Saturday, April 22, 2017

Universalizing Tactical Voting

I regularly come across two objections to tactical voting, i.e. voting for Lesser Evil rather than Good in hopes of defeating the Greater Evil candidate.  One objection is just the standard worry that individual votes lack instrumental value, debunked here.  More interestingly, some worry that tactical voting is positively problematic, morally speaking, on grounds of its putative non-universalizability.

On one version of the worry, tactical voting involves (something approaching) a contradiction in the will, insofar as even if those who most prefer Good constituted a majority, they could get stuck in the inferior equilibrium point of all (unnecessarily, and contrary to their collective preference) supporting Lesser Evil.  On another version of the worry, tactical voting involves (something like) a contradiction in conception, insofar as it involves responding to how others plan to vote, which might seem to depend upon those others voting non-tactically, i.e. not waiting to first learn how you plan to vote.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Assessing the NMC's Defense of its Independent Midwifery Ban

After receiving much criticism for its effective ban on independent midwifery, the NMC released a document [pdf] that seeks to explain and justify their position (see especially the fourth and final page).

Their central conclusion is that they are simply following orders, and it isn't their responsibility to do anything to mitigate the harms they're thereby causing: