Thanks, Scott. This view has been extensively discussed by Bryan Caplan in The Myth of the Rational Voter. But we need to recognize that despite this cogent argument, people *do* vote. They may not spend days weighing up all the options, but they do make an effort, often a not inconsiderable one, to cast their vote.

That is the basis of our support for a democratic system. Just imagine how much legitimacy the system would have if, say, only 5% or even 20% of the electorate, rather than the 50%-ish (give or take) that now casts their ballot.

My point is that this legitimacy is not quite what it seems, because the motivation of the actual vote is impulsive.

Accidental behavioural economist in search of wisdom. Uses insights from (behavioural) economics in organization development. On Twitter as @koenfucius