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Deliberation and Voting in Contemporary Democratic Theory

by Benjamin T. Sirolly

A Proposal Submitted to the Honors Council For Honors in Political Science April 13, 2007

Approved by:

____________________________ Adviser: Professor James (Political Science)

____________________________ Reader: Professor Magee (Economics)

____________________________ Honors Council Representative: Professor Groff (Philosophy)

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF FIGURES ................................................................................ IV ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................V CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ...............................................................1
1.1 DISCUSSING THE GOOD GOVERNMENT .................................................................................................1 1.2 PLAN FOR THE THESIS ..........................................................................................................................5

CHAPTER 2: COMMUNICATIVE ACTION AND DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY ..............................................................................................8
2.1 INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................8 2.2 COMMUNICATIVE ACTION AND DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY THROUGH JÜRGEN HABERMAS..............9 2.2.1: Communicative Action .............................................................................................................10 2.2.2 Discourse and Democracy .........................................................................................................14 2.2.3 The Two-Track Model of Politics and Society ..........................................................................20 2.3 DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ..........................................................24 2.3.1 Deliberation and Fairness .........................................................................................................25 2.4 MODERN CHALLENGES AND AGGREGATIVE SOLUTIONS ....................................................................28

CHAPTER 3: AGGREGATIVE VOTING ..............................................30
3.1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................................30 3.2 DEMOCRATIC VOTING AND THE AGGREGATION OF PREFERENCES ....................................................30 3.3 THE PARADOX OF VOTING ..................................................................................................................32 3.4 INTRANSITIVITY AND VOTING: ARROW'S POSSIBILITY THEOREM .......................................................33 3.5 THE ENDS AND MEANS OF DEMOCRACY: A STUDY OF RIKER ............................................................41 3.6 A DELIBERATIVE PERSPECTIVE ON STRATEGY AND MANIPULATION IN VOTING ................................51

CHAPTER 4: THE PROBLEMS OF AGGREGATING VOTES AND DELIBERATION ........................................................................................60
4.1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................................60 4.2 THE PROBABILITY OF CYCLES ............................................................................................................60 4.3 DELIBERATION AND INTRANSITIVITY ..................................................................................................61 4.3.1 Unanimity...................................................................................................................................62 4.3.2 Single-Peakedness......................................................................................................................66 4.4 DELIBERATION AND SINGLE PEAKEDNESS .........................................................................................70

CHAPTER 5: DELIBERATION AND VOTING ....................................83
5.1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................................83 5.2 THE CONCEPTION OF A LEGITIMATE POLITICAL DELIBERATION .......................................................83

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5.3 PSYCHOLOGY OF DELIBERATION ........................................................................................................85 5.3.1 Social Forces at Work: Polarization and Silencing of the Numerical Minority......................86 5.3.2 Unanimity versus Majority Rule................................................................................................89 5.4 DECISION RULES IN A DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY ...........................................................................91 5.5 THE PUBLIC DELIBERATION AND PRIVATE VOTING ...........................................................................91 5.6 THE ROLE OF VOTING IN A DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY ...................................................................98 5.7 DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY AND VOTING: RECONCILED...................................................................99

ENDNOTES............................................................................................... 102 BIBLIOGRAPHY ...................................................................................... 109

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Table of Figures

FIGURE 1: SINGLE-PEAKED PREFERENCES .....................................................67 FIGURE 2: THE PARADOX OF VOTING: NON-SINGLE-PEAKED.........................69

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Deliberative Democracy claims that democratic legitimacy is tied to a deliberation oriented at consensus. For the theory to have applicability in a modern context, it must somehow accommodate John Rawls has called the “fact of pluralism.” 1 If consensus is not a feasible goal, the question arises whether the aims of voting and deliberation are reconcilable. I argue that because deliberative democracy requires only that citizens have an orientation towards consensus, majority rule voting is not necessarily a competing force to deliberation. Furthermore, I argue that voting and deliberation are mutually supportive and necessary in the pursuit of the deliberative ideal. This is due to the fact that together voting and deliberation allow for the actualization and harmonization of the two components of the deliberative citizen, the public and private. Voting and deliberation are therefore reconcilable.

Sirolly 1 Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Discussing the Good Government What is a good government? What makes a government legitimate? The contemporary answer to this age old question is, 'a democratic one.' One might charge that a government is legitimate when its mantra is “of the people, by the people, for the people.” 1 But unfortunately, the answer to the question of what makes a good government is far from simple. When thinking about the ideal form of government the non-ideal real world must be considered. The institutions of government as well as the socio-psychological effect of those institutions on the citizens are important to recognize. The philosophical groundings of the government must be deeply connected with real world institutions and practices. All the while, the government must remain loyal to its citizens and to the mantra “of the people, by the people, for the people.” The most promising contemporary solution for what a good government would look like is called deliberative democracy. Deliberative democracy, a term only first used in the 1980s 2 , is in its simplest form exactly what it sounds like, a political system where deliberation is the foundation and the most central piece of the democracy. Deliberative democracy theorists vary, sometimes greatly, on their description of what this democracy would look like, but a few key features tie each of the theorists together. First and foremost, deliberation is the most important and essential type of participation for a citizen of the democracy. At its most basic, the deliberation is a discussion by equal

Sirolly 2 citizens making a common political decision by trying to come to some consensus or agreement. This process of deliberation brings the affected together to be a part of a common decision, and in doing so, deliberation creates in them a sense of agency and self governance and forces those individuals to justify their beliefs to others. This process of individuals entering the political realm both legitimizes the government through popular support and at the same time creates a sense of shared value and life between citizens. One of the largest questions in deliberative democracy is how exactly political decisions will be made. Jon Elster's early account of an ideal deliberative democracy claimed that, “there would not be any need for an aggregating mechanism, since a rational discussion would tend to produce unanimous preferences.” 3 His reference to “an aggregating mechanism” is a general way of referring to any particular way of adding up votes to determine a majority choice. Elster's claim is almost certainly too strong for any large scale, modern, plural democracy. When millions of individuals from heterogeneous backgrounds are asked to a make a collective decision, there is likely to be nothing that the group can decide on of practical importance to a political system. Even if consensus could be found at some time in the infinite future, political questions are generally time dependent and a unanimity requirement could prevent any timely reactions. So then if unanimity cannot be expected because of the constraints of time and scale in a large, modern, plural democracy, then there must be some other way of making the important and contentious decisions. The (nearly unanimous) choice of deliberative democracy theorists for this task is decision through a majority wins vote. Their perspective is that,

Sirolly 3 if unanimity cannot be reached and a decision must be made, then a vote is needed as a method of last resort. If voting is a inescapable piece of a deliberative democracy, then two questions arise. First, can the aggregation of votes accurately describe and depict the outcomes of political deliberation, and secondly is voting normatively and psychologically at odds with deliberation? Whether voting can accurately aggregate votes to determine the majority will has long been the topic of study for a field of political science called Social Choice Theory. These theorists have proven that there is no sure-fire way to add up votes that will always be fair and logical. Some problems inherent to the aggregation of votes are that any system of voting is open to manipulation by its voters, that the addition of votes can lead to illogical and thus meaningless outcomes (for example, candidate A beats candidate B who beats candidate C, but candidate C can also beat candidate A, or A>B>C>A), and that the winner of a vote can sometimes be determined solely on the choice of the method of adding up votes. Even if voting can mathematically represent, and thus be in part reconciled with deliberation, the further question arises whether voting is fundamentally in conflict with deliberation's normative and psychological aims. Deliberation is a public act which aspires to hold people accountable for their statements and beliefs through continuous public discussion whereas voting is a private act which requires no debate and within which the voters are accountable only to themselves. Even the way that we think of the two processes is inherently different. Deliberation is a process that encourages, and

Sirolly 4 sometimes demands, cooperation and compromise where voting is thought of generally as a strategic process where the more powerful political factions jockey and fight for those few independent or 'swing' voters in order to garner the desired level of support, generally 51 percent. The two processes of deliberation and voting seem to push the political spectrum in two entirely different directions, one towards cooperation, and the other toward strategy. It is no wonder then that deliberative democracy theorists shy away from voting, and only call on it when absolutely necessary.

My question is this: Can deliberation and voting exist together without harming one another, and if they can, is aggregation able to represent the outcomes of a deliberation properly?

What I will show in this thesis is that deliberation and voting are reconcilable in their processes and aims, normatively and socio-psychologically. Not only are these two processes able to exist together, I show that their co-existence is symbiotic. Where deliberation has faults, voting is able to compensate and where aggregation has been shown to be meaningless, deliberation gives it meaning. Within the context of one another, voting and deliberation are strengthened, rather than weakened. This result is important for both fields of Social Choice Theory and Deliberative Democracy. For the Social Choice Theorists, my results give reason to the mathematical findings. I show that the problems of aggregation do not occur when the act of voting

Sirolly 5 represents an actual social choice. For the Deliberative Democrats, my work refocuses deliberative democracy and challenges them to think of voting of an essential part (rather than a method of last resort) of the deliberative process. I believe that, if further developed, this shift will be fruitful for the field of deliberative democracy by clarifying many of the current institutional problems as well as offering new and powerful avenues of approach to understanding deliberation. These are of course, my hopes. For the present, the work is an exposition of the interplay of deliberation and voting, one that I hope clarifies the problem and presents a viable solution.

1.2 Plan for the Thesis Chapter two is an exposition of deliberative democracy, largely based on the work of Jürgen Habermas. Habermas, best described as a German socio-political philosopher laid much of the groundwork for the theory of deliberative democracy in his 1995 work Between Facts and Norms. Beginning with deliberative democracy's historical and philosophical place in political theory, I will then move on to focus on the processes of deliberation and the institutional aspects of a deliberative democracy that most directly pertain to the voting. I will then present a few divergent viewpoints on the substance and processes of deliberation in order to give a more complete view of the current understanding of a deliberative democracy. Finally, I will present some of the challenges to deliberation from other fields as well as from a few deliberative democrats. The third chapter will focus on the problems associated with aggregating votes.

Sirolly 6 This chapter will be built largely around two thinkers, Kenneth Arrow and William H. Riker. Arrow determines that any logically arranged system of voting can output an illogical result and Riker then shows that any fair system of voting, being vulnerable to Arrow's result, is also vulnerable to strategic manipulation by the voters as well as an agenda setter. The third chapter will build these two results up so that the reader unfamiliar to social choice theory can fully understand the power and extent of their findings. The fourth chapter analyzes social choice theory in both its real world significance as well as its interaction with deliberation and deliberative democracy. The discussion on the real world significance of voting largely comes from Gerry Mackie's work Democracy Defended. His work is a long warranted study of the prevalence of the problems of social choice in real democracies. I then take the results of his work and, with the guidance of a few deliberative democrats, show how deliberation can account for many of Mackie's results and then argue that greater movement towards a deliberative democracy would further reduce the problems presented by social choice theorists. Chapter five is my analysis of the normative as well as psychological conflicts between voting and deliberation. Beginning with recent psychological findings on deliberation and voting, I argue that these findings show a need for both deliberation and voting in concert. This analysis hinges on the idea that in our decision making processes, we need both public and private experiences and interactions to fully experience the deliberative effects. I will argue that voting is a much needed moment of private

Sirolly 7 sincerity within the larger context of the public deliberation. I continue this argument through to the normative end of deliberation and voting, arguing that a private vote is necessary for an effective public deliberation. Through this analysis, I will show that deliberative democrats' expressed desires for deliberation are actually better met when voting is an integral part of the deliberative process.

Sirolly 8 Chapter 2: Communicative Action and Deliberative Democracy

2.1 Introduction Deliberative democracy is a rich theory of politics which attempts to construct, or perhaps reconstruct, a modern theory of a good, just, and legitimate government. In contrast to classic theories of direct and representative democracy that emphasize the importance of individual sovereignty actualized through voting or assent to a social contract, deliberative democracy grounds the political lawmaking process in political discussions. The generally accepted and common conception of deliberative democracy 1 contends that the nature of the discussions of proposal and institutionalization of law ground that law's legitimacy. In other words, when a deliberation can ideally find consensus, it creates inherently legitimate legislation. I will begin this chapter with an exposition of the basic structure of deliberative democracy, as it has been presented by the German, socio-political philosopher, Jürgen Habermas. His work has in large part defined and shaped the current deliberative democracy theory. Even those thinkers who have presented independent conceptions of deliberative democracy confess their indebtedness to Habermas and his ideas of communicative action. 2 Thus my explanations and discussions of deliberative democracy will begin with his ideas on communicative action, move to communicative action’s place in a discourse theory of law and democracy in terms of legitimacy, and finally discuss the implementation of such a theory in a modern, plural society. Then the focus will shift to a few competing conceptions of what a deliberative

Sirolly 9 democracy might look like. These thinkers both add substance and some depth to Habermas’s theory by offering a few real world consequences of deliberation as well as a few philosophical points not in Habermas’s works.

2.2 Communicative Action and Deliberative Democracy through Jürgen Habermas 3 Prior to Habermas, there were generally two paradigms of explanation for social action, one for economists, the other sociologists. Economic theorists generally used strategic behavior or instrumental rationality to describe social action, which accounts for action in a fairly Hobbesian sense 4 in that each individual’s actions can be entirely understood in terms of the pursuit of self interest. The economic understanding of instrumental rationality essentially removes all meaning from laws and social norms because individuals would only follow those norms and laws when it was to their individual benefit. Sociologists, in contrast, largely explained social action in terms of irrational acts, such as habituation and culturally-specific socialization 5 which led individuals to act with no instrumental goal or end purpose in mind. 6 In this paradigm, sociologists explain actions in accordance with social norms through irrational tendencies of social compliance. Communicative action is Habermas's sociological reconstruction of how and why individuals can rationally follow social norms, where he finds a middle ground between instrumental rationality and irrational normative action. Habermas believes that there is one, unified rationality to all social action that is justifiable across all modern cultures. Below I will describe Habermas's conception of how this social rationality is developed

Sirolly 10 and at the center of our social norms. What makes social rationality possible is the use of ordinary language. Language, used in communication, requires our utterances and thoughts to be “publicly accessible” in order for us to share them at all. 7 Because language allows for a shared understanding of propositions pertaining to social norms, we are able to justify those norms to each other. The rationality, or validity, of a social norm is then justifiable through discussion because of the common foundation of reference provided by language. 8 This procedure of justification is what Habermas calls communicative action.

2.2.1: Communicative Action Communicative action occurs when individuals attempt to reach agreement in order to coordinate their actions. 9 Action coordination occurs in a range of processes from the simple, such as a family coming together to build a shelf, to the complex, where a nation creates a national defense system. In both of these cases, there is a problem of action coordination, and because the actors need the cooperation of all involved in order for the project to be successful, they must attempt to reach some consensus over how that project will be completed. Habermas argues that whenever a group of individuals attempts to reach a consensus through communication they unavoidably act under certain presuppositions, or follow a few guidelines though often unspoken, that are necessary to their pursuit of a consensus. 1


The contention that the guidelines are natural and necessary is not universally accepted by deliberative

Sirolly 11 The presuppositions to a discursive process aimed at action coordination, as given by Habermas are that, “the participants must assume, among other things, that they (a) pursue their illocutionary goals without reservations, that they (b) tie their agreement to the intersubjective recognition of criticizable validity claims, and that they (c) are ready to take on the obligations resulting from consensus and relevant for further interaction.” 10 Taken together, these three presuppositions set the stage for individuals to enter into a communicative discourse with the capacity of producing societal norms. The first presupposition (a) of communicative action simply requires that participants not hold back in their arguments aimed at convincing the other parties. In other words, the arguments should not be constrained due to reservations about the possible consequences of those arguments. One must not feel pressure or fear or any other force against their entering their own ideas and desires into the conversation. This ensures that no arguments are precluded and similarly that nothing is left unsaid. If something were to be left unsaid by a participant, that participant would most likely be unable to accept the final agreement fully, without reservation. The second condition (b) is that individuals “tie their agreement to intersubjective recognition of criticizable validity claims”. Claims to validity are a speaker's method of presenting claims to truth that can only be justified socially. 11 Validity claims “[pertain] to action norms and all the general normative propositions that express the meaning of

democratic theorists. However, many of the same theorists who disagree with the idea that the guidelines are not unavoidable do agree with the content of the rules. The debate between these thinkers and Habermas asks whether these rules of debate must be codified and enforced to ensure proper outcomes. I leave this question open.

such norms.”


Sirolly 12 These are claims that are discussed and agreed to (or not) within a real

discourse between real individuals. Validity claims' success and failure depends solely upon the “rationally motivated agreement” of the participants of the debate. In other words, validity claims are accepted or not by the force of the better argument, and thus are normative because of their social acceptance. The set of presuppositions that make consensus possible necessarily create an intersubjectivity which allows for the recognition and challenging of validity claims. This process of creating an intersubjective perspective ideally includes “[ascribing] identical meanings to expressions, [connecting] utterances with validity claims, and [assuming] that addressees are accountable, that is autonomous and sincere, with both themselves and others.” 13 Through these three idealizations the participants form the intersubjective perspective, which builds a linguistic foundation through ordinary language use. This linguistic foundation allows participants to directly and cooperatively discuss any social norm in a meaningful way that allows for mutually understood argumentation and eventually consensus. The final rule of discourse, (c) that an individual must be “ready to take on the obligations resulting from consensus,” 14 guarantees that the agreements made in the communication are carried through. Whereas a verbal agreement might rest only on a principled, philosophical argument, agreement formed in communicative action must be carried out in the lives of the agreeing participants. The norms created through communicative action are binding and internally codified, rather than externally enforced. In this way, the results of communicative action are like a moral code, where the

Sirolly 13 motivation for compliance is an internal duty. Communicative action seems to gives a more complete, human, picture of the motivations and construction of societal norms in that it allows for the following of social norms not only because they are there, or that strategic rationality dictates that we do so, but rather because of a personal agreement founded in a process of fair discussion in which anyone affected can take part. Habermas's insight is that our social lives do have a sense of rationality to them, in that our normative actions are rational because of the context of deriving those norms. In order to clarify what constitutes a valid norm derived from communicative action, Habermas presents a discourse principle: Just those action norms are valid to which all possibly affected persons could agree as participants in rational discourses. 15 In the discourse principle, Habermas essentially reformulates the Kantian categorical imperative replacing Kant's internal process of moral justification 16 with a public process of deliberation between individuals. In a way, the processes of discourse require individuals to exist in a Kingdom of Ends where the need for each individual's consent ensures that everyone's autonomy is fully respected. Furthermore, the ability for a normative rule to be generalized is found in both Kant and Habermas, except that Habermas requires actual deliberative testing of the generalizability of a norm. In sum, the process of communicative action, or deliberative discussion aimed at consensus on problems of action coordination is meant to generate valid norms to which every member affected could agree. 17

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2.2.2 Discourse and Democracy As discussed above, Habermas argues that processes of deliberation aimed at consensus are naturally shaped by the unavoidable presuppositions of communicative action. These presuppositions will, and in fact must, occur in the ideal discourse situation. However, because the political world is far from ideal, deliberation must be somehow modified in order to take into account the unavoidable social and political facts in the legislative process of democracy. Democratically generated laws are a distinct subset of discursively generated norms, but they are not one in the same. This is because deliberative democracy requires no preconceived societal ethic, but instead, “a discoursetheoretic interpretation insists on the fact that democratic will-formation draws its legitimating force not from a previous convergence of settled ethical convictions but both from the communicative presuppositions that allow the better arguments to come into play in various forms of deliberation and from the procedures that secure fair bargaining processes.” 18 At the same time those modified procedures must maintain a deep connection to the processes of communicative action in order to maintain a connection to normative legitimacy. Our next step, then, is to determine where the discourse principle fits within the processes of democratic legislation and governance. Deliberative democracy is the application of the discourse principle to the political and legal system, institutionalizing discourse within a system of government created to enable the creation, and enforcement of law.

Sirolly 15 To better define the process of legitimacy behind deliberative democracy, Habermas introduces the principle of democracy to “establish a procedure of legitimate lawmaking” 19 . The principle of democracy is: “that only those statutes may claim legitimacy that can meet with the assent of all citizens in a discursive process of legislation that in turn has been legally constituted.” 20 The democratic principle both draws on and departs from the discourse principle. On one hand, democratic legislation must be grounded in communicative action through discursive processes in order to be legitimate. On the other, the historical and societal nature of law requires a reformulation of that principle. The nature of law is due to its specific role in society throughout history, and thus the constraints on the discourse principle are not particularly normative, but historical. 21 The story of law, as told by Habermas, begins in the traditional society, where individuals interacted on a regular basis. Due to this regular interaction, the subjects recognized each other as irreplaceable members of a concrete community. Furthermore, this daily interaction allowed a moral tradition to be generated and sustained through communicative action. A primitive society would be composed of individuals who all followed fairly similar, not very specialized roles, and each of these individuals would be working under a similar moral system. However, as the society became increasingly compartmentalized and specialized, the legal form “became necessary to offset deficits arising with the collapse of traditional ethical life.” 22 This collapse, due to the stratification and compartmentalization of society, meant that legal norms had to “regulate interpersonal relationships and conflicts between actors who recognize one

Sirolly 16 another in an abstract community first produced by the legal norms themselves.” 23 In a modern society, where the traditional ethical construction has lost its foothold, the society is composed of actors who interact sparsely or not at all. Problems of action coordination arise between these actors that cannot be feasibly solved by traditional discursive methods. Here law must fill in the gap between individuals, creating both a language for interaction as well as a set of rules for that interaction. In order for markets, businesses, specialization, and modern commerce in general to come into being, law is necessary to artificially create communal standards to allow these disciplines and structures to function and exist. 24 The nature of law must differ further from morality in that law pertains only to external relationships, rather than internal kinds of motivation. 25 Because of the lack of everyday communicative interaction between the parties involved, which would have created the intersubjective perspective in a normal discursive process thereby enabling norms to be generated, law is not an internally motivated moral choice but rather a choice of rule conformation. Furthermore, because law serves the function of intermediary between individuals who do not often interact, law asks only that the participants can imagine themselves as typical members of a legally constituted community. This nature of the law, which guides the outcomes of the democratic principle, distinguishes moral norms from the norms created from the democratic principle insofar as the moral principle generates an internally constituted rule set whereas the democratic principle “refers to the level at which interpenetrating forms of argumentation are externally institutionalized.” 26

Sirolly 17 Thus law, Habermas argues, must play a dual role, in that it must adhere to the burdens imparted by its social role and at the same time maintain its connection to normative claims; 27 law must both address local actors in particular situations as well as tie its precepts to universalizable validity claims; law is inherently enforced coercively, yet the individuals under coercive enforcement must see themselves as the authors of that law. Law is split between these competing claims of the facts of social reality and the normative ties that give legitimacy to the law. The generation of law must maintain a connection to, but take a step away from, the ideal considerations of the discourse situation. Where this step leads is into the democratic principle, a less ideal, more flexible standard of legitimacy for law and democracy. In general, the democratic principle “should institutionalize the communicative framework for a rational political will-formation, and it should ensure that will-formation can express itself as the common will of freely associated legal persons.” 28 Unfortunately, because legally binding arguments are not ideal, due to their inclusion of strategic bargaining and compromise procedures, the “universal presuppositions of argumentation can only be approximately fulfilled.” 29 Ideally, the procedure of communicative action would be institutionalized as the discursive political process, however social and political facts of argumentation prevent this idealization from being realized. Thus the hope of deliberative democracy is to approximate the ideal outcomes of communicative action through institutions of government and law that can guide the pre-existing social and political complexity towards a more ideal, communicative structure of decision making.

Sirolly 18 Furthermore, the reality of politics requires careful consideration about existing power and social structures to ensure that they do not overwhelm the ideals of the discourse principle. Also, the discourse principle is meant to deal with disputes over ideal and normative matters and so it is not entirely adept at addressing the temporally limited, pragmatic, and complicated questions that arise in the political sphere. In response, Habermas answers that “the centerpiece of deliberative politics consists in a network of discourses and bargaining processes that is supposed to facilitate the rational solution of pragmatic, moral, and ethical questions – the very problems that accumulate with the failure of the functional, moral, and ethical integration of society elsewhere.” 30 Deliberative politics must walk a fine line between maintaining a connection to moral standards while returning decisions that meet the practical limitations inherent in politics. In attempting to incorporate the pluralism of value orientations in modern society, deliberative democracy cannot expect to modify these value orientations immediately, nor can it ignore them. Because the goal in these discourses is compromise 31 rather than mutual consensus, there must be rules of bargaining that somehow neutralize power differences between the parties. Furthermore, the deliberative process must include methods of fair bargaining that are not seen in the discourse principle. Habermas cautions that these conditions of bargaining, rather than consensus seeking, will likely induce strategic actions by the parties involved. 32 Strategic action is incompatible with the outcomes of communicative action, but deliberative democracy and the legal claims to validity are more flexible than those of communicative action alone. In legislation generated through

Sirolly 19 democratic political processes: The supply of information and purposive-rational choice of means are interwoven with the balance of interests and compromise formation; with the achievement of ethical self understanding and preference formation; and with moral justification and tests of legal coherence. This concept is strong enough to ground the deliberative mode of the legislative process as a necessary condition of legitimate lawmaking, but weak enough not to lose touch with empirical theories. In this construction of democratic lawmaking, legislative processes maintain fairness, but at the same time incorporate social realities. Fairness is maintained, even in the face of strategic action, insofar as the ability to bargain and have influence is given equally to all of the participants. Then, fairness is achieved in negotiated agreements when “all the affected interests can come into play and have equal chances of prevailing.” 33 It may seem that the discourse principle is now almost relegated to a footnote, in that legislative processes must move farther and farther away from consensus in order to incorporate social reality. However, the basic ideas of fair bargaining must be founded within moral discourses rooted in the discourse principle. Furthermore, the particular nature of the issues at hand in legislative decision making – temporally limited and nongeneralizable as moral norms – determines that the discourse principle is only supplemented but not replaced. This allows the deliberative democracy to incorporate the non-ideal nature of the discourse. When viewed as a whole, deliberative politics is a messy process, but even so it always maintains its connection to the original legitimating forces of law. The processes of deliberative democracy incorporate the power structures and social and political facts but only after their harmful affects have been largely negated.

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2.2.3 The Two-Track Model of Politics and Society In Habermas’s deliberative democracy, the question arises, who is discoursing, and what is the context or purpose of that discourse? Habermas argues for a two track solution, where democratically generated legislation has two components to its generation: an institutional component of legislative procedure within the government, and a public component where the public sphere’s non-institutionalized deliberative insights provide direction for, and give legitimacy to, the institutional procedures of government. This two track model is legitimate under two conditions, that the institutional procedures must be open to input from the informal public sphere and that the institutional structure is appropriately formatted to allow for the relevant types of discourse to ensure a rational outcome. The second of these precepts has been fleshed out in the above discussion on the democratic process and its inclusion of fair processes of bargaining and strategic action in concert with the deeper tie to normative processes. The first condition requires a discourse of interaction between the citizen and their government. Before this interaction can be analyzed, the idea of citizenship must first be clarified. In the two track model, the normative standing of the citizen is an amalgamation of the two most commonly accepted political constructions of the citizen originating in the theories of liberalism and republicanism. 34 Liberalism views the citizen as a private person with private rights that protect them against the government and other citizens: As a bearer of these rights they enjoy the protection of the government, as

Sirolly 21 long as they pursue their private interests within the boundaries drawn by legal statutes.” Political rights such as voting rights and free speech... give citizens the opportunity to assert their private interests in such a way that by means of elections, the composition of parliamentary bodies, and the formation of government, these interests are finally aggregated into a political will that makes an impact on the administration. 35 The liberal view of politics in general views politics as the interaction of a number of private individuals. If there is no coherent public sentiment, than a subjugation of the minority is possible because through greed or treating individuals as a means rather than an end. Perhaps the treatment of individuals as private citizens then brings liberals to their common fear of a “tyranny of the majority”, where minority groups are subjugated to the will of a majority within the society, and thus human rights must be codified to protect these minorities. A deliberative democracy pushes past the view of citizens as entirely private. The very nature of communicative discourse requires a sense of political commonality and cooperation. When individuals form their will and opinions in a public, deliberative, setting, they no longer can be said to hold entirely private interests. Instead, their interests and preferences are those that are defensible in deliberation. In contrast to liberalism, civic republicanism views the public processes of politics and political deliberation to be “constitutive for the processes of society as a whole.” 36 Society, and thus the lives of those within it, is centered about politics. Rights are not negative, but are positive liberties which guarantee the “possibility of participation in a common praxis, through the exercise of which citizens can first make themselves into what they want to be - political autonomous authors of a community of

free and equal persons.”


Sirolly 22 The problem of the republican approach is that it has a

communitarian tendency, in that it attempts to create “an ethical construction of political discourse.” 38 As previously noted, modern politics cannot be founded upon on one common societal ethic. Because of the legal system’s grounding through the discourse principle, legal persons -or those subject to, and authors of, the law- must be defined as bearers of rights. These rights can come in two general genres, popular sovereignty and human rights is the right to self-rule. Civic republicans argue that the right to popular sovereignty is at the heart of political organization, and that any system of rights is only an extension of the specific ideals of each community. The second general genre of rights that legal persons may claim is that of human rights. Popular sovereignty and human rights have often been thought to be at odds with one another, due to the fact that rights limit the bounds of popular sovereignty and their foundations are at odds-one founded in liberalism, the other republicanism. However, Habermas argues that these two types of rights are not in conflict, but instead work in concert to allow citizens the freedom and ability to exercise their political autonomy. 39 That the two types of rights work in concert is due to the deliberative founding of those rights within the idea of political autonomy. The exercise of political autonomy, in concert with the democratic principle requires that the communicative processes of will and action formation that compose the discourse principle are controlling legislation. Therefore, individuals must be able both to participate fully in the process of discourse as well as freely form their own opinions and conclusions. To deny either of these would be

Sirolly 23 to undercut the process of communicative action, and thus the legitimacy of the legislation. Neither popular sovereignty nor human rights can be placed above the other. Or, human rights are necessary to ensure that popular sovereignty is accessible through communicative action. In this construction, both human rights and popular sovereignty are intrinsically inseparable. The two-track model of discursive politics denies both that democracy can be legitimate without some public orientation and that society is constituted and centered about politics. First, if the theory of communicative action and the discourse principle is at the center of legitimacy, citizens must be somehow publicly oriented toward mutual cooperation and understanding. Second, political questions are not questions about shared moral and ethical life, and so society cannot be wholly centered around politics. “[These] two views would exhaust the alternatives only if we hat to conceive of the state and society in terms of the whole and its parts. To the discourse theory of democracy corresponds, however, the image of a decentered society.” 40 Political power flows not from one origin, but from two tracks, the institutionalized legislative government and the civil society, or public sphere. The institutions of government are charged with focusing the numerous conversations and non-institutionalized deliberations in the public sphere into a coherent legislation. This is because “communicative power” and influence generated in the public sphere are “transformed into 'administrative power' through legislation.” 41 The discourses in the public sphere serve to direct, through political elections and activism, and legitimate the actions of the institutions of governance.

Sirolly 24 There is essentially a balance of power between the public sphere and the government, mediated by the precepts of a constitution. The constitution ensures that the government must take account the discourses of the public sphere while at the same time the public sphere is unable to legislate independent of the government. This method allows social complexity to be preserved and recognizes the impossibility of a societywide discussion, but at the same time brings the multiplicity of deliberative results into play in the opinion and will formation leading up to legislation. In sum, Habermas's conception of deliberative democracy is rich and deep. He founds democratic legitimacy in the discourses of citizens attempting to live together in society and the connection of the outcome of those discourses to democracy and law. Habermas is understandably not alone in describing what a deliberative democracy might look like, and in order to add some depth and breadth to the picture I will now review some of the most important components of a deliberative democracy through the work of some of these contemporary thinkers.

2.3 Deliberative Democracy: A Review of the Literature A full review of the literature on deliberative democracy is far outside of the scope of this paper. What I offer here is a sample of the literature on what constitutes a fair and legitimate deliberation. Because the concern of this paper is whether voting and deliberation can be reconciled, the following will be an exposition of what constitutes a fair and legitimate deliberation. Because deliberation, rather than voting, is the central key to legitimacy of democracy, voting must mesh with deliberative standards, instead of

Sirolly 25 the reverse. Therefore, it is imperative to have a clear picture of the fair and legitimate deliberation in mind before voting is addressed at all.

2.3.1 Deliberation and Fairness Amy Guntman and Dennis Thompson, in their work “Why Deliberative Democracy,” suggest that the precepts and principles of deliberative democracy are centered around one idea: reciprocity. 42 They explain that, “the basic premise of reciprocity is that citizens owe one another justifications for the institutions, laws and public policies that bind them.” 43 Insofar as this is true, reciprocity is the driving force behind our actions oriented at consensus in deliberation. Through pursuing reciprocity we pursue an ongoing activity of deliberation which includes “mutual reason-giving, punctuated by collectively binding decisions.” 44 Out of the principle of reciprocity flows the idea of the economy of mutual respect. The economy of mutual respect calls on individuals to look for points of convergence of argument. 45 Mutual respect requires that, “when political opponents seek to economize on their disagreements, they continue to search for fair terms of social cooperation even in the face of their fundamental (and often foundational) disagreements.” 46 Taken together, reciprocity and mutual respect are the driving force behind a fair and legitimate deliberation. Deliberators acting with mutual respect and a sense of reciprocity could almost certainly be described as acting communicatively. When we must defend our arguments and listen to others (reciprocity), and do so in order to find consensus (mutual respect),

Sirolly 26 we have in many ways recreated the original conditions that are necessary for ideal deliberation about matters of action coordination. In attempting to coordinate our actions with another, we have already come to the realization that we require the unforced consent of the other. In realizing this, we must respect their ideas and justify our own if we hope to come to consensus at all. Thus, Guntman and Tompson provide a new perspective on communicative action in giving more concrete terms to Habermas's presuppositions of communicative action. In his work on issue processing, David Braybrooke provides an apt description of a real, yet fair, deliberative process: In what we might define as logically complete debate, the participants, turn by turn, raise proposals and invoke arguments for them, and the other participants deal with all the proposals and answer all the arguments not their own; thus as the issue moves toward resolution, every participant is aware at every stage of every ingredient still current in the debate. Thus, when the issue is resolved, say by a majority voting to adopt a certain set of proposals, every participant, whether in the majority or in the minority, will have the same complete information about the track the debate has taken. 47 Braybrook's narrative delivers us an image of the discourse principle unfolding in the real world, and brings several considerations about the discourse principle to light. The first consideration is that of the scale of the debate. Braybrook's narrative insists that each participant remain informed of each and every argument that ends up affecting the final outcome. In order to, and in the process of, engaging in this criticism, the participants will come to grasp the meaning of each other's arguments, and thus will form an understanding of the ideological background and belief structure of every participant. Even in a small group of individuals, such a process is time consuming, as anyone who

Sirolly 27 has served on a committee might already know. Finally, at the conclusion of the debate, the individuals each understand the entire scope and depth of the debate because of their involvement throughout. This understanding is a mutual bond between the participants, from which they are able to make and defend arguments, which is what Habermas terms the intersubjective perspective. Therefore, even a less ideal picture of deliberation leads to some of the very positive outcomes of a mutually shared perspective and an all inclusive understanding of the outcome for each individual involved. Another issue which jumps out from Braybrook's narrative is that the “resolution” of the discussion is in the form of a majority wins vote. Habermas views a vote as a measure which is only taken when the question at the center of the deliberation is time dependent. A vote is taken to generate the necessary outcome, but in contrast to Braybrook, the discussion is not considered resolved at this point. Rather, for Habermas the discussion always remains open. This dissonance between Braybrook and Habermas begins to show, I believe, the underlying tension between ideal deliberation and its required practical outcomes. Habermas presents a carefully crafted theory which ensures that we do not taint our outcomes by closing debate with a vote. Yet, when enacted by actual participants, this fine distinction is easily lost, as Braybrook’s use of language, demonstrates. James Borhman suggests that Habermas’s standard of legitimacy as laid out in the democratic principle is too strict to be realized in any real society. The standard of unanimity, that all must agree, in a pluralist society is far too high, argues Borhman 48 . He suggests that Habermas reformulate the democratic principle to “a law is legitimate

Sirolly 28 only if it is agreed to in a participatory process that is fair and open to all citizens.” 49 This reformulation places emphasizes the process proceeding a decision, and places legitimacy not in the final agreement of every citizen’s agreement to every particular decision, but rather the ongoing participation of citizens in the discourse that formulates those decisions. Bohman’s reformulation adds insight into the deeper purpose of deliberative democracy, but I am skeptical that Habermas would disagree with him. In his discussion of voting, Habermas argues that the process of the debate will likely continue indefinitely. The practical reality of society dictates that consensus is a goal at some time far in the future. Voting is a pause in the process of a discourse that is necessitated by time or institutional pressures to decide, but that vote does not stop the process. In fact, Habermas argues that members of a minority giving their consent to the outcome of a vote hinges on the “proviso that they themselves retain the opportunity of winning over the majority with better arguments and thus of revising the previous decision.” 50 In this light, Bohman’s suggestion elucidates the deep tie of the process, rather than the outcome, of political deliberation to legitimacy.

