If you haven’t educated yourself on the issues and made an informed decision, I would rather you not vote. I would argue that your civic duty extends beyond simply showing up at the polling place; rather, it extends to educating yourself and picking the candidate who, according to your research, will be best for the country in the long run across the broad range of presidential responsibilities. In fact, I submit that if you vote without having educated yourself on the issues, you are actually doing your country a disservice.
For my part, I have educated myself and I plan to vote later today.
Many, many, MANY a political argument, all categorically more interesting than what is argued about on network news today, has raged over suggestions like yours, Colin. Your theory is fine, just as long as you do not suggest that its implementation in this country would amount to a “democracy.”
Yeah, I wasn’t suggesting that the government disenfranchise people if they weren’t sufficiently well-informed. Like you say, Adrian, drawing the line between sufficiently well-informed and otherwise is philosophically problematic and would lead to many practical problems as well. I just wanted to say that people probably shouldn’t think they did anything great for the country if they showed up to vote and chose their candidate by flipping a coin in the voting booth or by simply voting for the candidate that their friend told them to vote for, without having given their decision serious consideration. Our right to vote was bought at a great price. We should take it seriously.