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Forum Post: Why vote?

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 6, 2012, 2:16 p.m. EST by WatTyler (263)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If national elections, particularly Presidential elections, offer only a choice between bad and worse, why vote? It struck me the other day that in other countries that have had non-democratic governments, the populace (At least those not marched to the polls at gunpoint.) voiced their objection to the existing form of government the only way they could, by not voting.

In our country, it is only a minority now that votes. While this is possibly the product of disinterest or simple laziness, is it none the less appropriate? When every four years those who do vote routinely throw out those voted into power in the previous election because these reformers produced something as bad or worse than what they were supposed to reform?

When the two party system is really a one party system, The Money Party, and most squabbling is truly only about patronage, with only occasional small reforms grudgingly maneuvered through congress by a few legitimately concerned legislators? When all politicians are fundamentally, essentially and irrevocably in the pocket of the corporatists with their first, constant and final thoughts being of how they can best serve themselves and their masters?

To choose bad to prevent worse seems a poor bargain. Indeed, a good argument could be made that the sooner things get worse, the sooner an opportunity for true change arrives. But at the very least, if we do not have it in our power to change the universal moral corruption that afflicts our government by our votes, we do have the power to protest it by NOT voting.

9 Comments

9 Comments


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[-] 2 points by GreedKills (1119) 2 years ago

Vote with your heart and never let anyone tell you it is a wasted vote. That is one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in today.

[-] 2 points by SapphireSun (9) from New Haven, CT 2 years ago

Why vote? Because eventually something more pragmatic than protesting needs to be done. The fact so few people vote in anything other than a presidential election is more reason to vote. Most people vote D or R, even the mythological "independent" voters, most of them statistically always vote D or R. Things don't change from the top down. Go and get people to vote, especially in primaries. We should take a lesson from the Tea party and primary the hell out of the Democratic party until they actually start going to the left instead of the right. Congress is terrible because not enough people vote and those that do keep electing terrible people to it. Not many, but enough to completely screw over the nation. I mean I have no problems with my congresswoman, she's progressive as hell.

Or local elections, local elections are often decided by 20 votes, even in large cities. People clamor for a third party but say how it's useless given the election laws and the electoral college, which is true on the presidential level, but Americans often forget we have other elections and in fact most laws that will effect your day to day life take place at the state level. Go out there and get people to vote, electing progressive candidates, or even third parties to local and state elections could be easy enough, but for many reasons the demographics involved in progressive politics are in fact the least likely to vote, while those involved in conservative politics are the most likely.(and if you ever wonder why are supposedly "center-left" party always seems to be drifting to the right, it's because both parties have senior citizens decide who gets to run since old people vote in overwhelming numbers, while most people under 35 probably don't even know what the hell a primary even is). If you want change you have to vote.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Why vote???

Because the (R)epelicans don't want me to.

That's enough for me. I'll vote for voting.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22101) 2 years ago

Me too. They're already trying to disenfranchise huge swaths of people who they know won't vote for them.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Vote, because if you don't then other people will use their votes against you:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/vote-or-else-this-will-all-be-a-pointless-exercise/

Read the Rolling Stone article. Please.

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Voting for an Independent or third party candidate is a better way to voice objection to the existing government than not voting at all. Votes for third party candidates clearly differentiate objection from indifference.

A vote for a third party is one way of showing your support for that party and the hard work of running for office despite the very low probability of winning in that election cycle. (It can also be an important step towards other parties gaining major party status under state law.)

Not voting says "I don't care". Voting for someone other than the lesser of two evils says "I vote and I am fed up with both of you."

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

I think it was in the 80's (not real sure I am remembering the timeline correctly) the Japanese people, enmass, refused to vote.

Why? Because they believed their vote had value and none of the candidates were worthy of that value.

The result was a new group of candidates were nominated and campaigned and the election was held with nearly 100% participation by the populace.

Does YOUR vote have value? Are any of the potential candidates worthy of your vote?

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[-] 0 points by i8jomomma (80) 2 years ago

don't vote...........it ain't gonna mean anything anyway............it's all about what they want and who they want to be in office at the time...........it's not about what we want................ so wake up

[-] -1 points by nachosrulz (63) from Eureka, CA 2 years ago

this is dumb ppl PLEASE VOTE so that we dont ellect another monkey!!