, this thing that takes up such a small percentage of time in your life – other people have feelings about the very act of it – let alone what or who you end up voting for. Does that surprise you?

What is inherently exciting, exacerbating and complex about voting, however is that it is essentially a collaborative, if not cooperative, activity. It asks for a group of people (small or large) to risk themselves against the will of a group. It might even require faith that doing so makes a difference (which is often hard to muster when the voices of so many people are all included in a very complex chorus) – otherwise why get out there at all when you could be at your desk searching for more Gangnam style YouTube clips?

However you feel about voting (from apathy to fanaticism), it is a right that millions of people are exercising today and IdeaScale is glad to see people invested in a very important crowdsourced question.

What do you think about voting as a measure of collective intelligence? Is voting a moral thing to do?

Happy Voting!

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