‘Don’t blame me!’ Seriality and the responsibility of voters

Robert Bernasconi

in Democracy in Crisis

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780719079238
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702123 | DOI:
‘Don’t blame me!’ Seriality and the responsibility of voters

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This chapter argues that the form of democracy for which alterity is a problem is a very impoverished one for this is a polity in which the public good has all but disappeared. It discusses the difference between the so-called share-holder model of democratic practice that is prevalent today and a notion of responsibility towards others that is produced when one is subject to their gaze in public. This chapter reviews the debates concerning the shift from public to private ballots in the nineteenth century and analyses the kind of community that is formed on the basis of self-interest. It also proposes a democratic practice that embraces rather than excludes alterity, whereby voters are held responsible for the effects of their choices.

Keywords: democracy; alterity; public good; democratic practice; private ballots; self-interest; voters

Chapter.  7283 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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