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Stanford Law Review


Can intense preferences be accommodated in voting schemes without shifting power to wealthier citizens and organized interests? This article first situates the question within the larger issue of the inalienability of some legal rights, and then focuses on collective action problems among voters. These problems offer a way to explain our present rules and intuitions regarding vote buying and related matters in areas ranging from corporate law to associations and to campaign finance reform. But in large-scale general elections, collective action problems are likely to doom strategies for extracting information about intense preferences, and they may even produce perverse results. Still, there may be room for careful innovation, aimed at capturing information about intense preferences.

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