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Author Topic: Don't vote!  (Read 6924 times)

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Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2014, 06:53:43 PM »
Well, I think people need to research more before voting, there are some individuals who would make great politicians... its just they don't get the funding to advertise their position that people making deals do.

We need a website, something like Reddit where all interested politicians can post their opinions and be asked questions by individuals. A site everyone would know and be able to check out the participants, make it so funding isn't as big an issue.
It sounds great in theory, but how would one get politicians to answer straight questions? This never happens.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2014, 04:41:52 AM »
'pollogies, I haven't watched the video yet.

I would agree that if everyone stopped voting, you could break the system or at least send a very loud and clear message, but you would need a very extreme amount of cooperation to pull this off.  If even 75% of voters just decided to break the system by not voting, then you would still have 25% taking control of the election - and they would now have much more voting power than before.

Would that 25% likely represent your views? Do you think they would be likely to be folks who feel disenfranchised, would they be more likely to be happy with the voting system and choice in candidates? What percentage of people would need to decline the vote in order to have the desired effect?


Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2014, 04:58:24 AM »
'pollogies, I haven't watched the video yet.

I would agree that if everyone stopped voting, you could break the system or at least send a very loud and clear message, but you would need a very extreme amount of cooperation to pull this off.  If even 75% of voters just decided to break the system by not voting, then you would still have 25% taking control of the election - and they would now have much more voting power than before.

Would that 25% likely represent your views? Do you think they would be likely to be folks who feel disenfranchised, would they be more likely to be happy with the voting system and choice in candidates? What percentage of people would need to decline the vote in order to have the desired effect?


It's just a guessing game really. To go ahead with your hypothetical situation though. If you're getting a movement going of people that are actively not voting (or voting blank/none of the above if that's possible), I think that an election where the turnout is around 25% would be very hard to sell as legitimate. Remember that this isn't just sitting around and deciding not to take the time to go and vote. Along with this would be protests. If 75% won't vote, that means mass protests.

The Occupy movement was a start, it at least brought the subject of inequality and corporatism to the forefront. This is now something people talk about, it is on people's minds. Unfortunately, the movement wasn't very well planned or executed. However, it is clear that, hypothetical situations aside, there is really a large group of people who feel disenfranchised. There is a potential for this movement. I would see 'not voting' as one of the tools for such a movement to use in an attempt to promote their point of view.

Offline TapVallian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2014, 05:04:59 AM »
Not voting is like having an argument with someone where you sit in silence and hope to win.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2014, 05:12:50 AM »
I think part of the OP's point was that by voting, you effectively legitimize the candidates that have already been selected for you (by the wealthiest individuals in the country- who are able to empower candidates with their enormous wealth in exchange for the passing of laws that would make them even more wealthy )

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2014, 05:13:34 AM »
Not voting is like having an argument with someone where you sit in silence and hope to win.
I think the analogy is wrong, but your argument doesn't hold up in and of itself either.

You're not sitting in silence when you don't vote. You're just rejecting the preconceived notion that the current system of electing representatives is the only valid way. It's a narrow perspective to have. I would like to reject the status quo, without perpetuating it by voting for someone who says they'll do things differently, but make no rigorous changes once they're in power.

As for your analogy. I can sit in silence and still be right. One can argue as much as they like, but if their logic is not sound, it doesn't matter what they say. I would just disagree with the analogy that not voting equals being silent. It's not just about 'not voting', it's about rejecting the system as a whole. It's tool that's part of a movement.

I think part of the OP's point was that by voting, you effectively legitimize the candidates that have already been selected for you (by the wealthiest individuals in the country- who are able to empower candidates with their enormous wealth in exchange for the passing of laws that would make them even more wealthy )
Correctamundo.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 05:14:50 AM by mj2002 »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2014, 05:26:29 AM »
It's just a guessing game really. To go ahead with your hypothetical situation though. If you're getting a movement going of people that are actively not voting (or voting blank/none of the above if that's possible), I think that an election where the turnout is around 25% would be very hard to sell as legitimate. Remember that this isn't just sitting around and deciding not to take the time to go and vote. Along with this would be protests. If 75% won't vote, that means mass protests.

We had a series of elections recently where the highest turnout in any district was 20%.  While there's been debate, certainly, the elected people got in and took up their duties.  All it meant was that those votes that were made counted for a lot more.

Offline TapVallian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #57 on: March 26, 2014, 05:34:35 AM »
I think the analogy is wrong, but your argument doesn't hold up in and of itself either.

