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Author Topic: Positive and Negative Rights and the Right to Vote  (Read 426 times)
AZRedhawk44
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« on: January 13, 2021, 06:35:08 AM »

In the world of rights or perceived rights, there are effectively two kinds of rights.

Negative Rights are rights which exist and are manifested without being dependent upon the input of another person or agency.  The right to religious freedom is one such example.  You are free to worship as you see fit, even inventing a faith such as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Scientology or the LDS Church, to list 3 religions invented in the US in its 200+ year history.  The right to free speech is another.  The right to bear arms and defend one's self. 

Positive Rights are rights that require the additional input of another person or agency.  The right to education requires input from taxpayers, in order to fund teachers.  It requires the potential use of Eminent Domain to seize land if none is available for constructing schools.  It requires the employment of teachers under a noncompetitive monopolistic employment scheme that could arguably be said to suppress wages for that particular career.  The right to food, shelter, or health care would be another such subset of examples.

Most conservatives and libertarians eschew the notion of Positive Rights, since their support is tantamount to slavery of the person/agency providing the service to the right claimer. 

As such... where does voting stand as a right?  Do you have a right to vote?  Is it a negative or a positive right?

My thinking is that voting is a Positive Right, and as such, effectively negated as a right at all.  At the individual level, voting merely involves walking into a polling place and selecting one's preference for an act of governance or a candidate for an office.  But the mechanisms that manifest that individual's vote are dependent upon the input of considerable amounts of other people and agencies.  Millions of ballots have to be printed, and/or computer software written to (accurately?) reflect the vote.  Polling places must be distributed based on population density and proximity.  Ballots must be distributed to those polling places, or tens of thousands of computers distributed.   Some semblance of authority is bestowed upon particular poll workers in order to maintain order at the polling place.  Voter registration efforts are aggregated at the Secretary of State level in most States in order to create precinct voter registration lists.  Votes are tallied digitally via the computer programs or paper ballots are scanned or hand counted, by poll workers.  Poll workers are generally volunteers and there is no individual right to their labor.  They are not an elected office of themselves.

In the event there were no poll worker volunteers, a right to vote is null.

How would an election be conducted if there were no volunteers?  Is this a "mobilize the National Guard" event?  US Army?  Re-task local police forces to run polls?

Ultimately, the "right to vote" appears to me to be a collective right rather than an individual one, dependent upon the forbearance of one's neighbors to agree to operate the polls.  Which brings us to this election's messy issue.  Do you have a right to a fair vote, if the poll volunteers don't want it to be fair?
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
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Fly320s
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 06:56:22 AM »

First, I absolutely think the US adult citizens have a right to vote in US elections.  We wouldn't have our current form of government without someone voting it into existence 245 years ago.  I also think that if there were no more federal elections, or no legal votes, then the federal government would cease to exist as all the politicians have finite terms.

Which brings me to the 19th Amendment; it is extraneous. The right to vote exists independently of the amendment and/or Constitution. 

As to whether the individual right to vote is a negative or positive right, I lean towards negative because there can be a vote without a ton of infrastructure to support it. 
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 07:04:21 AM »


Which brings me to the 19th Amendment; it is extraneous. The right to vote exists independently of the amendment and/or Constitution. 


If the right to vote is a negative right, and the act of voting can strip a person of other negative rights (right to bear arms, religion, speech, etc) then it cannot be a negative right.  Or exist as a natural state.

The right to bear arms does not strip a person of freedom of religious expression.  The right to free speech does not strip a person of the right to bear arms.

But the right to vote can be used to strip negative rights.  As to whether or not you acknowledge the legitimacy of that vote in its application to negative rights is another issue... but now you have a very complicated mental heirarchy to sort through where certain negative rights are valid and yet you've given the right to vote a standing as a natural negative right that you are invalidating the results of, when you aren't invalidating the legitimacy of those other natural negative rights.
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!
Ron
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 07:14:02 AM »

Voting is a positive right.

It is bestowed upon you by the family/tribe/city/state/nation etc..

If you are living a sustenance existence in a state of nature in the wild, the tribe ignores the wishes (vote) of the moron or disloyal.
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 07:16:30 AM »

Voting is a responsibility or a duty.
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 07:18:18 AM »

 Huh?
I thought voting was violence?
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 07:20:16 AM »

Voting is a positive right.

It is bestowed upon you by the family/tribe/city/state/nation etc..

If you are living a sustenance existence in a state of nature in the wild, the tribe ignores the wishes (vote) of the moron or disloyal.

