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Not Voting is Reasonable for People Who Want Freedom





The Philosopher Princess
Very Happy Dear Readers: Please don’t be intimidated at the length of this topic, nor let it prevent you from posting your opinions on (Not) Voting. There are many fresh ideas on this subject that we’re missing, so we need you. No, you do not have to read every page to post. However, if you don’t read everything, then please be humble in realizing that you may have missed something; some of us have read everything. Of course, if you do read most of it, then you’ll be that much further along in realizing what we need specifically.

I’d like to give you a suggestion for a valid approach to posting here. Randomly pick 2 pages of this Frihost topic and at least skim through most of the posts there. Then pick 1 post that strikes you as something with which you disagree and argue against it. Or pick 1 post that you’d like to add some furthering thoughts not mentioned. Or, if you have a (seemingly) brand new thought, write and post that.

Remember, if your comment would be better understood by your readers if they knew the context of a post to which you’re referring, then make sure you use the Frihost method of quoting at least part of that other post. You might also mention the page number so we can reference the full write-up.

I have more to add to “the record” here, myself, and can only do so when others have posted in-between.

(This red note was added on 8 Feb 2006 when 13 pages of this topic existed.)

~~~~~~~~~~
In a context of freedom, particularly of speech, I was recently unsuccessful at stirring up some discussion on the reasonableness of not voting (see the whole thread at http://www.frihost.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14434). So now I’m going to go for it more directly. Here is a snippet of an article entitled “Voting Is Evil”, which you can read in its entirety at http://www.lewrockwell.com/edmonds/edmonds223.html.
Brad Edmonds wrote:
The other LRC writers have made the case perfectly well, but sometimes in a subtle fashion, within articles that discuss, e.g., the major political parties. I’d like to make the point absolutely black and white. Here it is:

Voting is evil.

Abstaining from voting is good.

Voting is nothing more than a legal but immoral act of violent aggression. Abstaining from voting is the voluntary omission of a legal act of violent aggression, when indeed your vote could have resulted in more government handouts for you. Abstaining from voting is, in effect, making a personal sacrifice (however academic) in service of upholding an important moral principle.
The USA in particular has evolved to the point where, very often, people who vote are voting against some politician or government program rather than for something they truly believe is good. They believe (incorrectly) that voting for the best of two bads helps. I say, in the long run (and the long run is what matters), it does not help. Voting for a “better” bad gives more power and more legitimacy to the whole political system, which is just that, political.

Politicians, as a whole, would much rather have you vote against them than to have you not vote at all. (If you don’t yet believe that, pay more attention to their own statements on voting.) Why? Because the more people who vote, the more the politicians can claim a public mandate for the horrendous power-grabbing acts they do.

What do you think? (Please give us some intelligent reasoning with your opinions, not just short quips without any support.)
illini319
Voting legitimizes citizenship in a country with an elected government. In countries without an elected government, obviously, voting is irrelevant. So.. if one were to argue that abstinence of voting makes a statement. Then I would agree only on the basis that the statement is of apathy for the government as status quo. Will that solve anything? No, because nothing is absolute. Generally speaking, there are two opposing forces that serve to strengthen/weaken a government. Nationalism (and the creation of it) is a measure of government strength. On the other hand, devolutionary forces (or the creation of it) serve to weaken government. What you propose does not strengthen nor weaken government. You do not vote therefore you do not change the current administration (to weaken or strengthen it). You, in principle, have made your citizenship irrelevant.
Now for the sake of argument let us say that a significant proportion (never a hundred percent, as that is an impossibility) of the population were to follow you and not vote. What would we call that? reality. Only 50-60% of registered voters in the US, in the last election actually voted.
http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2004.htm This figure has not changed much from previous years either.

So, if you are unhappy with the current state of affairs in a country (that believes in peaceful transition of government through election), you have three impactful ways to change your existence:

1. lead/follow a revolution to change government --- hardly a practical choice.

2. move out of the country --- you wouldn't be the first one to do it...

3. vote --- you would be the few that do.
The Philosopher Princess
illini319 gives us a very thoughtful comment, fully worth considering. I address just 1 part at the moment.
illini319 wrote:
What you propose does not strengthen nor weaken government.
If that is true, then how do you account for politicians and other pro-big-government people continually marketing the notion: “Get out and vote -- no matter how you vote, you really need to vote -- it’s your patriotic duty!”?

What do you think they are scared of would happen if people didn’t vote?

Asked another way: If (as is consistent with your view) the act of voting, itself, does not give politicians the mandates they seek (even when voters don’t intend such mandates because they’re voting against someone else, rather than for someone), then why do the politicians prefer people to vote, no matter how they vote?
The Philosopher Princess
If voting really makes the country better, why is the country in such a shambles?

(For those younguns Smile who don’t think it’s in a shambles, but who want freedom, please do some research to compare the amount of freedom people used to have versus today. But don’t mix up freedom with technology and other time-saving improvements.)

Would it really be better if those who don't vote did? If someone here really believes this, I'd like to see some reasoning for why.

Who can deny that voting is by no means our only method towards improving the world? Well, if there are other ways, then why is voting given such a reverent status? Could it be that the leaders want people to believe that their voting has done some good, and thus will then feel less inclined towards looking into other methods?
illini319
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Asked another way: If (as is consistent with your view) the act of voting, itself, does not give politicians the mandates they seek (even when voters don’t intend such mandates because they’re voting against someone else, rather than for someone), then why do the politicians prefer people to vote, no matter how they vote?

I do not think that this is entirely true. In any given election, political parties target specific regions because, demographically speaking, those particular regions slant towards their interests. Hence, if every able person in that entire region were to vote, there is a high likelihood that that particular political party wins. This is due, in large part, to our electoral college system. In its most distilled sense, elections (in the US)are won and lost in swing states. Red states are red states, as has been deemed by numerous polls that precede elections. Blue states are blue states, by the same token. Those states which waffle (either historically) or by recent poll analysis are the 'war states.' Of greater interest are those swing states that are most populous as they carry with them a greater number of electoral votes.

So... political parties will target particular voting districts within one state that are congenial to their interests. They will then blitz this region with endless political propaganda and 'get everyone to vote, for the sake of patriotism.' And, as mentioned above, because these political machines know the demographic of this region, getting everyone to vote really just means,"We hope everyone votes because a majority of this region is progressive (or conservative)."
illini319
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
If voting really makes the country better, why is the country in such a shambles?


the tragedy of the commons.


voting does not make a country better (or weaker). Voting only serves to change (or keep) the current policies of a country. If, for example, a nation votes in a president that believes that blind loyalty, cronyism, and fear-mongering are perfectly acceptable, then the nation reaps what they sow. <---- the tragedy part.
Herbz3
illini319 wrote:

voting does not make a country better (or weaker). Voting only serves to change (or keep) the current policies of a country. If, for example, a nation votes in a president that believes that blind loyalty, cronyism, and fear-mongering are perfectly acceptable, then the nation reaps what they sow. <---- the tragedy part.


That is exactly why voting is important. In times of need and over time, the policies of a counrty must change in order to be socially, politically, economically, and technologically viable. Any country that does not adhere to this type of change is outcasted, and in terms of today, we call these types of countries "third world".
Bondings
What about the following situation. You need to choose between 3 candidates:

Person A: stupid and corrupt, you hate him
Person B: stupid and corrupt, you hate him (another one)
Person C: Hitler

Would you vote? I would. Wink
SunburnedCactus
Exactly. If you didn't vote then people might consider you partially responsable for "Hitler" getting into power.

Besides, I thought "stupid and corrupt" was a given in any politician these days. Smile
The Philosopher Princess
Here’s another quote from the original article.
Brad Edmonds of LewRockwell.com wrote:
Once you finally let go of your childhood emotional attachment (this is not an insult; we all do it) to one political party or another; and once you let go of the romance that our nation’s founders were not only heroic (they were), but right about everything (they weren’t), then what becomes counterintuitive is all the debate on network and cable news about the differences between one political party and another. They’re all wrong, and all immoral.
The “regular” news media also has it in their interest for citizens to believe voting is important. It adds to their stories, as if their stories are important. And sometimes (often?) those stories take attention away from what really is important.

I realize that: Not Voting is Politically Incorrect! That’s why it takes some extra thinking power to get past what we think we know. It takes work to separate out what really is the truth from what is currently popular.

I appreciate the comments so far, and will address some of them as I have time. In the mean time, I’d also like to hear from some people who don’t yet have gelled opinions on this, or who are willing to rethink through this issue. Anyone who is not quite sure, but is both humble, when appropriate, and sincere has nothing to fear (from me, anyway).
bigdan
Well...trying living in Australia...as soon as you turn 18, you are required to vote at all levels of government, federal, state and local. I had to vote twice in the local government elections because the state government decided several councils had to merge Mad.

It's a pain in the arse, but I'd rather that than having to live in a dictatorship. Mind you, the way Howard and co. are running things, those two things might not be so different after all Sad
The Philosopher Princess
Oh man, Big Dan, am I glad you showed up!
bigdan wrote:
in Australia...as soon as you turn 18, you are required to vote at all levels of government[...] Sad
Your experience helps make my point beautifully. Pro-government people in Australia got so scared of what would happen if people didn’t vote, that they banded together to use the power of government to force people to vote. That is mob rule.

Talk about lack of freedom of speech! A grown, sane, intelligent adult can’t even make his/her own choice to vote or not vote. This is the opposite of freedom.

You guys think that’s just Australia -- it can’t happen in the USA? Think again. Some people would love to force voting.

Why do they need to force voting? Because the act of voting, itself, gives them the legitimacy they need to continue force in other areas.
The Philosopher Princess
At http://www.sinceslicedbread.com/idea/949 is just one of many examples you can find if you care, where people want to force voting.
Courtney R. at SinceSlicedBread.com wrote:
We live in a representative democracy where many people choose not to exercise their power to vote. I think we should institute mandatory voting.
The slippery slope away from freedom is sliding right under our noses. Sad
Bondings
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Talk about lack of freedom of speech! A grown, sane, intelligent adult can’t even make his/her own choice to vote or not vote. This is the opposite of freedom.

I don't know about Australia, but in Belgium we are forced to show up for elections, but not to vote.
Herbz3
Let me clarify what I said:
I wasnt saying that the actual act of voting is important. I was saying that the ability to vote and represent your nation, whether it be through not voting or voting for some stupid republican (cough...Bush... cough) is the thing that is important. If any country takes any part of that right away from you, whether it be through dictatorship, monarchy, or communistic rule, it is immoral and unjust.
I agree that voting between two bads is just as bad as only having one bad to vote for, but if you arent given the choice to change the two bads or are not able to even choose if that bad is the bad that you want then your country is lowered to that of a dictatorship, etc.
Phil
I am a big advocate of voting. The only way to hold these politicians accountable for their actions is the voting ballot.
When enough politicians see that if they go against what the People want they will lose their job (i.e.- get fired by the voters).
I'm not for forced voting, just getting people to care enough to take action.

Oh, and Philosopher Princess, just what country are you referring to that is in shambles?
The Philosopher Princess
With the following, I cannot agree.
Phil wrote:
The only way to hold these politicians accountable for their actions is the voting ballot.
First of all, it’s not the only way to hold them accountable. Publicizing the shameful acts of politicians in the media can be extremely effective. Some even quit in disgrace. If each person who has faith in voting, instead used their influential ability to help publicize corrupt acts of a politicians, we could have many more quitting in disgrace.

Grassroots campaigns using the internet, which can gain snowball momentum if people want, could do so much more than a few votes against someone.

Secondly, voting against politicians does not hold them accountable. Some of them lose -- so what!? They go onto other political races and/or use their new clout to influence special interests where they will gain. Just because someone loses a race does not mean they have been held accountable. How could it?

Please, Phil, show us why voting "hold[s] these politicians accountable". Would you be willing to consider that it might not be true after all?
The Philosopher Princess
Thanks for your clarification, Herbz3. I think we needed that from you to understand your original statement.

I will add a clarification of my own: I do not advocate forced not voting.

So, you and I are in agreement at the top level, anyway.
The Philosopher Princess
Phil wrote:
Oh, and Philosopher Princess, just what country are you referring to that is in shambles?
Take your pick. Smile

Or maybe you can show me a country where I am left alone to live my life as I desire, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else. It’s certainly not the USA. I’m not aware of others either.

I don’t want to be given anything. I want to live without forcible interference in my life.

My standard is freedom. The more interference, the less freedom, and the more "it" is in a shambles.
bewald
While voting for the least of two evils (which I definately heard a lot about in at least the last two presidential elections) is validating a corrupt system, there is also a problem with not voting.

When you do not vote, in fact you are doing nothing about the system and you are giving up your right to influence the nation's leadership. A politician is not afraid of a nonvoter.

What tends to be forgotten, however is that it is not (at least in the presidency) a two person race-- if everyone would give up the idea that it is only a two party system, then more people would support independent candidates and the system would become more fair, and valid.

So, VOTE, but don't be afraid to pick an outside the normal box solution if you find yourself trying to decide between the two most popular but also most corrupt candidates.
The Philosopher Princess
Hi, bewald! Welcome!

I would like to see some logical evidence for your following 3 assertions. You don’t need to give full proof, just some support.
bewald wrote:
When you do not vote, in fact you are doing nothing about the system
bewald wrote:
you are giving up your right to influence the nation's leadership.
bewald wrote:
A politician is not afraid of a nonvoter.
Why do you believe that voting is the only way to do something? This is very important for me to try to understand.
mstreet
Being someone who does tend to get really involved in politics, I do tend to not understand why people do not want to vote. Are people not voting in protest to the choices that they have or is it because they do not know the issues, or do they simply do not care.
I find that there is more apothy among people to actually get involved and care about the policies within a political party. I have never thought of running or anything like that but because I believe in certain issues and I will always help that party in an election that I feel reflects or comes close to what I believe in. The candidate/party that I volunteer for may not always win but at least I am out there "fighting/promoting" what I think is right.
I have also met people who have never been able to vote all their lives. I'll never forget when I was even in my first year of university and hanging out with the international students (I'm originally from Canada) and they were scared that they would not be able to go back to their home because they had voted in a Student Union election. They were baffled by the idea just how many things can be voted on, from real governments, to student government bodies, to just everyday issues/plebiscites such as smoking in public places.
You also have to remember that voting is a type of freedom. The right to choose/discuss and of course although I may not always agree but have the majority rule.
Someone helped us keep this freedom and actually went to war for it believing that our freedom was in jeprody. That alone makes me get out there and vote.
I couldn't imagine not being able to vote/choose/discuss our different views.
SunburnedCactus
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Why [/b][/i]do you believe that voting is the only way to do something? This is very important for me to try to understand.


Voting is just a recognised way to register your personal opinion on an issue. By casting a vote, however, you are implying a willingness to participate in a common process.

Interestingly, Russia has a "None of the above" option which allows protest votes to be tallied. This solves the problem of not voting and allows you to actively show that you do not prefer any of the offered candidates.
dark_paladin
Whether we are going to vote or not doesn't matter, cuz anyone who gets elected will become corrupted when he/she gets the power. Power is the temptation of EVIL!
Phil
Quote:

First of all, it’s not the only way to hold them accountable. Publicizing the shameful acts of politicians in the media can be extremely effective. Some even quit in disgrace. If each person who has faith in voting, instead used their influential ability to help publicize corrupt acts of a politicians, we could have many more quitting in disgrace.


What shameful acts are you referring to? Do you mean to say just because someone is a politician, they are committing shameful acts? What if I feel they just don't represent me or my beliefs? How do I remove them from office then?
And as for shameful acts, publicizing hasn't done much good as far as Ted Kennedy, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson or even the recent efforts to remove Bush.

Quote:
Grassroots campaigns using the internet, which can gain snowball momentum if people want, could do so much more than a few votes against someone.


You actually believe this? A few blogs and websites can do more than millions of voters who are deciding who will be making the laws?
Granted, I agree the internet can be an incredible source to pass on information, but any intelligent involved voter will question the validity of any pulication- especially those that are contrary to one's beliefs and opinions. Again I refer to the recent efforts of liberal websites to remove Bush.
And besides, what about the people who still DON"T have computers or access to the internet?b I would think this number is still pretty substantial. And, I'm sure there is a large number that still don't use the internet for information.

Quote:

Secondly, voting against politicians does not hold them accountable. Some of them lose -- so what!? They go onto other political races and/or use their new clout to influence special interests where they will gain.


You mean these politicians are voted out of office by their constituent, then voted right back in? I'm sure this has happened before, (indeed, here in the States, in my own home state, it has happened before) But again, give me an example.

Quote:
-Just because someone loses a race does not mean they have been held accountable. How could it?

-Please, Phil, show us why voting "hold[s] these politicians accountable". Would you be willing to consider that it might not be true after all?



I can't believe you asked this.
The voters have spoken their mind and said politician is no longer in office making decesions that effect you and me.
