Low voter turn-out...ok?

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SJ Zero
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby SJ Zero » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:15 pm UTC

Much like the government, I don't need all of my assets. I had two vehicles, and I sold one. now I've got liquidity without debt.

Governments across Canada have a lot of capital assets they don't even know they have. The City of Winnipeg, for example, doesn't even know which buildings it owns. They're apparently either letting them fall into disrepair or paying maintenance costs on them, but not using them for anything. Selling them will help gain liquid capital, and in the case of the city, it will help investors rejuvenate previously unused areas of the city, providing new tax revenues in addition to the capital returns.

I'm not saying we should sell our schools and hospitals, but using capital to keep the budget from flying into space isn't a terrible strategy in the short term.

I recommend continuing this in the discussion about debt, since it ties into that discussion, but not this one.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:29 pm UTC

SJ Zero wrote:
Admit it, you're being intentionally partisan, to the detriment of your judgement.
I'm not sure that word means what you think it means.
Oh, so you're not just picking sides for the sake of picking sides? It certainly looks like that.
Yes, you got me. I'm clearly picking sides to pick sides. Oh lord Jebus thank you for showing me the light.
SJ Zero wrote:So tell me, and don't be lazy and dodge the question, "This sentence is false", which is it? True or false?
First explain to me how that has anything to do with this discussion.
SJ Zero wrote:The rest of my post, you obviously didn't decide to read. I went down my list of important issues, and found both candidates actions in these areas to be equivalent and acceptable. Both parties with a chance of getting the minority government have shown through their actions while running the country that they will run the country well. There are differences, but not differences I'd vote for or against.
I actually did read all of that post (unlike this one, I don't care what you've done in the past, it has no bearing on what you did this time). In your post you said that you felt pretty much equally good about each candidate that had a viable shot at the PM. That's great, you win either way. So keep going down the list of things that are important to you (you gave me a list, but it's not complete, because it doesn't hold every issue that these candidates will have to make a decision regarding if they win the election) and figure out which one lines up better with you. I really don't see why that's so hard.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Indon » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:45 pm UTC

SJ Zero wrote:Voting is serious business when there's serious business to be voted on.

I completely disagree. Voting is an exercise of your power over a government. To exercise it, even to say, "You're all all right with me," is a message demonstrating that you are aware of your power over that government, and that your leaders should be aware as well.

Government is not a game with static rules to be exploited or not. Government is a system comprised of humans, and is operated solely through communication. By refusing to communicate, you disenfranchise yourself.

And that's not even bringing into the picture things like patriotic duty and such.

SJ Zero wrote:Voting isn't important. Changing things that need to be changed through voting is important.


Keeping things the same through voting is also important.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby If Chickens Were Purple... » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

I don't really know how the voting system works in huge detail (I'm not of voting age here, and I don't live near any of your crazy countries), I have a question. In this situation:

If someone doesn't vote because they live in California and thus are guaranteed that Obama is winning their state...


are there any actual practical benefits to voting, as in, would a non-voter be denied anything palpable? Because a lot of peoples arguments seem based on the symbolic value of casting a vote. If someone happens to not see voting as a strong symbol, then who cares what they do?

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Griffin » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:24 pm UTC

I've never understood why everyone is always so "you HAVE to vote".

Yes, I think the right to vote, and the ability to do so is important - perhaps the most important thing in government. But I don't see how forcing people to make decisions over issues they don't care about helps anybody at all. You'll just end with an election that's more easily swayed by half remembered sound bites than it is now.

If people don't care, they shouldn't vote. If they do care, nothing should be able to stop them from voting. Voting is an expression of desire, a desire with binding consequences - to make to anything else cheapens it. I don't see how not voting, how saying "I don't really see any changes I want to vote for this election" really forfeits your right to vote in the future like some people have claimed. What the hell kind of logic is that? I'm glad its not applied regularly, that's for sure.

If you really want a higher turnout there are two things you can do. You can make voters more interested in making a decision, (enticing them with change by making amazing promises or doing so terrible people want to get rid of you or actively promoting a culture that values something enough to vote based on it. See Obama, Nixon, and the Green Party), OR you can abuse the system.

