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Author Topic: Don't vote!  (Read 6902 times)

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Offline mj2002Topic starter

Don't vote!
« on: March 20, 2014, 03:25:52 PM »
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't make a difference. By voting, you are becoming complicit in a system that merely functions to serve the needs of politicians, corporations and 'the elite'. Issues such as climate change, income inequality/disparity and economic exploitation remain unaddressed by (our current generation of) politicians.

This is pretty much the central argument that Russell Brand made in this interview, from last fall.


I'd like to hear what people think about this position. To keep the discussion somewhat on track, I'd like to exclude local elections and mainly focus on national politics (of any country).
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 03:27:45 PM by mj2002 »

Offline Florence

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 03:58:19 PM »
I agree voting doesn't really change things, not that I can't imagine not voting does any particular help either.

That said... I mean, I suppose voting probably isn't worth the effort, so... eh, maybe you shouldn't bother.

I'm speaking from the perspective of US politics of course, not British politics.

I suppose if you do at least vote, it'll at least tell them what positions the should probably support and oppose to stay popular. Even if real, important change doesn't come from it, it at least means, for instance, politicians with radical homophobic positions not getting votes means those who do get elected will know to oppose those positions, at least enough to keep people complacent.

At the end of the day, though, it's all a nice big stage production, and we're just helping to chose the actors.


Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 04:08:42 PM »
Reality is we need to take money out of politics.

Democracy can work, but only if there is no money involved in decision making. If the corporations can't buy politicians, then the politicians won't listen to them.

The issue is, how do we take money out of politics, voting will not work since everyone you might vote for has already been bought.

Offline elone

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 04:19:35 PM »
I vote, always have and always will. Even if it seems useless it is still the only way to get someone in office that I might support. I do agree that money is the real problem in politics. I should not say it is the sole problem though because if politicians could not be bought, then money would have no influence.

I write letters to editors, letters to my representatives, the President, and anyone else who has any authority over a particular issue. I've even been on the air on radio on CNN. To me, participation in those ways is more influential than my vote, but vote I will.

Offline Mathim

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 04:36:10 PM »
Reality is we need to take money out of politics.

Democracy can work, but only if there is no money involved in decision making. If the corporations can't buy politicians, then the politicians won't listen to them.

The issue is, how do we take money out of politics, voting will not work since everyone you might vote for has already been bought.

Take the money out of society, obviously. Good luck engineering that overhaul.

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 04:46:41 PM »
http://www.wolf-pac.com/

They're doing the engineering for us, but not so sure how well that'll all turn out. Remain hopeful :P

Offline Mathim

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2014, 04:50:59 PM »
I'm apprehensive about clicking links. Can you give us the gist?

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2014, 05:02:46 PM »
Quote
To restore true democracy in the United States by pressuring our State Representatives to pass a much needed 28th Amendment to our Constitution which would end corporate personhood and publicly finance all elections in our country. There are only 2 ways to amend the Constitution. (1) Go through our federal government  (2) Go through our State Legislators via an Article V. Convention of the States.

Wolf PAC believes that we can no longer count on our federal government to do what is in the best interest of the American people due to the unfettered amount of money they receive from outside organizations to fund their campaigns. We point to the failure of the Disclose Act as rock solid evidence that this would be a total waste of our time, effort, and money.  We also point to the recent decision by the US Supreme Court to not even hear a case filed by Montana claiming it did not have to abide by Citizens United, as proof that state legislation is not a suffient measure to solve this problem.   We believe that we have no choice but to put an amendment in the hands of our State Legislators, who are not, at this moment in time, completely blinded by the influence of money and might actually do what 87% of the country wants...take away the massive influence that money has over our political process.

According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”

The gist of the 28th amendment would be "Corporations are not people. They have none of the Constitutional rights of human beings. Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly. No politician can raise over $100 from any person or entity.  All elections must be publicly financed."

For this to work, US people need to make every election in the United States from now until this problem is solved a one issue election.  If the influence of money in politics is at the root of all other issues in your country, you must start voting like it.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 05:04:53 PM by Kane »

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2014, 05:06:23 PM »

For this to work, US people need to make every election in the United States from now until this problem is solved a one issue election.  If the influence of money in politics is at the root of all other issues in your country, you must start voting like it.
Voting is what got us here in the first place. What makes you think it'll solve this problem?

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2014, 05:10:23 PM »
Voting is what got us here in the first place. What makes you think it'll solve this problem?

The other option is a flat out revolution. If you only vote to get money out of politics, in every election, on local, state, and federal level, you might stand a chance.

So it's either voting or revolution. If revolution is a realistic option, then go for it. If not, then trying by voting is better than doing nothing and complaining how everything is going to shits.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 05:12:59 PM by Kane »

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2014, 05:32:44 PM »

So it's either voting or revolution. If revolution is a realistic option, then go for it. If not, then trying by voting is better than doing nothing and complaining how everything is going to shits.
Can you explain why voting is better than doing nothing though?

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 05:41:30 PM »
Can you explain why voting is better than doing nothing though?

What is doing nothing going to accomplish, exactly? Lie down and die?