Phil
Quote:

Phil wrote:
Oh, and Philosopher Princess, just what country are you referring to that is in shambles?
Take your pick. Smile

Or maybe you can show me a country where I am left alone to live my life as I desire, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else. It’s certainly not the USA. I’m not aware of others either.


Shambles? That's a strong statement.
I have several friends that work overseas. The stories they tell are just incredible. Dead bodies will stay on street corners for days because people are afraid to get involved because of the corruption of law officials. Large payoffs are required just to walk the streets, twice the compound has been overrun and locals employed there massacred.
This is a country in shambles. This is a country where there is no power to vote. The same corrupt people remain in power with no system to challenge them.
If I get you right, any country with any form of government is evil?
Is this what you're saying?
Grimboy
In the UK anyone can form a party, this is great unlike a two party system all you have to do if you don't agree with any of the MPs in your area is become an MP of a party you DO agree with or create your own party.

If you are in the US then you need to actively protest.
tony
I think voting is imperative for citizens in a democratic government. however, with voting comes the responsibility of learning about the different issues and candidates being voted for.
52tease
I hate to be redundent here but I can't say this enough:
VOTE
VOTE
VOTE
VOTE
VOTE

I don't care if your vote counts or not. Just the act of voting will encourage you to become a more active, involved and responsible member of society.
The Philosopher Princess
52tease wrote:
I hate to be redundent here but I can't say this enough:
VOTE
VOTE
VOTE
VOTE
VOTE

Just the act of voting will encourage you to become a more active, involved and responsible member of society.
It does the opposite. It encourages one to get the false impression that they have been an “active, involved and responsible member of society”. Voting often makes people feel like they’ve done something. In reality, getting something done takes much more and much different.

Amazingly, 52tease, you help me make my point with your acknowledgement of the following.
52tease wrote:
I don't care if your vote counts or not.
tribe
Here in America we were given the honor TO VOTE and we MUST use it to our advantage. So if you don't you pretty much saying who cares who becomes our President or Mayor or whatever it may. Don't come crying to us when your taxes are up or you don't like the Pres or Mayor's decisions; your voted counts and use it.

SO VOTE!!!

USA ALL THE WAY
The Philosopher Princess
Thanks, tribe, for leading me to sharing another observation, not directed at you, personally.

Logically, something cannot be both an honor and a right.

Logically, something cannot be both a privilege and a duty.

And yet these 4 descriptions are very often used to simultaneously describe the act of voting.

What are we left to understand of the people who say these things? One thing is that they are not being logical on the subject of voting.

What do we do when we discover such significant illogics? One thing is we must be seriously skeptical of anything else these people say on the same subject. This, of course, is only if we are to be logical, ourselves.
franzheidysek
it's nearly than in germany. here we have 2 big political parties; what they do is "fight" each other, what they should do is care about out social future. damn Confused
ocalhoun
to the philosopher princess:
you are one of those people who don't vote and then complain about the person everybody else voted for, aren't you?

If you live in America, and you are not a white male, then not voting is betraying those who dedicated their lives to give you that right.
Not voting makes their lives useless.
ChunkyBustout
Plato once said if you do not take part in politics, you will end up being ruled by your inferiors.
bewald
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

I would like to see some logical evidence for your following 3 assertions. You don’t need to give full proof, just some support....Why [/color]do you believe that voting is the only way to do something? This is very important for me to try to understand.


Hi back Wink

First, I think I was a little ambiguous with my wording. I do not believe that voting is the only way to get something done, but when it comes to influencing politics of our current system without actually becoming a politician or activist, I believe you must vote.

Well, one of the first thing we learned in my American Polical Systems class (which, I'm not saying is always right, but I do believe this) is that, based on our current system and some wonderfully colorcoded research in the textbook that the number one concern of politicians--including president, congress, elected officials (who are eligible for re-election) are concerned about is re-election.

Their best interest is to stay in office as long as possible, and "earning" or "influencing" the most votes is what keeps them there. When I say a politician is not afraid of a non-voter is that keeping in mind re-election is in his or her best interest, the interest groups that are considered in campaigns and when deciding policy are the interest groups who vote.

However, I do agree with you nonvoting as a form of expression, and I do agree that it makes a statement. The problem, in my opinion, is that this method of expression in the current system does not actually make an impact on the corrupt political system, because those who are corrupt or just inequipped to be in office just care that you vote for them over their competition. Completely seperate, some politicians do try to harvest the nonvoters (i.e. the Rock The Vote campaigns, campaigning in a way that appeals to minority groups, etc) but this is still the choice between "two evils".

I'm not sure if I was very clear or cohesive, I am writing on the fly, and sorry its so long!
Thanks for the wonderful discussion and brain food!
bewald
SunburnedCactus wrote:
Interestingly, Russia has a "None of the above" option which allows protest votes to be tallied. This solves the problem of not voting and allows you to actively show that you do not prefer any of the offered candidates.


I think that quote messed up a little bit, I don't think it was the Philosopher Princess who wrote that actual quote, but WHEN CAN WE GET NONE OF THE ABOVE ON THE BALLOT IN THE US? I love the idea.

And finally, last post I promise Wink I do think it is reasonable to exhibit freedom of speech through nonvoting, I just think that there are other ways to give the same message which have a greater impact, such as the numerous anti-war parades and protests around the White House, visible political activism, letters, etc..
The Philosopher Princess
Howdy, bewald! I’m looking forward to having some more time for Frihost Fun Frolics, including responding to your thoughtful new text. But in the mean time, you’re right that the quote got messed up -- so let’s get that fixed up, shall we? Smile [Added to post, later: this was carried out promptly. Thanks!]

You’re new and may not yet realize that you can edit your previous post. As interesting as the "Russia" quote is, we need to get that attributed properly to SunburnedCactus, not myself. When you edit, you should see some "code" inside the text that says [quote=" then The Philosopher Princess then "]. You can, by hand, change "The Philosopher Princess" to "SunburnedCactus". Do a Preview to test before you Submit. (Maybe there are some Frihosters more experience than I, who know a better way.)
mOrpheuS
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
so let’s get that fixed up, shall we? Smile
Taken care of Wink

Now ontopic.

I would like to remember what happened during my Chemistry exam when I was in 10th standard in school.
Apparently, one of the questions involved having to choose between few options - none of which were correct.
There were nationwide protests (10th standard is nationwide exam here) and later full marks for that particular question were awarded to each student.
If only an option "none of the above" was present, the question would have been valid and one would be able to judge a student's performance based upon the marks that he received.

Elections are meant for a person to chose what he/she likes, not what they'd rather settle for.

I like the idea of voting "none of the above" more than not voting or voting for the lesser evil.
There's also this idea that any elected candidate must have more than atleast 50% of the total electorate suporting him/her, and not just more than 50% of those who voted ?
I just don't really know what happens if "none of the above" happens to make it ? Confused
souptonuts
Hello all. This is my first post here so please be kind. IMHO, voting is only a part of the process that lazy americans need to do to make a difference. Does everyone here know how the election process works? You have to remember that your votes are tallied only for your area, so if you can get enough people in your area to agree with your opinion, you can make a difference in the electoral vote. If you feel that the "rich" have all the benefits, you are correct. Money talks and we can see it in many ways. But the age of technology can be used to force a revolution to make things better. The country should band together to boycott companies that contribute (pay) policitians to bend/make laws to meet their greedy needs. How many millions do all these CEO's need? But it takes hard work to organize people that are working hard day after day just trying to make ends meet. We don't have the time to attend $1,000/head balls and dinners to spread our opinions. So not voting is not the answer. It only adds to the helplessness.
JLC
This is also my first post. i say the following: If people think that voting is helping themselves and their country then they should vote. If a voter wants to vote for someone they like, then they should vote. If you don't want to vote and are too lazy to vote then don't vote. If you want other people to decided what your life should be then don't vote.

If you vote, there is no harm to you. If you don't then you are stuck with other people's decisions made to ruin your life.

I would vote.
gonzo
I regularly encourage liberalists not to vote. The less of them voting the better chance the US has to recover from the ravages of selfishness.


souptonuts wrote:
How many millions do all these CEO's need?

not two words later souptonuts wrote:
But it takes hard work to organize people that are working



Please explain the disparity between your two posistions.


.
.
.
.


hmmmm
teseotur
everyone should always vote... anybody's opinion is very important and we gotta express ourselves everyday... because maybe one day we will not be able to do that anymore ! d.
Herbz3
Quote:
Bewald wrote: A politician is not afraid of a non-voter.


This is exactly what made my point before. By voting, you show that you care about what happens in your country. By not voting, you show that you either don't like the politics of your country or you dont want to represent your country. In either case you are sending a clear and distinct message about what you think about voting.
It is not the act of voting that counts, but merely what it represents as an action or idea.
rwojick
I find the American Legal System to be most facinating.

It was born in response to Kings and Tyranny. We (The US) are the first formal country to not have a king. In the same breath I consider the American Lawyer to be the most disgusting creatures on earth as they have distorted the legal process almost beyond recognition.

The vote is your connection to selecting your lawmakers. They then make the laws that you live by.

Its interesting to me that you can vote for whoever you want-secret ballot-so your vote can be guided by pure prejudice, so voting, in a sense is outside of the bounds of law. Then, once the lawmakers make a law then you have the complete absense of prejudice when it comes to complying with that law.

The democratic system was born of pure genius and what the American Lawyer has done to that system is a disgrace to people who want Freedom all over the world. Smile
bicefalus
Ey!
There is little choice there

That´s what wikipedia says about voting:
Voting is a method of decision making wherein a group such as a meeting or an electorate attempts to gauge its opinion—usually as a final step following discussions or debates. Alternatives to voting include consensus decision making (which works to avoid polarization and the marginalization of dissent) and betting (as in an anticipatory democracy).

Voting is the base of democracy as we understand it today...
BCF
christoph
Of course I think voting is quite important. What would happen if no one would vote anymore??? Who would be elected or what desicions would the country make. I encourage everyone to vote!!!
Garg
I know it's been mentioned, but in Belgium, you are required to show up to a voting bureau on election days, so basically, if you don't want to pronounce yourself, you can always not vote and give a blank paper.

I do have to say that i'm really anoyed to see that poeple prefer to stay home and watch tv rather that take part in the futur of your country or government. In the 2000 elections in France, Jean-Marie Le Pen (a extreme right party leader) was elected to the second round of the elections mainly because normal electors (ie center, left and right) didn't bother to go vote. These kind of problems will continue to show up.

I think there are two problems:

1) Young poeple don't give a damm about elections (they think that there all the same). As long as they have access to discos, entertainment and so on, and i guess they think that policies don't reguard them until it pisses them off.

2) Agendas of political parties are looking very much alike these days, mostly to try and steal votes from other parties. This makes it more and more clear that politicians will do the same work even if they are from different parties... So why vote ?

My 2 cents
KimRubin
The cost of a democracy is voting. Voting should be viewed as an OBLIGATION TO SUPPORT FREEDOM. (Sorry about the all caps.)

Not voting because you don't care strongly about the issues is letting the extremists select your government for you.
mouta
Voting legitimizes citizenship in a country with an elected government
bigdan
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Your experience helps make my point beautifully. Pro-government people in Australia got so scared of what would happen if people didn’t vote, that they banded together to use the power of government to force people to vote. That is mob rule.

Talk about lack of freedom of speech! A grown, sane, intelligent adult can’t even make his/her own choice to vote or not vote. This is the opposite of freedom.

You guys think that’s just Australia -- it can’t happen in the USA? Think again. Some people would love to force voting.

Why do they need to force voting? Because the act of voting, itself, gives them the legitimacy they need to continue force in other areas.


Oh...it does?Shocked

Funnily enough, the current Howard government is toying with the idea of changing the electoral system, including voluntary voting, amongst other things. Basically, he's using the dictatorship he's got in both upper and lower houses to change things his way. F***in' garden gnome. Mad

Of course, to change something in the Australian constituion, you require a referendum. And not many referendums here actually succeed. Last time we had a referendum (should Australia become a republic?, that was the question), it failed. I've got an inkling it will fail on its arse.Very Happy

I'd make local council elections voulnatary, let's face it, they're pointless most of the time.

Bondings wrote:

I don't know about Australia, but in Belgium we are forced to show up for elections, but not to vote.


Well, some areas in Australia send you a birthday card and a voter registeration card when you turn 17! Shocked

Most people who don't have an opinion usually do a donkey vote, and close their eyes and mark which ever one is closest to the pencil. Razz This is definetly the way in local council elections, not so much in state and federal elections.
wingo
I believe that voting is not essentially a bad thing; however, I have never seen a candidate I really see eye to eye with. Perhaps there should be a wider range of choices, or maybe candidates should not be known to the voter, both should be elected by congress, and the voter will vote issue per issue.
Bobot Caracas
it is a way to choose our leaders

in our country voting is making citizen responsible to his country

voting helps the country to have good leaders

voting gives your country a chance to grow

Free country needs a good leader and through voting we can select our leaders to lead us

In Philippines money politics is employed by our political leaders and a massive vote buy is employed by them. And through responsible voting we can check this traditional way

voting is a mode in selecting a leader in our country. If he has the money he can buy votes and win in
SunburnedCactus
Could have easily put all of the above in a single post... Evil or Very Mad
hereonearth
Stating claims for not voting isn't easy. It requires to go deep inside and ask yourself questions about the reality of life, in regards to politics, geography and law.
Who exactly are we voting for? Do we know who we're voting for? Do we beleive we actually know these people who pose themselves as messiahs? I don't.
Most parties look and sound alike. Many politicians defy are the very basic rules of conduct we take for granted in our lives. So, really, why should we trust those bastards?
If you don't find someone worth voting for, don't vote for anyone.
If you find someone whose more worth voting for than someone else, vote for them, but don't expect things to get better.
kingofcrunk7272
I think that we all ahould have the freedom of voting, voting is the right and freedom that we all have as americans and should never be taken away from us Smile
tidruG
SunburnedCactus wrote:
Could have easily put all of the above in a single post... Evil or Very Mad

Merged his posts into one post.

@Bobot Caracas, please do not make double posts. try to cover as many points as you one in 1 post itself.
druidbloke
Ive never voted in my life and I'm 32, the choice to not vote to me is part of
democracy, something that is being eroded over time by both the major
parties it seems. Though to be honest i find it difficult to get enthisastic about politics in general unless it directly affects me, and yes I know politics comes into every day life as the annoying vote labour advert at the last election pointed out, but politicians, the people doing this for a living are generally dull people who think they have loads of charisma, and are bigger than the subject they are talking about, that is just tedious and puts a lot of people off including me. But that isnt the reason I do not vote, if I was to vote I'd vote labour, labour that is not tony blair, it's trendy to blair bash at the moment but thats for pretty good reasons.
fecundity
All i say is, the way i see it, you cant bitch about the govornment unless you did all in your power to stop them from getting power...which means voting for the opposition

even if you dont want to vote, i think voting for the lesser of two evils is far better than not voting at all...theres not enough people not voting to make a difference, and if noone voted....what would actually happen?
SunburnedCactus
fecundity wrote:
All i say is, the way i see it, you cant bitch about the govornment unless you did all in your power to stop them from getting power...which means voting for the opposition


This is exactly the opposite of the point that is being made in this thread, that by not voting you are stopping them getting into power (see: THE WHOLE THREAD).
fecundity
yes, but my point is that unless NOONE votes, someone will get into power...and theres always gonna be people who vote, so isnt it worth using your vote to vote 'against' someone?

im open to persuasion on this still but surely if not voting wont stop them getting into power or change the system, voting tactically to make it hard for someone you really dont like to pass laws easily is the best way to do it...
The Philosopher Princess
POPULAR MYTHS (gathered for the most part from this Frihost thread) (listed in no particular order) (I’m ready to add more, so keep ‘em comin’! Smile )

** Non-voters are apathetic.

** A person has no right to not vote and then complain about the person put into office.

** An act of voting helps the country (pick any).

** If more people voted, the country would be better off.

** Voting does more good than harm.

** The only way to hold politicians accountable for their actions is the voting ballot.

** When you do not vote, it means you are doing nothing about the system.

** When you do not vote, you are giving up your right to influence the nation's leadership.

** Politicians are not afraid of non-voters.

** Voting (even when only bad choices are being offered) implies freedom.

** When people vote, they are speaking their mind (in a non-negligible way).

** A person who votes has power.

** Voting is imperative for citizens in a democratic government (implying there are no other ways for citizens to have democratic influence).

** Even if your vote doesn’t count, voting will encourage you to be a more active, involved, and responsible member of society.

** Voting is both an honor and a right.

** Voting is both a privilege and a duty.

** Being able to vote (even in a corrupt system with few decent voting choices) is proof that your country is free.

** Not voting implies laziness.

** Non-voters are more stuck with other people's decisions than are the voters.

** People not voting when they have the chance are watching tv instead.

** Not voting implies you don’t care about the issues.

** It does more good to vote -- even when you don’t understand what you’re voting for -- than to not vote.

** Voting is a way to choose our leaders (rather than them choosing us).

** Voting helps the country to have good leaders.

** Taking a stance that voting does more harm than good (in today’s world) implies that one is advocating that voting should be taken away from us.

** When someone votes for a politician who then performs acts of anti-freedom against citizens, that voter should not feel responsible or accountable for said anti-freedom acts.

** People should have the responsibility to vote no matter what, but they should not feel any responsibility whatsoever when elected officials do harm to others.
~~~~~~~~~~
Additional Popular Myths #1:

** Not voting implies that you have no opinion about who should govern you.

** Since it only takes 10 minutes to vote, people who don’t vote probably also don’t brush their teeth.

** People who don’t vote are never purposely refusing to vote, and never because they have reasoned that it would do more harm than good to vote. (The only reasons they don’t vote are because they’re lazy, dumb, or don’t have teeth.)

** People have a civic responsibility to vote; therefore, people who don’t vote are irresponsible.

** Voting is the primary power the governed have in controlling those who govern them.

** When you are “in” a system where you do not like any of the voting choices, the only way to get “out” of that system is still by voting.

** Since we know that the responsible voter is well informed, we also know that the non-voter is irresponsible.

** Voting is never violent. Even when every choice offered in a particular election involves aggression against human beings (choice #1: we confiscate people’s earnings for a liberal program; choice #2: we confiscate people’s earnings for a conservative program), there is still no violence, ever, in voting.
~~~~~~~~~~
It’s fun believing things that are popular isn’t it? It takes more thinking and more overall work to come to believe things that aren’t so popular doesn’t it? Who needs that extra work!? Who doesn’t want to be in the group that’s popular?
Resident Egoist
Philosopher Princess, are you an anarchist?
quirkylife
hey damn id rether not vote then worst for the "best" outta the two.... no way to get things the way you want them is it?
Herbz3
Very nice points put up there.... Id have to say that i agree with most of them. Especially ones regarding the "you have to vote even if you dont know what your voting for".
I would say that if you dont know what you are voting for, then DONT VOTE. Your vote is only messing up someone elses vote who really cares about the issues in our world.
twister60
just checking
The Philosopher Princess
Resident Egoist wrote:
Philosopher Princess, are you an anarchist?
It depends on how you define that term. Very often people use anarchy to stand for chaos, which I’m not particularly for, but then again it depends on how it’s defined. There are people who call themselves anarchists these days who have no respect for personal property and that is definitely not me. I don’t want to be associated with them or any group that promotes initiation of force against people.

If your use of anarchy means anti-government, then again it depends because I am not against people voluntarily creating rules and governing themselves accordingly. At the point that the rules don’t fit one’s style, they need to be able to secede to join with other people where the rules fit. I am against people ganging up together to force rules onto other people against their will. And therefore I am against any government having a monopoly. That makes sense because I am against monopolies period. That is because monopolies are initiation of force. I am for Freedom, not Force.

To tie this discussion in with the current thread: I am not against all voting per se. I am against people using the ballot box to gang up together with others to force their personal preferences onto other people when it's none of their business.

It is no one else’s business whether a driver wears a seatbelt or not. It is no one else’s business whether someone burns a flag that they own. It is no one else’s business when a company won’t hire someone based on their race, religion, age, etc. It is no one else’s business when two people want to voluntarily trade products/services/money. But voters -- and the legislators and judges they vote for -- gang up together -- turn into a mob -- to force all kinds of business licenses -- many of which are very ridiculous -- against the will of the providers and the consumers. What they are doing is creating monopolies with these votes. They are no better than any mobster. And the voters are just as much monopolists as the politicians in these cases.

These days the publicized issues are simply between the Conservative methods of initiation of force and the Liberal methods of initiation of force. Both groups have their druthers on what kinds of things to force onto people. Both groups are trying to run other people’s lives.

I would like to let people know that they have an option of opting out of the initiation of force schemes, scams, and shams. If they take part, they should be asshamed.

If you call my philosophy anarchism, I have no problem, as long as my true philosophy is also coming across.

If voting ever becomes a system whereby people aren’t voting on how to run other people’s lives, then I will support voting. Until then, I won’t be a part of such initiation of force. I encourage others to be brave enough to break away from mob-rule. (I hope I wasn’t unclear Smile. I appreciate the question.)
The Philosopher Princess
Herbz3 wrote:
Very nice points put up there.... Id have to say that i agree with most of them.
Thanks. Since you agree that most of those are myths, I’d be most interested in the one (or more) that you most think is actually not a myth or of which you are most unsure. Your giving me this detail will be more valuable (for certain of my purposes) than someone who disagrees with most (but their details will be valuable for other purposes).

Herbz3 wrote:
Especially ones regarding the "you have to vote even if you dont know what your voting for". I would say that if you dont know what you are voting for, then DONT VOTE. Your vote is only messing up someone elses vote who really cares about the issues in our world.
I like your comment. My next wonderment is about the people who are in the bubble (as I like to say) -- the ones who don’t know that they don’t know what they’re voting for.

How often do negative ramifications of various votes come out after that fact? Oh, I thought I was helping my Little Timmy get a better education when I voted for that School Bond. I didn’t realize that Little Timmy and other cute little human critters who can’t yet vote are going to be the ones paying for that School Bond, with high interest, for decades to come!
noexes89
All I have to say is the story out of Dover KA, where the town voted out the city councel when they implemented the whole Intelehent Design thing, is proof that, in small towns, voting counts. Now when it's a big nation election, well.
[url=
http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=4175]Too many voting irregularities to be coincidence[/url][/url]
Resident Egoist
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I hope I wasn’t unclear Smile I appreciate the question.


To the contrary -- you were very clear. Thank you for such a thorough response.

Another question, if I may:

Quote:
There are people who call themselves anarchists these days who have no respect for personal property ...


At this point, I believe it to be wise that we agree on an objective definition of "anarchism". Here's one that I think you might wery well agree with:

Via Encarta.com:

Quote:
an-ar-chism:

doctrine rejecting government: an ideology that rejects the need for a system of government in society and proposes its abolition.


As to "government", we shall define that as a social institution possessing an exclusive legal monopoly on the use of retaliatory physical force within a given geographical area.

Now, to my question: suppose that such a thing as an anarhist society(?) is possible, and suppose that you lived in one, how, without the existence of a government, would you defend and protect your rights against other anarchists who wish to violate them?
tessaponcelet
i think evyone should deffinitelly vote, although voting should certainly be made a little more complrehensive to the general public. as of now, campains are mostly made to preffit and not to inform as thay should be. they are aimed to a elitist of very specific portion of the population, and never to the general public, especially minorities or lower class citizens who as not only poorly informed but manipulated because of their lack of information. speaking of citizenship, that alone is a scam, permanent residents should certainly be able to vote, at the least locally, they are as much concerned if not more by the laws and rulers and should be considered as important and active in this role as citizens. The law of voting only for citizens i am not afraid to say is fashist!
illini319
Resident Egoist wrote:

Now, to my question: suppose that such a thing as an anarhist society(?) is possible, and suppose that you lived in one, how, without the existence of a government, would you defend and protect your rights against other anarchists who wish to violate them?


A breath of fresh air. thank you for your insight. Actions have consequences. Inaction has none. For better and for worse, being proactive is the most efficient way of changing things. NOT voting leaves everything to chance and ultimately chaos. NOT voting leaves the door open for governments whose existence does not require voting. Is that what we want?
phunkee
i dont feel theirs any point in voting these days... on the whole the individual has no power to change anthing...just become an addition to a mob. Or even when your vote does go to a winning candidate... whos to say that their promises are to be kept, and very rarely they are.
phunkee
Who here would say that they honestly vote at each and every general and national election?
SunburnedCactus
illini319 wrote:
NOT voting leaves the door open for governments whose existence does not require voting. Is that what we want?
Well, we wouldn't have this problem then, would we? Very Happy
Herbz3
illini319 wrote:
NOT voting leaves the door open for governments whose existence does not require voting. Is that what we want?


Not voting does not lead to a government whose existance does not require voting. It is what you do with you vote that decides what type of government you live in.

If you vote you are saying that you completely agree with the party that you vote for.

In reality, no one completely agrees with the part they vote for, which is why many people vote for parties for the wrong reason.

This is why I made my stand in my last post. Dont vote if you dont know what you are voting for. Also, dont vote if you are "voting against another party". This ultimately leads to government which does not represent its people, which is not what voting and government is about. Government is supposed to be a reflection of the ideals and priciples of the people who are underneath it, NOT the opposite of what we don't want our government to be.
Resident Egoist
illini319 wrote:
Actions have consequences. Inaction has none.


Seriously?! So, as an example, if you stand in the middle of the highway in front of an incoming truck and refuse to move/act, does that not have consequences?

What if you decide to stay in bed every morning and refuse to go to work -- does that no have consequences? ... Hmm ... probably not nowadays. The Omni-Maximus Nanny State can just bail one out.

Anyway. I think this whole question of whether voting as such is good/responsible or not, is an entirely and severely marginal one. There are more important questions to be asked -- one of them being: If any, what area(s) of an individual's life should be subject to popular vote? Well ... more important to me, at least.
akari
I believe if the only two choices in which you can vote for are both terrible, don't bother voting at all. Unless you believe voting for the better of the two bads is a good idea. (I'm not sure if that makes any sense...)

About USA, why is it that a lot of Americans I've talked to have told me they do not like the current president even though the majority of the USA have voted for him?
illini319
Herbz3 wrote:
Not voting does not lead to a government whose existance does not require voting.


I did not say that it would lead to it... I said that it leaves the door open for this to occur. On a national level, if people lose faith in their government then the government is at its weakest. If people do not vote because they feel that the current government is not doing its job and that there are are no viable alternative candidates, then... the people are not doing their job. It's always shocking when, in a democratic society, people split 'them' from 'us'. It immediately saves yourself from blame, and conveniently gives you another group to shift the blame to. It is WE, people. If there are no alternatives to a better administration it is because 1)there are no other leaders among us or 2)we didn't pay attention and give support to the candidates who tried to distinguish themselves from the status quo. Everyone continues to complain about how our two party system has become so partisan that nothing useful ever gets done. And I agree (as does most people who have posted here). Did you all vote for Nader? If not Nader, did you vote for someone other than an elephant or donkey? (I don't care much for Nader... I just mean to set him as an example of someone who is not as cookie cutter as the repubs or the dems). If WE didn't vote (at a significant percentage) for someone OUTSIDE of our two party system... GUESS WHAT that's our fault! The solution to this conundrum is NOT to abstain from voting (what would that do but make you irrelevant). The solution is to support a party or person that you feel will best represent your interests (and if that means someone outside the status quo... then so be it).

AND I agree with you Herbz3, in principle. It becomes dangerous when people do not know what they are voting for. But again, the solution is not to abstain from voting, but to EDUCATE YOURSELF about the people and the policies. Then make a decision.

If one party says,"We think that slavery should be reinstated," WHY shouldn't people vote 'against' this party??? The alternative, surely, would be less horrific. A religious person against abortion must have the same reaction to candidates who are pro-choice.
illini319
Resident Egoist wrote:
illini319 wrote:
Actions have consequences. Inaction has none.


Seriously?!
Yes, seriously. Nice try in attacking my logic...try again.

Resident Egoist wrote:
So, as an example, if you stand in the middle of the highway in front of an incoming truck and refuse to move/act, does that not have consequences?



You moved/acted to the middle of the highway in the first place. hence your suicidal consequence Razz


Resident Egoist wrote:
What if you decide to stay in bed every morning and refuse to go to work -- does that no have consequences? ... Hmm ... probably not nowadays. The Omni-Maximus Nanny State can just bail one out.


Your 'action' is staying home. THAT clearly has consequences.


In terms of voting: NOT voting makes your voice unheard. NOT voting implies that you have no opinion about who should govern you (since there will always be those that vote-- regardless of their competence). You are now irrelevant. The fact that the current or new government exists, post voting, is NOT a consequence of yours. It is the consequence of those that voted.

As far as your last comment... yes, I agree with you this whole question of voting is marginal at best. Talk is absolutely cheap.
Rodier
i think that voting for what you want isnt alway the way it has to be. Even though you don't the party who is running for office, or even if you think he is smart or war crazy, he is still better then whatever else is out their.

i never really liked politicians i think they are all liars and good at evading the truth. They can shrug off any mishap like it is yesterdays new, totally oblivious to the severity of th esituation. i feel that they or self centered and egotistic and that they feel whatever they want is what is best for their nation. Wrong of course they usually are (polititions that is) but none the less left unchangeble and childish with their ways of running their country. Sad

Wayne Grezty quoted "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take" but i feel that for polititians that they miss 100% of the shots they do take. Smile
Rodier
Resident Egoist wrote:
Philosopher Princess, are you an anarchist?

In the long run it is opinion that makes government powerful

that is indeed true but if the government cares not for the opinions of the people of it country or in it self then they are doomed. Many opposition leaders listen to the opinions of the people to try and win their votes to gain office but soon after takign the throne ignore what they strongly pursaded us to believe they were going to do. So in turn it really isn;t the opinions that make a strong government but a strong minded government willing to respect the legit opinions of others that make it strong of powerfull.
Dante
This is a very abstract discussion of voting in a world news discussion thread. Not that that is a problem per se, but I think it bears on the issue quite strongly (which is a very interesting issue by the way.)

Democracy is not someting easily defined outside of specific instances of democratic (or undemocratic) practice. It is a rather empty term that we bandy around to describe or legitimate a whole raft of social arrangements. If you say it is bad to vote, I reply, when, for whom, under what circumstances?

A case in point is the recent Sri Lankan Presidential Elections. The Tamil Minority in Sri Lanka refused to vote in the election leading to the election of a President far less sypathetic to their cause.