You can do the second by making votes mandatory, offering bribes for voting, etc. etc. Yes, this will result in more people voting, but it will not result in a better expression of the countries collective desire - it will just introduce a whole lot of noise.

If you all you are going to contribute is noise, rather than expressing your desire, I believe that it is in fact your moral imperative NOT to vote. If you want more people to vote, well then, do what everyone else does and tell them something they care about enough to actually get it done.

Being informed is a civic responsibility. Voting is not, unless there's actually something you know and care about being voted on.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Kizyr » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:22 am UTC

Wulf wrote:Neither candidate (or party) lines up with my thinking. I'm socialist when it comes to healthcare, anti-foreign aid, anti-big army, in favor of a federal sales tax rather than an income tax, (which would solve our) illegal labor problem, at the very least I think we should have a flat tax on income and capital gains so we can ditch the IRS (IRS is now the largest fed agency as far as employees), I think free trade is a horrible idea without equal labor laws, and believe that state gov should be able to abstain from certain federal laws.


Oh hey, I think we might disagree on every single issue! Sorry, not trying to criticize, just that I rarely run into anyone I disagree with consistently like that. Although, honestly, I think if you were to delve into your thoughts on states' rights then we likely could find some common ground.

Anyway! Back to the original topic.

I encourage everyone I know to vote. Then again, the people I associate with--even those I disagree with--I think are intelligent enough to where they have good reasons for their decisions. But... every now and then I run into some folks, or read some blog comments, that make me a bit relieved that there's a large chunk of America that doesn't vote. KF
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Wulf » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:20 am UTC

Was shown something today that just shook me to the core on how out of touch some people are. Howard Stern sent a guy out to interview some people and asked about why they supported Obama. However the Howard Stern guy states McCain's issues as if they were Obama's, including asking if they are happy that Obama chose Palin as his VP. None of the callers on the clip noticed anything amiss. I never considered that people could be that out of touch.

In light of this, I think it's a very good thing that some people won't be voting.

http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyvqhdllXgU
(again, still a noob so not an active link, sry)

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Falmarri » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:02 am UTC

Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice. I'm not going to vote for the president because all of the candidates suck. I can't even vote for bob barr. If we didn't have to vote for propositions at the same time, I wouldn't vote. I'm not going to go and give legitimacy to the system that puts only these 2 clowns up. Maybe once a president wins with 15 or 20% of the vote, it will be time to pick up our guns and start ourselves a new government.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Yakk » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:28 am UTC

Wulf, that's an easy trick.

You interview lots of people, you speak in an authoritative tone of voice that begs agreement and with a reasonable tone, and you throw out the people who aren't idiots.

It's a standard tool in the box of comedy shows.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:47 pm UTC

Been doing it in Canada for almost 15 years on "This Hour Has 22 Minutes". It was a segment called 'TALKING TO AMERICANS!'

