Voter competence and liberal democracy
What is the significance of assessments of voter competence for the political philosophy of democracy? Those sceptical of voter competence have challenged deliberative democrats, arguing that individuals do not approach political decision-making rationally. In reply deliberative democrats emphasise the normative, rather than empirical, importance of self-reflective discussion. This project accepts many of the sceptics’ conclusions but argues against a common recommendation – smaller government. Instead it proposes paternalist intervention to improve voter competence.