The podcast explores various ways political decisions in a democracy are made in ignorance.
“The idea of democracy is that the citizens should decide how they’re governed and what policies their government adopts, and they way they do this is via the ballot box. But what if the voters are too ignorant about what makes good policy—or even about the effects of bad policy—to vote well in the first place?”
The recurring problem that leads to political ignorance is that each of our votes is diluted by other peoples’ votes. One vote is so cheap that it has no incentive value to the voter. And because there is no cost associated with voting in ignorance, many people do.
There is no real solution to the problem of political ignorance, according to the podcast. Things that won’t reverse the ignorance include:
- Mandatory voting
- Deliberative democracy (townhalls, e.g.)
- Civics education
- Technocracy (letting “experts” decide political issues)
- Restricting the franchise
However, the intractable problem of political ignorance should be a factor in deciding how large and centralized we allow our government to be.