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These costs can be very high indeed, and not least because of the curious fact that, each voter having an absolute monopoly with respect to his own vote, each voter has, where the decision-making rule becomes more inclusive, more personal power rationally to exploit an essential scarce resource for his own private advantage: 'If we include (as we should) the opportunity costs of bargains that are never made, it seems likely that the bargaining costs might approach infinity in groups of substantial size ...
10 It is in the circumstances much to be regretted that so many people treat 51 per cent as if it were 100 per cent and thereby elevate simple majority to the status of the unanimity rule. Democratic decision-making on the operational, dayto-day, post-constitutional level presupposes participation and coordination. It does not presuppose 51 per cent- one proportion among many and in no sense the essence of the democratic system. The adoption of the less-than-unanimity rule increases the probability that a majority will impose its will (in the sense offelt external costs) on a minority.
97 One of the policy options which those political actors might democratically select, moreover, is, inevitably, none other than distributive justice in the sense of Rawls. They might buy the bundle - or they might leave it on the shelf. The question of their choice is an 30 The Political Economy of James Buchanan empirical one. Ex post all will be revealed. Ex ante even the moral philosopher is compelled to dwell in darkness with respect to those end states which sovereign citizens will choose to regard as just.