So what would happen if there was a tiny country on the north-west peak of a Pangaea-like continent filled with enough resources to fuel a war with earth for decades (though the war never actually happened), and had a election system like this:

  1. Paying tax is completly optional no prison for tax-avoiding.

  2. Paying normal tax fee of about 10% will give you goverment support; things like public schools

  3. Paying a higher tax fee of about 15% will give you one presidential vote.

  4. Paying higher than that will resort to more votes 32%=2 votes 50%=3 (in a non-linear fashion).

Note: The world's tech level is just about at the discovery of oil

Edit: So what would its neighbors think or the people themselves? Would it strengthen the country's economy or weaken it

  • $\begingroup$ I like the election system you have set up, however I do not see the question. Is this primitive civilization fighting interstellar Humans (as implied by the "decades long war with Earth") or are you asking what would happen if the country in question went to war with its neighbors? Or something else? As it stands, the question is both too broad and unclear. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ oh um sorry i just wanted to put emphasis on it being a very rich country $\endgroup$
    – JKK1111
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ I can't really see people buying those second and third votes, unless it's someone who has only some kind of notional income but can rely on someone else's income for their living costs, like someone "employed" by their wealthy spouse for minimum wage, just to get the votes. $\endgroup$
    – Neil W
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:19
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The rich would pay large numbers of poor people for their inexpensive votes instead of paying taxes. Someone making 100k/year could either buy one vote for 10k, or pay ten people making 10k/year to vote for the same price... $\endgroup$
    – ckersch
    Apr 29, 2015 at 15:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not a bad deal, I already pay 40% and I only get one vote. $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Apr 29, 2015 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


This government is very smart, it would seem. Countries like the United States have a pretty low voter turnout at roughly 50%. Based on personal experience with people, if you give a right to them freely, they will not want it or use it as much as if they had to fight for it. When we are so used to having a right we seldom desire it.

If the government sells votes, you can expect a lot of protest from the poor, but the well-off would definitely want to vote, simply because you are making them essentially work for it. I believe the government would have access to more funds simply because people want what they don't already have, Many people would opt for the 1 vote (15%) simply because it is more affordable. The middle class would opt for the 50% (3 votes) because they can afford it.

The wealthy would also, like they do in many modern countries, bribe the middle class and lower classes to vote for their select candidate. If this is illegal, well, they can take a page from our history books: bribery. It is not too hard to imagine the ultra-rich 'giving' away yacht trips and 'donating campaign funds' to greedy and ambitious government inspectors.

This, however, makes the national budget very shaky. The country in question has no reliable way to predict income, meaning it has no reliable way to plan its budget. It would have to be careful (moreso than most countries) when going to war or planning a war.

In conclusion, this would make a strong but brittle economy.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It would be FAR more efficient to have 1 vote and spend the remaining 35% of your income on "buying" more votes from other people. You could even tell them to vote in your name and buy 3 votes for themselves, and repay them whatever taxes it cost them. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Erik By wealthy, I mean Bill Gates wealthy. Or even Rockefeller wealthy. They have enough money to sacrifice their income once ever couple of years to ensure a business-friendly government the non-election years. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Bill Gates legally buying 1 extra vote is not going to make a difference to the hundreds of thousands of votes he could obtain by spending that money on a propaganda campaign. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ I still don't see why someone downvoted. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 30, 2015 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ Well written answer, but the arguments made aren't conving. I'd expect to see the exact opposite - poor sacrificing salary for assistance/votes, and the rich pretending the government doesn't exist - probably a self-fulfilling prophesy. $\endgroup$
    – NPSF3000
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:33

It would make the price of your vote be related to your wealth. The less you make, the cheaper it is to get a vote. People would realise this. The poor would sell their votes to supplement their income and the rich would buy votes from the poor en-masse because it'd be much cheaper than getting their own.

If you made vote-selling illegal, the rich would probably still not bother getting their own vote but instead spend all that money on huge propaganda campaigns to get the poor to vote their way.

If you vote costs you millions of dollars, you're probably going to say "screw it" and try to get people who only pay hundreds of dollars for their vote to do it their way instead.

  • $\begingroup$ Or use money laundering to mis-represent your income. Then bribe the government inspectors by offering a trip on your private yacht. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, but people already do that. That's not something that's going to change from the current ways under this system. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Apr 29, 2015 at 13:55

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