And as such, a vote coup as insinuated by some Trump supporters would be justifiable and legitimate.  An election is only as good as its volunteers are willing to allow it to be.  The volunteers are the tribe bestowing the vote upon you.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 07:20:24 AM »

Voting is a positive right.

It is bestowed upon you by the family/tribe/city/state/nation etc..

The family/tribe/city/state/nation etc... must agree to bestow the right to vote, which is a form of voting.  "Do we all agree either tacitly or explicitly to let Fly320s have the right to vote? "  

This is starting to sound like a chicken vs egg debate.
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RoadKingLarry
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 07:20:47 AM »

Huh?
I thought voting was violence?

Only if you vote for anyone not a fully libtarded.
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 07:22:27 AM »

Huh?
I thought voting was violence?

Voting is a proxy for violence, by the output party (the voter).  It's a pledge as to where your violence would go if pushed to do so, theoretically.

But for the input party (the government or the poll volunteers, take your pick) it is not violence.  It is a fractional yielding of power.
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!
kgbsquirrel
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 12:52:13 PM »

It is my position that Franchise is not a right but instead is the lowest and most fundamental position of governmental authority and as such must be earned.  The only right in relation to it is the right to try to earn it.  Universal franchise has been an abject failure and not because of any demographic; it fails because of basic human self interest coupled with universal suffrage's lack of discrimination against conflicts of interest, ie. voting yourself more of someone else's money.
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MechAg94
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 01:00:38 PM »

It is my position that Franchise is not a right but instead is the lowest and most fundamental position of governmental authority and as such must be earned.  The only right in relation to it is the right to try to earn it.  Universal franchise has been an abject failure and not because of any demographic; it fails because of basic human self interest coupled with universal suffrage's lack of discrimination against conflicts of interest, ie. voting yourself more of someone else's money.
I agree.  Our country didn't start with a universal franchise.  Voting wasn't looked on as some sort of universal right at that time. 
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kgbsquirrel
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2021, 01:08:08 PM »

So I vote option C:  Voting is the lowest and most common office in government.  It pays nothing and obligates you with the responsibility of being called as a juror.

The right is in the opportunity to attain that office, which shall be equal to all persons.
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2021, 01:13:01 PM »

So I vote option C:  Voting is the lowest and most common office in government.  It pays nothing and obligates you with the responsibility of being called as a juror.

The right is in the opportunity to attain that office, which shall be equal to all persons.

That may be how you want to perceive it or make it operate.  But that isn't how SCOTUS or Congress perceives it.

And doesn't answer my question in the OP.

Do you have a right to a fair vote, if the poll workers don't want it to be fair?

By what mechanism do you have a claim on their labor as they operate the polls?
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
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I reject your authoritah!
kgbsquirrel
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2021, 01:18:25 PM »

That may be how you want to perceive it or make it operate.  But that isn't how SCOTUS or Congress perceives it.

And doesn't answer my question in the OP.

Do you have a right to a fair vote, if the poll workers don't want it to be fair?

By what mechanism do you have a claim on their labor as they operate the polls?

I really don't give a damn what they think anymore.  In fact I regard them systemically corrupt and illegitimate.  

Are you specifically trying to get someone to make statements of violent intent towards poll workers?
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 01:23:29 PM »

Just spittballin' here.
You own property, you get to vote.  You serve in the military, you get to vote.  You serve in some non-governmental public service position, you get to vote. There are doubtless other places one could serve to earn the franchise.

You serve in a federal elected office (US Representative, Senator, President, etc.), after your term you get to serve one year in federal prison for each year served in office.
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 01:36:23 PM »


Are you specifically trying to get someone to make statements of violent intent towards poll workers?

No, I'm trying to find out how many people will avail themselves to positive rights claims on others when they find the reason convenient, despite generally eschewing positive rights claims.

In order to have violent intent, you first have to have a grievance.  If you have a grievance, you feel you are owed something by someone and that debt was not fulfilled.  That's a positive claim on that person.  

How can you have a positive claim on a volunteer?  That's some serious entitlement, right there.

This is an unsolvable cycle, because someone who did not volunteer to be a poll worker, cannot morally have a grievance against someone who did volunteer to be a poll worker and did the job in a way the non-volunteer doesn't like.  Without the volunteer workforce, elections would be impossible.  This nullifies the "right" to vote.
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
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I reject your authoritah!
AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2021, 01:37:18 PM »

Just spittballin' here.
You own property, you get to vote.  You serve in the military, you get to vote.  You serve in some non-governmental public service position, you get to vote. There are doubtless other places one could serve to earn the franchise.