You're not sitting in silence when you don't vote. You're just rejecting the preconceived notion that the current system of electing representatives is the only valid way. It's a narrow perspective to have. I would like to reject the status quo, without perpetuating it by voting for someone who says they'll do things differently, but make no rigorous changes once they're in power.

As for your analogy. I can sit in silence and still be right. One can argue as much as they like, but if their logic is not sound, it doesn't matter what they say. I would just disagree with the analogy that not voting equals being silent. It's not just about 'not voting', it's about rejecting the system as a whole. It's tool that's part of a movement.
Correctamundo.

If you have a grand plan of action to go along with your not voting then say what it is.  Just not voting, or not voting and having a feeble protest doesn't accomplish anything.

If you don't like the candidates you have to vote for, not voting won't change them.  You have to be active prior to the election to get candidates on the ticket you do like and who have a chance of winning.

The person early on in this thread who talked about the US needing to make an amendment to keep corporate funds from being used, and being the deciding factor on who gets nominated and who gets elected, was on the right track.  That's at least a solid plan.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2014, 05:50:32 AM »
We had a series of elections recently where the highest turnout in any district was 20%.  While there's been debate, certainly, the elected people got in and took up their duties.  All it meant was that those votes that were made counted for a lot more.
As I mentioned in the first post, I'd like to keep this discussion restricted to national elections. Local elections don't (always) suffer from the same problems that (some/most/many) national elections do. The examples you gave were of local elections about police commissioners, etc. The fact that I think these elections shouldn't be held in the first place is a different discussion, but the scope of my argument simply doesn't extend to the example that you're giving. Yes these are elected officials, but they don't deal with the problems that that I (and the video) mentioned are not being addressed (social inequality, corporatism, lack of care for the planet). I'm not suggesting you should stop voting in local/municipal elections.

If you have a grand plan of action to go along with your not voting then say what it is.  Just not voting, or not voting and having a feeble protest doesn't accomplish anything.

If you don't like the candidates you have to vote for, not voting won't change them.  You have to be active prior to the election to get candidates on the ticket you do like and who have a chance of winning.

The person early on in this thread who talked about the US needing to make an amendment to keep corporate funds from being used, and being the deciding factor on who gets nominated and who gets elected, was on the right track.  That's at least a solid plan.
I don't have a grand plan of action. I'm just pointing out that by voting, you're perpetuating a system of people who do not care for the ordinary citizen. As was explained by a post 1 or 2 above this one, you vote for a people selected by large corporations, the media, wealthy people and people who are already part of the 'elite'. These people then in turn make sure the system stays as it is, make sure the people that are part of 'elite' keep getting elected and then go ahead and not make any changes that need to be made. The UK and the US are excellent examples of this. We've had changes from conservative to more progressive (and the other way around) governments in the last decade. What has changed? Social inequality just keeps getting worse, there's no serious plan to deal with climate change and companies have more and more power. (In the grand scheme of things), your vote has not mattered at all!

Look, I am all for removing corporate money from politics, but look at who you have to make that happen? Do you honestly think the people you have in power now, and those that will be elected in the next decade, are going to get money out of politics? I don't have faith in that. People can want something, they vote, but that doesn't mean politicians are going to care about any of that.

Offline TapVallian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2014, 06:00:51 AM »
As I mentioned in the first post, I'd like to keep this discussion restricted to national elections. Local elections don't (always) suffer from the same problems that (some/most/many) national elections do. The examples you gave were of local elections about police commissioners, etc. The fact that I think these elections shouldn't be held in the first place is a different discussion, but the scope of my argument simply doesn't extend to the example that you're giving. Yes these are elected officials, but they don't deal with the problems that that I (and the video) mentioned are not being addressed (social inequality, corporatism, lack of care for the planet). I'm not suggesting you should stop voting in local/municipal elections.
I don't have a grand plan of action. I'm just pointing out that by voting, you're perpetuating a system of people who do not care for the ordinary citizen. As was explained by a post 1 or 2 above this one, you vote for a people selected by large corporations, the media, wealthy people and people who are already part of the 'elite'. These people then in turn make sure the system stays as it is, make sure the people that are part of 'elite' keep getting elected and then go ahead and not make any changes that need to be made. The UK and the US are excellent examples of this. We've had changes from conservative to more progressive (and the other way around) governments in the last decade. What has changed? Social inequality just keeps getting worse, there's no serious plan to deal with climate change and companies have more and more power. (In the grand scheme of things), your vote has not mattered at all!

