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.
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.
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.
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?
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)
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?
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...
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.
"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?
But by not voting, you made no effort to change things. You could have voted for your dad, your uncle, your grandma for all it matters. You could have started propositions to eliminate the EC, voted for people who don't like the EC.
But no, you decided the whole thing was bad and dismissed it wholly out of hand. If you don't care enough to actually act on your opinions, I don't care about your opinions.
voting doesn't solve problems if the people who are collecting the votes are part of it. It's like a chimp who live in a cage and only gets the option of picking his food, the chimp doesn't get to pick if it wants to leave only whether it wants a baloney sandwich or mac n cheese for dinner.
Not everyone has the capacity by any means to seek the change they want. Do you think it's more likely that a person from the inner-city be likely to become a candidate or someone who has the inheritance of having been raised relatively wealthy.
In a system where money counts as speech it's not like everyone is represented fairly. You might be given 6 or 7 options but only the two with the highest funds are actually given any chance.
The electoral system not only denotes the chance of a third party having a chance but most aren't even required by law to faithfully elect the person they said they would. Even the ones who are required aren't held under any real scrutiny when they do because when they do unfaithfully vote the election is irreversible and thus denoting the chance of having any real representation in our own government. So yes your right I don't want to participate it doesn't mean I don't want things to change. Asking change from the people who want to keep things how they are, is rather pointless, and in my view the only real way to show it is by not encouraging it.
Everyone has the capacity to seek change, not everyone has the capacity to create change. Which in a democracy is fine, since change should come from the efforts of many. You don't need to actually become part of the government to enact change, in fact if it's any indicator, becoming part of government is the least effective way to enact change.
Your vote is your vote, unless you sell it to someone, you have the choice to vote for anyone. If you decide to allow yourself to be blinded by the money in the system and believe that only the people with money are viable options, that is on YOU.
To me, it sounds like you've got plenty of ideas for change, yet all you seem to be doing is whining that the system is broken. What are you doing about it?
Change can occur anywhere. Even on this forum. If my whining serves to help people think more critically of the process of voting then perhaps that is all I need to do. If not then fuck it... live with it.
When you think about it, you don't have a real say in your own countries' process either, not unless you can convince a large amount of people to vouch for the same. I've found the problem always is the other people.
It's a democratic republic. We vote for electors who are guaranteed (through means varying by state) to vote for our choice of president. Our votes do, in fact, count. I don't know who tried to convince you otherwise, but that person is an idiot.
No, the votes actually choose electors from the party you've selected. So, for instance, if Mitt Romney wins the vote in your state, delegates chosen by the Republican Party who have pledged to vote for Romney will be placed in the electoral college. The electoral college is like a Congress that votes on the president rather than on bills.
Yes and the electoral college also unevenly distributes voting power to the minority of states with less population. Not only does this result in the majority of votes for one candidate not accounted for it also fails to give incentive for anyone to vote third party because they most likely won't get represented.
States can pass their own laws. A minority of states should not be able to impose their desires on every other state. It's called Federalism, and it's meant to protect liberty through decentralization.
"A minority of states should not be able to impose their desires on every other state"
Which is exactly what the electoral college entails
"States can pass their own laws."
What does this have to do with state rights... I'm talking about the election process that's been in place since the 1700's and merits a change because of its outdated functioning. It not only unfairly calculates voting in this country but it also promotes all sorts of problems like the duopoly that the Republicrats have on this country and the misguided view that your vote has any influence on the actual outcome of a national election.
TheSpiderFromMarsFeatured By OwnerNov 4, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Because it's like the base for democracy. It's one of the best ways you as a single individual can affect how your country should best be ruled. People who say that "my vote won't matter anyway", are just so wrong and doesn't get the point of a democracy at all.
TheSpiderFromMarsFeatured By OwnerNov 5, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, sorry, my mistake! I meant to wrote "no" in my previous post, as in if no-one voted AT ALL, there would be no president AT ALL, since it's the votes that decide which person/people is/are to rule a country.