see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4447794.stm

Now you could argue (and I expect the Tamils both did and are arguing) that this avoids lending legitimacy to the election. I expect that this a seperatist argument form the Tamil side.

You could also argue that a unitary state is the most likely outcome, and that the Tamils have shot themselves in the foot by not voting. I would probably lean towards this second argument in this case, because I think that neither Sri Lanka, nor the local superpower, India, has any interest in seeing Tamil Seperatism succeed: India had its own problems with it's Southern States, Tamil Nadu, and calls for Tamil Seperatism there. But under different circumstances it might well make sense for the Tamils to go for autonomy, and thus to boycott an election.

The overall point being that the question this thread is addressing cannot really be answered ih the abstract universal. To attempt to do so is a philisophiocal dead end: An exercise in thought about thought with no object. Are we talking about voting in America only, in the UK, in Europe, in Asia, in general, when, why, under what circumstances, and with what sorts of outcomes in mind?

Daniel
HangoverMS
George Carlin has always summed it up best for me...

Quote:
I don’t vote. Two reasons. First all it’s meaningless; this country was bought and sold a long time ago. Secondly, I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around – they say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain’, but where’s the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.


BTW, I live in the US, if that wasn't clear.
The Philosopher Princess
Thanks for another great popular myth to add to my list:
illini319 wrote:
NOT voting implies that you have no opinion about who should govern you
A corollary is that voting implies that you choose somebody to govern you, and that you accept responsibility for what they do whilst governing. Your opinion, expressed by your vote, has been cast, and when your chosen “governor” forces policies, rules, and regulations down people’s throats, your opinion has been converted into political force. Voting makes you responsible for the results.

Responsibly not voting implies that I choose to govern myself.

If you choose to be governed by others, then you are the one who has no right to complain about how they govern you. There’s a twist for you! Smile
The Philosopher Princess
HangoverMS, I love that quote of Carlin! I wish I’d read it before submitting my previous post. (Some of my points and word usage seem like copying though I’d not read it yet.)

So, now I’m caught up with reading this thread -- many interesting points of view Smile! So much fun stuff to talk about Smile!

I will answer the latest to me from the welcomed addition to this thread, Resident Egoist. My initial reaction is that I would feel more comfortable if we would merge the definitions into one, well-stated definition of anarchism. (It really doesn’t matter, for our current purposes, where they came from originally.)

Another initial reaction (“seconditial” reaction Smile) is that I can’t quite answer you until the term rights (which you use) has been defined. (I have my own definitions of course, and can resort to those, but you are asking the question and so I care about your usage.)

So, if you have the time and inclination to add some refinement to these things, so much the better. Otherwise, when I get back to writing here, I will take a stab at the whole shebang.
3shades
I think that the voting system in america has gone round the bend.

They say they are the worlds greatest democracy but in fact have one of the most flawed and biased voting systems ever, which can be over ridden by a few people in the supreme court.

The media and the church rule the voting system.
btocakci
Freedom of voting shows how much a country free is. If you cant vote on the people manage you, the constitution, it means that you are not free, you are not a citizenship, you are not such a person that being listened. Bad? or Good?
un4saken
You have to remember that your votes are tallied only for your area, so if you can get enough people in your area to agree with your opinion, you can make a difference in the electoral vote. If you feel that the "rich" have all the benefits, you are correct. Money talks and we can see it in many ways. But the age of technology can be used to force a revolution to make things better. The country should band together to boycott companies that contribute (pay) policitians to bend/make laws to meet their greedy needs. How many millions do all these CEO's need? But it takes hard work to organize people that are working hard day after day just trying to make ends meet
zaidam
Dear all

I live in a country where voting was condemned for more than 35 years. I never believed in voting as for every vote that we should make, we were forced to take a direction. We had a war about 2.5 years ago to rid us from our goverment. Afterwards, I had many oppertunities to vote which I was reluctant at first then I made my first step to vote for the constitution. Believe me, I think I made a change in the decision which I voted for. After voting I felt that I am really expressing myself for the matter that I really believe in and I was happy.
Dante
Wonderful, we get a post form someone in Iraq about their voting for the constitution. So do we ignore them and carry on an abstract discussion over their heads, or do we ask them what the US invasion has meant for him in practice, to tell us more about how he feels about his new democratic rights, if he feels it will make a difference, what he believes substantive freedoms in his country would look like.

Untill we start asking such questions the notion of democracy is empty and meaningless. Freedom is about what people actually feel they can do. If you are formally free but in practice have to work 60 hour weeks, what has that got to do with democracy? If you are formally free but in danger of getting blown up or shot every day, is this a real improvement in your life? Perhaps it is, but if you don't ask these questions that relate to people's lived lives, than any discussion of democracy is largely meaningless.

Daniel
zaidam
Dear Dante and all

Thank you for noting the situation in Iraq. We are begining to think that nobody is noting what is happening here. I will mention some facts keeping the matter strict to the voting principle.
First of all, I was never related and never will be related to any political group in Iraq, so my opinion represent myself only.
Second, before the war, there were incidents for voting to re-elect the president. Everybody eligible had to vote or his name (unticked for not voting) will be questioned. AND the vote had to be YES. I never knew the meaning of voting or what it means. Always the results of voting were 99.9% with YES.
Third, after the war, our first voting experience was to elect the first parliament. In some areas in Iraq (my house was in one) we were told that for everybody who is seen near the voting area will be assassinated or his house will be blown within three days. Everybody who votes will be marked with some sort of ink to his right index finger so as not to vote twice and some voted citizens were stopped by some (??) and their index fingers were cut if it was inked (they VOTED). So still, I never knew what voting is all about.
Fourth, then came the instance of voting for the constitution, nobody threatened us but we were adviced by some people to vote for NO to the constitution.
I thought that it was time to say NO. So I went and voted according to my own opinion. It does not matter whether it was yes or no. The only thing that mattered was to state MY opinion. To express myself.

So after all, voting may, for people who knew democracy be useless, but for us, it meant a lot.

Regards to all
Resident Egoist
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I can’t quite answer you until the term rights (which you use) has been defined.


But of course you can! In fact, the lack of a definition of the concepts of "rights" is excellent for this discussion, as it serves to illustrutate exactly the point I wish to make. At worst, it is irrelevant to it.

Anyway, I will rephrase my former question: suppose that such a thing as an anarchist society can exist, and suppose that you lived in one, how, without the existence of a government, would you protect your rights -- whatever you think they are -- against other anarchists who wish to violate them?
JoshBenezra
Even if you barely care, it only takes 10 minutes. I wonder if people who don't vote also don't brush their teeth as often.
silvermesh
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

Amazingly, 52tease, you help me make my point with your acknowledgement of the following.
52tease wrote:
I don't care if your vote counts or not.


as far as I can tell you don't even have a point.

You're trying to stir up contraversy about how worthless a system with voting is because you think it makes people more docile, but at the same time you express EXTREME anti-government ideals. the only thing worse than bad government is no government. there is no system in which you can be left alone to do as you please, because in that system everyone can do as they please. there are no rules. in that system you have already been murdered or enslaved by someone who had no reason not to. Either way you can no longer do as you please. freedom requires some degree of common sense. without someone to enforce the rules that you want to live under, there WILL be someone to force you to live under ones that you don't. Maybe the group YOU live under doesn't allow slavery, but they also don't allow enforcing of rules. The other group three miles down has no problem with enslaving your group to do it's manual labor.

the article you quote doesn't even stay on topic. it's trying to prove that voting is evil because it is done as an act of aggression, but then it goes on to make points about people sticking to their parties. Party loyalty is pretty much the opposite of aggression, it's apathy, passive loyalty. The whole thing looks like the kind of stuff I wrote in Highschool. It never really gets the point accross, but it gives the feeling that it has by the time you've finished.
illini319
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Thanks for another great popular myth to add to my list:
illini319 wrote:
NOT voting implies that you have no opinion about who should govern you


1. You cannot discount something by calling it a myth without giving a reason/evidence why you define it as myth. That would be Orwellian. This weakens your argument.

2. Your idea of the implication of voting is incomplete because you fundamentally fail to understand the very basis of civic responsibility and democracy.

In a system of checks and balances, voting is the primary power the governed has in controlling those who govern them. Hence, you are correct in stating that those who vote are responsible for the people that they place in office. To complete your statement: Those in office are responsible for their actions because they are directly accountable to those who elected them. Democracy's wisdom is not in preventing bad government. It's wisdom is in being able to replace bad government, peacefully.

On a final note: Whether you choose to vote or not, the beauty of our form of government is that it is OUR inalienable right to complain about those who govern us. --- no twists ---
SunburnedCactus
So many of these arguments refer to a proper and correct democracy, despite the fact that in the modern world such a thing does not exist. How is the choice our own when it is so limited and we are chastised for choosing to abstain? The illusion of choice is so transparent these days that it is no wonder people become so dissillusioned.
spd
If you have ever voted in a local election where political parties are not at the forefront you would recognize a wide array of issues that affect your life directly.

The responsible voter is well informed receiving pertinent information from multiple sources about these issues. Weighing the validity of this information the voter votes his or her conscience.

The idea that when you vote it is only against something is ridiculous in this context. If you were a responsible voter you would find your self voting for things instead of against them.

We live in a society that lets us choose wether or not we vote. This is as it should be. When you choose not to vote you make a statement. Whatever that statement is the effect of your action is to remove your self from the most basic nonviolent means of change available to a citizen of the United States. There are other means available that may or may not be effective, but voting responsibly and encouraging others to vote and by proxy think about the political environment in which we live is unarguably one way to get the change or stagnation that you desire.
solstiz
But i don't...
Moneypulations.... rules !
dydx
I think that if a voter is well-informed about not only the platform of the candidate that he or she does not agree with, but also that of the candidate he or she wishes to vote for, than there is nothing wrong with voting against someone.

It's like picking the lesser of two evils.
dydx
JoshBenezra wrote:
Even if you barely care, it only takes 10 minutes. I wonder if people who don't vote also don't brush their teeth as often.


It's not the best idea for uninformed voters to affect our government simply because society compells them to vote. If anything, we should encourage people to learn about what they're voting for rather then jumping out of the house, filling in a bubble, and possibly affecting the rest of the city, county, state, or nation.

Sure, voting only takes about 10 minutes, but becoming informed - truly informed - about what one is voting for takes a lot more time and effort.

(And about 40% of the United State population only brushes their teeth every other day.)

(And 70% of statistics are made up on the stop.)
The Philosopher Princess
Howdy, y’all! I have added “Additional Popular Myths #1” to my original list of myths on page 3 of this thread. Check 'em out! Very Happy

(I thought that adding them there might be better than posting them here only, or putting them in both places. I realize this is a non-standard method, but I’d only do it occasionally. I hope my mentioning the addition here makes it reasonable.)
angelo
For me, as a responsible citizen and to be one, a person "must" vote. I think in all the constitutions in all the countries in the world, suffrage is exercised, right?
Jelmer
here is some usefull information about voting for kids:

It’s unique, it’s fun and it works!

A national leader in civic education, Kids Voting USA® (KVUSA) gets students involved and ready to be educated, engaged citizens. Students learn about democracy through a combination of classroom activities, an authentic voting experience and family dialogue.

Our high-quality instructional materials provide K-12 teachers with valuable civic learning tools to be used throughout the school year, every year. Students learn about democracy; their rights and responsibilities as citizens; how voting empowers citizens; and how they can get involved and participate.

It’s all made possible by Kids Voting USA’s national network of community-based affiliates and their partners which include schools, elections officials, business and community leaders, and volunteers. Kids Voting USA is truly a community commitment to democracy. Get involved in your community!

never though kids would vote Very Happy
Ihatebabysitting
A lot of times, people get fired up over a negative concept of what could be rather then a positive concept of what could happen. I think this is what is happening here. For instance, the vote on banning gay marriage in Texas (Amendment 2). People are all fired up over it because they are afraid that if passed, it will be harder for them to get married. On the flip side, people seem to think that ''if it ain't broke, don't fix it''. Meaning, unless they are having a huge problem with the education system, why fix it. In short, people tend to be afraid of change.
TimsJugling
My parents dont vote. we live in Canada. Just thougt Id put in my two cents worth. see yu
otaku
We're lucky we can vote... In china they have no option about laws or officials.

we are so lucky that we can choose who we elect because we choose who represents us.
We have a say in our government.

why wouldn't you vote?
jongoldsz
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

The USA in particular has evolved to the point where, very often, people who vote are voting against some politician or government program rather than for something they truly believe is good. They believe (incorrectly) that voting for the best of two bads helps. I say, in the long run (and the long run is what matters), it does not help. Voting for a “better” bad gives more power and more legitimacy to the whole political system, which is just that, political.


Are you saying that we should allow the government to do what they want? The United States is based on the belief of the people running the government. Not the government running the people. The United States isn't a dictatorship, if you believe voting is evil, then you should move to Cuba and let Castro rule over you. If voting is evil, what will happen if no one votes? What will we benifit? Who will make our decisions?