Look, I am all for removing corporate money from politics, but look at who you have to make that happen? Do you honestly think the people you have in power now, and those that will be elected in the next decade, are going to get money out of politics? I don't have faith in that. People can want something, they vote, but that doesn't mean politicians are going to care about any of that.

Ok, I think we agree we don't like things the way they are and that money and the people in office now are part of the problem.

I just disagree that not voting is ever going to change that.  You are entitled to your opinion, as we all are, but I don't agree with it.

In my opinion it will take something far more drastic than not voting to make any significant difference.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2014, 06:03:21 AM »
As I mentioned in the first post, I'd like to keep this discussion restricted to national elections. Local elections don't (always) suffer from the same problems that (some/most/many) national elections do. The examples you gave were of local elections about police commissioners, etc. The fact that I think these elections shouldn't be held in the first place is a different discussion, but the scope of my argument simply doesn't extend to the example that you're giving. Yes these are elected officials, but they don't deal with the problems that that I (and the video) mentioned are not being addressed (social inequality, corporatism, lack of care for the planet). I'm not suggesting you should stop voting in local/municipal elections.

This is an incredibly arbitrary line.  Local Government (I'm talking about in the UK here) has at least partial responsibility for education, for recycling, for social services, for a host of other aspects that are unarguably related to "social inequality, corporatism, lack of care for the planet" - perhaps less so corporatism admittedly.  On what justification do you split the two?

EDIT:  And moving outside the UK - what about the US?  OR Germany?  Are state elections local or national?  Within the UK, elections for the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish legislatures? 

I really think your line is unsupportable.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 06:05:01 AM by Kythia »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #61 on: March 26, 2014, 06:45:10 AM »
Actually, the Occupy movement was - and still is encouraging people to get more involved in politics, including voting.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #62 on: March 26, 2014, 06:49:14 AM »
I don't think this country (USA) was every really meant to be for the working class, but rather for the land owners - or in today's world, the large business owners. I want to say this bit about the 1% ( or more realistically, the 0.1% ) having the most say is more or less a result of capitalism. With capitalism, the successful reap the most rewards. For the US, this is just how our country works.

In the US, if you think you would make a better congressman, mayor, or president, you can try your hand and get people to vote you in. ( And that's where the voter has the most power - in the smaller elections) The real question is, is it possible for there to be a candidate who would make the 99.9% happy and content?

If this was possible, I would say it's better to vote for a better candidate, but I really don't think such a cure-all candidate is possible... but that's probably fodder for another discussion.

late addition:  Perhaps crowdsourcing might be the one financial tool that could be used against the uber-rich.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 06:53:04 AM by TaintedAndDelish »

Offline TapVallian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #63 on: March 26, 2014, 06:57:04 AM »
I think the analogy is wrong, but your argument doesn't hold up in and of itself either.

You're not sitting in silence when you don't vote. You're just rejecting the preconceived notion that the current system of electing representatives is the only valid way. It's a narrow perspective to have. I would like to reject the status quo, without perpetuating it by voting for someone who says they'll do things differently, but make no rigorous changes once they're in power.

As for your analogy. I can sit in silence and still be right. One can argue as much as they like, but if their logic is not sound, it doesn't matter what they say. I would just disagree with the analogy that not voting equals being silent. It's not just about 'not voting', it's about rejecting the system as a whole. It's tool that's part of a movement.

I didn't say you can't be right.  I said you can't have an argument while being silent.

And not voting is absolutely the same as being silent.  I've been taught that voting is your voice and by not voting you are in effect being silent.

The change you are after can not be had at the time of voting.  By then it's already too late.  That change must be made prior to that.

You know all those big corporations and people already in power and the ones who constantly get nominated?  They love it when people don't vote.  Makes keeping the status quo so much easier for them.

Online Valerian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2014, 08:33:24 AM »
You know all those big corporations and people already in power and the ones who constantly get nominated?  They love it when people don't vote.  Makes keeping the status quo so much easier for them.
The very message in the video I linked to earlier, and it's very true.

I've also mentioned this before, in a similar anti-voting thread: Emerge America, which is an example of a non-partisan organization here in the States that trains people for political office.  You want more candidates who you feel represent you better?  Take some of the time and energy that you'd be spending on these protests -- which you admit aren't exactly organized anyway -- and go help such candidates get on the ballot.  Work to reform the election laws to help take money out of the equation.  The more specific and focused the protest, the more likely it will accomplish something, even if it's only because most politicians want some hope of being re-elected.

And yes, the Occupy movement would be horrified at being associated with any kind of anti-voting agenda.  :P

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2014, 12:14:59 PM »
I disagree.

