Civil Responsibility of Citizens

This composition will be different than others because I have not previously thought about this topic before writing my opinion. I have not written in this style before for fear of sounding redundant and confusing; therefore, I will try my hardest to organize my ideas as clearly as possible. I will write down my mental process as it happens and if I am successful, you, the reader, will better understand how I think.

What are the civil responsibilities of citizens? The first thing I want to do is to define responsibility as a moral or legal task that one has for the well-being of others. I want to, however, specifically focus on the moral tasks citizens have to their country.

I want to consider voting. I define voting as expressing one's opinion in response to a poll. I believe most people would agree that voting is a civil responsibility that citizens have. Even though I probably do not have to convince you of this belief, I still want to examine it a bit further.

Is voting a civil duty of citizens?

Before I go into this question, I want to make clear that I believe people have the responsibility to help others, but are not responsible to help others in every way they can. That being said, it would be insufficient to show how voting helps others, if my goal is to figure out whether or not citizens have the responsibility to vote. Another factor would have to be considered for this composition and that would be the negative effects of not voting. In other words, if I want to conclude that citizens have the responsibility to vote, I would have to prove that voting promotes the well-being of others and prevents disaster.

I can think of two possibilities of what would happen if nobody voted, either decisions that are voted on do not get made or someone becomes the decision maker; I feel that if the former case were to arise, it would eventually result in the latter. Thus, to prevent decision makers from having unchecked power, citizens must vote. This raises another question. Would leaders have unchecked power if citizens did not vote? I believe that is most likely. Even though there could be a check and balance system within the political system and there could be other ways for citizens to express their opinions, if citizens are unable to directly influence their leaders (in this case, being able to elect them), they will more likely do what is not best for the citizenry. Moreover, lack of voting would render a check and balance system pointless because there would be nothing stopping the elites of separate branches from working together to exploit the many. Therefore, I conclude that voting would promote the well-being of others by preventing catastrophe. This point is, of course, debatable, but according to my beliefs, unchecked power will inevitably lead to disaster, a topic I leave for another day.