If you can give resonable responses, not inclueding any of your evil schemes, then I may think about voting being evil.
ben8coast
Unfortunately it seems if voting is discretionary then only the truly biased will bother. This is best exemplified by the US system that appears to be run purely by special interest groups.

As an Australian - where voting is compulsory - I don't pretend our system is perfect but at least the masses have some representation.
gonzo
Dante wrote:
Freedom is about what people actually feel they can do.


no, you've confused 'freedom' with 'self esteem'. Freedom allows one to fail; it does not guarantee success.


Quote:
If you are formally free but in practice have to work 60 hour weeks, what has that got to do with democracy?


Did you intend to string all those words together like that? "If I don't live in a utopia I'm not living in a democracy". true enough.
solomagos
Too difficult subject to me. It's not easy. I prefer voting to the 'less bad' of the two politicians, because the other one would cause more disasters.
But I repeat, it's too diffcult to say.

Lena
nimbuscogitare
we have a representative republic. that means that your vote doesnt directly affect a thing. it is just a suggestion to someone who can vote. and with the constant media coverage of the polls it is unlikely that people are voteing with thier heads unfilled by indirect information, possibly incorect info. also, note that we have dont elected poor presidents. they are all rich, with the money to make themselves heard across the country. it may just be my opinion but I doubt the richest fraction of a percent of our nation stays in touch well with how the rest of the nation feels. We as a people are manipulated by a few. that being said I still feel that voting is importaint. it does lend legitimacy to the use of an officail's power but it also makes a statement about that power. humans use trial and error, we have are and will go through many trials before we get it right. I have faith in the human race to pull through. nothing in my life worth wile was ever achived easily. magnify that to the massive scale of the nation. it wont be easy but it will be worth while. IMHO
saneryin
I do not like to vote, because my vote only takes a tiny account in the whole votes.
according to this view point, I would rather to vote in a small groups. Like in the company or family. I think this is a common sense, just like a person like to be member of the administrator dept (a few controllers) rather than stay in the working class.
eliasr
we should vote, the vote, give us 1 pice of right... alot of democraty is so "old" why? because they go after the older people in the age 25-> , because they vote, and the them under 25 do not got the right and them as got the right, dont vote
DarthSilus
Very Happy I love that you are all actually thinking about government versus just stating a useless opinion--well, most of you anyway.
The thing about democracy is that people are stupid. They are easily swayed. That's why the "evil rich people" always "win," because they have the moeny to influence the dumb asses in colorful ways. Nevertheless, the moment we put stupid poeple "in their place" is the moment the politicians can turn their influence on each other, and there will be a winner--known as a tyrant. People actually have quite a bit of say here in America, too much sometimes, because all the representatives have to appeal laws to the fancies of non-thinking, apathetic people. (That's why children don't vote, they are easily swayed and impressed, for the most part, so, essentially, whoever they hear first on a matter is who they blindly follow.)
I think the answer is to create a smaller government, less complex, and give people more voting rights on some issues, and less on others. That's easily accomplished too, its in the Constitution.
That's my two-bits. People need to be taught, the better the population, the better the government.
pelletboy
I am a big supporter of voting, but does our vote really count? Our voting system made of an electorial college seems quite out dated. With today's technology why can't we count every person?

It is possible. isn't it?
jefftrex
I dont particularly think voting is a BAD thing, but also not a perfected system in any way. The vote should be of the PEOPLE, not the people choosing electoral votes for the electoral college to decide it. If there was a direct vote from the people, I believe it would be much more useful in satisfying individuals and allowing one to vote on who he really cares for, not an elector who could vote on whomever he or she pleases.
Resident Egoist
pelletboy wrote:
Our voting system made of an electorial college seems quite out dated. With today's technology why can't we count every person?


Umm ... the electoral college system isn't actually setup to make vote counting easier -- there would be no purpose in you going out to the polls, would there? You can be sure of that by simply looking at the incredible amount of questionable means and ressources which politicians use simply to get you to vote for them. All votes do get counted, by the way.

The electoral college system has actually quite a reasonable purpose. The United States is, well, exactly that: a union of states, and the national government is supposed to be a of a federal nature. Why, you ask? Well think of it as just one of the checks on unlimited unlimited majority rule that the founding fathers tried to implement into the American system of government.

Getting to the point; an electoral serves to prevent highly populated states from imposing their wishes on the lower populated ones, by each state being given its own voting and vetoing power, and yet at the same time preserving the individual's right to vote and his ability to influence the direction of the entire country indirectly by being able to directly influence the direction of the local state in which he resides.

Illustration: suppose that the U.S were made up of two states only -- say, New York [19 million+ ppl] and New Mexico [< 2 million ppl]. Also suppose that a Social Welfare and Security Referendum were introduced by say, congressman Karl Marx, which people of the whole country had to vote for. Then still go ahead and suppose that the people of New York were prominently die-hard, miserable, freedom-hating, non-respnsible, commie-statolaters, while the people of New Mexico were prominently freedom-loving, responsible and productive capitalists. An electoral college system would prevent the NY commies from imposing legalized, reciprocal looting on the whole country even if every resident of the state voted in favor of the proposition. The only way for it to be passed would be a majority vote in each single state.

To those who might not like my "biased" example, please feel free to replace to it with a referendum/amendment in favor of the return of slavery -- though I'd say that so-called Social "Security" is slavery as well ....

Anywho, so much for ranting.

Another example of the federal nature of the U.S national government is the bicameral congress, i.e., two legislative houses. Here again, the individual majority is given its say through the electorate power of the House of Representatives, while unlimited majority tyranny is checked by the elctorate power given to each single state through the Senate.

So, in answer to your question, [does your vote count?], yes it does count -- it simply isn't omnipotent.
psadornas
Quote:
I do not like to vote, because my vote only takes a tiny account in the whole votes.


This is one of the most significant reasons why people are not motivated to vote. But upon introspection, it turns out that if all people were to think the same way, then there would be complete chaos in the system. It's a good thing there are other motivations out there that outnumber those who think this way.

I personally like the philosophy of suffrage because I believe that it is one way of accomplishing the most difficult function democracy: determining the majority and comparing policies (idealized by politicians) with the voter's opinions/votes. So by the time that politicians rule, they have at least a guide on how to satisfy the majority. But the negative space (i.e. those who didn't vote for them) also give relevant information (i.e. that their policies are perceived are disagreeable) thus guiding them to a reasonable compromise that might just satisfy those who voted for them and those who didn't.
Spitfire
Living in the UK as much as people say there is a democracy, most people never see the benifit of their votes regardless of who is chosen. Being someone in the armed forces, we see the government strip our resources day after day.
But then they send us to the most dangerous hotspots in the world!
how can an army fight effectively without the means to do so, the benifit of voting to me would be when someone is put into power and professes that they will equip ur armies and 10 days later we get new equipment, then ill start believing in voting. Until that time ill sit like the rest of us and put up with the cards we are dealt Wink
DarthSilus
That's the great thing about voting. Chances are, you are stupid. If your vote had a lot of sway, we'd be in hell on Earth. Its THE FREGGIN' PEOPLE that count, not YOU. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one. The thing is, if people stop voting, than were in the same hell hole we'd be in if your vote held a lot of sway, because only a few would decide all of our fate, and that sounds like an aristocracy to me. So, cast your pathetic opinion!
Thank you. Rolling Eyes
hanay
the southernappeal states:

Too Much Democracy: It seems pretty clear to me that the initiative process, whereby anyone with a pot of money and enough people to pass around petitions can get their pet cause written into law (or, worse, a constitution), is a disaster. Most people don't have a clue as to what the amendments or laws will actually do - a perfect case of too much democracy.

But what about all the local contests? In my little humble part of the world, I have to make a decision on the race for President (easy - pro-abortion extremists don't get my vote), a Senate seat, a US House seat, a state Senate seat, a state House seat, two county commission seats, the county DA, the county sheriff, the school board, and - for reasons known only to the Almighty - the county coroner. And I'm probably missing one or two.

Now, in contests for national races, things are pretty easy. I know which party I generally agree with and even if I don't know much about the candidates (not true in this case), it's reasonable to vote the party line. On state-level races, that's perhaps still true, but much less so. In local elections, party affiliations are very unhelpful and so, even for a guy who's working on a PhD in political science, I'm at a loss as for whom to vote next week. Why do we vote so much and for so many offices? Too much democracy, I tell you...
The Philosopher Princess
The prefix a is sometimes used to mean not.

** An atheist is not a theist.
** An asexual is not sexual.
** An amoral person is not moral.

Some people say that non-voters are apathetic. So I guess these people are also saying that voters are pathetic.

This is a joke, but it’s also food for thought. Consider that pathetic means pitiable; affecting/following feelings; miserably inadequate.

In all seriousness, people who think their voting is accomplishing actual good are pitiable. Most voters must be following feelings, since the results of most elections are contrary to logical thought. All in all the whole electoral system is miserably inadequate. It is really pathetic that voting (the so-called democratic process) is so widely religiously worshipped when the results have been so disastrous.
BriBri72
Apathy and pathetic are based on different latin words. Apathy is based on pathos, with the latin prefix a that means without. Pathetic is based on the latin word patheticus, which means liable to suffer. Apathetic is a clumsy attempt to create an adjective from a noun. While all the word play is interesting, I'm curious about the extrapolation of your advice. If we all stopped voting, and the statistical probability of this boggles the mind, but if we all stopped voting, what do you conjecture would happen? Look at Iraq, look at the complete and total chaos that has ensued from the abrupt cessation of government. That is what happens even when you have a military presence offering a pattern of government to replace the old, bad system. If the system simply came to a complete and total halt, with absolutely no government available to replace it, within short order our own civilization would crumble into anarchy, which I cannot believe is a better system. So what you are really saying is "I don't want to be held responsible for the current government, so I'll leave it on the shoulders of the stupid people that vote." Does that sound like a good decision? You also contend that grassroots campaigns and media attention can call attention to the disgraceful actions of some of our elected officials and some have even resigned. This is all well in good, but what that really means is that someone who has NEVER come under the public eye is now doing the SAME work as the politician that is gone. Do not kid yourself. Though it may seem at times that our elected officials do nothing, they actually make decisions that can affect every aspect of our infrastructure. A contaminant is found in the city water supply, guess who decides whether or not that water supply is closed until no further contaminants are found? An elected official.

In closing, I will be the first to agree that the current system has cancer, and the current crop of elected officials is evidence of this illness. You do not kill the person to cure the cancer. You want to start a grassroots campaign, start a grassroots campaign to get an intelligent, hardworking, problem solver on the ballot.
jveezy
In protest of how bad things are, I'm going to sit back and not do anything about it. TAKE THAT YOU BASTARDS!

Edit: I should also note that I am terribly ashamed to have forgotten to register to vote this past year in California.
kumaresh
Candidate 1: Hitler
Candidate 2: Musolini
Candidate 3: Sadam
Candidate 4: Idi Amin

I would not vote!
kam311
I do not feel it necessary to vote. As an act of free speech, one can choose not to involve themself in the political machine of a country, if they do not care strongly enough to argue or agree with the way things are done. Personally, religious neutrality is my primary reason for not voting. I don't oppose the government, I obey the law, I pay taxes, but I consider myself separate from political partisanship and opinion. Works for me.
The Philosopher Princess
Resident Egoist wrote:
[S]uppose that such a thing as an anarchist society can exist, and suppose that you lived in one, how, without the existence of a government, would you protect your rights -- whatever you think they are -- against other anarchists who wish to violate them?
In a society where government does not have a monopoly of force, there would be a lot more ways (i.e., free-market ways) of defending oneself, and thus I would have many choices, not just the current inadequate government monopoly of “defense” system. The monopoly interferes in areas of supposed defense that I do not want, and it does not provide the defense that I, personally, do want.

Many “natural” human defense systems are now being thwarted by the monopoly of force. In fact, it is currently illegal in most jurisdictions for people to band together for mutual defense, possess the means for defense, or otherwise defend themselves. Instead, they are taught to rely on government for their defense. And most of these anti-defense laws have been passed through the democratic voting process.

The answer to this welcomed question of yours might be better understood with another question: How would you feed yourself without welfare? Many people manage fine without welfare. But if we had a society where welfare were forced on everybody, then people would forget how to feed themselves without it -- and doing so could be “voted illegal”.

That is what has happened with self-defense systems and society’s defense systems. They have been eliminated by the government monopoly of force. So, if government interferences were eliminated, reasonable systems of defense would be reinvented by people and would re-emerge naturally in a free society. There are thousands of different methods that have been used over the centuries that have worked in various ways. Entire books could be written on this subject.
~~~~~~~~~~
(No disrespect intended towards my questioner; it's understood that the question and answer are for others, not just us.) The only reason people need to ask such questions about how one would defend oneself is because they already rely on government “solutions” in an unhealthy way; people have forgotten (or in this day and age, never learned) how to rely on oneself, including voluntarily banding with others for defense. The normal means of defense (and rational controls on aggressive behavior) have been made obsolete by government controls to such an extent that most people don’t even think about how to protect themselves in the absence of government.