I think many of the political problems we have here in the US come from the lack of responsibility of a large percentage of the US voting eligible public.

There is some very annoying figures that as much as HALF of any voting group isn't actually registered to vote, and of that part that IS registered Half or Less can vote in any given cycle. Let's be honest.. how many folks are voting in the upcoming 'off year' election cycle. Depressingly few. Which is how groups like the Tea Part and corporate interests have REPEATEDLY won elections and gotten their way with the process.

You know why I think that 'don't voting' is not the fix? Because if you're NOT involved in the process you're failing to do your duty as a citizen. A citizen is due a fair, stable, and representive government SO LONG as the citizen is part of the process. Too few bother to even do cursory reading on their candidates. Which is how MY predominently lower middle class district CONTINUES to elect a republican who rides the party line all the way down the line. Worker Safety? Not a problem. Job Security. Not needed.. companies need freedom to thrive... and so on.

Offline mj2002Topic starter

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2014, 12:40:34 PM »
This is an incredibly arbitrary line.  Local Government (I'm talking about in the UK here) has at least partial responsibility for education, for recycling, for social services, for a host of other aspects that are unarguably related to "social inequality, corporatism, lack of care for the planet" - perhaps less so corporatism admittedly.  On what justification do you split the two?

EDIT:  And moving outside the UK - what about the US?  OR Germany?  Are state elections local or national?  Within the UK, elections for the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish legislatures? 

I really think your line is unsupportable.
The line is not unsupportable. I gave reasoning for this already, I dont see why you're choosing to ignore this. I believe this doesn't apply to local elections for the very simple reason that they dont suffer from the same issues as national elections. It's much less corrupt. This 'line' is not set in stone either, it just serves to focus the debate on what I perceive as the core issue, instead of obfuscating the discussion by going on little side discussions like this. I'm not trying to make rules for people and tell them what to do either. If you want to vote, then by all means do so. If you recognize the problem I'm describing and choose not to vote in certain elections, then you can still draw a line yourself, as to when to participate and when not to.

The most important argument remains that it is simply not applicable. You give a few examples about issues that are 'unarguably related' to social inequality , etc. The point is, these are minor issues, they're not the problem. The problem is long term policy on these subjects I mentioned. Those simply aren't dealt with by local governments (state legislature in the US might be an exception to this) and therefor the discussion does not extend to local and municipal elections. If you want to argue about the details of precisely where the line should be, you're not going to get anywhere with me. I'm not interested in these little details. It seems like arguing for the sake of arguing.



late addition:  Perhaps crowdsourcing might be the one financial tool that could be used against the uber-rich.



I agree. I'm not sure on what scale this has been tried yet, but it should definitely be looked into.


And not voting is absolutely the same as being silent.  I've been taught that voting is your voice and by not voting you are in effect being silent.

The change you are after can not be had at the time of voting.  By then it's already too late.  That change must be made prior to that.

You know all those big corporations and people already in power and the ones who constantly get nominated?  They love it when people don't vote.  Makes keeping the status quo so much easier for them.

Voting is your voice? The options you have are 'yes' and 'amen', how does that do you any good?

As for not voting, again, the whole point is to delegitimize the results of an election. This is not some revolutionary strategy that I just thought of. This happens all the time. In many referenda and elections (even national), the opposition parties call on their members to not vote, because the outcome is already fixed. We have the same situation, except that it's set up a little bit smarter here. Instead manipulating the outcome of the vote, the politicians themselves are where the manipulation takes place. If your election is a fair game, by all means vote. However these elections aren't fair game, they're rigged.

You know why I think that 'don't voting' is not the fix? Because if you're NOT involved in the process you're failing to do your duty as a citizen. A citizen is due a fair, stable, and representive government SO LONG as the citizen is part of the process. Too few bother to even do cursory reading on their candidates. Which is how MY predominently lower middle class district CONTINUES to elect a republican who rides the party line all the way down the line. Worker Safety? Not a problem. Job Security. Not needed.. companies need freedom to thrive... and so on.
The problem is, as I've explained several times now. Participating in the process means you perpetuate the status quo. I'm all for voting, if the process is fair. The process however, is not fair. It hasn't been fair and it won't be fair. It needs an overhaul and I don't think that's going to come by itself. It needs an outside influence to force change. Not participating in the charade is a start.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 12:44:04 PM by mj2002 »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #67 on: March 26, 2014, 01:12:24 PM »
You say that you don't want to vote because none of the candidates represent you.

Fine.

Don't vote.

Run for office.

