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The Unheavenly ChorusUnequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy$
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Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154848

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154848.001.0001

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Equal Voice and the Dilemmas of Democracy

Equal Voice and the Dilemmas of Democracy

Chapter:
(p.96) 4 Equal Voice and the Dilemmas of Democracy
Source:
The Unheavenly Chorus
Author(s):

Kay Lehman Schlozman

Sidney Verba

Henry E. Brady

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154848.003.0004

This chapter demonstrates how the United States deviates from the ideal of equal voice. It is based on the premise that equal consideration of the interests and preferences of all citizens is an important component of democratic governance. Equal consideration depends on equal political voice. Those who express political voice—by voting or otherwise taking part in politics—are able to inform the government of their needs and preferences and to pressure public officials to pay attention; they are therefore in a better position to protect their interests. Thus the chapter considers if equal political voice—or, more realistically, more nearly equal voice than is currently the case—is a desirable goal.

Keywords:   democratic dilemma, equal voice, equal consideration, democratic governance, equal political voice, political voice, democracy, trade-offs

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