2.4 Modern Challenges and Aggregative Solutions The hope of deliberative democracy is high. It has the capacity to strengthen societal cohesion as well as the foundations of democratic government. This proposal is especially important at this moment in history, as democracy is spread to new corners of the world and the democracies of old face new and deep challenges. If citizens were to

Sirolly 29 deliberate over legislation with the express purpose of reaching a consensus, or even a compromise, I believe that many of the ideological splits and powerful roadblocks that plague the current system would be swiftly removed. However, the problems of modernity continue to plague and institutionalization of deliberative democracy. The pluralism of beliefs prevents consensus, the scale of modern societies prevents societywide deliberations, and the general facts of politics prevent the realization of any kind of idealization. These problems must be confronted in the coming years by democratic theorists if deliberative democracy is to have a chance of realizing its potential. Presently, the processes of deliberative democracy cannot expect full success, and insofar as they fail, we must rely on the time-tested process trusted by democracy for hundreds of years: aggregative voting.

Sirolly 30 Chapter 3: Aggregative Voting

3.1 Introduction I argued in the previous two chapters that a deliberative democracy will always have occasions when voting is the only democratic means of generating political decisions. This chapter is concerned with an analysis of the act of voting and the methods of addition, or aggregation, of those votes in order to determine a majority choice. I begin with an outline of aggregative voting that explores the extent to which the procedures leading up to a vote affect the outcome. Then the narrative shifts towards the aggregation of a single vote and the problems of cycling that arise. The chapter ends with a discussion of the manipulation of aggregative voting.

3.2 Democratic Voting and the Aggregation of Preferences For democratic voting to be justifiable, we must at the very least know that the outcome of the vote represents an actual majority choice, that the vote was not manipulated, and that the voters were free to choose their actual preference. In the scope of this paper, an individual's preferences are thought of as being expressed in their vote, and so an aggregation of preferences is an aggregation of votes. In a democracy, one might think that a vote should easily to meet these conditions, but voting can be a complicated process, clouding the results. For example, in American local and district wide elections the aggregation of votes is in the form of a simple plurality system. These elections generally determine positions from school board

Sirolly 31 member to members of congress. In a Presidential election, there are three steps to the aggregation of preferences in the form of votes. The election begins with fiery political primaries that often decide candidates for each major party. Next, those winners are presented to the entire public in a state wide vote; nationally, the vote is completed in three rounds: first a primary, then a popular election which chooses official presidential electors, and finally a vote by electors in the Electoral College. In American legislative decisions on proposed bills, we discover several more methods of aggregative voting. Any bill must first be introduced and approved by a committee, and within this small group the proposal goes through several rounds of voting of modifications and amendments. Then, a full committee vote determines whether the bill is considered by the full legislature. In the greater legislative body the proposal is subject to another round of amendments and votes on those amendments. Finally, depending on whether the bill is in the Senate or the House, the bill might require several more procedural votes which will bring about a final vote, yea or nay, on the content. Thus, to think of the vote on a bill as a simple yea or nay vote by the members of the legislature, or an election as a simple decision between a few candidates, is mistaken. In fact, most methods of aggregation are more than one-shot events, due to nominations, primaries, and a number of other processes of alternative reduction which are attached to decision making procedures. However, even if we limit our interest to the tally of votes in a one-shot context, where a number of alternatives are presented to some number of individuals, there are multiple voting systems from which one might choose. To name a few, there is the

Sirolly 32 Borda count, the Condorcet method, plurality wins, runoff voting, instant runoff voting, the Hare method, approval voting, the Schulze method, and the two thirds majority criterion, and others. Luckily, all of these voting systems work on a very similar set of principles anchored to the ideal of majority rule. Insofar as they are similar in this way, we can refer to them together as methods of aggregative voting. When votes are aggregated, it is common to refer to the order of options collectively chosen by the community as the social choice profile. As with individual preference profiles, we expect that the social choice profile should be logically transitive. Transitivity in any profile implies a logical order. In other words, transitivity means that if A is preferred to B, and B to C, then A is also preferred to C. Intransitivity is the violation of this type of logical order. The most classic case of intransitivity in a social choice profile is the “paradox of voting.” 1

3.3 The Paradox of Voting In the paradox of voting, we are presented with three individuals, 1, 2, and 3 who are attempting to decide on some social question with three alternatives, A, B and C. Individual 1 prefers A to B, and B to C, 2 prefers B to C, and C to A, and 3 prefers C to A, and A to B. The method of aggregation chosen is the Condorcet pair-wise comparison method, which looks at the options in pairs to determine which one beats the rest most often. In our paradox, when A and B are compared, 2 individuals prefer A to B, so A is socially preferred to B. Similarly, when B and C are compared, B is preferred twice to C, so B is the social choice over C. The paradox arises when C is compared to A, and in this

Sirolly 33 case, two individuals also prefer C to A. Aggregated through the Condorcet method, the social profile requires that A is preferred to B, which is preferred to C, which is then preferred to A. Thus, A is preferred to A, which is a logical impossibility, and makes the social choice profile intransitive. To summarize, from a set of individuals with logical or transitive preferences this method of aggregation does not return a result that is also transitive.

3.4 Intransitivity and Voting: Arrow's Possibility Theorem The modern critique of methods of aggregation truly found its voice in the 1950s with the economist Kenneth Arrow. Arrow, who later won the Nobel Prize in Economics, was concerned with possibility of intransitivity in the aggregation of preferences. What makes Arrow’s work noteworthy is that he takes this single case of intransitivity and generalizes it to all methods of voting. In his own words: For any method of deriving social choices by aggregating individual preference patterns which satisfies certain natural conditions, it is possible to find individual preference patterns which give rise to a social choice pattern which is not a linear ordering. 2 Simply put, he argues that there is no method of adding up votes that can return a reasonable and defensible result in all possible cases. Arrow's argument defines five “reasonable conditions of the construction of a social welfare function”3 and attempts to find a method of aggregation that can meet all five criteria in all cases. In describing Arrow’s proof, I will attempt to avoid unnecessary formalism as much as possible. However, in order to present parts of his argument in

Sirolly 34 their original and more powerful form I will offer a quick explanation of his notation. I find a mathematical analogy helpful in thinking about the span of options that Arrow’s formula must represent. Simple mathematical relationships can either be greater than, less than, or equal to, or some combination of the three. Symbolically, we represent the quality of greater than as “>” because the number on the left is greater than the one on the right, less than as “<”, and two numbers of equal value as “=”. We also can represent the combinations greater than or equal to as “≥” and less than or equal to as “≤”. Because 4 is greater than 3, we represent this relationship symbolically as “4>3.” In analogy, Arrow is interested in the relative position in a preference order of two different options, and so he constructs a relational notation. When one option is outright preferred to another option (“>” in the mathematics analogy), this relation is symbolized by a P. So, for instance if x is preferred to y (x>y), he writes it xPy. For the case where there is no preference between options x and y, (x=y) it is presented as xIy, or the individual is indifferent to x and y. When x is either preferred to or is indifferent to y, (x≥y) it is represented by xRy, which is known as a weak preference order. Also, in the case that x is preferred less than y, we must only rephrase it to y is preferred to x, or yPx. These relations, P, I, and R constitute the whole set of relational possibilities for linear preference orders of comparable alternatives. To specify the actor whose preferences we are referring to, Arrow places a subscript next to the preference relation. Thus the symbol for an individual i who prefers x to y is xPiy, and for individual one in the paradox of voting, we write AP1B and BP1C. As long as individual 1’s preferences are transitive, AP1C can be inferred from the other

Sirolly 35 two (if A>B and B>C, then A>C). To represent the social choice outcome no subscript is used. 2 One final piece of notation is the use of a prime (′) on the relational symbol. The prime signifies an independent preference order over the same set of alternatives by the same individual. So, for example, we can write xPiy and xP′iy, signifying that the primed and unprimed preference relations are part of different overall sets of preference orders. For instance, the full preference orders could be xPiy, yPiz, and xP′iy, zP′iy. At this point I will begin with Arrow’s proof, now armed with the necessary notational knowledge. Arrow asks us to consider a society of two individuals, 1 and 2, with three alternatives, x, y, and z, trying to make a choice through constructing an aggregate social welfare function. The social welfare function is subject to several basic and logical conditions of restraint in order to ensure that the aggregation of preferences returns a normatively acceptable result. For example, if a society is trying to collectively decide some policy, the social welfare function must be able to incorporate, or be defined for, every allowed individual ordering of preferences. It might be that some orderings are not allowed, for instance Germany no longer tolerates Nazi sympathizers. For those orderings that are allowed all


Arrow offers several uses of the notation for clarity (the parenthetical explanations are mine in the form of (mathematical analogue. “Or,” the ordinary language explanation)): a) For all x, xRx. (x=x. Or, x is indifferent, and so must also be related by R, to itself.) b) If xPy, then xRy. (If x>y, then x≥y. Or, if x is preferred to y, x must also be preferred or indifferent to y.) c) If xPy and yPz , then xPz. (If x>y and y>z, then x>z. Or, if x is preferred to y and y to z, then x must be preferred to z.) d) If xIy and yIz, then xIz. (If x=y and y=z, then x=z. Or, if x is indifferent to y and y is indifferent to z, then x is indifferent to z.) e) For all x and y, either xRy or yPx. (Either x≥y or y>x. Or, x can be either preferred or indifferent to y, but if it is neither of those, y must be preferred to x.) f) If xPy and yRz, then xPz. (If x>y and y≥z, then x>z. Or, if x is preferred to y and y is preferred or indifferent to z, then x must be preferred to z.)

Sirolly 36 possible preference orders must be accounted for. Derived from this type of consideration, the formal definition of the first condition is: Condition 1: The social welfare function is defined for every admissible pair of individual orderings, R1, R2. 4 Remembering that R1, R2 are the preference orderings for individual one and individual two in the hypothetical society, the formal definition of the first condition simply requires the social welfare function to be defined, or be able to aggregate, any allowable combinations for individuals one and two. The second condition ensures that the social welfare function does not, for some alternative, respond negatively when an individual changes their preference for that alternative positively. For example, if the aggregation of votes determines that x is societally preferred to y and an individual then decides to change their vote from y to x, the total aggregated result should not then change to y being preferred to x. This would mean that someone increasing their preference for an alternative decreases the social preference for that alternative. Because this result is undesirable, Arrow presents the second condition of the social welfare function: Condition 2: If an alternative social state x rises or does not fall in ordering of each individual without any other change in those orderings and if x was preferred to another alternative y before the change in individual orderings, then x is still preferred to y. 5 In a more formal way, Arrow has stated that an alternative should not be lowered in the societal rankings by greater support in the individual preference rankings. An aggregation that satisfies this condition is commonly referred to as being monotonic. The third condition defining the social welfare function is commonly referred to

Sirolly 37 as the independence of irrelevant alternatives. Independence from irrelevant alternatives means that if there is if the social welfare function is comparing to alternatives, x and y, the results of that comparison should not depend on a third alternative z. If we imagine a vote with three candidates x, y, z, where the aggregated social preference tells us that x is preferred to y which is preferred to z, or xPy, yPz. In an unfortunate turn of events in our hypothetical vote, the candidate z dies of a heart attack close to the time of the vote. Arrow argues that: “the choice to be made among the set of surviving candidates should be independent of the preferences of individuals for the nonsurviving candidates. To assume otherwise would be to make the result of the election dependant on the obviously accidental circumstance of whether a candidate died before or after the date of polling.” 6 In order to avoid an effect by an alternative on the social preference order of two other alternatives, the formal restriction on the social welfare function is stated in condition three as: Condition 3: Let R1,R2, and R′1, R′2 be two sets of individual orderings. If, for both individuals i and for all x and y in a given set of alternatives S, xRiy if and only if xR′iy then the social choice made from S is the same whether the individual orderings are R1,R2, or R′1, R′2.( Independence of irrelevant alternatives.) 7 The condition defines two different preference orders for individuals one and two over the same set of alternatives, and in both orders x is at least as good as y. From this, Arrow claims, we must know that x is preferred to y, by this knowledge alone. The last two conditions essentially ensure the democratic nature of the aggregation of preferences. The fourth condition is: Condition 4: A social welfare function is not to be imposed. 8

Sirolly 38 A social welfare function is imposed if it does not respond at all to change in preference orders of the individuals in that society. 3 An imposed social welfare function could, for instance, order xPy even if the entire society unanimously preferred y to x, or yPx. Imposition violates any sense of democratic “rule by the people,” because the “people's” preferences are completely ignored. The fifth and final condition states that: Condition 5: The social welfare function is not to be dictatorial (non dictatorship). 9 Simply put, if the social welfare function’s preference order always and only depends on one individual’s preferences, then the social welfare function is determined dictatorially and the controlling individual is a dictator. 4 In total, the conditions that have been placed on the social welfare function are as follows: it must be defined for all allowed preference orders, it must be monotonic, it must not take into account irrelevant alternatives, it must not be imposed, and it must not be dictatorial. We can say with some confidence that these general conditions are operating principles that should be incorporated into any logical and ethical system of aggregation of societal preferences.



The formal definition of imposition: A social welfare function will be said to be imposed if for some pair of distinct alternatives x and y, xRy for any set of individual orderings R1, R2, where R is the social ordering corresponding to R1, R2. Formal Definition of dictatorship: A social welfare function is said to be “dictatorial” if there exists an individual i such that for all x and y, xPiy implies xPy regardless of the orderings of all individuals other than i, where P is the social preference relation corresponding to those orderings

Sirolly 39 Arrow's breakthrough was in proving that a system of aggregation satisfying the conditions does not exist because “satisfying those conditions leads to a contradiction.” 10 The contradiction arises when you examine a hypothetical decision by two individuals over three alternatives. For two of the three alternatives, x and y, there are two general possibilities of preference ordering, which are: (1) both individuals prefer the same alternative, such that xP1y and xP2y, or (2) they prefer different alternatives, for example xP1y and yP2x. For the first alternative(1), the social welfare function must return the result xPy, because if it were to return any other ordering, the function would violate condition four, the imposition condition. Thus Arrow writes: Consequence 1: If xP1y and xP2y then xPy. 11 In the case of the second possibility (2) where our individuals do not agree (xP1y and yP2x), the social welfare function can return one of three results: xPy, yPx, or xIy. For the case of xPy, returned for the preference profiles of xP1y and yP2x, it can be shown that individual one is a dictator 12 , violating the dictatorship condition. If yPx resulted, individual two would similarly be a dictator. Therefore, the only fair social welfare function must have the outcome of an indifferent society: Consequence 2 5 : If xP1y and yP2x, then xIy. 13 So, with the conditions of fairness for the social welfare function, we have two consequences, that if the two individual society is split, the society is indifferent (a tie), or


Here I have departed from Arrow’s numbering system of the consequences for clarity.