TheSpiderFromMarsFeatured By OwnerNov 5, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nope. We're talking about an election here, where you're supposed to vote for the person you prefer to rule as president. Which means that you as a countryman have to take your responsibility and do so (vote, that is).
"In laymen terms, why be asked to vote if the vote doesn't count for anything"
It does count for something.
If you let yourselves be bullied into accepting a "lesser of two evils", then it really doesn't count.
My plan: vote for the third party that you really want to this year. It won't make a difference right away, but it will show up on post-election statistical analysis, and if enough people (lets say we get %5 of the population) vote with you, either of two things might happen:
1. a major party takes a good review at your third parties platform and decides to adopt its own position to get your vote
2. the party gains momentum and becomes a serious challenger.
They tell us voting third party, your vote doesn't count, because they are never going to win anyway. But lets face it, unless you live in a so called "battleground" state which could go either way, on the same system it doesn't count anyway.
[link] - youtube of the 3rd party debate in case you missed it.
"It does count for something. If you let yourselves be bullied into accepting a "lesser of two evils", then it really doesn't count."
So what does it count for? Just saying it counts for something doesn't actually make it so... And you've already been bullied into accepting the lesser of two evils because third parties don't represent the majority of the policies being made in congress anyways.
"My plan: vote for the third party that you really want to this year. It won't make a difference right away, but it will show up on post-election statistical analysis, and if enough people (lets say we get %5 of the population) vote with you, either of two things might happen: 1. a major party takes a good review at your third parties platform and decides to adopt its own position to get your vote 2. the party gains momentum and becomes a serious challenger."
Sure, they bring up the issues? Sure, it might lead some representative of the major party to adopt the policy they're invoking but will it make a difference? Likely not. Not only will the party taking the platform they've adopted take it and re-tweak it to suit the normative policies they already have in place but it's such a slow process that initially there is no incentive to the majority of "republicrats" to change anything that might disrupt the status-quo.
"They tell us voting third party, your vote doesn't count, because they are never going to win anyway"
Exactly my point. Your vote don't count for jack squat. The electoral college makes the decision for you and tell you it's by you. And these are not typical informed Americans these are usually people who have a vested interest in either A: keeping things the way they or B: Changing things only slightly (keyword being slightly) so that it benefits them (them being the only two real parties to ever be considered for election)and their representative candidates.
So again re-iterate your argument because so far all you've told me is basically that voting does count, but not really.... Only further proving my point.
"So what does it count for?" Dissent. It has to start somewhere. It has to start someplace. What better place than the voting both? What better time than november 6th?
"Exactly my point. Your vote don't count for jack squat. The electoral college makes the decision for you and tell you it's by you" There has been no more than 1 unfaithful elector in every presidential election since 1900. 23 states have laws against being such. In the case of unfaithful electors, laws generally crop up after an unfaithful elector happens.
"Sure, they bring up the issues? Sure, it might lead some representative of the major party to adopt the policy they're invoking but will it make a difference? Likely not."
Its better than doing nothing and being ignored. It takes 5 min to vote, and likely another 30 out of your day to go do so. This is not a monumental effort.
Apathy and this so called "slackvitism" don't fucking work at all. What are you doing?
"Dissent. It has to start somewhere. It has to start someplace. What better place than the voting booth? What better time than November 6th?"
Now I'm completely aware of the fact that your vote isn't only on the basis of what you agree with, but what you also disagree with, and with that I agree. However, the way politics work nowadays is how the matrix works before neo takes the red pill. It basically only gives you two options. Either you take a red pill or you take the blue pill (no pun intended). Well what if I don't want to take to a pill. See what I'm getting at? What does your dissent matter when it doesn't have any influence over what your disagreeing with?
"There has been no more than 1 unfaithful elector in every presidential election since 1900. 23 states have laws against being such. In the case of unfaithful electors, laws generally crop up after an unfaithful elector happens."