Some topics used: (for size!)
Spoiler:
* asking Americans what they felt about the Russian invasion of Chechnya and Saskatchewan.
* persuading Americans that Canada is getting a five-dollar coin. It would have had a maple leaf on it and it would have been called the "woodie".
* getting several Americans to say that Edmonton should be bombed.
* telling residents of Chicago that Canada was considering changing its name to Chicago, and asking them what they felt about that idea.
* asking if Americans should try to liberate Nelson Mandela.
* persuading Americans to congratulate Canada on legalizing VCRs or adopting the twenty-four-hour day, (ex-Iowa governor Tom Vilsack was fooled by this one).
* congratulating the Canadian government on building a dome over its "national igloo" (apparently a downsized version of the United States Capitol made out of ice) to protect it from global warming (one of the interview subjects so fooled was Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee).
* agreeing that the U.S. should bomb Saskatchewan or send ground troops into Gilles Duceppe.
* having Americans congratulate Canada on legalizing insulin (although it was a Canadian who first discovered the substance).
* proposing the idea that a Canadian company actually had the mining rights to Mount Rushmore due to the plutonium within (plutonium is also a synthetic element).
* suggesting that when Canada would make a replica of Mount Rushmore, they might add William Howard Taft, Richard Nixon, and Brian Mulroney - at one point, a woman objected to Taft, saying that he did not best display American qualities, but she was fine with adding Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada.
* congratulating Canada for getting its first university.
* congratulating Canada for getting a grade 9 and a volunteer fire station.
* changing the words in the Canadian Anthem and asking Americans to sing it.
* congratulating Canada for officially joining North America.
* asking if Jean Chrétien-Pinochet should be charged with crimes against humanity.
* asking students and professors at Columbia University to sign a petition asking Canadians to discontinue the practice of abandoning the elderly on ice floes.
* congratulating Prime Minister Tim Horton on getting a double-double (a coffee with two creams and two sugars or, according to Mercer, 'support on both sides of Congress').
* congratulating Canada on legalizing the stapler.
* the coronation of Svend Robinson as King Svend I.
* congratulating Canada for moving the capital city from Kingston, Ontario to Toronto (the actual capital is Ottawa).
* asking university students and professors to sign a petition against the Saskatchewan seal hunt and the Toronto polar bear hunt.
* asking Americans how many states Canada has (Canada has provinces, not states).
* wishing Canadians a "Happy Stockwell Day".
* congratulating Canadians on classifying Labrador Retrievers as elephants as to prevent them from being used for hard labour.
* congratulating the newly-elected prime minister of Chinese descent.
* tricking Americans into thinking that Canada did not have "high-tech" things such as airplanes, paved roads or FM radio.
* asking if Canada should replace its propeller planes with jet planes.
* saying that the country was allowing its Irish citizens to vote, stating that it was previously prevented by the French Canadian separatist movement.
* stating that in the last 30 years Canadians did not have any election recounts because Canadians use birch branches or pine cones as voting tokens.
* congratulating Canadians on offering bilingual tours of Joe Clark's Hole.
* asking if Canada should have a navy even though it is a land-locked country. (Canada is not in fact landlocked, having shores on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, and has a navy, the Canadian Forces Maritime Command or MARCOM)

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:44 pm UTC

Falmarri wrote:Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice. I'm not going to vote for the president because all of the candidates suck. I can't even vote for bob barr. If we didn't have to vote for propositions at the same time, I wouldn't vote. I'm not going to go and give legitimacy to the system that puts only these 2 clowns up. Maybe once a president wins with 15 or 20% of the vote, it will be time to pick up our guns and start ourselves a new government.
Out of curiosity, can you not write in Bob Barr when you vote?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Indon » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:19 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:I've never understood why everyone is always so "you HAVE to vote".

Yes, I think the right to vote, and the ability to do so is important - perhaps the most important thing in government. But I don't see how forcing people to make decisions over issues they don't care about helps anybody at all. You'll just end with an election that's more easily swayed by half remembered sound bites than it is now.

Voting doesn't require you to make a choice. You could easily write your own name in for the Presidential vote, spoil the ballot (as was mentioned earlier, I do believe), or go with the Kirk/Picard ticket.

The important thing is that you're executing your duty to vote, and you're making it known that if your leaders piss you off, you'll go from not mattering to mattering real fast.

By not voting at all, you're demonstrating that you are irrelevant to the political process. Politicians will cater to those who do vote over you because once you've demonstrated yourself as a non-voter, they know that statistically, you will remain politically irrelevant barring some sort of absolute miracle.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Rinsaikeru » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:23 pm UTC

Agreed Indon,

They keep very accurate statistics of what demographics show up to vote...and they pander to those demographics. If you have no issues you care about now, don't expect it to stay that way. Eventually you will care, and you and everyone else in your particular demographic of 'too lazy to vote' won't have the political clout to be catered to by politicians--because you can't be bothered to vote anyway.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

You'd think the politicians would be pandering to the "Non-voting-and-waiting-to-be-pandered-TO" demographic. Find what they want, and get the 45% that stayed home to vote for you. It would be the first majority government since 1812.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Grop » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:52 pm UTC

Chen wrote:While in theory there SHOULD be some way to give a "none of the above" vote I could not find one at all looking through the Elections Canada site nor the Canadian Elections Act. I cannot find any real way to differentiate between a legitimately rejected ballot (someone chosing say 2 people) or a intentionally "none of the above" vote (say a blank ballot or one with all the candidates chosen). There is a distinction between rejected and spoiled (spoiled being an actual damaged or lost ballot) but again I cannot find the impact of them. Voter turnout defined on Elections Canada site is stated as being found by "Dividing the number of valid votes by the number of registered voters". My understanding here is that even if you DID spoil/reject your vote it would NOT change the % voter turnout (which is the touted number). This number is therefore meaningless unless you also have the numbers on the amount of spoiled/rejected votes as well.