Sirolly 40 if the society is unanimous, the society prefers that option. In this hypothetical society of two we can imagine that individual one has a preference ordering of xP1y and yP1z, (x>y>z) while individual two’s ordering is zP2x, xP2y (z>x>y). From the first consequence, we know that the social welfare function must return xPy (x>y). Also, with preference orders yP1z (y>z) and zP2y (z>y) consequence two requires that yIz (y=z). Thus, because the social welfare function must be transitive, or logically ordered, xPy and yIz (x>y=z) requires xPz (x>z). However, if we look back to the original preference orders, we see that xP1z (x>y) and zP2x (z>x) which, by consequence two, must result xIz (x=z). Arrow concludes that “it cannot be that x is both preferred and indifferent to z [(x>z ≠ x=z)]. Hence, the assumption that there is a social welfare function compatible with conditions 1-5 has led to a contradiction.” 14 In any aggregation of votes, there will always be some probability that the aggregation of those votes will lead to a logical contradiction. To generalize and summarize his result, Arrow offers the Possibility Theorem: If there are at least three alternatives among which the members of society are free to order in any way, then every societal welfare function satisfying conditions 2 and 3 and yielding a social order satisfying Axioms 1 and 2 must be either imposed or dictatorial. The Possibility Theorem shows that, if no prior assumptions are made about the nature of individual orderings, there is no method of voting which will remove the paradox of voting, neither plurality voting nor any scheme of representation, no matter how complicated. 15 In his possibility theorem Arrow has shown that, even if there happens to be a society where everyone can clearly express their own preferences and everyone is working together in good faith to determine the majority’s preference, a fair and rational method

Sirolly 41 of aggregation that always works does not exist. No matter how innovative or careful the counters are, as long as the method of aggregation meets the criterion of the five conditions, they can never eliminate the possibility of failure.

3.5 The Ends and Means of Democracy: A Study of Riker Some thirty or so years after Arrow presented his powerful proof of the impossibility of a social welfare function that meets certain simple conditions, William Riker, a professor at the University of Rochester, expanded upon this theory to show the arbitrary and meaningless nature of any voting system. In the significant work, “Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice,” Riker hopes, “to assess whether it is sensible to pursue democratic ends by democratic means.” 16 By democratic ends, Riker is referring to those values that build the philosophical foundations for democracy. In democracy there are three fundamental values: participation, liberty, and equality. These elements of democracy were chosen by Riker not for their philosophic importance but rather because statistically they are the elements that most democracies hold in common. 17 His characterization is adequate, though not necessarily complete, in the context of an analysis of deliberative democracy. Participation on the part of the citizens is inseparable from deliberative democracy because participation is intrinsic to the legitimacy of democratic institutions and law. Furthermore, liberty is necessary to deliberative democracy so that individuals have the ability to freely choose and act within both political deliberation and society as a whole.

Sirolly 42 Finally, political equality is necessary so that deliberative results are not skewed towards the influential and the powerful, but rather towards the true consensus of the polity. When Riker asks whether democratic means can meet the democratic ends, he is concerned with problems that arise potentially and actually in constructing and carrying out a system of voting. The first question along this line of thought asks whether there is a proper choice of method for the aggregation of votes, and whether the choice of the system affects the outcome. The casual observer can likely provide their own example of how the construction of the system of voting can affect the final outcome. For example, in committees, the order of voting on different amendments and bills can return different outcomes. The order of amendments, or procedural votes, can steer the outcomes at the will of the agenda setter. The primary system also has the possibility of excluding a candidate that would be the actual majority choice of the voters. For example, in a two party system, the nominating procedure of the candidates may eliminate a candidate that is actually preferred to all the others nationally. “Such a candidate, call him the Golden Median, though very popular with independents as well as many people in all parties, might loose by a narrow margin in his own party to another candidate.” 18 If the primary system were designed, say, to not restrict voting to just party members but to any registered voter, the outcomes would almost certainly be different. When the outcome of a vote is dependent only on the choice of method of aggregation, a burden must be placed upon finding the right and fair method of voting that can be justified over all of the rest. Riker contends that we cannot choose between voting systems on any ethical or

Sirolly 43 value based criteria because at least on a basic, perhaps superficial level, all of the methods of aggregation are fair. “If, for any choice that is supposedly fair because it comes out of a fair procedure, there is another choice from another procedure that is fair in a different and conflicting way, then it is difficult to justify the fairness of any choice.” 19 However, Riker argues that the efficiency of systems of voting can be analyzed by testing the system against a reasonable set of criteria. These criteria are very much analogous to those presented by Arrow, both in form and content. Yet, where Arrow defines reasonable criteria based on logical transitivity, Riker looks to fairness. The first criterion of a fair vote is that it is monotonic. 20 As we saw in Arrow’s second condition, a voting system should not reduce some alternative’s position in the societal preference order if an individual increases their preference for that alternative. The second condition of fairness requires that the vote-counting not give more power or influence in determining the final result to one, or a group of, individuals. The voting system should not differentiate between individuals, and thus Riker specifies this as the condition of undifferentiatedness 21 . The final condition of fairness requires that none of the alternatives are given an unfair advantage structurally over any of the others. For example, a two thirds majority rule applied to amendments to the Constitution naturally gives advantage to the status quo, thus violating this condition of neutrality. Riker shows that the only system of voting that can meet these three conditions is majority voting between two alternatives. 22 Majority voting between two alternatives easily satisfies the three conditions as follows: a vote for one candidate helps that

Sirolly 44 candidate and leaves the other without a vote (monotonicity), individuals have one vote that is tallied equally (undifferentiatedness), and a two-choice vote has no systemic bias under majority rule. Unfortunately, binary choices are extremely rare, and perhaps nonexistent in a natural system (no imposition of binary choices) of politics. 23 This is partially because alternatives are sometimes continuous across the spectrum of possibility. A budget, for example, could range across some large number of values in quantized increments as small as pennies, generating a near-infinite set of alternatives. If we consider possible candidates, on the other hand, the set of possible alternatives in an American presidential election is theoretically every natural-born citizen over the age of thirty five. Structurally, this set is restricted through entrance costs such as campaign money and political primaries. Thus, Riker's critique is not that we do not observe binary choices in politics, but instead that the creation of those choices is somewhat arbitrary and lacks a sense of defensibility. An example of such narrowing is found in the American presidential campaigns where the primaries usually start out with several candidates. This field is narrowed down to a few during the first few weeks, and then to one by the party’s convention. Thus, Riker explains, “since there are always more than two alternatives, the most responsible parties can do is select two of them – usually in an unfair way.” 24 For either party, their best interest lies in garnering all of the voters at or near their particular political orientation. If a single party presented two candidates, those two candidates would likely split the base of loyal voters. Unless this party has the support of an overwhelming majority of the population, they are certain to lose an election where

Sirolly 45 they present two candidates. Consider, for example, the case where party A has approximately 60 percent support in a national population, and party B is preferred by the other forty. If both parties offer one candidate in an election, party A will undoubtedly win. If, by some matter of indecision, party A presents not one, but two candidates that split the vote (for example, the candidates taking 35% to 25%) it is likely that party B, preferred by an absolute minority of people, will likely garner the highest number of votes. With three candidates and no clear majority winner, the question then becomes how to best decide the winner. Riker argues that because “the way the reduction occurs determines which two will be decided,” any choice of a particular voting system is “unfair.” 25 A primary system or any other system of eliminating alternatives from many to two violates the neutrality condition. Therefore, even though the two party majority wins vote is by far the most ideal in terms of returning a fair and reasonable result two choices almost never occur and o relying upon a system of two alternatives is neither efficient nor justifiable. With three or more alternatives, “no one method satisfies all the conditions of fairness that have been proposed as reasonable and just.” 26 Each one of the many systems of aggregating votes meets some of the conditions, but not others. Here Riker’s argument very much follows in the footsteps of Arrow, only this time it is explicitly framed in terms of voting and fairness. Where Riker departs from Arrow is his focus on the manipulations that occur within systems of voting. The possibilities of both intransitivity as well as the manipulation in any voting system create conditions that allow a skilled and powerful politician to underhandedly

Sirolly 46 force his or her choice into being the winner. Because intransitivity is a component of all voting systems (aside from the binary choice, majority wins, which has been previously discussed) manipulation is possible through agenda control. Thinking back to the paradox of voting, recall that three individuals with three preferences returned an outcome where A was preferred to B, which was preferred to C, which was preferred to A, or APB, BPC, CPA. If individual three (CP3A, AP3B) holds agenda power in a committee setting and they know the preference orderings before a vote, they could easily arrange the order of voting to first pit B against A, returning A as the winner, and then A against C. With this order of voting, C will win. All alternatives have been put to a vote at least once making C appear to be the majority winner when it is in fact not. On the other hand, if either individual one or two had agenda power and knowledge of the preferences they could rearrange the order of voting so that their first choice wins. In the case of a cyclic outcome, it is up to the individual with agenda control, rather than majority, to decide which alternative is chosen. Beyond agenda control, the introduction of new alternatives is also a powerful form of manipulation. When there is a majority of the population supporting one candidate or proposition, the introduction of another proposition or alternative that is similar enough to that majority-supported alternative has the power to pull votes away and from the original majority choice, thus placing both the new alternative as well as the originally majority-supported alternative in the minority. Even in an open democracy, this sort of manipulation occurs. In the 2006 midterm election, Republican Senator Rick Santorum and his backers were discovered to

be supporting a Green Party candidate’s campaign.


Sirolly 47 The Green Party is on the far left of

the political spectrum, whereas Rick Santorum was considered by many to be on the extreme right. The actions by he and his supporters can then be understood as a strategic effort to divert votes from his Democratic opponent to the Green Party candidate. Surreptitiously supporting a third party candidate in order to pull votes away from an opponent is a tempting strategy and Riker argues that this form of manipulation of a democratic voting system can never be structurally eliminated. 28 The power of Riker's claim is that both the motivation to, and the possibility of, manipulating the voting system can never be completely eliminated. Another type of manipulation of the voting system that is universally possible is strategic voting. 29 Strategic voting occurs when an individual gains a strategic edge by voting against their true preferences in order ensure that their real preference wins. Strategic voting of this sort occurs when an individual understands the preference structures of others and through their knowledge of the method of aggregation combined with that knowledge they can arrange their vote in such a way that their actual first preference wins. To better explain this phenomenon, a few real world examples of strategic voting are helpful. Strategic voting can occur when supporters of third party candidates vote for their second choice so that their least preferred candidate does not win. In the 2000 and 2004 presidential election, there was much discussion in the general media about a vote for a popular third party candidate Ralph Nader. Because an individual voting for Nader would almost certainly choose Al Gore over George Bush, many argued that a vote for

Sirolly 48 Nader was effectively a vote for Bush. Many actual supporters of Nader likely voted for Gore in an attempt to avoid a win by their least preferred alternative. In a simple majority system strategic voting is almost encouraged by the winner take all structure which pushes individuals toward the majority candidate closest to their ideological pole. In so doing, Riker argues that the two party system is enforced because, “strategic voting of this sort must be very common.” 30 Riker argues that another example of strategic voting can be found in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives. 31 In 1956 a bill was presented to authorize grants to assist school districts with construction costs due to the post World War II baby boom. The bill had wide support until an amendment was offered by Adam Clayton Powell, which would authorize the funds only to those states with schools “open to all children without regard to race in conformity with requirements of the United States Supreme Court decisions.” 32 The decision to which the bill was referring was the 1954 decision Brown vs. Board of Education, which held racially segregated schools unconstitutional. Thus, three alternatives were presented to the House of Representatives: a. The bill with the Powell Amendment. b. The original unamended bill c. No additional funding for school construction at all. The procedure of the House of Representatives first pits a against b, or the amended bill against the non amended bill, and then the winner of that contest against c. In the first vote of a against b, the congress voted 227 to 197 for a. Then, in the contest of the amended bill against the status quo, or no funding, the vote was 229 to 199 against a, for

Sirolly 49 c. Thus, the bill as presented with the Powell Amendment failed to pass a full house vote. This outcome becomes suspicious because a similar bill without the Powell Amendment was presented one year later and eighteen, mostly Southern, Democrats who had previously voted against the amended bill voted for the un-amended bill. 33 If the preferences of these democrats were known – being for school funds but against tying those funds to desegregation- then it is certainly possible that some individuals ideologically opposed to greater school funding voted for the Powell Amendment in order to make the bill lose in the long run. Riker presents evidence from both speeches at the time as well as probable preference orders garnered from other votes that suggest that many of the anti-segregationist Republicans did in fact vote for the Powell Amendment in a unified maneuver aimed at killing the bill as a whole. 34 Political power plays from large scale coalitions, as seen in the Powell Amendment example, can often cloud the legislative process in such a way that makes one question the fairness and legitimacy of the outcomes. In a democracy, that the real majority preference can be undermined by strategic manipulation by a minority party is at the very least disturbing, and could in fact constitute a real threat to the democratic process. Though the next type of strategic voting may occur in various forums, the legislative process is generally home to the strategy of vote trading. Vote trading is a process in which one legislator agrees to vote for another legislator’s pet project, in return for a similar, but reversed, vote on a separate issue. The proposals are generally of little importance to the one legislator, but great importance to the other. What Riker shows is

Sirolly 50 that vote trading can actually be harmful to a majority of people while only helping a minority and at the same time purposefully undercut the system of voting. In some cases, vote trading causes cycles where before there were none. Perhaps more troublesome is there are some cases where vote-trading makes everyone worse off. In the event of vote trading, the knowledge that one pair of individuals are trading votes create an incentive for everyone to trade votes in order to avert a situation where a few benefit highly and the rest are harmed. 35 Vote trading can cause the outcome to shift from one preferred by most to one preferred by none by eliminating the possibility that the proper alternative is chosen. In this and other ways, reactive vote trading can leave everyone worse off then they began. In contrast, Buchanan and Tullock, in “The Calculus of Consent,” view vote trading as having positive, rather than negative connotations in a system of voting. They argue that vote trading allows for consideration of degree of preference of voters. Such a consideration is essential because without logrolling, even indifferent individuals have same sway as the “most concerned individuals”(Buchanan 133). On the other hand: “Permitting those citizens who feel strongly about an issue to compensate in some way those whose opinion is only feebly held can result in a great increase in the well-being of both groups, and the prohibition of such transactions will serve to prevent movement toward the conceptual ‘social optimality’ surface, under almost any definition of this term.”(Buchanan 133) If vote trading is allowed, the outcome is maximized in terms of increasing individual satisfaction with the result. Without vote trading, those largely indifferent to the proposal would win, and their satisfaction would be minimal. However, if vote trading is allowed,

Sirolly 51 those in the minority have a large increase in satisfaction due to the satisfaction of their initial desire as indicated in the intensity of their preference. Also, the minority now is obligated to side with, on a separate issue of little importance, those in the majority on an issue important to them. Vote trading can twice maximize the outcome. For Riker, vote trading undermines the vote while Buchanan/Tullock argue that it can improve the outcome. One point of divergence in the two understandings of Riker and Buchanan/Tullock is the recognition of intensity of preference. I believe that this divergence arises because of the implicit assumptions of interactions prior to voting. Riker's view of vote trading being mutually harmful is due to a model where individuals, acting strategically rather than cooperatively, violate a prisoners dilemma-like unstable equilibrium, moving the outcome to a less desirable outcome. 36 Buchanan and Tullock realize that vote trading can break down if there is no accountability for a vote, as in an anonymous vote. 37 However, in the case where there is accountability, the maximizing effects remain.

3.6 A Deliberative Perspective on Strategy and Manipulation in Voting A deliberative perspective on the action of vote trading sheds light on its deeper meaning. Buchanan and Tullock's argument that accountability is necessary points to the fact that vote trading is part of a cooperative process of action coordination, or communicative action. The very act of vote trading implies that there was some discussion between the parties involved that communicates preferences and that there was a consensus between the parties about a course of action that would be mutually

Sirolly 52 beneficial. Communicative action allows for a course of action which does not undercut, but instead improves upon the capacities of aggregative voting. The capacities of aggregative voting alone are limited, as Arrow and Riker have shown. However, deliberation can overcome the limited ability of aggregative voting to incorporate more complicated variables such as preference intensity. Take, for example, a group of eight colleagues attempting to decide on a restaurant for dinner. 38 The proposed options are an Italian restaurant (i) and a fresh seafood restaurant (s). A survey is sent out and it finds that five individuals have the preference order sPii and three iPis. From this information the social choice is simply decided as sPi. However, if the colleagues were in a room together, they would find out that one of the individuals with ordering iPis will not eat seafood. In a purely aggregative method of decision making, the group has now decided to leave their colleague hungry for the night for lack of acceptable choices. Yet, if the group were to deliberate, they would almost certainly decide to change their vote against their previous preference, perhaps eliciting the concession from the minority to return the favor at some point in the future. Though the aggregative method returned a non-optimal result, a deliberative group was able to undercut the voting system for an easily attainable and mutually acceptable decision. Deliberative democracy also has the capacity to prevent the negative effects, and in some cases the very act of, strategic voting and agenda manipulation. There are three avenues of approach that a deliberative democracy can take to solving these problems. These are, removing the incentives for strategic manipulation (a), generating a cooperative sentiment (b), 39 and providing an external observer to point out and thwart

Sirolly 53 manipulation(c). Deliberation can change the incentives for strategic manipulation (a) by creating “risks and penalties attached to informational deception and false disclosure of preferences.” 40 Through recurrent interaction of deliberators, being exposed as a liar or an agenda manipulator can damage your ability to affect future debate. This is due to the fact that “listeners are aware of the possibility of deception, and so calculate whether or not to believe speakers.” 41 Being exposed as a liar, manipulator, or strategic voter increases skepticism on your actions and may create a situation where “nobody will believe you next time.” 42 Dryzek and List claim that even in a one shot deliberation, the fact that preferences must be defended publicly is a natural restraint to preferences. They offer the example of an individual who takes advantage of a deliberation through learning everyone’s preferences, while at the same time remaining silent on their own preferences until very late in the discourse. Dryzek and List offer this hypothetical story: Suppose i's true preference ordering is xPiyPiz. After listening to others reveal their preferences, i perceives that x has a better chance of beating z than z beating y, so i then pretends to have an ordering xPizPiy. 43 The hypothetical manipulator has apparently found a cycle in the profiles which they can use to their advantage to generate a favorable outcome. Without deliberation, the manipulator would likely be able to stay quite and induce their preferred outcome. However, in a deliberative setting, for i to reveal their preference set so late in the day creates a: …risk that the others will not believe i is sincere. The best case that i can

Sirolly 54 make for revealing the preference ordering xPizPiy late in the day is that he/she has been persuaded of this ordering by the preceding deliberation. Yet, such a lie is risky, because the content of the deliberation has actually advanced the standing of y, not z – otherwise there would be no reason for i to act strategically against y here. Because i must justify their preferences to others, they must either be prolific liars. To do this they will almost always be discovered in their manipulation attempt. Furthermore, deliberative democracy is not a one shot affair. If the manipulator succeeds in this case, they will be on record for the preference order xPizPiy. If, for some reason, the issue is revisited, the speaker will be hard pressed to justify their actual preference order in light of their past statements. The situation will become even worse for the manipulator if the alternative x is found to be unfeasible, perhaps by some budgetary constraint. In the choice between z any y, the manipulator is on the record as supporting z, but their actual preference is y. In this case, the deliberator is between a rock and a hard place, having to either support z or invent a story to cover up the previous manipulation and give good enough reasons to justify a switch to y. In short, deliberation creates incentives to be truthful both in the short and long run, by pre-empting, discovering and punishing attempts at manipulation. Deliberation can also prevent manipulation by generating a cooperative sentiment (b). Because of the internal connection of deliberative democracy to communicative action, a cooperative sentiment is certainly expected. However, Habermas even admits that in the non-ideal political deliberation strategic action is not always avoided. Dryzek and List offer a few practical reasons why individuals in a deliberative setting will be more likely to act under cooperative rather than competitive rules.