Firstly, there are 51 states. So the fact that only 23 states have laws against unfaithful electors only represents 45% of the actual votes being counted, and presents a major issue especially when the majority goes to states that are part of the other 55% of votes that don't account for unfaithful electors. Why aren't all states making laws against unfaithful electors? Not only that, but it doesn't even disclose the abundance of voting fraud that can occur in any state. Secondly, what does anything I just said matter when the fact that the electoral college is given a position of power to go against the majority of votes based on the opinion of government that most voters are likely uninformed. Were they uninformed when the majority voted for Al Gore but instead got George Bush? How can you tell me your vote would otherwise have prevented the economic policies that got us in the recession we are currently still facing, when essentially you didn't even vote for those policies in the first place.
"Its better than doing nothing and being ignored. It takes 5 min to vote, and likely another 30 out of your day to go do so. This is not a monumental effort."
I think you have it the wrong way, by not voting it is not you who are being ignored, your the one ignoring to adhere to a governance that isn't representative of your beliefs, ideals, and contributions to the society. This whole scheme that it's such an effortless thing to vote is so widely propagated that's probably one of the only reason the masses still adhere to these fallacious politics. They say "it's so easy to vote that you should do it even if you don't believe you are being represented" which in my opinion is so bogus. WHY WOULD YOU VOTE IF YOUR VOTE DOESN'T MATTER?
"Apathy and this so called "slackvitism" don't fucking work at all. What are you doing?"
It's one thing to call a stance apathetic and another to call it lazy. The reason I chose not to vote is not to remain lazily content with my opinions but to demonstrate my apathy for a government that insist I participate and then later discredits the only means by which I can. So the better question here is "what are YOU doing?"
"Firstly, there are 51 states. So the fact that only 23 states have laws against unfaithful electors only represents 45% of the actual votes being counted" It so rarely happens, because you more or less vote for a party, and the electors they pick, generally vote for who the same party nominates. Its against the parties intrest to nominate electors that won't kow-tow to the party line. Did I mention in rarely happens. While I agree, that the electorial college should be done away with, faithless electors have not changed the course of a single election. Its a total strawman.
If you can muster up enough people to vote for you to run for office, you can find enough loyalists to act as your electors, and you can certainly find enough people to join your political party.
A quick google for "faithless elector" would quickly tell you they are a non-issue, but if you insist of me doing your homework for you, I shall
"So the better question here is "what are YOU doing?""
voicing dissent within the system, and reminding everyone else to do the same. If enough people voice dissent with the system, then sooner or later we will have enough people to make a third party work.
Your not voicing your dissent, your just giving up, and encouraging people
The system doesn't count no votes. a 50% voter turn out is the norm in major elections, and far less so. Your not trying to change the system, your telling everyone who wants change to back off.
Guess, what, in some states and towns where voter turn out is less than %10, the governments still run, just a few have a disproportionate voice.
Your just making it worse.
You and I have taken more time out of lives to have this argument than it would to vote.
"A quick google for "faithless elector" would quickly tell you they are a non-issue, but if you insist of me doing your homework for you, I shall"
Thanks for your obvious insinuation of my inability to do the research myself.
Anyways, you must've missed the next paragraph where I indicated that even with faithful electors there is still the issue of an electoral college board that present representatives that aren't even elected by the people but by the government itself. Do you actually believe that they would do away with the very system that keeps their pseudo-democratic normative and replace it with something that might actually cause any affective reformation? You do realize that even if your state votes a partisan representative that represents your actual views that it still might not be fairly represented in the electoral meeting that actually decide the candidate for presidency.
"The system doesn't count no votes. a 50% voter turn out is the norm in major elections, and far less so. Your not trying to change the system, your telling everyone who wants change to back off."
Sure I might not convince anybody that voting doesn't do anything, but then again, that wasn't the point of the post. Initially I was just looking for a good argument that would convince me why the voting process isn't a fraudulent front and how it even applies to the implied democracy it so often propagates. I'm not looking to give answers merely find them. That being said you still haven't convinced me how your so called dissent is representative of the actual outcome of who gets elected, and how it's even fair that even when you disagree your really only offered the lesser of two evils.
"You and I have taken more time out of lives to have this argument than it would to vote."
Maybe, but I'm not voting. So far, your the only one wasting your time arguing for something that isn't gonna change(kinda like what your vote does).