This is exactly what I meant. Whatever meaning you want to give to a void ballot (let us assume here that you mean "I am opposed to all candidates" - which is often why people make void votes), in a country where void ballots go unreported, your message is lost. You might as well invent some cute imaginary friends and tell them your opinion.

I agree you may express your position through other ways, but they all require more involvement from you than from the average voter.

@SJ Zero: on the assumption that you actually thought about it (and therefore aren't being lazy) I see nothing wrong about your position.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:You'd think the politicians would be pandering to the "Non-voting-and-waiting-to-be-pandered-TO" demographic. Find what they want, and get the 45% that stayed home to vote for you. It would be the first majority government since 1812.


This is exactly what Obama is doing, and why he's sponsoring voter registration drives. Which only goes to show that not voting can make you a more sought after voter than the people who already have a preference and are willing to vote for it.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:00 pm UTC

"I want to hear from the people that no-one give's a rat's ass about."

He'd have 90% of the country on his side of he just said that. This brings me to a question that's possibly off-topic, but I don't think so:

Why can't politicians speak plainly? I know that there's teams and teams of people, make-up artists, speechwriters, spinners and journalists working for the campaign, but ultimately, it comes down to who's standing on the stage (or the carefully-stocked town-hall, or the quaint American street) and doing the talking. I want to see a politician just stop in the middle of his speech, and look at his papers... throw them away, shake his head, and start talking. "You know what? Fuck the speech. Here's what I want to say:"

I would stop making fun of American politics if he got away with it.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

How would you know it wasn't staged? And that he then moved on to the REAL speech, that was planned all along?
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

Because of the words that came out of his mouth wasn't complete bullshit rhetoric, there's a chance, however slim, that they're sincere, and the person speaking them is a human.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Indon » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:This is exactly what Obama is doing, and why he's sponsoring voter registration drives. Which only goes to show that not voting can make you a more sought after voter than the people who already have a preference and are willing to vote for it.


Being campaigned towards does not mean you have any influence over the system.

It only means that it is desirable for some to make you part of the system.

In Obama's case, many non-voters are young or in lower economic brackets - essentially, statistically likely to support him.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:25 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Philwelch wrote:This is exactly what Obama is doing, and why he's sponsoring voter registration drives. Which only goes to show that not voting can make you a more sought after voter than the people who already have a preference and are willing to vote for it.


Being campaigned towards does not mean you have any influence over the system.


The only influence voters have is before the election, not after. After the election, they're already in and can do whatever they want. Before the election, they have to impress you. And in reality, voters only have influence in the time period between elections—candidates who aren't elected yet lack the ability to govern, and candidates who won't stand for election again have no incentive to respect the will of the people in their governance.

Since the only time voting really changes anything is when the politician in question is between elections, not voting exerts just as much power as voting. Politicians facing reelection will govern not to serve the people who already voted for them, but to gather a majority of voters for the next election cycle. And one way of doing that is by increasing voter turnout.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby SJ Zero » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

Grop wrote:@SJ Zero: on the assumption that you actually thought about it (and therefore aren't being lazy) I see nothing wrong about your position.


Sir, you have warmed the cockles of my heart by actually considering my argument.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Indon » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:The only influence voters have is before the election, not after. After the election, they're already in and can do whatever they want. Before the election, they have to impress you.

Except that since a politician is not required to do anything they say they will, by your standard of influence, citizens can never influence government.

But in practice, public outcry such as contacting your representatives works. How can you reconcile this?

Meanwhile, even in your assumption that a politician is completely unbound by needing to not piss people off, you have things like political parties, who lose face after fielding, say, an incompetent. In addition, many offices can be run for more than once, encouraging the individuals in the office to set themselves up on a track to reelection.

Philwelch wrote:Politicians facing reelection will govern not to serve the people who already voted for them, but to gather a majority of voters for the next election cycle. And one way of doing that is by increasing voter turnout.