Sirolly 55 The overarching reason for a cooperative mentality is that deliberation “[creates] a situation of social interaction where people talk and listen to each other, enabling each person to recognize their interrelation with a social group.” 44 Dryzek and List explain that group discussion alone creates a sense of shared bond that prevents individuals from acting to harm the others in the group. This conclusion comes from a number of psychological experiments on one-shot prisoners’ dilemmas. The experiments showed that “the period of discussion within the group prior to each individual choice between cooperation and defection increases the proportion of cooperative choice.” 45 Even though the participants would be expected to defect because of the one-shot nature of discussion, they cooperated instead. Dryzeck and List argue that this cooperation is due to two mutually enforcing tendencies of group discussion. The first is that “discussion provides participants with opportunities for multi-lateral promise making about the choices they will make.” 46 Though these promises are unenforceable, and the account given by instrumental rationality suggests the breaking of promises, the “empirical evidence suggests that social norms and/or psychological dispositions in favor of keeping promises are more powerful.” 47 At the very least these findings are hopeful for a cooperative account of deliberative democracy and it even seems that these individuals in one-shot games may be acting communicatively rather than instrumentally. The second is a suggestion that there is a different sort of context attached to discussion. Dryzek and List argue that: “people’s preferences are not description invariant: an agents preferences depend not only on a decontextualized payoff matrix, but also on a decision-frame, ‘the decision-maker’s conception of the acts, outcomes,

and contingencies associated with a particular choice’.”


Sirolly 56

I think that Habermas would call this contextualized decision making frame the intersubjective perspective. Through deliberation about the issues, our frame of mind and our action orientation changes away from an individualistic perspective towards a cooperative one. Acting under a cooperative perspective offers two ways out of Riker’s claims of manipulation and strategy, which are: an overall prevention of strategy and manipulation, and a neutralization of the harm of strategy. The prevention of strategy is that by definition of cooperation, individuals acting in a cooperative manner would be less likely to use strategy to undermine others. The second claim harkens back to Buchanan and Tullock’s analysis of vote trading. In the case of vote trading, individuals acting cooperatively could increase the optimality of outcomes. Similarly, general strategic and seemingly manipulative action can be a way to overcome the natural limitations built into a purely mathematical system of aggregative voting. One example of strategic voting overcoming aggregative limitations is found in the actions of voters in the 2000 election. The voters who voted for their second choice, Gore, instead of their first, Nader, were under Riker’s definition voting strategically. However, in this case I would argue that the voters were not manipulating the system, but instead they realized that the structure of the system necessitated a strategic vote for their voice to count. If, for example, the presidential election were decided by a Condorcet pairwise comparison, individuals with first preference for Nader would have no reason to vote strategically, their profile would count as a vote for Gore in the Gore-Bush

Sirolly 57 comparison. However, in a one person one vote system, a vote for Nader was effectively a vote for Bush. As such, individuals taking this information –information likely gained in a deliberative process– into account had to vote strategically in order for their entire preference structure to be recognized. Here a strategic vote is not an undermining of the voting system per-se, but instead is an action that overcomes the limitations of certain methods of aggregation. 49 The final deliberative response to manipulation and strategy involves recognizing that deliberative democracy naturally creates external observers which are able to “referee” the procedures of voting (c). Many of Riker’s problems of manipulation and strategy are troublesome not because they cannot be recognized by the voters, but rather that the voters have little they can do about it. There may be cases where those within the system are entirely at the will of a powerful manipulator or strategic actor. In these cases, an external actor with the power to step in can do so and stop the manipulation from occurring. Also, there might be cases in which the deliberation breaks down into mutually harmful strategic action. In these cases, an external observer or mediator could be helpful in bringing the parties back to a more productive common ground. In a deliberative democracy, this external “referee” is created through an understanding of the two-track model. The two-track theory of law and politics as presented by Habermas, there are two sets of coinciding deliberations that are continuously occurring in a society, one in the institutionalized legislative body and the other in the public sphere. In the public sphere, the aggregative mechanisms are utilized to elect representatives and determine referenda on both the legislative and constitutional

Sirolly 58 level. In the government, aggregative mechanisms are used to decide legislative and procedural questions. Though each sphere uses an aggregative mechanism, these mechanisms are independent of each other. Because these two spheres of society are separately constituted, but connected through a flow of power and influence, there is the possibility of a system of mutual watchfulness. This division of public sphere and institutionalized government solves the problems of manipulation by preventing and punishing it through publicity and collective action. In modern democracies, the press has often supplemented the public sphere’s ability to play the role of external watchdog. Today this role is being further supported by legions of bloggers who watch the government for any false move. The press and bloggers combined have the ability to create a public sentiment against the manipulators. Through pointing out manipulations to citizens, these sources can create a discussion about the legitimacy of the actions of the government. The results of this discussion are what Habermas calls discursively generated communicative power. This power can force the institutions and the actors within it to “play fair” because of the deep connection of democratic legitimacy to the communicative power generated in the public sphere. The discursive approach takes the bite out of Riker’s argument. Through allowing for discussion and cooperation, the processes of deliberative democracy are much less vulnerable to manipulation. When the public sphere is understood as a check on manipulation, the threat to democracy becomes even less. Deliberative democracy presents a balanced approach that dilutes power and encourages cooperation. In this new setting, democracy is a highly principled and hopeful activity, unlike the corrupt process

Sirolly 59 described by Riker. However, I have not yet addressed Arrow’s problems of cycling and intransitivity which will now be the topic of Chapter 4.

Sirolly 60 Chapter 4: The Problems of Aggregating Votes and Deliberation

4.1 Introduction The previous chapter presented the two general areas of issues that arise in the aggregation of votes, cycling and manipulation. I presented the suggestion that the problems of manipulation can be solved through deliberation, both by the voters as well as in the context of the two track model. Chapter 4 focuses on the problems of intransitivity in the social choice profile, as per Arrow’s proof. I first address the issue at the empirical level and show that intransitivity hardly, if ever, occurs. This discussion is followed by an explanation of some of the reasons why we might not see problems of cycling. I finish the chapter with a discussion of the way out of Arrow’s result through the procedures of deliberative democracy, and a suggestion for a new understanding of what constitutes a social choice.

4.2 The Probability of Cycles Kenneth Arrow proved that any system of voting has the logical possibility of failure, but American Political scientist Gerry Mackie claims that such a failure hardly ever actually occurs. Mackie cites a number of real world preference and voting data where there is little to no cycling. Furthermore, he argues that there is not one acceptable example of cycling or manipulation due to cycling in thirty years of political science literature1: No doubt many people over the last thirty years have thought that it would

Sirolly 61 be intellectually and professionally satisfying to demonstrate a real instance of cycling, yet the positive claims of cycling we have from the entire political universe can be counted on one’s fingers and toes (and … even these claims collapse under further scrutiny).2 If Mackie is correct, and there is little to no evidence of cycling in the aggregation of votes, then the question arises: which mechanisms are at work that avoid the mathematical possibilities presented in Arrow’s theorems? The answer is likely that a combination of institutional constraints combined with deliberative effects work to shape the preference orders and constrain the aggregative mechanisms in such a way that avoids cycles. 3 For an informative discussion on how

institutional constraints can help reduce the problem of cycling, see the paper, “Democracy and Social Choice” by Jules Coleman and John Ferejohn 4 . I have chosen not to analyze the institutional constraints, but rather I will investigate the ways in which deliberation alone can neutralize intransitivity in the social choice profile. By avoiding questions of institutional constraints, I will simultaneously avoid breaking the legitimating connection of communicative action to deliberative democracy, and show that the strength of deliberation as a foundation for democracy is internally strong, even in the absence of institutions of constraint.

4.3 Deliberation and Intransitivity Deliberative democracy has the unique ability to address Arrow’s proof of intransitivity in a way that the classic theories of liberalism and populism, as defined by Riker, cannot. Liberalism finds itself subject to Arrow’s theorem because it can hardly

Sirolly 62 deny Arrow’s conditions (except, perhaps, for the independence of irrelevant alternatives which is the most often challenged of the conditions 5 ). Populism, on the other hand, ties the legitimacy of decisions to a majority will. If Arrow’s conditions hold, then in some cases the majority will is indeterminate and populism is at an impasse. Deliberative democracy then presents a new avenue of solution, in that “the discovery that aggregative mechanisms are systematically unstable helps illuminate a more plausible case for deliberation.” 6 Deliberation can be utilized as a way out of the social choice problems through a number of different approaches. These approaches include: generating even partial consensus, creating a shared understanding of the political dimension, eliminating and clarifying the dimensions of disagreement, and inducing single-peakedness.

4.3.1 Unanimity If a populous was unanimous on an issue, the problems of aggregating votes are almost by definition trivial; if there is no disagreement on an issue than the social choice is determined by the preference profile of each individual alone and collectively. However, it has been repeatedly argued that unanimity is far too strong a requirement for a modern plural democracy. That being said, there need not be complete unanimity for a social choice to be transitive. Can we expect such a similarity in preference orders from individuals in a modern, plural society? On one hand, Mackie argues that people live in the same world and thus have similar interests in that world.7 He explains that, “for example, most prefer prosperity to torture of kittens to suicidal nuclear war.”8 Though Mackie may be

Sirolly 63 correct in assuming that most people would prefer prosperity to suicidal nuclear war, democratic decisions are often less straightforward. However, even on contentious issues, the grounding of deliberative democracy in communicative action enables deliberators to strive for and achieve greater levels of unanimity of preference or ideology. If the individuals in society are equally likely to hold any preference order, then “the probability of the existence of a Condorcet winner decreases with increases in the number of options as well as with increases in the number of options.”9 However, with slight deviations from an impartial culture (all preference orders equally likely) the probability of a cycle typically converges to zero.10 For example, with 999 voters and seven alternatives, the probability of a Condorcet cycle occurring is 33 percent with an impartial culture, but only likely 4 percent of the time with a 5 percent unanimity in the society (95 percent impartial), and is completely unexpected (zero probability) with 10 percent of the voters unanimous in their choices11. Put simply, the more alike individuals are in a society, the more likely there will be no problems of aggregation. Therefore, as deliberative democracy move towards consensus on issues, the likelihood of intransitivity in the social choice profile decreases. However, deliberation requires only an orientation towards consensus, rather than actual unanimity. In other words, we might hope for consensus, but deliberation makes no requirement of it, so we have no normative reason to expect it. In fact, two theorists, Jack Knight and James Johnson, argue that there is a tension between the expressed goal of consensus and the normative ideal of deliberative democracy. They suggest that the

Sirolly 64 normative requirement “that parties to deliberation have free and equal access to relevant deliberative arenas” implies that deliberation “must include mechanisms to actively encourage or solicit previously excluded constituencies.” 12 In short, a deliberative democracy cannot rest when it finds consensus, but it must always bring up new questions and challenges to that consensus. However, Knight and Johnson worry that “the appearance of new and hitherto unheard constituencies in deliberative arenas will unsettle, if not altogether subvert, any extant shared understanding.” 13 The tension is that, though deliberative democracy pursues consensus, it at the same time must be constantly attempting to break that consensus and create turmoil in order to incorporate every perspective and ideology. Knight and Johnson conclude that this tension within a deliberative democracy is “deep, disconcerting and seemingly insurmountable.” Knight and Johnson point out a very real tension in deliberative democracy, but I believe that this tension is an essential component to a legitimate deliberative democracy. Deliberative democracy is most fundamentally a search for a sort of social truth, insofar as a valid law is verifiable empirically by its survival in a process of discursively constituted legislation. Recall that the democratic principle requires that, “only those statutes may claim legitimacy that can meet with the assent of all citizens.” 14 The search for scientific truth provides a constructive analogue in this respect to the processes of deliberative democracy. The pursuit of science is to find a true consensus, a truth that will withstand any test and explain any experiment. At a few points in history some of the greatest scientists have been led to think that a consensus had been found, or that all of the big questions been answered and all of the hard problems had been solved. In fact,

Sirolly 65 one of the great physicists, James Clerk Maxwell, attacked the view in his time that “in a few years, all great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and that the only occupation which will be left to men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals.” 15 Science did not rest on its laurels, and a mere 26 years later Maxwell was more than vindicated. In the “five papers that shook the world,” 16 Einstein published theories including the photo-electric effect (the foundation of quantum mechanics), special relativity, and matter-energy equivalence (Erest=mc2). These papers laid the groundwork for what is now known as modern physics. The point is not that Maxwell was shortsighted (which he was), but that science continues to test every theory to try to find the breaking point. Science continually finds new and innovative ways to challenge the current consensus, empirically and theoretically. Through this process of constant testing and challenging, science is able to pursue deeper and fuller truths than it could otherwise. The pursuits of science show that the “disconcerting” tension between a pursuit of consensus and the encouragement of dissent in a deliberative democracy is in fact not disconcerting at all. The constant challenge to consensus ensures that our consensus is in fact legitimate if it can meet and answer the challenge. If the pre-existing consensus disintegrates under challenge, then it means only that the consensus was not full and thus not legitimate in the first place. Like science, deliberative politics cannot rest, but instead it must continue on indefinitely in the pursuit of consensus through incorporating every new voice and every new generation. This process of pursuing deliberative validity and legislative legitimacy, like the pursuit of scientific truth, may be challenging and arduous,

Sirolly 66 but it is undoubtedly worthwhile. In the previous paragraphs I have shown how a deliberative democracy can pursue consensus without necessarily reaching it. However, the lack of consensus leaves the problems of intransitivity unsolved. Yet, an unexpected source provides some direction at this impasse; Riker notes in “Liberalism Against Populism” that “if, by reason of discussion, debate, civic education, and political socialization, voters have a common view of the political dimension (as evidenced by single-peakedness), then a transitive outcome is guaranteed.”17 I will now discuss what single-peakedness is and what it means for the problems of cycling in section 4.3.2. Then I will argue that deliberation can induce single peakedness in section 4.3.3.

4.3.2 Single-Peakedness In a society where every individual’s preference orders were single-peaked in relation to all of the others, there would never be failures of voting of the type that Arrow described.18 Single-peaked preferences occur when all of the individual’s preference orders in a given society can be arranged into a coherent order. In many contemporary political systems, this order would span the political space from the liberal left to the conservative right. When such a universal arrangement occurs, it enables everyone’s preferences to be graphed two dimensionally, where the dependent variable is the degree of preference and the independent variable is the span of the alternatives. When graphed in this manner, each individual’s preference line will exhibit only a single peak. What is remarkable about single-peakedness is that a Condorcet winner is always available and

Sirolly 67 the Condorcet winner is also the majority winner.19 Figure one is an example of singlepeaked preferences. In Figure one, individuals one through six can be arranged on a left to right scale, though this arrangement does not necessarily correspond to any political sense of left and right. Still, if we are to imagine these individuals within the American political system, and the graph’s construction to correspond to the American colloquial definitions of left and right, then individual 1 is a liberal through and through, individual 2 might be a right wing conservative, whereas individual 4 is a moderate with little tolerance for extreme views but is indifferent to those in the middle. Though not universal, these sorts of preference profiles are commonplace in American politics.



Figure 1: Single-peaked preferences for six individuals. 20 .

