After reading this question about votes based on IQ that got me thinking. When the right to vote was still being thrashed out there were some that objected to allowing votes to those who were uneducated on the grounds that they could not understand enough to cast wise or informed votes.
So imagine the world where this idea stuck. In all other regards this is our world but:
- The right to vote requires a minimal education, let's say some like the UK GCSE or the US Highschool Diploma.
- Those with higher levels of education (on some sort of scale where the above is a 2 and a BA/BSci is a 4 and MA/etc is a 5) doubles an individual's voting power.*
- On some voting issues, only the individual's maximum education in a specific field would count.
- This would extend to politicians. Thus, in order to vote on tax issues, an MP (or congressman) would have to have to be qualified in maths but would gain a double vote if they were educated in accountancy. Candidates would quite likely trump their personal qualifications in order to get elected and polymaths and the highly educated would likely rise to power.
- Those that vote in national and local elections and referendum(s) gain a tax break based on the level of vote that they cast.
- Assume that those with a vested interest are sufficiently motivated to prevent the worst abuses of the system and that there are enough liberal-minded souls that gross inequality is considered a problem to be solved.
*In the UK a person with a GCSE would get one vote in the general election but a person with and A-Level would get 2 and an undergrad would get 4 and a postgrad 8.
In theory, this would lead to a world run by the experts. Also, those that dropped out without much education would be regressively taxed. This might polarise society (the rich being educated and the poor being in a world of hurt).
Politics: (UK examples): In all likelihood, nationalistic parties like UKIP would fail to gain any traction but both Tory and Liberal Democrats might be the big two. If you can figure out how well (or not) Labour might do feel free to say so.
What other differences might such a world create and what inequalities or benefits might come about?
What might the more unusual features of this society be?
What might this world be like at different income brackets?
How might culture change? For example, I can imagine that Chess and Go might become more important than football. Would this be like that episode of Sliders where Nike's slogan is "Just Think It"?