What? This makes absolutely no sense. Politicians need to maintain their constituency in addition to bringing in new blood, and catering to their constituency is essential for this.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:27 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Philwelch wrote:The only influence voters have is before the election, not after. After the election, they're already in and can do whatever they want. Before the election, they have to impress you.

Except that since a politician is not required to do anything they say they will, by your standard of influence, citizens can never influence government.


You don't understand—citizens can influence government if the politicians govern differently based upon how it will affect their chances of re-election.

Indon wrote:But in practice, public outcry such as contacting your representatives works. How can you reconcile this?


Representatives want re-elected.

Indon wrote:In addition, many offices can be run for more than once, encouraging the individuals in the office to set themselves up on a track to reelection.


Yes, I got to that point myself in like two sentences. Maybe you should have read that far ahead before responding.

Indon wrote:
Philwelch wrote:Politicians facing reelection will govern not to serve the people who already voted for them, but to gather a majority of voters for the next election cycle. And one way of doing that is by increasing voter turnout.


What? This makes absolutely no sense. Politicians need to maintain their constituency in addition to bringing in new blood, and catering to their constituency is essential for this.


In practice the easiest way to get a majority of voters to re-elect you usually involves keeping most of the people who voted for you the first time, but this isn't necessarily the case. If you're Strom Thurmond and you were originally elected by a bunch of segregationists, at some point you're going to want to stop attracting the segregationist vote and start attracting some other segment of the population.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Indon » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:35 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:You don't understand—citizens can influence government if the politicians govern differently based upon how it will affect their chances of re-election.

And even without the possibility of reelection, with the existence of persistent parties. Parties want their representatives elected.

Philwelch wrote:In practice the easiest way to get a majority of voters to re-elect you usually involves keeping most of the people who voted for you the first time, but this isn't necessarily the case. If you're Strom Thurmond and you were originally elected by a bunch of segregationists, at some point you're going to want to stop attracting the segregationist vote and start attracting some other segment of the population.


Isn't that a good example of what happens when a demographic loses significant voting power?
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Philwelch wrote:In practice the easiest way to get a majority of voters to re-elect you usually involves keeping most of the people who voted for you the first time, but this isn't necessarily the case. If you're Strom Thurmond and you were originally elected by a bunch of segregationists, at some point you're going to want to stop attracting the segregationist vote and start attracting some other segment of the population.


Isn't that a good example of what happens when a demographic loses significant voting power?


Yeah but that's because segregationists stopped believing in segregation, or died. Not because they skipped the election during the year when Strom Thurmond was running against another segregationist.

Not voting doesn't make government less likely to try and pander to you so long as you're willing to vote given a good enough reason. If I'm Canadian and I love my health care, I just might get off my ass and vote if the Conservatives start trying to abolish it—which is why the Conservatives don't try to abolish it.

But at some point, I'm sure the segregationists who voted for Strom the first time around felt gypped when he sold them out.
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Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby sakeniwefu » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

I don't care about low turnout. Low turnout=more people that actually know what's going on voting. Let's face it 50% of the population has below average intelligence and education. I feel better if the "All politicians are the same", "I don't care about politics", "They should be building more parks"[!] bunch is voluntarily left at home. Even 50% is too optimistic for an estimate of a good turnout, otherwise intelligent people are probably siding one party or the other for sentimental reasons. "We always vote Republican", they say with pride. Likely, their great-great-great grandfather once voted for the then leftist Republican Party.
Country-scale democracy is nothing but a tool to keep the masses at rest. The illusion that you could do something if you cared but you better don't because in the end you are eating from some undemocratic country plus-value.
So, aim for 2, 3% and you might be on to something.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Falmarri » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:38 am UTC

22/7 wrote:
Falmarri wrote:Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice. I'm not going to vote for the president because all of the candidates suck. I can't even vote for bob barr. If we didn't have to vote for propositions at the same time, I wouldn't vote. I'm not going to go and give legitimacy to the system that puts only these 2 clowns up. Maybe once a president wins with 15 or 20% of the vote, it will be time to pick up our guns and start ourselves a new government.
Out of curiosity, can you not write in Bob Barr when you vote?


