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November 4, 2012
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Why do people vote?

:iconvash-gx:
Vash-Gx Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Explain to me why voting is essential to a political process that merely only considers the uninformed opinions of the masses and then inadvertently proceeds to elect a candidate that is deemed suited for those masses by officials who are derived from the very system of governance it is suppose to change? Isn't then the vote of the masses consequently reduced to a mere suggestion that has no intrinsic bearing on the process?

In laymen terms, why be asked to vote if the vote doesn't count for anything. If really the people doing the actual voting are not even elected representatives but people who are placed in their position by the very same government asking you to vote?

I mean, to me, it just seems obvious that it doesn't matter if 95% of the vote goes to one candidate, because it could still be deemed as a misinformed vote thus giving way to elect the opposing candidate. Knowing that, does anyone really believe their vote is going to make a difference in this election?

So again I ask why do people vote if it's not even a democracy, very much less a representative democracy? :shrug:
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:iconrockstar1009:
rockstar1009 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I assume this is in reference to the electoral college and the (possibly faithless) electors that may arise. If so, the system was set up as a buffer put in place by the founding fathers to prevent a direct vote by the stupid masses. The founding fathers simply didn't believe people were smart enough to elect an executive leader directly, since the executive leader isn't a representative in his/her capacity.

Is it a perfect system? No. But then again, there is no perfect system. Not even a direct vote is perfect.
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:iconvash-gx:
Vash-Gx Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So tell me again how voting matters if the masses are too stupid? Why have he masses vote in the first place if they're too stupid.

Maybe if this were the 1800's this type of logic would be applicable but in an era where we are more able to pass down information faster and more reliably than ever this kinda crap of an excuse has no place in our politics.

Direct voting may not be perfect but at least we now live in an era where its more viable due to technology. Switzerland uses this method and produce some of the most viable candidates to represent it's country from what I've learned. There's also methods such as alternative voting which provides voting in rounds and can essentially be more reassuring of the actual public's opinion and even prevents a duopoly from occurring by ranking candidates from most likely to least likely.
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:iconmomoe:
momoe Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
Sorry, perhaps I'm just missing some context. Is there some kind of american law that can deem an election invalid on the grounds of misinformation? What exactly are you complaining about?
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:iconvash-gx:
Vash-Gx Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not really addressing an invalid election when I talk about the misinformed public, I'm talking about the excuse this country uses to keep in place a system of election that is invalid for the modern day-n-age mainly the electoral college board.

I'm trying to point out the fact that no one in the general public actually votes any president in, that's its all a sham to make you believe like you have any power in controlling your countries policies, and that really it's the people assigned by the very government that actually vote in who the next president will be not the American public.
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:iconmomoe:
momoe Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
Sorry, perhaps this is just my not being american that I still feel pretty removed from the context.

Is this about how it is possible for a candidate to win a popular vote but lose an election? If so, I am pretty familiar with the flaws, but what then is your alternative? Remember, a direct vote popular vote is not without its own problems.

Moreover, how is your current system a sham, as you keep pointing out, since you've even discounted situations where a winner is determined by an overwhelming majority?
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:icontortellinipen:
TortelliniPen Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
If you don't vote (even if you're eligible) and somebody you don't like gets elected, then I don't think that you have any right to complain.
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:iconvash-gx:
Vash-Gx Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well not really I didn't vote so I have every right to complain. I didn't vote for the next shit-head they put in office you did, I get left with your shit your problems. I have every right to complain about the shit your vote caused. You have it backwards if you voted you have no right to complain because it's all your fault (and I know I'm saying you but I'm not speaking of you directly just in general)
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:icontortellinipen:
TortelliniPen Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
There are plenty of third-party candidates to throw your vote behind. You may not win, but a certain Gary Johnson would your efforts to get him 5% of the vote, therefore establishing the Libertarian Party as a major party.

If you aren't fond of Libertarianism, there's also Ms. Jill Stein. And don't forget that on election day, you aren't only voting for president- you're also voting for local officials, which has more immediate importance on your own little neck of the universe.

Sure, there's shit in the system, shit that other people voted in. However, it's people's votes that can get rid of it. Simply throwing up your hands and saying "why should I bother" is part of the reason why we're in this mess. Didn't someone once say, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"?

I'm normally a pretty cynical person, but there are some times that you have to take your complaints off of internet forums and into the real world. Sure, you may not succeed, but if you don't do anything then you definitely won't succeed. I don't care if you're liberal or conservative (although I'm guessing that you're neither), or libertarian or a Nazi or whatever. If America's voice isn't heard, how can its will be done?

Remember, Gore only lost the 2000 election by a few hundred votes and a Supreme Court decision; if only a few hundred more people had decided to vote, things may have turned out differently. I don't know whether it would've been for better or worse (I'm a Democrat, so I would say better, but that's my opinion), but something different would've happened.

And so yeah, I think that if you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain. If you voted against it, then even if it happens anyway you can still say that you fought it. If I voted for it, then I would accept that responsibility. But you seem to be too afraid of doing the wrong thing, and that can keep you from doing the right thing. Was anything great ever done without risk?
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:iconvash-gx:
Vash-Gx Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"Was anything great ever done without risk?"