(If this cartoon doesn’t show up, search www.russmo.com for “Disaster Preparedness”, with whose copyright I am in compliance.)
~~~~~~~~~~
Voting doesn’t help. If you’re being jumped by five muggers in an alley, do you want to “vote” on who gets your money? Or, do you consider the choice of your money or your life to be a fair choice? After all, your one vote decides the outcome.
~~~~~~~~~~
One main characteristic of a monopoly is no (or significantly less) competition. No/little competition means that
(1) potentially better, competing methods are prevented from being implemented, so they never come to market as an option, and
(2) any dysfunctional parts of the monopolistic service/product are left in existence (because they have no checks and balances pressuring them to get better).

A monopoly in defense is no exception. Like any industry whose competition has been forcibly stifled, its overall quality is much worse than it would be in a free market.
DarthSilus
I am reminded of the idealistic words of some Queen of Naboo (who cares about the name,) "The moment we stop beleiving democracy works is the moment we loose it."
I realize that who you can vote for doesn't always tickle your fancy, but, ultimately, they aren't that powerful, they aren't in for that long, and they are very smart to overcome and get into office--smarter than any of us may ever be.
The thing is, the moment you simply accept the thugs and refuse the right to vote on which one gets it, it turns into a routine where you must simple accept and now--whereas before you actually had some power. (Perhaps you could get them to try to get your vote, eh? lol, but seriously.)
The moment you stop voting is the moment you let these "jerks" become dictators. Think about it, I know you will see what I say is true. Because, inevtably, if they are trying to get our vote, they have to appeal to us on the minimum of a base level. That sounds better to me than them simply telling us how things are going to be without giving us, at a minimum, a few scraps to go with it.
Vote. If you don't, others will follow, because people are sheep, and ideas are virulent. So, vote and keep what freedom you have, because I can assure you that a little freedom is better than slavery... even if the tyranny lasts only for one term before we learn our lesson and vote.
dr_dom
Voting is truly undervalued privledge. In many countries, people are ruled by people, not by laws. There are places where you can vote yes or abstain--no other choice as if that were a choice. There are places that you can be killed for even wanting to vote. At least in this country you have the option. Your vote may not seem like much, when elections are decided by a landslide. But the truth is that the people who are praying for you to vote for them are doing what they can to earn your trust. As long as you and I have the option to vote, it forces the players to remember...we are watching. That makes your option to vote very powerful.
estoesmucho
dark_paladin wrote:
Whether we are going to vote or not doesn't matter, cuz anyone who gets elected will become corrupted when he/she gets the power. Power is the temptation of EVIL!


The power is a temptation when the politicall system is corrupted!.
They doesn´t become corrupt, they are all corrupts...
ravenland
Yes surely is essential especially in certain countries where democracy is at early stages of practice. The "i dont have to vote one person can't make change" ideology that many people often have is the one of the main problems between the population.
The Philosopher Princess
I like this particularly humorous comment:
DarthSilus wrote:
That's the great thing about voting. Chances are, you are stupid. If your vote had a lot of sway, we'd be in hell on Earth. Its THE FREGGIN' PEOPLE that count, not YOU. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one. The thing is, if people stop voting, than were in the same hell hole we'd be in if your vote held a lot of sway, because only a few would decide all of our fate, and that sounds like an aristocracy to me. So, cast your pathetic opinion!
Thank you. Rolling Eyes
Let me get this straight, DarthSilus. You’re saying:
** The voters are the ones who are smart.
** The non-voters are the ones who are stupid.
** Non-voters don’t have any “sway” (and you’re glad about that).
** Voters do have "sway".