You serve in a federal elected office (US Representative, Senator, President, etc.), after your term you get to serve one year in federal prison for each year served in office.

Again, that's a wishlist.

It doesn't address the question in the OP.

Do you have a right to a fair vote, if the poll workers don't want it to be fair?
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2021, 01:56:02 PM »

So your contention is that volunteering justifies fraud?
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2021, 02:07:18 PM »

In order to fix the problem, you first have to understand what the problem is, in the first place.

The first step in that process is to define your relationship to the process of voting.  Is it a right?  How is that right manifested?  What impediments or dependencies are there to exercising that right?  How do you remedy those impediments or dependencies?  What impositions or penalties can you justify putting on others in order to exercise a right?  What scope of criminality can you impose on a volunteer who is facilitating a positive right of another person?

If it was possible to get embroiled in a RICO-style federal prosecution just by volunteering to work at the polls for an election... would you want to work the polls?

Does the volunteer system of poll staffing need to be phased out in favor of juror-style poll staffing?  In a lot of ways, the right to vote and the right to a trial by jury are similar.  They're both positive rights dependent upon one's community.
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"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!
Fly320s
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2021, 02:23:42 PM »

And doesn't answer my question in the OP.

You asked several questions in the OP.  This:

Quote
As such... where does voting stand as a right?  Do you have a right to vote?  Is it a negative or a positive right?

seems to be the question(s) you want answered her.

I can't answer for Mr. Squirrel, but it seems to me he answered your question.

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cordex
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2021, 02:28:36 PM »

What impositions or penalties can you justify putting on others in order to exercise a right?  What scope of criminality can you impose on a volunteer who is facilitating a positive right of another person?
You are misframing the question and confusing yourself.

First of all, working at the polls is a voluntary act.  If people were drafted to serve at the polls perhaps you would have something almost resembling a point, but they aren't.

So it isn't so much that a poll worker interfering with an election is a case of someone being enslaved to provide a positive right to others, rather it is a case of a voluntary adoption of responsibility and a position of minor authority with the intent of committing acts of fraud.  Likewise, a volunteer law enforcement officer cannot be excused for intentionally behaving in a criminal fashion just because they are not being paid for their service.

If it was possible to get embroiled in a RICO-style federal prosecution just by volunteering to work at the polls for an election... would you want to work the polls?
It is possible to violate state and federal law by committing acts of fraud while volunteering at the polls.  Yes, that could lead to prosecution (assuming prosecutors wanted to pursue it).  That's a thing.

Importantly, it is the violation of election law that subjects someone to prosecution, not the act of volunteering at the polls.  A non-poll worker could and should be charged with most of the same violations if they committed them.
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kgbsquirrel
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2021, 02:39:44 PM »

Again, that's a wishlist.

It doesn't address the question in the OP.

Do you have a right to a fair vote, if the poll workers don't want it to be fair?

Do poll workers have a right to interfere with your franchise is a better question.  And the answer is no.  It is also criminal.  And you have absolute right to be free from having crime done to you.
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2021, 02:45:35 PM »

Again, that's a wishlist.

It doesn't address the question in the OP.

Do you have a right to a fair vote, if the poll workers don't want it to be fair?

Yes.  Yes you do.  But your right might be denied and you have little if any recourse if the election officials and the Secretary of State are in on the fraud (or at least tacitly approve of it)
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« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2021, 04:33:41 PM »

The conundrum you have arrived at is a predictable consequence of beginning with a word salad, and then trying to draw real world, cash value conclusions from it.

Ultimately your theory of rights is a word game unless other people agree and to an extent, respect them. Voting is one way of achieving consensus on what other people will ask of you, respect of your asks, and the degree to which they will leave you to your own devices. Voting is a pretty good method by which you can test your language about rights - as you can see, other people will start to question the arbitrary categories you come up with, which will give you a good idea of what to expect in the real world and how to go about convincing other people to approach you in the way you want to be approached.

In terms of this idea there are only two categories of rights, well childhood and family relationships seem to be entirely positive based on your framework and conservatives seem to embrace those rights and relationships. Imagine someone refusing to feed their children because being obligated to other people is slavery - on the other end of the spectrum there are people who genuinely believe that responsibility extends from you to your poor neighbours as well. Calling something a positive right doesnĺt distinguish between the two or offer a basis for working out why you have to feed your children but not your neighbour.
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