First of all voting isn't a risk its a right. I have the right not to vote just as much as I have to vote.

"Sure, there's shit in the system, shit that other people voted in. However, it's people's votes that can get rid of it. Simply throwing up your hands and saying "why should I bother" is part of the reason why we're in this mess. Didn't someone once say, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"?"

Voting only serves to demonstrate our participation in a democratic process that is suppose to serve you. While your vote might make you feel like your having an impact on your country your only serving the purpose of propagating a flawed system that does what it wants without your consent to it having done anything.

Did you vote for sub-sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act? Because I don't remember the congress polling with anyone in the American public to see if they would agree. So you can save your cheesy Edmund Burke quotes for someone else.

"I'm normally a pretty cynical person, but there are some times that you have to take your complaints off of internet forums and into the real world. "

Really... you cynical? I couldn't tell...:sarcasm:

The whole point of the forum is to state ones opinions. Opinions consist of beliefs, complaints, and interpretations of facts. So why would I go outside and complain to people randomly where it would seem very much out of place. If your insinuating that I should complain by voting then you obviously missed the point of this post....

"Remember, Gore only lost the 2000 election by a few hundred votes and a Supreme Court decision; if only a few hundred more people had decided to vote, things may have turned out differently. "

Gore didn't lose the election by a few hundred votes he lost because of faithless electors. He would of won if it were popular vote. Look I'd have no problem if voting actually meant anything but faithless electors, voting fraud (which occurs more than people would like to admit), media, and many other things only serve to debauch the very purpose of the democratic process.

Look I'm not trying to convince anyone not to vote, I'm just looking to see what kind of excuse people would chalk up for voting in the first place. Sure it may seem like the honorable thing to do, and I agree with people most of the time when they share there reasons too, but honestly I fail to see why people aren't more critical of the process.
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:icontortellinipen:
TortelliniPen Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
"First of all voting isn't a risk its a right. I have the right not to vote just as much as I have to vote... The whole point of the forum is to state ones opinions. Opinions consist of beliefs, complaints, and interpretations of facts. So why would I go outside and complain to people randomly where it would seem very much out of place. If your insinuating that I should complain by voting then you obviously missed the point of this post..."

Voting isn't a risk in the sense that investing in a promising-looking company is a risk, but you're risking trying to voice your beliefs only to find that that isn't what the majority of Americans want. If you put a stake in, then you risk getting hurt emotionally. After all, its pretty terrible ending up on the wrong side of history. However, you have to be willing to risk that.

And while it is very much within your right not to vote and while you also very much have the right to your own opinion, I also have the right to criticize your opinion. And I think that its pretty obvious that I didn't mean that you should go outside and shout your grievances to some stormy sky like a bad punk song. You should "complain" by actually trying to do something that changes how things are run. If that means voting, then yes, you should complain by voting.

Look at it this way. Imagine you're at a restaurant. You can either have a hamburger or a chicken sandwich. You just so happen to be of Hindu descent, and the very idea of eating cow is analogous to eating your own mother. When the dorky waiter comes up and asks for your order, you shrug your shoulders and say "Eh, just get me whatever." You are then outraged when he brings you a hamburger. I know that it isn't a perfect analogy at all, but if you don't make your opinion heard then how do we know what your opinion is?

You point out things like the NDAA. Fair enough, I don't necessarily agree with indefinite detention of American citizens (even though Section 1021 has an exception for American citizens, and since the military budget is pinned on it the Republicans basically shoved it down Obama's throat; it was either that or not have a military for a while) I don't agree with all of Obama's policies. However, I agree with a lot of them. I believe that healthcare is a right, now a privilege; I believe that the tax burden should not be shifted onto the middle and lower class, yadda yadda yadda. You aren't going to find a candidate that shares all of your views, but you have to find someone who will express most of them.

Also, while it has its flaws the electoral college is there for a reason. Mob rule is a pretty terrible thing; in exchange for having some power over our government we have to give up some of our own freedom. Absolute freedom is a bad thing, and I think that even the board's resident libertarians would agree with me here. And while there are problems with the current two-party system, places such as India show that having tons of important parties leads to even more partisanism.

And our system is quite a bit more honest than you're willing to give it credit for. The number of recorded cases of voter fraud could almost literally be counted on one hand; why would someone risk thousands of dollars as well as prison time just to vote twice? You might as well rob a bank or something. And we all know that medias gonna media.

However, for all that you bemoan how the democratic process has been soiled, you aren't even participating in it! It's like a guy complaining about the TV execs cancelling a show that he never watched. Why should it even exist, then? If you don't like the system, then what are you going to do about it?

It's good to criticize the system, but your line of reasoning seems to be a bit immature here. You're like a guy with a bumper sticker that says "War kills!" Well, it does, but what exactly are you saying about it? People smarter than both of us call that "begging the question." Judging by your posts I'm assuming that you haven't registered, but tell me: If you could choose any person to be president, who would it be?
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