Dissenting Electorate

Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition


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SKU: 9780786408740 Categories: ,

About the Book

It’s the same message every election year: “Get out and vote—It’s your civic duty.” Those who audit the sound bites of the candidates, read headlines about the debates and finally pull the lever at their local precinct are touted as moral, upstanding citizens; those who find among the candidates no agreeable representative, no platform worthy of espousal, and who then refuse to turn out on election day, on the other hand, are labeled apathetic and the legitimacy of their opposition is denied.
This book is an anthology of articles and excerpts from a variety of sources that deal with the topic of nonvoting. In presenting the minority view that important moral and political reasons abound for not voting, the book unfolds four general arguments: voting is implicitly a coercive act because it lends support to a compulsory state; voting reinforces the legitimacy of the state; and existing nonpolitical, voluntarist alternatives better serve society. Many people do not agree with the concept of nonvoting—but the serious and well thought through underpinnings of such a belief are of crucial importance to an understanding of modern American politics.

About the Author(s)

Writer and newsletter editor Carl Watner lives in Inman, South Carolina.
Wendy McElroy is also the author of Individualist Feminism of the Nineteenth Century (2000) and Sexual Correctness (2001). She lives in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Carl Watner with Wendy McElroy
Foreword by John Roscoe ; and Ned Roscoe
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 143
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0874-0
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“a resource to counter the attention given to the importance of voting. People interested in the voting process, U.S. history, and the democratic process will enjoy”—Public Library Quarterly; “thought-provoking…recommended”—Counterpoise.