If there is a chance, even a small chance that you can change things, why not do it? By not voting you are not going to change anything, at all. Unless if no one at all votes, which is even more unlikely to happen than your vote changing things. Besides, if it just so happened that no one voted, no one would have any idea of what would actually happen, at least here you have a clear goal.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 05:56:05 PM »
What is doing nothing going to accomplish, exactly? Lie down and die?

If there is a chance, even a small chance that you can change things, why not do it? By not voting you are not going to change anything, at all. Unless if no one at all votes, which is even more unlikely to happen than your vote changing things. Besides, if it just so happened that no one voted, no one would have any idea of what would actually happen, at least here you have a clear goal.
Not voting can lead to elections losing their credibility. It also saves you from being complicit in perpetuating the current situation.

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 06:10:19 PM »
Not voting can lead to elections losing their credibility. It also saves you from being complicit in perpetuating the current situation.

And what happens when elections lose their credibility? That's my question. What are the consequences?

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2014, 06:13:26 PM »
And what happens when elections lose their credibility? That's my question. What are the consequences?
Something other than the status quo, hopefully.

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2014, 06:15:42 PM »
Something other than the status quo, hopefully.

Yeah, you know, maybe the army generals will take control or something :P I just think it might be a good idea to try something with a clear goal than just wing it, but then, you make your own decisions.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2014, 06:19:23 PM »
Yeah, you know, maybe the army generals will take control or something :P I just think it might be a good idea to try something with a clear goal than just wing it, but then, you make your own decisions.
The goal is quite clear, a change in the status quo. I could paraphrase the video, but Brand explains it eloquently enough in my opinion.

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2014, 06:22:58 PM »
The goal is quite clear, a change in the status quo. I could paraphrase the video, but Brand explains it eloquently enough in my opinion.

A change in status quo is not a clear cut goal, the change could be just about anything you can imagine. The people in power would most likely still be the people in power, only now they would just be there because they are there, rather than being voted there. Corporations already hold the absolute power, voting losing its credibility would not change it.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2014, 06:25:06 PM »
A change in status quo is not a clear cut goal, the change could be just about anything you can imagine. The people in power would most likely still be the people in power, only now they would just be there because they are there, rather than being voted there. Corporations already hold the absolute power, voting losing its credibility would not change it.
Your view of events is entirely speculative, as far as I can tell. I still maintain that not voting will cause elections to lose credibility, which creates a window for change.

Offline Kane

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2014, 06:33:44 PM »
Your view of events is entirely speculative, as far as I can tell. I still maintain that not voting will cause elections to lose credibility, which creates a window for change.

We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2014, 09:33:10 PM »
Can you explain why voting is better than doing nothing though?

If you vote, your contribution towards the candidate of your choice is n>0
If you don't vote, your contribution towards the candidate of your choice is n=0
Also, if you don't vote, every vote for the candidates that you don't like is increased by some amount n>0

So, by not voting, you are contributing in some way to every candidate that you don't like.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 11:04:47 PM »
Consider voting for a 3rd party candidate if you don't support Democrats or Republicans.

edit:  Sorry, just realized you are from Europe - many countries over there have several political parties.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 11:05:55 PM by Valthazar »

Offline Paladin101

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2014, 11:28:19 PM »
I vote. For one thing I consider it a civic duty. In America we drone on and on about our rights, our bill of rights, our God given rights, our human rights. No one talks about our responsibilities. We are in a democratic republic. This system of government places the burden upon the people to maintain the republic. We choose who we wish to lead us. The problem, is that such a small percentage of us actually bother to vote. If the people actually stepped forward and did their duty, things might be better. Also, corporations and special interest groups have gained power through money, allowing them to influence politicians by offering them votes. This is compounded by the fact that the only people voting, for the most part, are members of these special interest groups.

All in all, american politics needs a bit of house cleaning.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2014, 01:15:06 AM »
If you vote, your contribution towards the candidate of your choice is n>0
If you don't vote, your contribution towards the candidate of your choice is n=0
Also, if you don't vote, every vote for the candidates that you don't like is increased by some amount n>0

So, by not voting, you are contributing in some way to every candidate that you don't like.
The premise of the argument made here is that the difference between candidates is too small. Whoever you vote for, the important issues will not be addressed anyway.
Consider voting for a 3rd party candidate if you don't support Democrats or Republicans.

edit:  Sorry, just realized you are from Europe - many countries over there have several political parties.
They do have several political parties, but it still leaves us in the same situation as the US, albeit less extreme.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 01:17:34 AM by mj2002 »

Offline Florence

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2014, 01:45:00 AM »
Aye, the problem I think isn't that your vote won't affect who gets elected, its that regardless of who gets elected, nothing will really change.

Particularly in the US, we have the problem that no third party candidate will ever actually get elected. Perhaps that's a bit cynical, I suppose with the increase of instant communication, supporters of third party candidates have a better chance at making a difference now, but the fact is that media really only seems to focus on the Republicans or the Democrats. You could be forgiven for not even realizing there ARE other candidates until you actually see the ballot.