View Poll Results: Voting, yay or nay?

Voters
36. You may not vote on this poll
  • Voting is worthwhile

    20 55.56%
  • Voting is a waste of time

    14 38.89%
  • meta voting is a waste of time

    2 5.56%
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Thread: Voting

  1. #1
    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    Voting

    I can never see the point in voting in elections/referendums or anything. The winner is not going to be decided on my vote, so why bother?

    Am I being too nihilistic?

    Do you guys think it's a good way to spend your time, writing something on a piece of paper then putting it in a ballot box? Might as well scribble on a tissue and put it in the bin.

    And don't give me that "people died for your right to vote" bullshit, I mean - come on.

  2. #2
    Member El D.'s Avatar
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    I can't find it, but in business school I was told a story about how an economics professor held a session explaining why voting was a waste of time. This was years ago, but the basic argument he used as I recall was the opportunity cost of voting compared to it's marginal benefit, which was essentially nothing based on statistical probably that the individual's vote would swing the election.

    As you can see from this viewpoint it's clearly a waste of time. One student objected though and said "But if everyone thought that way, then my vote would matter." I forgot what the professor's response was though, and it really annoys me that I cant find this story because I remember I thought it was really good.

    Anyway, I think the whole format of voting in most jurisdictions is extremely outdated now that we have a massive instantly connected nationwide network. The idea of the electoral college is extremely antiquated too. Also, the way presidential campaigns are backed by massive corporate funding and media conglomerates, but thats getting into something else. There is a lot about federal politics in the US that is bullshit.

  3. #3
    Member Bartender's Avatar
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    In many places such as NY where I live voting for president is pointless. In say Florida or Ohio it is not. Beyond that you get into the wide spread corruption that actually controls thing. The vote of the people at least in the US has little effect on what happens or the kind of person in power. We are given two choices both of which suck. I vote 3rd party every time simply to try to get a third party recognized.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Yea, I used to defend the electoral college - but my mind has totally changed on the subject. A person's vote should count even if everybody else in the state has a different opinion.

    While we're at it, getting rid of congressional districts would be a good thing too though I understand the congressman is supposed to represent his entire district. People could take up issues with whatever representative is sympathetic to their issue.

  5. #5
    Member El D.'s Avatar
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    @Bartender True. In swing states there is actually a possibility of it going one of two ways instead of one of one way. CA is that same as NY - blue every time.

    I did want to mention though that the effect of voting does increase as jurisdictions get smaller. California does have a lot of initiatives that actually could really benefit or negatively affect lots of people, and more people should be involved in local politics probably. In fact, im convinced thats what people are referring to when they talk about how California is fucked. There are so many people here, and many of them are rich, politically involved celebrities, and SO many of them in contrast do not give a single fuck about politics, so you have a lot of shit that just gets pushed through because its kind of easy here. Some of it's good, some of its bad, and some of it is absolutely asinine, depending on who you ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    Yea, I used to defend the electoral college - but my mind has totally changed on the subject. A person's vote should count even if everybody else in the state has a different opinion.

    While we're at it, getting rid of congressional districts would be a good thing too though I understand the congressman is supposed to represent his entire district. People could take up issues with whatever representative is sympathetic to their issue.
    I completely agree.
    Last edited by El D.; 09-04-2014 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirac View Post
    I can never see the point in voting in elections/referendums or anything. The winner is not going to be decided on my vote, so why bother?

    Am I being too nihilistic?
    Voting is worthwhile, I decided. Senior citizens in the U.S people vote way more often than people in their late teens, 20s and 30s. Perhaps there may be a connection. All of the "alternatives to voting" I've seen in the U.S. seem even more ineffective than voting. Voting is ineffective, but it's less ineffective than anything else.

    I'm voting this year. People who don't vote either don't believe it matters, or are lazy. Voting really isn't hard. There are few people lazier than me, but it takes like 5 minutes. I don't give a damn if people vote for Nader or whoever, but people who refuse to vote at all, and yet are passionate about issues perplex the hell out of me.

  7. #7
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirac View Post

    And don't give me that "people died for your right to vote" bullshit, I mean - come on.
    What an opportunity.

    "Really? My right to vote? Personally? They should have gotten to know me first, maybe, asked my opinion or something."

    "Some people die for the dumbest of causes. The proper thing to do would be to not vote and thus stop the madness."

    "I find it far more likely they died for their own right to vote."

    "But, I'm not a wealthy white landowner."

    "If you're dumb enough to believe that, you're dumb enough to vote."

    "They all would have been dead by now anyway."
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  8. #8
    Member Bartender's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=El D.;59488]@Bartender True. In swing states there is actually a possibility of it going one of two ways instead of one of one way. CA is that same as NY - blue every time.

    I did want to mention though that the effect of voting does increase as jurisdictions get smaller. California does have a lot of initiatives that actually could really benefit or negatively affect lots of people, and more people should be involved in local politics probably. In fact, im convinced thats what people are referring to when they talk about how California is fucked. There are so many people here, and many of them are rich, politically involved celebrities, and SO many of them in contrast do not give a single fuck about politics, so you have a lot of shit that just gets pushed through because its kind of easy here. Some of it's good, some of its bad, and some of it is absolutely asinine, depending on who you ask.
    [QUOTE]

    Normally I would not care what happens in another state but California is so large every time you guys pass a bullshit law it affects the whole country because manufactures won't make 2 near identical things just to sell them in California like the smart phone thing that went through. California and NY need to be broken up into smaller states imo.

  9. #9
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Representative democracy is contingent upon responsiveness between the electorate and the government that represents them. The main reason people feel like voting is a waste of time is because that connection is broken, and probably always has been.

    From the economic standpoint, yes the marginal utility of voting is miniscule. As a result, voting can be looked at as a collective action problem; someone needs to represent our interests and protect our rights, but it would be much easier if that person were not myself.

    My actual objection to the idea that "everyone should vote" is the fact that most people are woefully uneducated about the things they vote about. Generally speaking, old people block-vote to protect their social security benefits and defund schools, extremist fanatics block-vote to oppress minorities and resist social change, and mostly everyone else who votes is responding to years of programming. I'd like to think I'm different, but I'm probably not.

    The real solution to the disconnect isn't simply to have everyone vote - it's education. Engagement in public discussions about how our government actually functions, what people truly value etc. To see people arguing about guns and abortion, but completely ignorant to world trade, poverty, debt, and gerrymandering.....that's the problem.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  10. #10
    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    I just want to clarify that I don't mean anything about electoral colleges, it would be a waste of time even with PR. One vote either way won't do anything.

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