I guess I wasn't clear. Bob Barr is the current libertarian candidate, but I can't vote for him because he's not a libertarian. That leaves me with no options to vote for. And to those of you saying write someone's name in

Official Voting Instructions wrote:WRITE IN VOTES: CAUTION: Do not waste your vote; only votes for officially recognized write-in candidates who have filed with the elections offices will be counted.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:38 am UTC

So my votes for 'Emperor Palpatine / Palin' won't be counted?

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Yakk » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:56 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:So my votes for 'Emperor Palpatine / Palin' won't be counted?

Only for the pallin part. If you are the deciding vote, we get an Obama/Pallin presidency.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby qinwamascot » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:56 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:So my votes for 'Emperor Palpatine / Palin' won't be counted?


Yeah, you can't vote for Cheney this time.

About voting, I don't see any reason not to do it. But if you really don't want to, it's your choice I guess.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:59 am UTC

Curses. My Canadian vote, wasted.

Ironically, most Americans vote wasted (as far as I can tell from your last two elections).

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Kachi » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:23 am UTC

Let's face it 50% of the population has below average intelligence and education.


I'm sure you were trying to make some kind of political statement, which I found highly amusing, because statistically speaking, you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, that also means that your statement has absolutely zero political value.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby existential_elevator » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:34 pm UTC

sakeniwefu wrote: Even 50% is too optimistic for an estimate of a good turnout, otherwise intelligent people are probably siding one party or the other for sentimental reasons. "We always vote Republican", they say with pride.


I'd suggest that's more likely from the uninformed voter; or people who are more aware of party ethos than of actual policy. I'd suggest there's a hint of "republicans = family values" and "democrats = forward thinking" [or more apt stereotype] in those choices. If people aren't voting on the issues, they probably don't see the relevance of them, which means the politicians are failing at a large part of their job.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:44 pm UTC

existential_elevator wrote: If people aren't voting on the issues, they probably don't see the relevance of them, which means the politicians are failing at a large part of their job.

Image

And just to keep it on SB-topic, party politics has always seemed to work on the same principle as religion. "I was born an X, and I'll die an X, no matter what happens in between those two events." Hell, even in the Canadian election, I didn't know all that much about ANY of the parties until I did some digging. At no point ANYWHERE during the televised commercials, mud-slinging, smear campaigns, smack-talk and bitchy debates did anyone talk about what they would do.... I only know about the GP platform because Donovan (the local MP candidate) hangs out with our friends.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby Cryopyre » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:18 am UTC

22/7 wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:I never said that I was going to prevent them from voting
22/7 wrote:
SJ Zero wrote:1. It's not keeping people from voting, it's making sure you're not encouraging voting for the sake of winning a reward. Democracy isn't well served by an electorate who can be swayed by a Bloc Quebecois pantomime at the voting location.
It's intentionally trying to make sure that people don't get out to the booths to cast a ballot. That's wrong.
Cryopyre wrote:and B

That's all fine and good, however, not voting beats voting on an ennie-meenie-mynie-moe system
That's true. It's not relevant, since no one EVER mentioned randomly picking someone, but it is technically true. I'll go ahead and respond with "but voting is where you cast your vote".

Crazy thought here, but maybe, just maybe you could actually take a few minutes to look at the candidates and decide which one best lines up with you. Just put it in the background. Then, once you've figured that out, you could *gasp, shock, awe* vote for them. I know, but then you'll have to go vote rather than burn through easily 10 times that on an internet forum defending why you didn't vote.


That, and you know... I'm under 18. Look, I'm just defending another's right not to vote. Sure it may be laziness, but if there's no strong pull to vote then I'd rather spend my energy looking up local candidates.
Felstaff wrote:I actually see what religion is to social, economical and perhaps political progress in a similar way to what war is to technological progress.

Gunfingers wrote:Voting is the power to speak your mind. You, apparently, had nothing to say.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby mercurythief » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:39 am UTC

It's not like a single vote can influence an American presidential election. First, the election would have to be close enough that your state's electoral votes actually matter, which isn't always the case. Next, your vote would have to be the deciding vote within your state.

If both of these are true, there would be such a recount fiasco, that the election would come down to the party with the best lawyers.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby qinwamascot » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:59 am UTC

mercurythief wrote:It's not like a single vote can influence an American presidential election. First, the election would have to be close enough that your state's electoral votes actually matter, which isn't always the case. Next, your vote would have to be the deciding vote within your state.

