ational and utility maximising choices made by the prospective voters, and if the costs outweigh the benefits, it is considered rational ignorance (Rowley and Schneider, 2008, p. 121). On the other hand, they might decide not to take part in an election because the costs outweigh the benefits, in what can be considered rational abstention (Cooter, 2000, p. 22). Other problems may develop from the voting itself, where, for instance, the median voter decides the result in majority-rule elections, and this creates a situation where the preferences of other voters are ignored. In this case, a voting paradox develops, since when three or more people vote, a consistent ranking of their preferences cannot be achieved. Based on rational choice theory, therefore, voting is considered an irrational act, since the possibility of a single vote affecting an election is negligible, but voting still incurs costs and people continue to vote. Keith Dowding attempted to solve this paradox by making modifications to the rational choice framework, arguing that people vote based on a sense of duty. The modification reserves the notion that people achieve utility maximisation. Stephen Parsons (in the paper quoted above in the question) does not agree with this claim, and is of the opinion that, in order to have any explanatory backing, “duty must be modelled as a modified lexicographic preference” (Parsons, 2006, p. 295). Therefore, I agree with Parsons since, these preferences are proscribed by the continuity axiom that is needed so that a preference ordering can be represented by a function of utility which supports the statement, “The act of voting out of a sense of duty is not a utility maximizing act” (2006, p. 295).
Maximising utility is an economic concept, denoting that, when deciding what to buy, a consumer tries to attain the biggest possible value while spending the smallest amount. In this case, the goal of the consumer is maximisation of the total value that can be