Okay, I get it! Therefore, we can logically blame society’s current “FREGGIN'” problems on the “PEOPLE that count” -- i.e., the ones who do have “sway” -- i.e., the smart ones, like you -- i.e., the voters.

Hey!, isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along? Laughing

Thank you for realizing the non-voters aren't the ones causing the problems.
ocalhoun
The Philosopher Princess wrote:


Thank you for realizing the non-voters aren't the ones causing the problems.


They aren't solving any problems either.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I voted:
I voted for Bush!
I'm glad (and proud) of it.
The Philosopher Princess
jveezy wrote:
In protest of how bad things are, I'm going to sit back and not do anything about it. TAKE THAT YOU BASTARDS!
Why do you believe that voting is doing something?

I mean, giving a starving person a crumb of moldy bread is doing something in the strictest sense of the meaning of “doing something”. But in any practical sense of having an impact, it’s not really doing something of any significance.

In the case of voting, the issue is not just refusing to do something to make things better, but rather refusing to do something that will most likely make matters worse.

If you give a starving person a morsel of bread, you may give temporary relief. If you give a politician your vote, you give your approval and support to all the things that politician does. You must also take the blame for their crimes against humanity. When they start wars, you start wars. If you give a tax or bond measure your vote, you are using force to steal from everybody required to pay those taxes and bonds.

When you think it is important to do something, you should think about the long-term effects of what you are doing and to whom.
ocalhoun
Because not voting is not doing something

anyway, I'd be glad to be held responsible for what Bush has done.
One of the best presidents we have ever had.

If I was in his place, however I would have just warned the UN to get out and nuked Baghdad.
The Philosopher Princess
ocalhoun wrote:
Because not voting is not doing something
This is not true, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right.

I’m sure you’ve heard of what is commonly thought to be the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” Whether that’s what they actually vow or not, have you studied how important this concept is? It has many applications in life, not just with the medical field. Before one can ever provide any real help, one must first understand how to not do harm. More importantly, they must care to not do harm.

People will often jump into a situation “to help” without first getting an understanding of what’s really going on, without realizing the harmful and long-term ramifications of their so-called help. They’ve been brainwashed to do something, anything, even when they don’t understand what the doing something is really doing.

It would be an amazing positive step forward for humanity, if people would only change in the area of First, do no harm. Yes, more positive steps can occur after that, but most people are not even at this first step. One can’t do truly helpful things until they at least stop doing the harmful things.

A reader here is not yet brave enough to stop altogether giving your Vote of Approval for the whole politically corrupt system? Okay, what about a lesser step? What about at least not voting for issues that steal from people? What about not voting for issues that interfere in people’s lives? What about not voting for politicians whom you know are going to harm people?

First, do no harm. It’s an excellent starting place.
The_Kenifer
I am new so getting caught up on all of the threads is not going to happen right now. One thing discussed on the first page was how voting validates citizens. I don't see the citizens as needing validation, it is the country itself. As with most "western civilizations" we only see the votes of %50-60. If it comes to the point where that number goes below the hallowed %50 mark the country will no longer be viable as it no longer can truely be in the interests of its people. The political fallout would be humorous but the fact that a country longer functions would have major consequences.

Just a thought
olah
It's important to vote, because even though you might not be voting (on the grounds that the politicians are corrupt or unworthy) other people might be voting. This means that for every twenty five people who don't vote, twenty five people are voting (and they may well be voting for the person who is going to turn the country on its head).

The only way to make a statement is if no one (and I mean no one, because if one person votes, the party voted for would win by default) voted. But then the Government would basically collapse in trying to establish a head, and could very well lead to some nasty dictatorship issues.

Maybe we should all run for President.
Dorfinger
Hello , In France right now , we're in the situation where most of the people are thinking about giving immigrent the vote right , I definitly think that people coming from an other country that put some good willing in learning the language and respecting to law , deserve to have their oppinion heard threw a vote .
Dorfinger
Voting is the best way to express yourself legally speaking .
Problem is , its hard to find a person to vote for who really fit the way you thinking or the direction your wanna go .
Dante
In reply to Gonzo (appropriate name)

Shouting does not make you right, nor does it make me confused.

You attached yourself to the word "feel' in my response, and did not make the obvious link to the second quote of mine that you gave. The point is about how substantive a democracy is. Many dictatorships call themselves democracies, and yet have no meaningful participation by the citizens in deciding their own conditions.

The USA is formally a democracy, but the many critiques of your democracy, the massive inequality in your country, and the awful social contract (60 hour weeks, short holidays, no decent public health care, need I continue) as well as the problem of political micro-management of the election process via market research techniques, makes the USA look substantively very little like a democracy, at least in European eyes. (In the UK we share some of these problems and also worry about the state of our democracy.) Hence, I believe, this whole discussion about the pointlessness of voting.

The situation in Iraq is not so clear. The person who posted from Iraq pointed out the huge dangers of voting, and yet people still went to vote, and that felt very significant to them. However I have my doubts that your 'democratic' government will let the Iraqi's exercies control over their own fates to the extent of say, nationalising their oil resources, or getting rid of all American military bases, or operating tariff barriers to help build up their infant industries, or holding their foreign reserves in Euros.

These are all things that could help the Iraqis develop, but go against the self interest of the US state. Internationally or globally speaking it looks more like we are operating in a dictatorship than a democracy.

But how the Iraqi people feel is significant. If the 'democracy' that the US has promised does not deliver, or if the elected representatives come into conflict with the US, the Iraqi's feelings about their recent taste of freedom might be decisive in how the politics of the country swing.

Thing is though you'd need to know a bit a about what is going on in Iraq in order to see how that might work. And the kind of abstract dicussion that is going in here will never help with that.

Daniel
SunburnedCactus
Self interest is the principal of the US state.
charlielowry
I dont agree with only adults voting as other people should get a say in the way the country is run. Its our country aswell!!!!
wingo
That is a dumb thing to say. Younger people make selfish and unwise decisions, living to very Dionysian ideals. They also tend to side with the candidate that their friends do. They are just pawns of the media. I am below voting age and happy that people my age can't vote just yet.
wolfhnd
This is the same kind of philosophical poverty that leads to environmentalist taking positions who's logical extension is that people are "bad" and the only way to make the world "good" is to eliminate people.

Voting or not voting taken out of the context in which the vote is cast is or not cast cannot be described as anything other than voting. Circular Locution ring a bell? The discussion seems to be saying voting is bad because it is voting without fully exploring the concept of democracy or any of the other relevant ideas. You could make an argument that democracy is bad but I don't see how you can make an argument that voting is bad without putting it in context.
DarthSilus
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Okay, I get it! Therefore, we can logically blame society’s current “FREGGIN'” problems on the “PEOPLE that count” -- i.e., the ones who do have “sway” -- i.e., the smart ones, like you -- i.e., the voters.

Hey!, isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along? Laughing

Thank you for realizing the non-voters aren't the ones causing the problems.


Actually, what I was saying is that, although people that don't vote may be stupid, stupid people still vote. After all, stupid people are impressionable, so they get wrilled up and vote.
What I was saying, though, is that, since most people are generally stupid, the individual is generally more stupid than the masses. BUT, if people stop voting (and, because their stupid and others are stupid, it doesn't take many people to start a movement, as we have seen on this very message board) the masses become much less in number, and therefore intelligence, and the more stupid individual has more sway, and dumber, more "hip" or socially acceptiable for the time being, canidates get into office. Intelligence has a chance to sway the masses--but not the individual, often.
That's the beauty of voting. Its by the people, so its what the people want, and, therefore, what they think is best for them. (But they often change their mind.)
I think the fault lies with the moral leaders of society like the media, for example, for not edicating the people--and that's what causes a lot of internal problems.
galaxy68
SunburnedCactus wrote:
Exactly. If you didn't vote then people might consider you partially responsable for "Hitler" getting into power.

Besides, I thought "stupid and corrupt" was a given in any politician these days. Smile
Resident Egoist
@ Philosopher Princess:

Quote:
In a society where government does not have a monopoly of force, there would be a lot more ways (i.e., free-marketIn a society where government does not have a monopoly of force, there would be a lot more ways (i.e., free-market ways) of defending oneself, and thus I would have many choices/ways) of defending oneself, and thus I would have many choices...


That is all said and heard -- but my question was not whether you would have ways to defend yourself in an anarchist society(?), but what exactly would those ways and choices be. So far you haven't provided any at all. It's a simple question really, and I am really puzzled as to why you keep resorting to a dance around the heart of the matter by giving me analogies.

And while we're at it, I will immediately rule out any such soi-disant options as "everyone will be in personal charge of the defense of his own person and property". Why, you ask? For the same reason that it is impossible to have a SOCIETY if every single person has to gather his own food. With a setup as this, what you could have -- at best -- is secluded self-sufficient farms, with extremely low productivity and consequently, an extrely low standard of living. Without division of labor, there can be no civilization or society.

I shouldn't have had to say the above -- I am sure you are fairly familiar with the works of Ludwig von Mises, George Reisman and Murray Rothbard ... among other Austrian economists.

Moving on.

Quote:
The monopoly [of government] interferes in areas of supposed defense that I do not want, and it does not provide the defense that I, personally, do want.


Hmm ... Maybe I should warn you to be more careful about what you say -- because from the above sentence, nothing could be understood but that your idea of "liberty" consists in an individual's ability to do whatever he wishes. That that would result in immediate chaos -- and tyranny -- shouldn't have to be pointed out.

Illustration: Let us postulate two individuals: Larry and Joe -- and the former wishes to kill the latter. According to your definitions (that liberty consists of doing whatever one wishes) wouldn't it be part of the "liberty" of Larry to kill Joe? Of course it would!

I'm sure you'll maintain that you don't advocate the above, but you actually do, whether you are aware of it or not -- as such is the logical conclusion of your ideas.

Your objection to the institution of government is that it is a monopoly, and that prevents people from having the kind of "defense", i.e, the kind of government, that they want. Once again, I repeat, the implicit idea in there is that people must have the "freedom" to do anything they want -- such as own tanks and nuclear weapons ... all in the name of so-called "self-defense".

If you're still in denial, then let's have a look at the concept of "monopoly". It means restriction, regulation. Now, I want you understand the full meaning of what it is you are advocating: it is a lack of monopoly in the use of physical force in society, i.e., what you are advocating is the unregulated, indiscriminate use of force by anyone and everyone! Once more, why this has to mean chaos, barbarism and tyranny shouldn't have to be pointed out. And if people are to be left with the "freedom" to create any type of so-called "defense agencies" that they want, what is to stop them from creating "offense agencies"? I will answer that: none!

I lament the present ongoing erosion of individual liberty as much you do, but the solution is definitely not the ablition of the institution of government -- but rather the adoption of the right philosophy and the institution of a proper minimal government.

For people to be able to live and survive together in a society, the use of physical force needs to be put under strict, objective control, and only be resorted to for retaliatory purposes. It cannot be left to the indiscriminate, whimsical use of any and everyone. This must be so even if we lived in a world where everyone was moral and peaceful. Why? Because honest disagreement is still possible among rational, moral men, and objective rules must be defined to settle those potential disagreements. This is the purpose of a proper government.

=================================

Postscript: you wrote that other means of self-defense are made obsolete by the existence of government: that is not true. In a proper society you would still be free to own guns and hire body-guards. And guess what? You are still free to do that today -- and that is the legitimate freedom you should be fighting to preserve.
pat783_earthling
Hello. First post here. Instead of an intro, if you're interested you can check out my blog.

All governments depend on legitimacy for their power. That legitimacy can come from a gun or a ballot box or a belief and so on. So, in the middle ages of Western Europe rulers had legitimacy conferred on them because God had chosen that ruler for that people. If you think about that situation you realize that it is in the interest of the ruler to preserve the existing religion.

Western politicians today rely upon voters to vote to create their legitimacy. If you take the situation to its extremes, say only one person voted, would the elected have power to make sweeping changes? Would they survive ten people complaining about a pot hole? When the Princess says don't vote, she is critisizing the legitimacy of the government. That's a voice worth listening to. Even in silence, actions speak volumns.

At one time I was very involved in the American process. I was on a Central Committee of the Democratic Party in Colorado 6th. I became convinced that voting didn't matter because I was in close contact with the people who were elected. About ten years later I became a voter again. I still believe, for the most part, voting doesn't matter.

I don't like the process of plurality victories. Why should a process of democracy end with the largest number of votes instead of a majority of voters? And that's the rub, votes versus voters. Politicians don't care about getting the non-voter to the polls, that's already been discussed too. Maybe in the American tradition this is impossible: but should we be happy about the fact we are governed by a minority?

Previous posters have pointed out how people vote against candidates. I've heard criticism of the Irish system, but from here, I like it. You vote preferences. My first choice is Mr. Smith, my second choice is Mr. Washington, my third choice is Mr. Jefferson. If Mr. Smith fails to reach a threshold proportion of the vote for the second round of voting, my vote goes to Mr. Washington, of if he has dropped out for similar reasons, Mr. Jefferson.