If both of these are true, there would be such a recount fiasco, that the election would come down to the party with the best lawyers.


Well then, what if your one vote is the one that pushes it up from the " better party's lawyers" to not a legal question? There must be some dividing line, and although in practice it's hard to distinguish, it still exists. (the converse is also possible--your vote pushes it into the lawyer's realm).

Also, some states have mandated full electronic voting, in which case your vote theoretically could have the deciding power.

Of course, every vote has a relatively low power index (standard one is Banzhaf, but better ones exist), but it is nonzero. Unless you live in Jesusland, in which case you will always vote republican, so you have 0 power index.

So if you don't care about your 1/100 million or so chance of deciding an election, don't vote. But some people do.
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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby SJ Zero » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

22/7, you've got some strange misconceptions about voting.

It shouldn't take "a few minutes" to choose unless you're a fickle and shallow person. There's a lot of information to go through, and politicians do lie, so you should look to how their party has ruled in the past to determine how they may rule in the future, because 90% of the time that's how they do things. Also, policies have often been tried in the past, so looking at history will tell you whether a policy will do what you want it to do or not -- basically, knowing who to vote for is a CRAPLOAD of work, and if you take a few minutes to do it, you're not spending enough time.

You should NEVER just look at a party's platform in deciding who to vote for. To do so it traitorous, and people who do that should be shot as traitors. George Bush ran on a platform of reduced spending, of a humble foreign policy, not policing the world. People who actually studied Republican policy would know that's a load of crap. Trillions of dollars of debt, the largest inflation adjusted increase in government spending in history, and hundreds of thousands of lives later, it should be obvious to anyone that going by a party platform is as foolish as going into that creepy guy's van to get free candy because he promises not to hurt you. Sometimes you'll get free candy, but if you look at history, it says that you're probably going to get raped and killed(Sort of like the Bush presidency, actually).

Frankly, this "you MUST get out and vote" idea is dangerously shortsighted. You're being so dogmatic in your duty to vote, you're ignoring the much much much more important duty to know what you're voting for. If fewer ignorant people voted in America, for example, then we wouldn't keep on seeing Bush getting voted in. Even today, the ignorant and the "platform voters" will ignore the past 8 years and vote for a new Republican, so a contest that shouldn't even be in question is actually painfully close.

In my case, I know how all the parties act because I've seen them all in action, and I made my choice.

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Re: Low voter turn-out...ok?

Postby existential_elevator » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

mercurythief wrote:It's not like a single vote can influence an American presidential election. First, the election would have to be close enough that your state's electoral votes actually matter, which isn't always the case. Next, your vote would have to be the deciding vote within your state.

...it's the culmination of single votes that matter though. I mean, if all the people not voting because they think their vote won't matter actually voted, then.. it would probably change the outcome.
It's a bit like the situation we have in the UK, whereby people are reluctant to vote Lib Dem, because they think that it will give the Conservative party an advantage by taking away a vote from Labour. In reality, if all those people did vote Lib Dem, then they might actually become a viable candidate.

SJ Zero wrote:You should NEVER just look at a party's platform in deciding who to vote for. To do so it traitorous, and people who do that should be shot as traitors. George Bush ran on a platform of reduced spending, of a humble foreign policy, not policing the world. People who actually studied Republican policy would know that's a load of crap. Trillions of dollars of debt, the largest inflation adjusted increase in government spending in history, and hundreds of thousands of lives later, it should be obvious to anyone that going by a party platform is as foolish as going into that creepy guy's van to get free candy because he promises not to hurt you. Sometimes you'll get free candy, but if you look at history, it says that you're probably going to get raped and killed(Sort of like the Bush presidency, actually).

That's fair enough. But, you know, that's a fault of the way elections are run. It's down to people to put pressure on the government, and lobby them, to maintain their campaign pledges. Seriously. A little bit of political activism can go a long long way. It's up to people to get up and say something. Particularly, it's the job of the presses to keep people informed. If the newspapers are too scared to give people the truth, and actually undergo some real investigative journalism.. well. At the end of the day, the thing missing from this picture is third party criticism, and that's what should be putting pressure on people to maintain their promises.


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