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Thread: Blaming non-voters

  1. #1
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up Blaming non-voters

    I don't know how it is elsewhere, but in the USA,
    when some people are unhappy with political
    matters, they claim that it is the fault of the
    ones who don't vote.

    I find this not only illogical but positively dishonest.
    That would mean that under-age people, who don't
    vote, are to blame for all the bad public policy.
    Obviously, it is those who do vote who
    must take responsibility for the state of affairs.

    • they vote for whichever candidate promises to "give" more free stuff to them
    • they vote (at the same time) for more gov't services, and lower taxes
    • they vote blindly for their favorite political party
    • and they blame everyone but themselves when things go wrong

    For some, refusal to participate is the most effective way to
    protest and to effect change.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  2. #2
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    That's not quite true. And I think you're taking that statement the wrong way. I don't think you 'blame' anyone for the way things turn out. it's just that most of loudest bitchers are people who don't take the time to vote, but have the spare time to complain about how bad everything is. And underage people don't count. If you bitch then you'd better put your money where your mouth is when it comes time to vote. That's all. Not voting just ensures that nothing will change. Apathy will not win, action will.

    And above all else... Vote your conscience, not the party.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2002


    Korphdeath is right. I dont know how is it in US but here in czech republic it is like this: Many people here also blame those who didnt vote - but not children, or someone like that but people who can vote but didnt make time to do that. Problem is that we have here about 5 strong partys that has chances to go to parliament. One of this partays is communist party - and their electors are really submissive. So when you don't go to voting you indirectly give your voice to them because they will have more percent then the other sites... And when the votes finish those people who didnt go vote are obviously screaming WHOOOOO COMMUNIST HAS SO MANY PERCENT!!! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! DO SOMETHING WITH THAT!!! etc etc... but its only their fault... so imo thats why are they blamed...

    I hope someone gets my point

  4. #4
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    I just think that refusal to vote can be a legitimate choice for some people.
    The Democratic and Republican Parties have locked themselves into
    power. They recieve taxpayer money to supplement their
    campaigns. If the recently passed "reform" gets past the
    Supreme Court, non-party candidates and organizations
    will be virtually outlawed.

    A person who finds both major parties unappealing has no
    choice but to either:

    [list=a][*]Vote the "lesser of two evils", which is still "evil"[*]Refuse to vote, and therefore, refuse to lend legitimacy to the corrupt process.[/list=a]

    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    "tacit compliance" - not voting (not voicing an oppinion), allows those that do vote to decide. This is the reason why minors are not allowed to vote, as it is held that a minor is someone who is incapable of deciding for themself, so they are not allowed to. Thus, minors are "not to blame" as they had no choice in the matter. Those that have the ability to vote and do not are allowing others to decide for them, and if things turn out in a manner that they find unexceptable, they have no place to complain, since they chose to have other people choose for them. Not voting is just as much a vote as voting is, it is a vote for the outcome of those that decide to choose.

    Democracy only works to its fullest capacity when all of those able to decide for themselves act.
    But, it is a question if all those that are allowed to vote have the capacity to decide for themselves, assuredly not, as it is illegal to test their capabilities, since it could be misused to limit voters to those that the leaders wish to vote.

    So are those that don't vote to blame?
    Not any more than those that do. It is just a matter of whether you wish to "just go with the flow" or "try to change things". Nothing can change without participation, particularly since there is the body know as "the Electoral College" which can choose and will choose the president in the event of an indecisive vote.

    I personally think that there should be on the ballot a "Not these screwballs" and no electoral college, so if the none-of-the-above wins, new candidates and new vote, ofcourse, this would probably go on for ever since most people that run for office have money and are stupid, but hopefully someone would come up that would have some sort of good quality.

    Not voting is just as much a political action as voting. And just as valid, particularly if you don't vote for a reason, but... in the end you voted just as much for the winner as those that voted did. What happens afterwards is just as much your fault as those that voted for that guy that introduced the thing that you hate.

    Tacit compliance, is well...dangerous, if noone voted it those in control would decide what happens, because there would be no reason not to, so if you didn't like those people you still have to live by what they say..., which takes away your ability to have a voice in the matter, which sets up a whole new for of government, which if you don't like, you will have to over through, since that is the only way to be heard in it.

    But ofcourse if you don't like a government that much, you can always go somewhere else (well maybe not, but that is a whole other matter)..., where I don't know, probably to somewhere that has laws and ideologies reflecting your own sentiment, good like finding such a place though.

    These are my own thoughts, I think they are justifiable, put into the context of the US political system and my understanding of it.
    Maybe I will write more later.

  6. #6
    The Lizard King SarinMage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    New York
    the way i see it, it comes down to this:

    im gonna get flamed for this one......

    defined politics:
    a bunch of he said she said talk similer to the gossip heard in and amongst high school students...usually the female "prep" type students.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Okay, riots happen partly because after the lsightest instigation, people (on a whole) are a big bunch of dumb sheep. This is one of democracy's/capitalism's (the two ARE tied together) main problems: People vote for the flashiest, sexiest candidate, or vote against the one who has bene the victim of a smear campaign. The media has nearly complete control over who wins an election. This may not be a problem, except for one fact: The media companies are merging, and with that loss of varied opinion you end up with an oligarchy controlled by massive corperations. This is one of the problems I have with democracy. (Not that the other systems don't have their glaring holes, too)
    Elen alcarin ar gwath halla ná engwar.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BrainStop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    One reason that non-voters are being blamed is that, when fewer people vote, a small number of voices can make a big difference.

    In my country, turn up at national elections is around 37% of the people who are allowed to vote. This means that 63% don't bother to show up, disillusioned by politics, too busy to vote, or whatever other reason. However, this has a consequence ...

    Suppose you have a population of 1,000 voters electing a parliament. Now suppose, of the 1,000, 50 are very vocal extremists. The rest is moderate.

    If everyone voted, these extremists would represent 5% of the vote.
    However, if only 37% of the 1,000 vote, they suddenly represent 13.5% giving them much more influence than they would have.

    What it means is that the people who tend not to vote are moderate. The people with more extreme ideas tend to vote ... thus their voice gets more weight.

    That's why I've always tried to vote, even if I can't quite find a party that suits me. However, by casting my vote, it's one vote more against the parties I am against.

    Anyway ... enough talking.


    "To estimate the time it takes to do a task, estimate the time you think it should take, multiply by two, and change the unit of measure to the next highest unit. Thus we allocate two days for a one-hour task." -- Westheimer's Rule

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