Another Purpose for Democracy and Voting

By definition a (wealthy) society needs consensus mechanisms to tackle the difficulties that might arise from attempts to get large groups of individuals to work together towards a common goal. But what happens when “consensus” on such a mechanism cannot be brought about through any type of debate? Voting can be a solution to this type of deadlock when it becomes increasingly clear there can never be a true consensus with any meaningful size of the population.  Both sides agree, provided the voting process is secure, to adhere to the decision of the majority no matter how close the result is.  In this we can see that the decision to take the debate to the polls has in one sense a negative expectation for both sides of the debate.  That is to say some percent of the time each side might expect they will lose (especially if no one (or thing!) can predict the outcome). From a different or larger view though, a compromise from both sides might actually be more favorable than a deadlock, since even the losing side can benefit from moving the debate and economy forward, giving other market players a chance to move on to other possibly “solvable problems”.

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