Sirolly 68 However, single-peakedness is not always guaranteed, and sometimes we may not expect it at all. For example, if a community has decided to build a new amenity, the choice between the various alternatives might be far from single-peaked. If the alternatives are a basketball court (A), a workout area (B), and a swimming pool (C), they are likely to be preferred by the individuals for very different reasons and in different ways. Where one individual’s preferences might be based upon raising property values, another’s might be due to their favored activity. So it might be that one person prefers the basketball court to the workout area and the workout area to the swimming pool (AP1B, BP1C), a second person prefers the swimming pool to the basketball court to the workout area (CP2A, AP2B), and a third prefers the workout area to the swimming pool to the basketball court (BP3C, CP3A). If the community is restricted to three members (or perhaps a three member panel charged with making the decision) then the paradox of voting returns. Recalling the paradox of voting at the beginning of last chapter, we had three individuals who were choosing between three alternatives. Figure two below is a graphic representation of these individuals, where individual one is a triangle, two a circle, and three a square:

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Figure 2: The three individuals, 1, 2, and 3, are represented by a triangle, square, and circle respectively

The preference orders in the paradox of voting are not single-peaked, and thus it results in an illogical aggregation of votes. Extending this analysis, Arrow’s theorem is modified to pertain only to those preference orders that are not single-peaked. Also, this single-peakedness must not even be universal. If even 75 percent of the individuals have personal preference orderings that are single-peaked, the intransitivity in Arrow's theorem is prevented. 21 Given that minimal societal agreement over alternatives can ensure that Arrow’s result of intransitivity is avoided, should single-peakedness be expected? As I have shown in my discussion about the choice of a community between different amenities, single-peakedness is not always likely. However, some political issues and candidate elections do, on face, invite single-peakedness, but a democracy cannot enforce singlepeaked preferences, even when such enforcement may seem logical. For example, in the

Sirolly 70 2000 American presidential election, if we consider the three candidates that garnered the most attention –Al Gore, George W. Bush, and Ralph Nader- you might expect everyone to hold single-peaked preferences. If the three candidates are arranged on a left to right scale, in the order of Nader, Gore, Bush, it is expected that if you preferred Nader, the most liberal candidate, the second choice would be Gore because his values are closer in most respects to Nader’s than are Bush’s. Similarly, a Bush supporter would likely prefer Nader least of the three. However, there are no restrictions on an individual’s reasoning behind their preference structure. Therefore, someone might choose to vote solely on how entertaining the candidates are. Gore was often chided over his stiff personality, and so someone ordering their preferences on the basis of entertainment might prefer Bush to Nader to Gore. If we were to add this preference order to the other single peaked orders, the society would no longer be single-peaked. Though most political junkies would cringe to think that an individual might base their vote on something as apolitical as entertainment, our democratic system allows reasons such as these to preserve and protect citizens freedom and liberty.

4.4 Deliberation and Single Peakedness Though democracy cannot enforce single-peaked preferences upon individuals, deliberative democracy can utilize deliberation in ways that will create higher degrees of single peakedness. However, I will begin the discussion with the work of two theorists Jack Knight and James Johnson who suggest that deliberation should focus on coming to consensus on the dimensional issue at hand, rather than the sustentative preferences

Sirolly 71 within those dimensions.22 Though finding the issues that are agreed upon, the number of “dimensions over which [deliberators] disagree” which in turn reduces the likelihood of a cyclic outcome. This reduction of issue dimensions increases the likelihood of single-peakedness.23 Thus, their proposal is to shift the purposes of political deliberation to a “more modest goal of establishing a common view of the political dimension.”24 In establishing a common view of the political dimension, the deliberators may uncover the depth of their disagreement about certain issues. However, with a common view of the issue dimension “majority rule need not generate cyclical social orderings.” 25 In the example of the presidential election in 2000, as long as everyone agrees that what is at stake is politics in a left-right sense, rather than entertainment value, then aggregative transitivity is ensured. It does not matter whether there is a deep divide between those who support Nader and those who support Bush, just that they hold a similar view of the political dimension. Thus, Knight and Johnson ask deliberators to only attempt to find consensus in the underlying issues that are at stake rather attempt to come to consensus on the subject of the preferences. I find two problems with this point. First, though I agree that a discussion oriented at finding the dimensions of agreement is important, I wonder how realistic this orientation is for participants in a deliberation. My skepticism arises from the current state of American politics, where participation in previous elections has been alarmingly low. If citizens do not choose to find time for the simple act of voting, I question whether citizens would find time to sit down in order to find their dimensions of

Sirolly 72 agreement and disagreement. The second point flows from the first, in that a deliberators oriented at consensus should naturally go through a process of determining which dimensions are agreed upon and which are contended. In order to pursue consensus, the deliberators must first find some common ground from which to build. This determination of common ground is, in social choice terminology, a determination of those dimensions over which the participants agree. An example is instructive here. Consider a hypothetical deliberation about healthcare where a proposal is presented for a universal health care system. A majority of the deliberators are for the system, yet some are reluctant. The majority, wanting consensus on the issue, begins to ask questions of the minority, in order to find out what exactly the minority disagrees with. It is determined through questioning that the minority agrees with the majority that healthcare in general desirable, that healthcare should be provided for everyone, that public health care could provide the same level of treatment and even that healthcare run by the private sphere is no different than that run in the public sphere. Yet, as discovered in deliberation, the minority continues to disagree because they believe that public healthcare is too expensive for the government’s budget. At this point, the deliberation seems to have made great progress towards consensus. But at the same time the deliberators have found those dimensions on which they do and do not agree, as per Knight and Johsnon’s. Thus with an orientation towards consensus single peakedness is accessible through deliberation on the issues, rather than just the issue dimensions. To rehash my first point, I believe that citizens will never be especially motivated to spend time

Sirolly 73 deliberating in order to solve theoretical problems of aggregative stability by finding issue dimensions of agreement. However, citizens often engage in conversations about politics in the hope of convincing others. These types of conversations are exactly the types of deliberations that will have the effect of reducing the number of contested issue dimensions, but they do so with an entirely different purpose. Therefore, Knight and Johnson’s argument is instructive in that it shows one method of attaining single peakedness in a deliberation oriented at consensus. Following the line of argument of Knight and Johnson, two deliberative democracy theorists, John Dryzek and Christian List, see deliberation as being able to induce single peakedness through several other mechanisms.26 First of all, deliberation encourages individuals to argue in terms of generalizable interests. 27 Generalizable interests appeal to the group as a whole, and therefore are much more persuasive and powerful in a larger group setting. Some examples of generalizable interests include “the economist's idea of the public good,” 28 the satisfaction of the basic needs of life, or even the utilitarian's idea of maximizing community utility. Each of these examples can be used as a scale against which a number of alternatives could be measured. The power of arguments relying upon generalizable interests is that they are justifiable in a public debate to others, and thus are the only arguments that can survive in a deliberative setting, argue Dryzek and List. 29 A powerful illustration of the ordering of preferences to single-peakedness in a deliberation can be found in the experience of one of the representatives on the Resource Advisory Council for Eastern Washington:

Sirolly 74 “His background, and arrest record, was in the radical environmental group Earth First!, whose slogan is “No compromises in defense of Mother Earth!”. The Earth First! preference ordering violates single-peakedness with respect to the dimension “extent of wilderness preservation”: members prefer wilderness preservation to desecration to compromise development, on the grounds that once it loses its pristine character, wilderness might as well be trashed to drive home the point. Participating in this deliberative forum, the Earth First!er eventually co-wrote (along with a cattle rancher) most of the guidelines for Range Management by the Council. No doubt preservation remained his first choice, but compromise was now preferred to desecration. Thus this individual found his peak – and lost his pique.” 30 This individual, once included in the political deliberation, was convinced to follow the societal dimension of understanding, rather than his own personal dimensions of interest. His change of heart was likely in part due to his newfound understanding of the scope of the situation due to deliberation – that the development would go forth, and his influence was limited to the terms of that development – as well as a bit of the compromise that Habermas argues will result in a political deliberation. In either account, the end result was that deliberation transformed this individual's preferences from non to single-peaked. Further evidence that deliberation creates single-peaked preferences is found in a set of experiments conducted by James Fishkin called deliberative polls. The poll is conducted by selecting a random sample of a population in the process of making a political decision. Participants are then interviewed and invited to spend a weekend discussing the issue at a common site. 31 Between the interview and discussion, the participants are sent a “carefully balanced briefing” which lays out the various arguments surrounding the policy question. 32 The weekend consists of randomized small groups led by professionally trained moderators and intercessions where participants are allowed

Sirolly 75 to question panels of experts, policy makers, and politicians. At the end of the experience, participants are asked the same questions as at the beginning. 33 In a number of the deliberative polls it was found that deliberation brings personal preference orders closer to single-peakedness, but only for issues of low to medium salience. 34 Salience is the extent to which the issues were generally discussed and known publicly. Their findings show that for issues that have not had much public debate, those issues have a generally low initial single-peakedness, but once deliberated upon, the preference profiles exhibit a statistically significant higher single-peakedness. 35 On the other hand, issues with high salience saw virtually no change in their degree of proximity to single-peakedness. Another correlation found in the study ties the likelihood of an individual’s preferences to be single-peaked with the majority dimension to that individual’s understanding, or amount of factual information about the issue at hand. 36 On the whole, these findings are encouraging for the prospects of deliberation with respect to social choice theory. Deliberation, in these cases, has lived up to its promise of not only increasing the knowledge of the deliberators, but also inducing a common perspective, as evidenced in their heightened levels of single-peakedness. Looking back at both the arguments of Dryzek and List, as well as the results from deliberative polling, there is a philosophical and social effect that occurs in deliberation that many of the deliberative theorists gesture toward. That effect is a transformation of preferences, one that takes those personally held tastes and transforms them into publicly justifiable, socio-political preferences.

Sirolly 76 To understand the distinction between tastes and socio-political preferences, think of a group of friends and their relationship to a number of alternatives in the form of movies. If you were to ask each of the individuals in the group what their favorite movie was, the list might be extensive and widely varied. However, this list would almost certainly change if you asked the group to collectively choose a movie out of that list to watch for the night. Each individual would then (in a considerate group of friends) have to consider the best movie for the group, rather than their own tastes alone. The movie chosen would likely be one that is acceptable to all, but not necessarily one that is a favorite of any of the particular friends. Here, the tastes of the individuals play a role in the deliberation about the choice of movies, however those tastes are not dominating in the final decision. Instead, the publicly justifiable preferences are the ones that survive, such as “everyone will enjoy this or that particular movie in some way,” or “this is the only movie that no one is viscerally against.” In any case, their arguments, and thus the preference structures for this particular decision differ from their individual tastes. What Dryzek and List contend, and the Deliberative polls show, is that deliberation changes individuals' preference orders, and on the whole makes them more single-peaked. To reconsider the evidence from the deliberative polls, I argue that the connection of single-peakedness to the salience of an issue has great importance for an understanding of the processes and effects of deliberation. One of the most interesting findings reported in the study was the deliberative poll on the Australian Head of State. The issue was classified as being of high salience, and the original proximity to single-peakedness was ~0.8, or approximately 80 percent of the

Sirolly 77 population was single-peaked. The dominant dimension was ordered from left to right 21-3. The dominant dimension is determined by analyzing the content of the preference orders and finding the ordering which, when all preference orders are compared, exhibits the most preference orders that are single peaked. So, for example, in the Nader-GoreBush example, the dominant dimension was Nader-Gore-Bush, but the two other unique dimensions are Gore-Nader-Bush (the individual who voted on entertainment value alone would be single peaked here) and Nader-Bush-Gore. The final poll indicated a fairly similar level of single-peakedness, again around 80 percent, but the dominant dimension had switched to 1-2-3. Simply put, single-peakedness remained, but the ordering of the dimension changed completely. List, Luskin, Fishkin,, and McLean, the publishers of the findings, unfortunately offer no explanation for this phenomenon. If we reconsider what is meant by salience the findings of the Australian deliberative poll in concert with the other deliberative polls start to show a definite trend, that salience is directly correlated with single peakedness. Salience was defined by the authors of the paper as the amount of public attention or thought that would have been applied to the particular issue prior to the deliberative poll. That public attention and thought likely corresponds to processes resembling the informal deliberation in the public sphere, as described by Habermas. Individuals would be likely to listen to news reports or public discussions of the issues of high salience. Furthermore, those individuals would be likely to talk about those issues to others in common conversation. For issues of lower salience, the individuals might know about the alternatives, but are much less likely to actually engage in conversations about the choice.

Sirolly 78 Single-peakedness is connected to the salience of an issue and therefore can arguably be connected to the ability to speak about the issue meaningfully. In other words, constructive conversation in general requires single-peaked preference orders to be meaningful and in turn productive towards some end purpose. This is not to say that there is no such thing as conversations without purpose, however these conversations without purpose are not communicative and thus not under the presuppositions of ideal deliberation. On the other hand, conversations with purpose -one example being a deliberative conversation whose purpose is to find common ground and thus consensusrequire some point of reference, some argumentative starting point in the form of a single-peaked issue dimension for the participants to make arguments in the first place. The empirical evidence suggests that, the more conversations held about resolving an issue, as in the deliberative poll, the closer to single-peakedness preference orders become. Or, the more conversations take place, the more individuals adopt the singlepeaked preference orders required to participate in those conversations. Consider again the group of friends conversing about movies. If they are attempting to determine what movie to watch, they must have at least one common dimension that they can gesture towards in their discussion. If the opposite were the case, if the friends were only to offer their tastes for the night and nothing more, the conversation might sound something like the following. “I want to watch ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ to see Johnny Depp,” says one, “It’s ‘Terminator’ all the way for me,” another chimes, “Well I like the ‘Princess Bride,’” etc. This conversation will end, and nothing of substance will have been said. Each will know what movie the other likes, but they are no closer to reaching an

Sirolly 79 agreement. The conversation only becomes meaningful in the context of a purpose; 37

only communicative conversation can productively move groups toward action coordination. Certainly, if the purpose of conversation is to learn more about the others, statements about personal tastes are enough. However, in order to have a conversation about action coordination, the statements themselves must be in the context of this purpose. The conversation only becomes meaningful with such statements as “everyone would enjoy this movie,” statements that recognize and are catered to the context. At this point, individuals might disagree on whether this or that particular movie would satisfy the most people (especially in the case of limited knowledge about the movies in question), but their conversation would at this point be most productive. Even if a consensus could not be obtained, a quick majority vote would give an easy answer, due to the single-peakedness and uni-dimensionality of the profiles, to which movie was the collective choice. If there must be some commonality in our dimensions of thought and preferences in order to speak to others productively about issues, then the odd results from the Australian deliberative poll are more understandable. The issue was of high salience, and thus many individuals were having informal deliberations about it before the deliberative poll. In order for those conversations to be meaningful, they had to have some context,


It is possible that this sort of discussion is all that is needed for a close group of friends. If they know each other well enough, the statement of preferences might be enough that they could each privately decide on the best movie to watch as a group. However, I believe this private decision is not the result of some special faculty for aggregating preferences, but instead is the result of many prior deliberations by the group of friends which has in turn given each member enough information and personal sense of shared destiny to forgo the actual deliberation and simulate the result of such a deliberation alone.

Sirolly 80 which was evidenced by the high degree of single-peakedness. However, when more information and experts were introduced, the context of the conversation must have changed enough to warrant a single-peakedness in another order. The consistent factor was that in order to be able to converse about the topic, the individuals needed some single-peaked dimension on which to converse. Thus when deliberating about issues of low salience, the single-peakedness went up more drastically than any other time because the conversation was just at its beginning. Dryzek and List claim that this single-peakedness comes from the necessity of argument – that if you are trying to convince someone, you must use generalizable terms. The process of presenting your privately held tastes into a public, purposeful, discussion has a transformative effect that takes privately held tastes and converts those tastes into publicly held, justifiable political beliefs. Democracy is not about what particular alternative is liked by most individuals, but rather about which alternative survives deliberation, and is thus a public or social choice. The context of choice being public ensures that our preferences are similarly grounded in public argument and public issue dimensions. So then, democracy makes sense with social choices that are made together in a deliberative setting. Where Riker argues that democracy is meaningless because cycles prevent us from knowing the true will of the people, he is correct. Democracy only makes sense when we do not have cycles, and we do not have aggregative cycles when we have single-peaked preferences, and we do not have single-peaked preferences when we deliberate. Social choice theory and its claims of irrationality of democracy actually point us

Sirolly 81 to the times that democracy is meaningful. Democracy is meaningful when we come together as a common, free, and equal people trying to solve common problems with commonly agreed upon solutions. Democracy is meaningful when it is a deliberative one. Perhaps then there is another way to derive, or re-discover communicative action and deliberative democracy. In analyzing the aggregation of social preferences it was discovered that there is no method of aggregating those preferences in a rational and meaningful way all of the time. In asking what sort of mechanism can help us avoid these problems, it is likely that deliberation is not only an answer, it may be the most powerful one. Even in the absence of philosophical justifications of deliberative democracy, social choice theory shows us that democracy itself is meaningless without deliberation. Viewed in the context of aggregating votes, the intersubjective perspective is really a different way of saying that we have a similar view of the political dimension, which means that we have single peaked preferences. Habermas is especially adept then in claiming that a legitimate, meaningful democracy must founded procedures of citizens commonly solving problems of action coordination through deliberation, for this is the only kind of democracy that makes sense. Though the problems of aggregation do not disappear, they are now predictable. 38 Mackie reflects that “the Condorcet paradox is not so surprising: why would an aggregation function work to reduce widely distributed disagreements? Voting does not reduce disagreements, it can only register them.” 39 In other words, there is no substitute for deliberation if we are trying to reduce disagreement.

Sirolly 82 Furthermore, if social choice is intransitive when the voter profiles are non-single peaked, we might want to reconsider what is meant by a “social choice”. When voting aggregates a number of individual tastes, each on the whole uncorrelated with the next, the outcome can be illogical. However, there was no an internal logic running through this set of preferences in the first place. Yet, when there is logic to the preferences viewed as a whole, or when through the act of coming together and discussing a choice the profiles are single peaked, there is an identifiable collective understanding, or reason. Therefore, when social choices return logical results we can call this a social choice, one grounded in a collective discussion and public reason. Hence, Arrow and Riker's have not proven the irrationality and meaninglessness of democracy, but instead they have shown that democracy without deliberation is meaningless.