In that way, you can be assured that there will be a candidate that perfectly represents you - someone who wants to make the system work the way it should.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #68 on: March 26, 2014, 01:49:13 PM »
You say that you don't want to vote because none of the candidates represent you.

Fine.

Don't vote.

Run for office.

In that way, you can be assured that there will be a candidate that perfectly represents you - someone who wants to make the system work the way it should.

And speak up. Be heard. Nag them. Get your friends with similar outlooks to do the same.

It takes FIVE MINUTES to type up an email, phone them or such. You want get the reps.. but they DO listen to the trends from their voters. They have to. If you put it in a public forum..they can't avoid it. (That was how I embarrassed county reps who were lying.. I pointed out their 'mistakes' in a venue they couldn't avoid. He doesn't like me.. he's not too happy to see me over holidays.. but my older brother says he doesn't 'forget' historical facts anymore.)

If you don't like the process.. be part of those of us who want to reform/repair it. Stepping out of it.. only enables those that abuse it.

You know how CLOSE the 2000 election was? It was HOW many recounts? It could have easily come down to a few boxes of absentee ballots in something like less than a half dozen precincts. Bush won one state by literally the skin of his teeth but it wasn't as big as Florida. You can say it 'doesn't work.. so I won't 'play'. Would you like a thank you note from the Koch Brothers? Because that attitude does more to reinforce the process in place than fixing it)

Offline Blythe

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2014, 02:07:56 PM »
I disagree.

I think many of the political problems we have here in the US come from the lack of responsibility of a large percentage of the US voting eligible public.

There is some very annoying figures that as much as HALF of any voting group isn't actually registered to vote, and of that part that IS registered Half or Less can vote in any given cycle. Let's be honest.. how many folks are voting in the upcoming 'off year' election cycle. Depressingly few. Which is how groups like the Tea Part and corporate interests have REPEATEDLY won elections and gotten their way with the process.

You know why I think that 'don't voting' is not the fix? Because if you're NOT involved in the process you're failing to do your duty as a citizen. A citizen is due a fair, stable, and representive government SO LONG as the citizen is part of the process. Too few bother to even do cursory reading on their candidates. Which is how MY predominently lower middle class district CONTINUES to elect a republican who rides the party line all the way down the line. Worker Safety? Not a problem. Job Security. Not needed.. companies need freedom to thrive... and so on.

Gotta say that this sums up how I feel perfectly.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2014, 03:24:22 PM »


THIS is why the system doesn't work.


Offline Florence

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2014, 03:38:28 PM »
I think the problem is that it really doesn't feel like it matters.

I mean, you take the last election... I only wanted Obama to win because I DIDN'T want Romney to win. I didn't actually like either candidate. I just disliked Obama less than I disliked Romney.

I'm sort of reminded of that South Park episode where there's the election between a giant douche and a turd sandwich... that basically sums up how I've felt about pretty much every election.

It just seems like, regardless of who wins, the change is insignificant. I prefer if the Democrats win, generally speaking, because I agree with them on more issues, but it barely seems to make a difference.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #72 on: March 26, 2014, 03:40:40 PM »


THIS is why the system doesn't work.

I agree.  This rampant lack of labelling of axes must be stopped.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2014, 03:46:18 PM »
I agree.  This rampant lack of labelling of axes must be stopped.

Sorry... it's the percentage of REGISTERED voters who participate in presidential elections (US) over the years.

Online Valerian

Re: Don't vote!
« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2014, 03:55:56 PM »
I think the problem is that it really doesn't feel like it matters.

I mean, you take the last election... I only wanted Obama to win because I DIDN'T want Romney to win. I didn't actually like either candidate. I just disliked Obama less than I disliked Romney.

I'm sort of reminded of that South Park episode where there's the election between a giant douche and a turd sandwich... that basically sums up how I've felt about pretty much every election.

It just seems like, regardless of who wins, the change is insignificant. I prefer if the Democrats win, generally speaking, because I agree with them on more issues, but it barely seems to make a difference.

I warned Oniya long ago that I was going to steal this analogy, and this seems like a good chance to use it:

It's like helping politicians evolve.  You start out with spineless disgusting things crawling through the primordial slime, and through constantly selecting the (infinitesimally) better choice, you eventually develop something with intelligence and a backbone.  ;D

In all seriousness, I think we're all agreed that every current political system has its own set of problems and limitations, and looking at the big picture can be pretty intimidating.  Tearing down a system is a lot easier than fixing or replacing what's already there, so the thing to do (at least for me) is to start small.  Do what you can for your local and state governments and then it's easier to feel as though you've actually made a difference.