And look I'm merely speaking on a national level of politics which is often the vote for presidency but also other positions that affect federal policies. I understand that in actuality your local government does a lot to contribute to the people it governs and that votes on a local level are actually representative of the peoples view. It still doesn't discredit the fact that exceedingly now more and more the federal government is often capitalizing on the power of local and state governments to propagate it's own agenda even when it goes against the Constitution.
"Thanks for your obvious insinuation of my inability to do the research myself. " then stick to the facts on how the system works.
"Do you actually believe that they would do away with the very system that keeps their pseudo-democratic normative and replace it with something that might actually cause any affective reformation?" electors do nothing but perform a one time election of president. They are not special, and don't have real power.
in 23 states they HAVE to do as they are told, like it or not. Parties choose who is and isn't an elector.
Its the same party that determines who gets to run in the first place that determines who gets to be an elector. An elector in the modern system has almost zero reason to vote against the party that gave him the vote, regardless of the cause.
The fact there are few faithless electors proves my point.
"You do realize that even if your state votes a partisan representative that represents your actual views that it still might not be fairly represented in the electoral meeting that actually decide the candidate for presidency." not true. in 23 states, they are mandated to vote for who they say they are. If the party conspires to run someone else on the side, they will split the ticket with states that have to vote as told. What will happen
What you are assuming, is that somehow electors, are capable, on their own, to conspire against party bosses, and all the people that are connected with them. Simply not realistic, unless you think the people in power stay in power by some magic mind control forcefields.
Your simply being to fatalistic.
Statistical analysis of history favors my viewpoints. If everyone votes Rocky Anderson, then the Justice Party stacks the electoral college with its own voters, who have nothing to gain by voting against him.(substitute "Rocky Anderson" and "Justice Party", with any other third party candidate, and his party as you wish, it still holds true).
Then we still haven't gotten to congressional, state and local elections where you directly vote. Your sitting those out as well as any potential ballot initiatives in your state. Those do matter.
Obviously your viewpoint is not going to change regardless of what I, nor anyone else says.
What a bunch of bull shit. Maybe the reason there are so many badly informed votes cast, is there are not enough well informed votes cast to outnumber them. So if you think you are such a chosen one to know 'The Truth' then maybe you should vote. If you don't vote you really aren't allowing yourself to have a say in the government. That means whoever wins was elected by other people. Those people are your masters for as long as you don't vote.
I don't even know where to begin with your post but I'm going to try just for the sake of argument....
"Maybe the reason there are so many badly informed votes cast, is there are not enough well informed votes cast to outnumber them."
No shit genius. However, this does allude to the real problem at hand which is "why aren't more people informed about their opinion". I think, the reason being might be the fact that politicians aren't actual representatives of the people and only feed people what they think they want which is entertainment. They make fancy statements like "I will decrease taxes and government spending" but don't even explain what is actually being done, and when they do it's not even left as fact because the other party would just come in and say "well that's load of crap and this person doesn't know what they're talking about because my ideas are better"...
I watched all the presidential debates and they were asked some pretty informal and interesting questions, and instead of answering the question quite frankly all I saw was both candidates doing macarena dance around the damn question being asked. It's like watching a competition to see who could dodge the most bullets.
"So if you think you are such a chosen one to know 'The Truth' then maybe you should vote"
Wtf are you talking about? You've must've missed the point of my first statement because clearly I frankly said there is no point in voting because I'm not going to be represented anyways. When I vote I expect to be taken seriously on my statement because it is in fact a statement, not a suggestion. And I don't what you mean by me having the 'The Truth', I at no point in the topic alluded to having some divine truth that would miraculously fix anything.
" If you don't vote you really aren't allowing yourself to have a say in the government.
First of all, by not voting you are having a say, and that statement would be "I would not like to participate in this government as it is being presented".
"That means whoever wins was elected by other people. Those people are your masters for as long as you don't vote."
Um, so does that mean if I did vote and my candidate didn't win that those people are my master?
I suggest you go learn about how the voting process actually works and then tell me if you really have a say in who gets elected. Look up the electoral college.