Sirolly 83 Chapter 5: Deliberation and Voting

5.1 Introduction The focus of the previous two chapters presented the problems of, and deliberative solutions to, aggregating votes. The argument was made that the aggregation of preferences properly represents a deliberative outcome, and deliberation adequately produces logical and non-manipulated voting outcomes. The current chapter is concerned with the unanimity requirement of deliberative democracy. More specifically, the investigation analyzes the effect that the decision rule plays on deliberation's approximation of the ideal of communicative action. The chapter will begin with a short discussion of the legitimation questions that arise when political foundations of government are based upon majority, rather than unanimous, rules. The following discussion will focus on two aspects of the interplay between majority voting and deliberation aimed at unanimity, the psychological and the normative. These discussions will show that the normative foundations of deliberative democracy are better met when majority voting is an integral part of deliberation.

5.2 The Conception of a Legitimate Political Deliberation In Habermas's conception of deliberative democracy, political decisions are legitimate because of the procedures of deliberation, rather than outcomes. The legitimacy of a decision depends is on the deliberation aimed at consensus, rather than actual unanimity at the conclusion. Habermas believes that deliberation should be aimed

Sirolly 84 at consensus, but that the consensus may not happen for some impractically long period of deliberation. Therefore, it is only the nature of the debate, rather than its outcomes, that make it legitimate. Specifically, there are two key pieces to the legitimacy of the process of making public decisions: This public process is supposed to take place in forms of communication that... instantiate the discourse principle in a double respect. This principle has, to begin with, the cognitive sense of filtering reasons and information, topics and contributions in such a way that the outcome of a discourse enjoys a presumption of rational acceptability. The discursive character of opinionand will-forming in the political public sphere and in parliamentary bodies also has the practical sense of establishing relations of mutual understanding that are “violence free” in Arendt's sense and that unleash the generative force of communicative freedom. The communicative power of shared convictions issues only from structures of undamaged intersubjectivity. 1 To summarize, Habermas offers two important pieces to a legitimate deliberation, the argumentative and the practical. On the argumentative side, deliberation yields rationalization in individual preferences and arguments due to the communicative nature of the debate. On the other hand, a legitimate debate must be “violence free”, or free from coercion, manipulation, and the imposition of ones’ will upon another. A legitimate debate must be free from that which has the capacity to damage an individual’s trust and personal agency required to fairly and freely make political decisions. Thus there are two important parts to creating the intersubjective perspective in a political discussion. Arguments must be generalized and rationalized and they must be given in the context of a fair and free debate. Deliberative democracy does not rule out majority rule, it only specifies that legitimacy is grounded in procedures of deliberation and democratic decision making.

Sirolly 85 The question that I wish to raise is whether deliberation alone is best suited to satisfy Habermas's procedural requirements. Particularly, I believe that a majority decision rule better approximates an ideal deliberation in circumstances with high social pressures to conform. In order to analyze the effect of different voting rules, I now turn to recent psychological results on the effect of rules on deliberation.

5.3 Psychology of Deliberation Psychological investigations into groups of individuals making collective decision have uncovered a possible problem for the philosophical conception of deliberative democracy. The investigations have shown that when individuals are placed together and forced to find consensus on issues, there can be great social forces at play. Social forces, or social pressure is often felt as the pressure to conform or pressure to act in a certain way in a deliberation. Social forces work against the deliberative ideal in two specific ways, creating group polarization and silencing of numerical minorities. Thus, social force damages a deliberation's connection to ideal communicative action. In communicative action, the only force on participants should be “the force of the better argument.” These social forces seem to be in part created by tensions that arise due to the prescribed method of group decision. Mansbridge, “bas[ed] on her extensive empirical observations,... argues that in virtually all circumstances, a unanimous decision rule produces stronger social forces within a group”2 than a group deciding under a majority rule.

Sirolly 86 5.3.1 Social Forces at Work: Polarization and Silencing of the Numerical Minority As defined in Cass Sustein's dramatically titled paper “The Law of Polarization”, “group polarization means that members of a deliberating group predictably move toward a more extreme point in the direction indicated by the members' predeliberation tendencies.” 3 One example of polarization is that, “simulated juries’ punitive awards in personal injury cases show a dramatic polarization effect in which juries’ inclination to punish severely or leniently increases considerably with deliberation.” 4 In other words, the effect of polarization is to move individuals in groups to more extreme issue positions in comparison to their pre-deliberation position. This “robust”5 finding is observed across many types of discussions ranging from the value laden to the strictly informational. When a group moves towards an extreme point after deliberation, the more homogeneous the ideological makeup of the group, the more polarization occurs. Polarization seems to work against deliberative democracy by pushing some groups farther toward the extreme, away from the general ideological center of society, and therefore away from consensus. Furthermore, “deliberation among like-minded people who talk or even live, much of the time, in isolated enclaves,” 6 or enclave deliberation, is a “potential danger to social stability, [and] a source of social fragmentation or even violence.”7 Polarization is undesirable in deliberations for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is that it moves the deliberating group away from, rather than toward a societal consensus.

Tali Mendelberg offers two psychological explanations for the effect of polarization. Either group polarization may be driven by social comparison (“the attempt to present oneself to others in a positive light 8 ”) which is pressure to conform to the group's norm, or “deliberators in the majority [offering] more novel and valid arguments for their side.” 9 The force of the better argument should surely play an important role in deliberative democracy, and so it is of little concern. However, the possibility that social comparisons or socially normative pressures could dominate individuals' decisions directly works against of the type of deliberation Habermas justifies. The other effect of extreme social pressure is evident in the treatment of numerical minorities in deliberation. Minority groups are sometimes marginalized in group discussions. For example, “in simulated jury deliberations in which a small numerical minority disagrees with the majority, the minority often capitulates to the majority even when it continues to disagree.” 10 Furthermore, “groups that must reach a decision may tend to steamroll over inflexible minorities” 11 The minority that remains silent and agrees publicly, but disagrees privately, undercuts the purpose and legitimacy of deliberative democracy which rests upon each individual having full agency in the decision making process.


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7 Mendelberg provides a rich and complex view of deliberation in “The Deliberative Citizen: Theory and Evidence”. More than anything, she shows that the success or failure is context dependent. However, her focus is on small group deliberations. My focus is on the results pertaining to deliberations of high conflict and little chance of consensus. This is due to the fact that a deliberative democracy will likely never find consensus. Therefore, I focus only on the problems that occur with extreme group forces and social pressure.

Sirolly 88 The social forces that silence minorities can arise because a unanimous decision rule forces individuals with deep disagreements to come to some agreement in a limited amount of time. When agreement is not easily reached, the participant s might pressure the dissenters to conform. Those in the majority might begin to feel angry or agitated at those in the numerical minority for standing in the way of a collective decision. The minority, feeling threatened, might consolidate around a consistent and unbending message in order to show solidarity and commitment to their message. 12 The majority would then perceive the minority as inflexible, leading to a “steamrolling” of their views. Though this is one of many possible paths towards a subjugation of the minority, it shows how social pressure against dissent can grow and build quickly when the deliberators find themselves at a deliberative impasse. Both effects of group polarization and the silencing of numerical minorities show that social forces in deliberation can have negative effects in terms of approximating the communicative ideal. Social forces are most likely to be found in situation where the conflict is deep, and the likelihood of success of the deliberation is lowest. 13 It is useful to think of a hypothetical application of a unanimity decision rule in order to realize how these social forces are generated and how intense they might become. For example, at the scale of a national population, or even a representative body, a unanimity rule would place extreme pressure on anyone deviating from the norm to conform. This pressure would be necessary to allow any political decisions to be made. For example, an endless deliberation, due to the continued dissent of a few, on highway funding would lead to the denigration of highways, etc. Individuals who rely on highways, or any other of the

Sirolly 89 government services or decisions, would undoubtedly become frustrated at the dissenters. They might even resort to non-deliberative means such as threats of physical force, in order to force consensus. When three hundred million individuals join together to decide what action to take, and a lone dissenter can prevent that action, the pressures of conformity can be nothing but huge.

5.3.2 Unanimity versus Majority Rule All hope, however, is not lost for minorities in a deliberation. For example, “groups charged only with discussion for its own sake may be much more amenable to giving an inflexible minority a full hearing.” 14 In deliberative processes akin to town hall meetings, where participants gathered to participate in “kitchen table” discussions, “all participants' desire for education, information-sharing, and the pursuit of consensus and unity tended to push aside conflict.” 15 These kitchen table discussions were constructed to purposefully create a civil, friendly, and cooperative atmosphere, very like what would be found at a discussion in the home around a kitchen table. This begs the question, what differs between deliberations where the minorities are “steamrolled” and those where minorities are included as integral members of the deliberation? On a basic level, all minorities “can prod members of the majority to ask themselves why the minority thinks as it does – in other words, through its arguments it can force the majority to become more empathetic.” 16 But there seems to be a critical point in the range of typologies of deliberation at which the appeal of minority arguments no longer hold weight with the majority. That critical point is dependent upon the “social

Sirolly 90 appeal,” or the extent to which minority groups are viewed as socially acceptable and non-divisive to the majority group. 17 This scale of social acceptability depends upon both the ideological location of the group in contrast with the mean ideology of the majority as well as the amount of resistance the minority group presents to the goal of the majority deliberators. Also, minorities are most effective when they are not perceived as socially divisive. 18 Minorities are most effective, and polarization is neutralized when social pressures are minimized. Social pressures are in general reduced under a majority rule system. 19 However, the effect of a unanimous versus a majority decision rule seems to be complex and has not been extensively studied. 20 Mendelberg gives the explanation, citing Mansbrige, that: In friendship groups, [strong social] forces need not mean that the minority is silenced, coopted, or brought to obedient conformity. By contrast, in groups lacking genuine ties of friendship, conformity often can mean silence, cooption, or alienation. Where inequalities are small unanimous rule probably works well; where they are large, unanimous rule may exacerbate them.” 21 In Mendelberg's description, the picture of the effect of decision rules relies largely on the type of deliberation. This seems intuitive, in that a group with strong social ties is more likely to listen kindly to dissenters, whereas a large group that has many levels of ideological stratification and life backgrounds has more difficulty incorporating every deliberator into the final decision. However, Mendelberg also points to a way out, we can change the amount of social pressure by changing the decision rule. Thus, majority rule can be called upon to reduce social pressures within the context of an ongoing

Sirolly 91 deliberation when decisions are necessary.

5.4 Decision Rules in a Deliberative Democracy The ideal deliberation almost certainly involves a finely tuned mixed of both consensus-oriented deliberation and voting. In a communicative process, the participants are ideally coming together by their own choosing to solve collective problems of action coordination. This feeling of collectivity must be fostered to have a good deliberation. In other words, deliberators must be trying to come to a unanimous position, or consensus, by keeping an open mind and defending their own preferences. However, at the same time social norms and temporal considerations can create great pressure on the deliberators to find a way to induce or force consensus. Real world deliberations which are forced to come to consensus then violate the second of Habermas's principles of a legitimate debate by creating social “violence,” or manipulation. In order to satisfy both pieces of Habermas’s conception, voting and deliberation must be combined. Through an orientation toward consensus deliberation maintains its connection to communicative action and voting within deliberation this context reduces social pressure. By keeping deliberation and the orientation at consensus central, the negative effects of voting are constrained (as shown in chapters 3 and 4) and the social pressures of deliberation are minimized.

5.5 The Public Deliberation and Private Voting An illumination of the interplay of anonymous majority voting with deliberation

oriented at consensus can be found in the classic movie “12 Angry Men.”


Sirolly 92 Set in a jury

room on a hot summer day without air conditioning, eleven jurors enter the deliberation ready to convict the defendant who is charged with murder. Because they must reach a unanimous verdict, the majority, eleven strong, immediately express anger and resentment towards the stand-alone dissenter once his position becomes clear. The social pressures against dissent are clearly high to everyone in the room. In the process of deliberation, the lone dissenter begins his argument, and is met only with greater anger and increased pressure to acquiesce. The debate comes to an impasse, where his voice is the only one against conviction, and so he asks for a vote to be taken. Surprisingly, the vote shows that the majority had been whittled to ten. Without the use of a vote, the second individual might have never spoken up. The societal pressures being as great as they were, his voice would have likely been silenced quickly. However, his voice was heard clearly and distinctly in his vote. 8 The privacy of an anonymous vote allowed for a sincerity of statement not available in the deliberation. As the deliberation progressed, the pivotal points in individuals’ decisions were not moments of great argument, but rather the counting of votes. Though a fictional account, “12 Angry Men” offers a revealing picture about how important voting can be for an effective and legitimate deliberation.


A bothersome empirical finding in jury deliberations is that, “typically, in a jury of twelve, three members contribute over half of the statements, and over 20% remain silent” (Mendelberg 165). Integrating voting as a part of the deliberative process may be a way to give naturally quiet individuals a voice in the deliberation.

Sirolly 93 The jury deliberation example introduces a familiar concept in a new light. In the earlier conversation about the deliberative citizen, there are two conceptions of the citizen, the public and the private. The public view, derived from civic republicanism, conceives of the citizen in the context of their public life. Their life is best developed lived in a social and public -almost communitarian- context. The liberal conception, on the other hand, views the citizen as a generally private individuals whose only interactions were done in an economic, or market based, sense. These individuals pursue their privately held tastes in the public sphere. The deliberative citizen is at the same time both, and neither, public and private. Deliberative democracy requires that citizens are both public and private in order to maintain a connection to the original source of communicative legitimacy. Habermas explains that: A legal order is legitimate to the extent that it equally secures the cooriginal private and political autonomy of its citizens; at the same time, however, it owes its legitimacy to the forms of communication in which civic autonomy alone can express and prove itself.... A well-protected private autonomy helps secure the generation of public autonomy as much as, conversely, the appropriate exercise of public autonomy helps to secure the genesis of private law. 23 The deliberative citizen must be conceived of as both public and private. At the most basic level, the public citizen enables for the authorship of law, whereas the private citizen is able to secure individual autonomy. This conception is not solely theoretical. As I have shown with the “12 Angry Men” example, the conception of the citizen as possessing private rights must flow over into the deliberation. Jean Cohen conceives of the private component of life as enabling some of our

Sirolly 94 most important capacities. She claims that, “moral autonomy, psychic integrity, and the integrity of individual processes of identity-formation... are at the core of what a right to privacy does or should protect.” 24 Here the deep connection between private rights and an ability to act as a public citizen becomes clear. Without “moral autonomy, psychic integrity, and the individual process or identity formation” an individual in a deliberation is without standing and they are unable to make decisions. Without private personal grounding, an individual is at the will of the public. Here it might be useful to revisit the processes of deliberation. Deliberation in general creates social pressures. Under a majority rule, these pressures boil up quickly when dissent is in the way of a necessary decision. Even within near-ideal deliberations, there is likely to be some amount of tension built by disagreements between the participants. Deliberators in their pursuit of consensus, yet failing to convince the other parties for an extended period of time will likely loose enthusiasm at some point. As the time wears on, and agreement is still not found, deliberators might become exasperated with the dissenters. At the very least, they will feel frustrated in not being able to help the dissenters see their point of view. This deliberative steam, so to speak, builds up over time, until it can find some release. However, like letting the steam out of a boiling pot, a majority vote has the capacity to release any building deliberative pressure. The empirical evidence suggests that if we hope to counteract the negative tendencies of deliberation we can do so through a majority, rather than unanimity, voting rule. This release of deliberative steam can depolarize the group and reintroduce the clear-headedness required to continue a productive deliberation. These effects are seen at

Sirolly 95 least in part because majority rule reinvigorates private rights and the private conception of the citizen. Majority rule vote provides a moment of private sincerity, away from the deliberative forces. The act of voting is a time when individuals are able to take their deliberatively formed preferences and re-evaluate them privately in a way that can reduce the biases induced by social pressure. Without a private vote, deliberation is a wholly public act, where participants must actively defend their ideals. At every moment, everyone's public statements are essentially on trial. This is exactly the type of deliberative environment that deliberative theorists hope for, one which forces the rationalization of individuals' arguments because of the constant defense for those arguments. Empirical evidence shows that such an environment is on the whole capable of producing well informed, considerate, democratic decisions. 25 However, “other times, deliberation is likely to fail. This outcome is especially likely when strong social pressures or identities exist [and] conflict is deep.” 26 In an especially intense deliberative process where the arguments and social pressures are especially fierce, many people would likely feel attacked and vulnerable. The intensity of scrutiny in a deliberation likely plays into the silencing of minorities, because those minorities feel like their one voice will be responded to by many, sometimes angry, others. Furthermore, there is some evidence that suggests that individuals are extremely hesitant to reverse their opinions publicly. 27 Politicians are especially hesitant to admit any past mistakes because any such admittance would be seen as a sign of weakness. If weakness is found, there is a higher likelihood that

Sirolly 96 scrutiny will be placed upon that individual and their arguments, increasing both the argumentative as well as the social pressure placed upon that individual. If individuals reconsider their public statements and privately determine what they truly believe, they may not have a public outlet in the deliberation immediately, but they can find their voice once again in an anonymous vote. Furthermore, the vote is the great equalizer, guaranteeing each individual one vote and one voice. Whereas some speakers might have a better command of rhetoric or factual information, their power is inherently limited by placing democratic legitimacy in the agreement of everyone. Voting is perhaps then the clearest indicator of how far we must go in the search for consensus, or how deep a disagreement runs. Voting expresses itself to deliberators in an almost undeniable fashion. Where an individual’s suggestion or idea can be quickly denied in deliberation through a flurry of argument, their vote must be taken seriously. No longer must individuals worry about being embarrassed in the public realm; instead they can vote sincerely and without fear of repercussion. A suggestion by John Dryzek and several other deliberative theorists is to make voting a publicly accountable act, where everyone's choices are made public knowledge. 28 The argument goes that legitimate deliberation requires some insurance that individuals are following through with their public arguments. Dryzek's worry is that “individuals might indeed be constrained in their public expression of preference orderings – yet still vote based on different private preference orderings.” 29 Therefore, if voting is made public, “it is implausible that individuals would vote one way while simultaneously talking another way.” 30 The spirit of this argument is almost certainly in

Sirolly 97 the right place, in that a deliberation is only valid if its participants are actually internalizing and following through with their arguments. However, the idea that voting should be made public feels very anti-democratic, and in fact under the deliberative democrat's very definitions of legitimacy it almost certainly is. Habermas tells us that a legitimate deliberation must remain “violence free”, or free from coercion. However, there are some occasions where deliberations cannot be shielded from implicit and uncontrollable social and temporal pressures. Voting, in being private, is largely able to protect individuals from coercion and social violence, at least within the voting booth. This protection in the voting booth allows that un-coerced voice to be transferred into the larger deliberation as a position clearly stated. However, Dryzek's concern must be taken seriously. If public statements and private votes don't match up, then the deliberation is having little to no effect. Furthermore, if the deliberation is not having an effect, then the very legitimacy of the legislative process is in question under a deliberative interpretation. Ideally, the process of voting is one that allows deliberatively formed preferences to be internalized and accepted by an individual privately, outside of the context of deliberative pressures. First, there is empirical evidence which shows that pubic statements are internalized in deliberations by the deliberators. 31 Ranging across many different forums and contexts, it appears that discussion does create a change in preferences for deliberators. Secondly, when voting is private, it does not remove the burden of proof from the voters. If there is some divergence in what was thought to be public opinion and the outcome of a vote, public deliberation often shifts focus to that divergence. However,

Sirolly 98 the deliberation must now proceed under the new assumptions about individuals' issue positions. This way, the deliberators are forced to confront the reality of individuals' actual preferences, rather than those few preferences stated in deliberation. Therefore, voting actually allows for a deeper debate and more consideration of arguments on both sides. Thus, because the deliberation is necessary before and after the vote is important, voting is only a component of the ongoing deliberation. Therefore, voting is legitimate when it is understood as a pause the larger deliberation which registers the privately held beliefs of all and makes their aggregate result available to the deliberators.

