I recently posted on a hypothetical “kilo-vote” scenario intended to help show that most of us don’t vote mainly to influence who wins the election. However, the ability of any given scenario to convince a reader of such a result depends on many details of the scenario, and of reader beliefs about behavior. So on reflection, I’ve come up with a new scenario I think can persuade more people, because in it fewer things change from the prototypical voting scenario.
I deeply care about consequences, and I vote, but that's not why I vote.
I'm well aware that my vote is almost astronomically unlikely to influence the result.
I vote out of a sense of duty.
Maybe I'm weird.
One test is whether people will expend effort to affect the votes of others. (If one does not consider one's vote as having a practical consequence, then one will not consider others' votes as having a practical consequence.) But people do expend effort to propagate their political views. Similarly, people do spend money to affect the votes of others.
I personally know two kinds of people ... those who deeply care about consequences and vote because of that, and people don't believe that their vote matters and don't vote at all. I know *of* other kinds of people ... like smarmy journalists and academics who think they're above it all.
Pure circular reasoning. "I feel pretty sure that what I believe is true." I myself am quite confident that everyone I know would vote all 20 times, but my circles don't consist of disaffected jerkoffs like Hanson and his friends.
Democrats (small 'd') or egalitarians might have ethical reservations about having their voting activity count for more than that of other voters: they might refuse to exercise their super-voter status for ethical/ideological reasons.
That is why you can spread your votes over a whole month.
Duty to whom?
To your coalition allies.
I must have different motivations than most people. I'm pretty sure that I would cast all the supervotes. I don't understand the notion of voting out of a sense of "duty". Duty to whom? You actually increase everyone else's influence when you don't vote, so not voting is a selfless, altruistic act.
This is stupid. The cost of spending an hour to cast a vote doesn't scale linearly with the number of hours. Generally, the cost of an hour is lower if you have spare time and higher if you do not, and since you only have a limited amount of spare time, that makes successive votes much more expensive.
A similar effect could be achieved by reducing the number of elections per year, and would be much easier to get the public on board with.
To isolate the motive of influencing the outcome from motives to impress one's associates.
Not only would your votes count double, but it would also be 40 times more worthwhile to investigate candidates and decide exactly where and how to vote. Or to look at it another way, you could amortize the fixed cost of deciding how to vote, much more effectively, and should therefore be yet more eager to vote.
Why is it a necessary part of the scenario? In normal voting it is easily provable that you voted, right? Why specifically disallow the disclosure of additional votes?
It may be that most people (correctly) don't believe something, yet nobody knows how to show it false. (OT: I think this is the case, philosophically, with respect to skepticism.)
Voting out of a sense of duty, however, isn't exactly counterposed to voting to influence results. You can do something out of a sense of duty where the duty is to exert as much favorable influence as possible. That is, there are non-Kantian conceptions of duty. To be more exact about the sense of duty involved, I'd say it is the duty to do one's share, not to maximize results. (Thus, if the number of voters drops, it is likely to continue dropping, because "one's share" depends on what others do; whereas maximizing favorable influence would increase the incentive to vote when fewer citizens do so.)
Robin, what's your point here? I fear you're attacking a strawman.
Do most people (or most academics who study this stuff) really think that people vote mainly to influence the result? I doubt that.
I think most people vote out of a sense of social duty.
In democracies that sense of social duty is taught in schools and encouraged by all sorts of social institutions.
While I'm not sure voting is about signalling, I think you're correct that it's not mainly about influencing results. But then I think that's what most people already believe.
This proposal isn't to improve the system, it is just to test theories of voter motivaiton.