5.6 The Role of Voting in a Deliberative Democracy Voting is a tool for deliberation that ensures that a legitimate deliberative environment is able to protect itself against coercion and force. However, voting must not become the center of the deliberative process. Voting viewed out of the context of a deliberation aimed at consensus has almost innumerable negative effects. The negatives of a system of democracy grounded in voting rather than deliberation include those offered by Riker, where democracy becomes a game of power, rather than a collective enterprise. This shift of perspectives encourages individuals and candidates to look at voting as a market process, where the candidates or propositions are products, each marketing themselves to be sold to more citizens than the next in order to find that all important majority coalition. 32 Voting must be a tool, called upon at the right times, in a deliberative process. Voting must be only brief rest, where the deliberators gather themselves and

Sirolly 99 reassess their positions, rather than a full stop to debate. When voting signals the end of debate, it almost certainly becomes too central and prevents the deliberation from approaching the communicative ideal. The deliberation must always maintain an internal connection to its original purpose, consensus, and if that purpose is explicitly denied, as in the case of a vote ending deliberation, so then is the legitimacy of deliberation itself. The key to a successful democratic decision is finding the delicate balance between the influences of deliberation and voting. In essence, the deliberation must occur in such a way that the participants are invested in consensus, but that consensus is not a requirement. Though this sounds like an almost impossible task, it is the task of politics. Democracy is the struggle of a people attempting to govern themselves collectively, while coming from divergent life backgrounds. Every day citizens try to convince others, be they a neighbor or a political opponent, to ascribe to their political stance. Though agreement is unexpected, it is still sought. It is when this process breaks down, when both sides give up trying to convince and focus only on winning the next election, that we wonder if our democracy is ailing.

5.7 Deliberative Democracy and Voting: Reconciled I began with the question: Can deliberation and voting exist together without harming one another, and if they can, is aggregation able to represent the outcomes of a deliberation properly? The work social choice theory gave proof that there were times when voting fails to determine a majority winner. However, a deliberative decision will almost always result in a defensible aggregation of votes. Furthermore, those times in

Sirolly 100 which the aggregation of votes is flawed, a deliberative democracy can respond and correct the problems of aggregation. On the question of whether voting and deliberation are reconcilable normatively and psychologically, it appears that they are symbiotic, in that where one fails, the other strives. Where deliberation is too public, and invades individuals’ privacy too much, voting allows for private sovereignty. On the other hand, private sovereignty allows us to make legitimate democratic decisions. If voting and deliberation must be made to work together, the key to success is placing voting within a deliberation. Deliberative democracy intimately relies upon citizens’ orientations to consensus in a deliberative manner both on the practical and the normative level. When voting becomes too important, when it rather than deliberation is seen as the method of solving problems, democracy can be irrational and meaningless. However, when voting is a tool, used to protect private rights in the context of a public deliberation, voting and deliberation exist in harmony. The meaning of my conclusion, that voting and deliberation are reconcilable, is hardly extraordinary. I did not show the way to some new, more perfect form of governance. Instead, what I have shown is almost tautological, in that I have “shown” that democracy works. If deliberation and voting were irreconcilable, democracy would almost certainly be a futile endeavor. Yet, democracy continues to flourish around the world. All that I have shown is that both deliberation and voting must play important roles in that endeavor. Even this conclusion seems obvious on a second thought. In our democracy, we often speak of two negative extremes, when politics is all talk and no action, and when politics becomes a game of strategy where talking heads do not talk to

Sirolly 101 each other, rather they talk at each other. In the first, politics needs a healthy injection of majority-rule voting to enable decision making. In the second, politics has become centered on voting and has lost its connection to ideal deliberation. Maybe then an unstated criterion for the good government has always been, and will continue to be, the constant search for the right balance of political deliberation and anonymous voting.

Sirolly 102


John Rawls, Political Liberalism (Chirchester: Columbia University Press, 1996).

Chapter 1: 1 Abraham Lincoln “Gettysburg Address” [final draft] November 19, 1863, Transcript of Gettysburg Address [internet] available from 2 James Bohman and William Regh, eds., Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1997), xii. 3 Jon Elster, “The Market and the Forum', in Jon Elster and Aanund Hylland, eds, Foundations of Social Choice Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 103-132, at 112.

Chapter 2: 1 Dryzek argues that the more descriptive term is discursive democracy, but agrees that the general usage is deliberative. John Dryzek, Deliberative Democracy and Beyond:Liberals, Critics, Contestations. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 2 Cohen mentions that he, Elster and Manin present parallel conceptions of Deliberative Democracy. He comments that “the overlap is explained by the fact that Elster, Manin, and I all draw on Habermas. Joshua Cohen, Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy in Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. ed. Bohman and Regh, Pg 88. Also ”Dryzek, Deliberative Democracy and Beyond. 3 Though I generally cite only primary source material, I am indebted to the following works in my understanding of Habermas's ideas of communicative action and deliberative democracy: Bohman and Regh eds., Deliberative Deomocracy., Stephen White ed. The Cambridge Companion to Habermas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)., David Rasmussen, Reading Habermas (Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1990)., James Finlayson, Habermas: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)., 4 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651). 5 James Johnson, “Habermas on Strategic and Communicative Action” Political Theory 19 (May 1991): 181-183. 6 Joseph Heath, Communicative Action and Rational Choice (Cambridge: The MIT

Sirolly 103 Press, 2001) 1-10. 7 Jurgen Habermas, Faktizität und Geltung (Between Facts and Norms: Contributions Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy) (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996; The MIT Press paperback edition, 1998), 10-19. 8 Ibid., 14. 9 Jurgen Habermas, Moralbewusstein und knmmunikatives Handeln (Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action) (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1990), 58. 10 The notation (a), (b), (c) are mine. Habermas, Between Facts and Norms, 4. 11 Ibid., 14. 12 Ibid., 107. 13 Ibid., 4. 14 Ibid., 4. 15 Ibid., 107.
16 Immanuel Kant, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten (Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals) (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1993).

17 Ibid,. 107-108. 18 Jurgen Habermas, Three Normative Models of Democracy in Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political, ed. Sayla Benhabib (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 24. 19 Habermas, Between Facts and Norms, 110. 20 Ibid., 110. 21 Ibid., 112. 22 Ibid., 113. 23 Ibid., 112. 24 Ibid., 117. 25 Ibid., 32-33. 26 Ibid., 110. 27 Ibid., 111. 28 Ibid., 111. 29 Ibid., 178. 30 Ibid., 320. 31 Ibid., 282. 32 Ibid., 283. 33 Ibid., 167. 34 Habermas, Three Normative Theories of Democracy, 22-29. 35 Ibid., 22. 36 Ibid., 21. 37 Ibid., 22. 38 Ibid., 23. 39 Habermas, Three Normative Theories of Democracy, 103

Sirolly 104 40 Ibid., 28. 41 Ibid., 29. 42 Amy Guntman and Dennis Thompson, Why Deliberative Democracy? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 133. 43 Ibid., 133 44 Ibid., 134 45 Ibid., 182 46 Ibid., 182 47 David Braybrook, “Changes of Rules, Issue-Circumscription and Issue Processing” (forthcoming) in Democracy and Deliberation Democracy and Deliberation, James Fishkin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991) 36-37. 48 James Bohman, Complexity, Pluralism, and the Constitutional State: On Habermas’s Faktizitat und Geltung,” Law and Society Review, 28, no. 4 (1994) 921, 897-930. 49 Ibid., 922. 50 Habermas, Between Facts and Norms, 179.

Chapter 3: 1 Kenneth Arrow, “A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare,” The Journal of Political Economy 58 (August 1950): 392. 2 Ibid., 330. 3 Ibid., 339. 4 Ibid., 336. 5 Ibid., 336-337. 6 Ibid., 337. 7 Ibid., 338. 8 Ibid., 338. 9 Ibid., 339. 10 Ibid., 340. 11 Ibid., 340. 12 Ibid., 340. 13 Ibid., 341. 14 Ibid., 342. 15 Ibid., 342. 16 William Riker, Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice (Long Grove: Waveland Press, 1982), 3. 17 Ibid., 5. 18 Ibid., 21. 19 Ibid., 58.

Sirolly 105 20 Ibid., 47. 21 Ibid., 51. 22 Ibid., 41-64. 23 Ibid., 59-64. 24 Ibid., 60. 25 Ibid., 60. 26 Ibid., 65. Proof of the general manipulability of voting systems can be found in: Allan Gibbard, “Manipulation of Voting Schemes, a General Result,” Econometrica, 41 (July, 1973): 587-601. 27 Paul Kiel, “GOP Donors Funded Entire PA Green Party Drive,” August 2, 2006 (accessed February 2007). 28 Riker, Liberalism Against Populsim. 141. 29 Ibid., 141. 30 Ibid., 145. 31 Ibid., 152. 32 Ibid., 152. 33 Ibid., 154. 34 Ibid.,155. 35 Ibid., 166. 36 Ibid., 166. 37 James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Modern Democracy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962), 132. 38 This Example is taken with modification from: Gerry Mackie, Democracy Defended (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). 39 The first two are from: John Dryzek and Christian List “Social Choice Theory and Deliberative Democracy: A Reconciliation”, British Journal of Political Science, 33 (2003): 10, 1-28. The third is a natural extension of Habermas’s Between Facts and Norms. 40 Dryzek and List, A Reconciliation, 10. 41 Ibid. 42 Gerry Mackie ‘All men are liars: Is deliberation meaningless?’ in John Elster, ed., Delibereative Democracy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998) 97-122. 43 Dryzek and List, A Reconciliation, 10. 44 Ibid., 9. 45 Ibid., 11. 46 Ibid. 47 Ibid. 48 Ibid. 49 This explanation of voter action is very similar to Strom’s idea of sophisticated voters in: Gerald Strom, The Logic of Lawmaking: A special Theory Approach (Baltimore:

Sirolly 106 The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990) 114-130.

Chapter 4 1 Mackie, Democracy Defended, 18-19. 2 Ibid., 89. 3 Jack Knight and James Johnson, “Aggregation and Deliberation: On the Possibility of Democratic Legitimacy” Political Theory 22 (May, 1994): 280-281 4 Jules Coleman and John Ferejohn, “Democracy and Social Choice,” Ethics, 97 (October 1986): 6-25. 5 Dryzek and List, A Reconciliation. 6 Knight and Johnson, Aggregation and Deliberation, 282. 7 Mackie, Democracy Defended, 98. 8 Ibid. 9 Christian List,, and R. E. Goodin, "Epistemic Democracy: Generalizing the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Journal of Political Philosophy 9, 3 (2001) Appendix 3, 1. 10 Ibid. 11 Mackie, Democracy Defended, 48. 12 Pg 289 Knight and Johnson Aggregation and Deliberation 13 Pg 289 Knight and Johnson Agg. And Delib. 14 Pg 110 Ibid F&N 15 James Clerk Maxwell, Scientific Papers 2, (October 1871), 244. 16 Matthew Chalmers, “Five papers that shook the world,” PhysicsWeb January 2005, (accessed March 2007). 17 Riker, Liberalism Against Populsim, 128 18 Mackie, Democracy Defended, 173. 19 Riker, Liberalism Against Populsim, 128 20 Figure reproduced from Ibid., 125. 21 Pg 12 Ibid 22 Knight and Johnson, Aggregation and Deliberation, 282. 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid., 283. 25 Ibid., 282 26 Dryzek and List, A Reconciliation. 27 Ibid., 14. 28 Ibid. 29 Dryzek and List, A Reconciliation. 30 Dryzek and List, A Reconciliation, 15-16. 31 Pg 11 List, Luskin, Fishkin, McClean.

Sirolly 107 32 Pg 11 Ibid 33 Pg 11 Ibid 34 Cynthia Farrar, Donald P. Green, Elizabeth Levy Paluck, Christian List, Robert Luskin, and James Fishkin, “Experimenting with Deliberative Democracy: Effects on Policy Preferences and Social Choice” (presentation, Marburg, Germany, September, 18-21, 2003). 35 Ibid.,13-15, 28 36 Ibid., 16-18 Ibid. 37 A special thanks here to Professor Fleming and his course on Wittgenstien. Without his guidance through the Philosophical Investigations this point would likely have never presented itself to me. 38 Mackie, Democracy Defended, 387. 39 Ibid.

Chapter 5 1 Habermas Between Facts and Norms, 151 2 J. Mansbridge, Beyond Adversary Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1987). 3 Cass Sustein, “The Law of Group Polarization,” The Journal of Political Philosophy, 10, 2 (2002):176. 4 Tali Mendelberg, “The Deliberative Citizen, Theory and Evidence,” Political Decision Making, Deliberation and Participation, 6 (2002):159. 5 Ibid 6 Sustein, Group Polarization, 177. 7 Ibid. 8 Mendelberg, Deliberative Citizen, 159. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 Ibid., 163. 12 Such consolidation may in fact be the only way that minorities are able to have an effective say in deliberation. Ibid., 163. 13 Ibid., 161. 14 Ibid., 163. 15 Mark Button and Kevin Mattson, “Deliberative Democracy in Practice: Challenges and Prospects for Civic Deliberation,” Polity, 31, 4. (Summer, 1999): 620. 16 Mendelberg, Deliberative Citizen, 162. 17 Ibid., 164. 18 Ibid., 163. 19 Ibid., 178.

Sirolly 108 20 Ibid., 178 21 Ibid., 22 12 Angry Men, dir. Sidney Lumet, Orion-Nova Productions, 1957. 23 Jurgen Habermas, “Habermas on Law and Democracy: The Critical Exchanges: Habermas's Proceduralist Paradigm of Law: Paradigms of Law,” Cardoza Law Review, 17 (March 1996): 776-778. 24 Jean Cohen, Democray, Difference, and the Right of Privacy, in Democracy and Difference ed. Sayla Benhabib (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 207. 25 Mendelberg, Deliberative Citizen,180-181. 26 Ibid., 181. 27 Diego Gambetta, “Claro! An Essay on Discursive Machisimo” in Jon Elster ed, Deliberative Democracy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 19-43. 28 Dryzek, A Reconciliation, 16. 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid. 31 Ibid., and Mendelberg, Deliberative Citizen, 178., and James Johnson “Is Talk Really Cheap? Prompting Conversation Between Critical Theory and Rational Choice,” American Political Science Review, 87 (March 1993): 81. 32 Bernard Manin, Elly Stein and Jane Mansbridge, “On Legitimacy and Political Deliberation” Political Theory, 15 (Aug., 1987): 350 – 368. pp. 338-368.

Sirolly 109

Arrow, Kenneth. “A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare.” The Journal of Political Economy 58 (August 1950): 328-346.

Bohman, James. Complexity, Pluralism, and the Constitutional State: On Habermas’s Faktizitat und Geltung,” Law and Society Review, 28, no. 4 (1994): 897-930.

Bohman, James and Regh, William eds., Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1997.

Braybrook, David. “Changes of Rules, Issue-Circumscription and Issue Processing” (forthcoming) in Democracy and Deliberation Democracy and Deliberation, James Fishkin. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.

Buchanan, James and Tullock, Gordon. The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Modern Democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962.

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Chalmers, Matthew. “Five papers that shook the world.” PhysicsWeb January 2005.

Sirolly 110 (accessed March 2007). Jean Cohen, Democray, Difference, and the Right of Privacy, in Democracy and Difference. ed. Sayla Benhabib. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

Cohen, Joshua. Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy” in “Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics.” ed. James Bohman and William Regh, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1997.

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Dryzek, John. Deliberative Democracy and Beyond:Liberals, Critics, Contestations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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