As you can see, I live in Chicago. If I choose not to participate in the Democratic Primary, I don't have a choice of any politician in the general election till I reach the state level. That's where the GOP becomes competitive, they don't even field candidates for most local offices here. I suspect that most people in the US fall into the same situation.

We live in "safe" districts. Offices are handed down father to son. Participation requires you to vote in party primaries. Politicians are looking for the most votes as a means to confer legitimacy in this "democratic" process. Please don't give me any crap about my duty as a citizen. That's rubbish. This is the real world. Here, participation means talking to politicians about your views in a strong and coherent manner, they'll never know whether you voted or not. It means not accepting their brush-off. It means stupid stuff like participating in the library committee and the block club.

I'll vote when I choose. I'll participate how I choose. Count me as an anarchist too.
nextgen
As far as voting is concerned your just swapping one puppet for another.
The puppet masters don't change. just the puppets.
Big money interest have been running this country and many others for a long time.
Your vote is to keep the elusion going and keep you thinking that your living in a democratic country and you have freedoms
We lost the war a long time ago and not a shot was fired.
The Philosopher Princess
wingo wrote:
charlielowry wrote:
I dont agree with only adults voting as other people should get a say in the way the country is run. Its our country aswell!!!!
That is a dumb thing to say. Younger people make selfish and unwise decisions, living to very Dionysian ideals. They also tend to side with the candidate that their friends do. They are just pawns of the media. I am below voting age and happy that people my age can't vote just yet.
“Younger people” grow up to be older people. There’s nothing magical about older people gaining insight into how to make better voting decisions. Older people may tend to know more than younger people on surfacy things, but they “don’t have time” to know more about the deeper, more complex things. On those, they tend to think and act just like they did when they were younger people. And they pass it on to even more younger people. The cycle continues.

Here’s a restatement for you: “Younger [and older] people make selfish and unwise decisions, living to very Dionysian ideals. They also tend to side with the candidate that their friends do. They are just pawns of the media.”

But guess what, wingo! Some people do break out of the cycle. Some people do make that effort. Breaking away from believing the same old myths one’s ancestors believed is not a function of being younger or older; it’s a matter of caring to do so.

You, being younger, have a great shot at this. My first hope for you is that you don’t worship older over younger, which often gets converted into worshipping authorities over one’s own mind. Instead, value sincere attempts at getting at the truth -- wherever they may be. I’d much rather deal with a person who happens to be wrong on something, when they made a sincere effort at arriving at that stance, than with someone who happens to be right, but for the wrong reasons. What about you?

I wish you the best. I hope we will have the pleasure of some thoughtful comments from both wingo and charlielowry.
pafu
3shades wrote:
I think that the voting system in america has gone round the bend.


Me too...
wolfhnd
Have you ever wondered why so little of this "insight" that older people gain is passed on.
lapsantos
Don't really know if all you guys here are americans, but I realize the majority must be. Being so, I must tell you it amazes me the number of people who are actually absent in your elections!

I also don't know how many of you actually support president W. Bush's foreign policy of spreading democracy worldwide by any mean available, but I can't understand why the guardians of democracy aren't able to make it work as well as they try to impose it.

I hold a great deal of admiration over all US democratic institutions, I really do, and you all can correct me if I'm wrong, but you are leting he lessons of your Great Nation's Fathers, over the years, go down the drain.

From my perspective, voting is a must! To vote is to celebrate democracy, and, as well as we can see no better way of making a government of the people, to the people and for people (ain't that so?) we must support it at the fullest.

Here in Brazil we lived some horrible times when our democratic institutions eclipsed, and therefore I can tell you with some knowledge, democracy is not perfect, but you will be better with than without it.

Smile

Cheers for those who bravely stand for their opinion and with equal braveness fight against the opression of other's thinking!!!
lapsantos
Respectfully, i find your point of view over human-being freedom utopic and truly innocent. We can only be free inside a system that can assure our freedom, which you may find paradoxal, but it isn't, I guess...

Figure that a world where I am, as a human-being, 100% free is a world where I live by myself, or is a world where I am the only human totally free, because all others would have to submit to my will, once our freedons could colide.

And secondly, it is absolutely NOT because of the voting that the system is imoral, corrupt, decadent, or suffers any sort of mal-function. Democracy is not quite the govern of the people if you have it as the whole population of your country, but yes, it's the govern where the majority of the people decides (with less or more participation, depending on the kind of democracy) the paths to follow.

Guess most all the problems you sentenced the voting to be guilty of, I would blame the society for them. Not only the voters, but you who don't vote also, as by not voting you are not stating your disapproval, you are stating that you simply don't care... as long as can be hit by a truck on your way to the voting place, you simply don't think the effort is worth the risk.

I mean, you can see all this problems affecting your country and your lifestyle, and all you do is stay home?

Guess that candidates being arrested while trying to participate in public debates aren't the best news to hear from the States... but what makes one even more disappointed is that all americans are doing is sitting at home and watching their TV as their country, almost everyday, choose paths that are not leading to democracy (eventhough they tire themselves of reassuring the value of democratic ways).

Stand up, for the World's sake...
wolfhnd
First the US is not a democracy.

Second your primary responsibility for voting in a republic is for you local officials not the president.

Third the system is amendable to grassroots movements and the way to do that is to spend your life working to improve the system.

Fourth nothing is perfect and the system will never be perfect, using that as an excuse reflects the total self indulgent laziness the population is inclined to.

Americans are fat and lazy, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Having the luxury to not vote is not proof of it's uselessness.
lapsantos
[quote="wolfhnd"]First the US is not a democracy.[/quote]

Guess you can call that a democracy, despite the way it seems to be disaranged lately...

[quote="wolfhnd"]Second your primary responsibility for voting in a republic is for you local officials not the president.[/quote]

Your responsabilities in a republic concerns all of that wich is public! President sits on a public chair, lives on a public house, earns public money, deals with public affairs...

Not voting directly on the name of the person that you want to be president doesn't implies you are not voting for it. And my concerns on previous posts are not at all related only to the post of president and the elections for president...

[quote="wolfhnd"]Americans are fat and lazy, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Having the luxury to not vote is not proof of it's uselessness.[/quote]

That is the way americans choose to live right? Guess the publicity out there against lazyness and sedentarism is persuasive enough to change this picture... at least on the long run...

[]s
The Philosopher Princess
Dante wrote:
Hence, I believe, this whole discussion about the pointlessness of voting.
I’d like to make one thing clear about my position.

My point is not that there is “pointlessness” to voting. My point is that it can be a positive, pro-active, purposeful, fully aware, caring, respectable action to not vote.

I am not saying that all non-voters fit this category. The thread’s topic is true: Not voting is reasonable for people who want Freedom.

For some people, not voting is the opposite of pointlessness; for them, there is definitely a point in not voting, and, for example, not giving further legitimacy to a corrupt political system.
The Philosopher Princess
Dante makes some very thinking remarks, many of which I would likely agree with, and all of which we should consider. There is one, however.....
Dante wrote:
The USA is formally a democracy, but the many critiques of your democracy,[...], no decent public health care[...]makes the USA look substantively very little like a democracy
Since I am for Freedom and free-market solutions, I could not support any socialized, monopolistic solutions. Dante’s “no decent public health care” seems to fit the latter. (Please correct me if I misunderstand your view.)

I believe it is the current socialized, highly publicly-regulated part of today’s US health care system that causes lower quality in health care. We don’t need more government interferences; we need less of the already very intrusive interferences.
~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s just one simple example. Medications for the elderly can be very expensive and thus unaffordable on their “fixed” incomes. US politicians claim that they want to help the situation but they do the exact opposite by severely limiting access to cheaper medications from Canada and Mexico. They even go so far as to search people at the borders and seize their medicines.

Reasons for the high costs of medicines and medical care include the government regulations, required record-keeping, extensive paperwork, licensing (monopoly) fees, and the fact that most patients are not in the free market, but rather in the government health care system. When people are being “given free health care” they have no incentive to keep costs down or shop for better deals, so providers have no incentive to keep costs down or offer better deals, and in many cases, government punishes those who seek better deals or provide better deals.
~~~~~~~~~~
So, when it comes to improving health care, the people who vote for more government involvement are falling into the trap of the politicians and their drug company-medical monopoly special interest cronies. What they want is not what they get.

When all the politicians are pushing their own special interest agenda “health care reforms”, voting for any of them is voting for something worse, since the free market is never an option on the ballot.
wolfhnd
The simple act of not voting is a meaningless act or nonact if it is not coupled with some other action. If you stand outside the voting location and express your idea that the system is corrupt and get enough people to listen to you then maybe that has meaning.

This thing people have about the system being corrupt is getting tired. If you know anyone or anything that is not corrupt it would be exceptional. Humans are corrupt therefor all human systems are corrupt. It's a relative thing. The US system is corrupt compared to what?
lastkissxx
First, I'm too young to vote still lol.. But in the thoughts of the Presidential Election, I'm just so glad that George Bush cannot run again. I absolutely despise him. I can't stand him, I can't even watch him on TV! He annoys the hell out of me! So, yeah... lol.. I'm done
CT
voting is want makes this country a democracy if you dont vote its not a democracy is.

The participation rate is 14% higher for young adults proof that voter registration prevents voting. The voting rights of college students are also under attack--many election officials prevent students from voting in local elections, which is a violation of students' constitutional rights.

If your too young to vote you should go out and convince people to vote in want you beleive in. believe it or not younger people have more power than they think. a Kid starts a non profit corp every news corp wants to put it on there newspaper and everyone would rather give a kid 5 bucks than another adult.

If you dont vote you have no right to complain about want is going on in the government. cause you didnt care before why are you now.
DarthSilus
I agree.
Several people have said that we need either tyranny or anarchy for a free, safe, and secure society. This amuses me, because this is exactly what a republic provides. Did you know that there are communist and national socialist parties, as well as an anarchist party?????
Of course not, because many of you are hypocritical children who want their candy. Time to wake up, the many count more than the one. Even in anarchy, there are social rules that can not be avoided, someone is always going to be more popular, thus have more influence, thus this is already smacking of government, even if it isn't official. The US, under anarchy, would shatter into fueding factions. Gee, i'm sure China would love that... can you say "comrade premier"?
So anarchy is obviously crap. Even dumb asses can see that.
As far as tyranny goes.... Well, when the rulers narcisistic, mentally disabled child takes in your daughters for concubines and ruins the country, you won't think it so swell anymore. The most sucessful tyranical empire was Imperial Rome... and just look how latter emperors like Tiberious and Caligula ruled. Ewww...
A republic is a lot like an aristocracy though. Just review some of Socrate's views, he beleived an aristocracy where the smart and just ruled the masses was best. I agree. A republic allows this, because a leader has to appear near perfect and incorruptable to get out vote. hes has to work at it. And that's not half the story. As you all have so well pointed out, the government is corrupt, (holy crank, power really DOES corrupt!) Because of this, the president has to work his way through the world of the politicians as well as through our world, before he ascends to office.
This whole system is based on you voting. If a large percentage of people stop voting, than its whoever is luckiest and most motivated that gets into office, and, to secure his/her power, they would rip the countries old government to shreds. Guess what! We're now in a tyranical government! Hold on to your daughters!

Oh, and children are dumb. Just talk to one. There may be a few who step out of the bounds and use their head, but with a republic, it's the majority that rightfully count. Granted, adults aren't much better often, but at least they don't have an excuse, and, supoosedly, they've been educated and are "smarter."

Bow before my correct rambling! Twisted Evil
-Silus
SunburnedCactus
DarthSilus wrote:
Even in anarchy, there are social rules that can not be avoided


Defying the entire definition of anarchy.

Quote:
someone is always going to be more popular, thus have more influence, thus this is already smacking of government, even if it isn't official.


Whether somebody is considered popular or not makes no difference to whether they are recognised as being so. However, saying this, even Proudhon said that complete elimination of of coercion is impractical.

Quote:
So anarchy is obviously crap. Even dumb asses can see that.


Clearly.

Quote:
The most sucessful tyranical empire was Imperial Rome... and just look how latter emperors like Tiberious and Caligula ruled. Ewww...


Actually Rome was an autocracy at that point...

Quote:
A republic is a lot like an aristocracy though. Just review some of Socrate's views, he beleived an aristocracy where the smart and just ruled the masses was best.


...and the Roman Empire was a Republic before it became autocratic.

Quote:
A republic allows this, because a leader has to appear near perfect and incorruptable to get out vote. hes has to work at it.


And of course finances have nothing to do with it at all...

Quote:
Because of this, the president has to work his way through the world of the politicians as well as through our world, before he ascends to office.


Shortcuts include: money, family ties, political ties

Quote:
If a large percentage of people stop voting, than its whoever is luckiest and most motivated that gets into office, and, to secure his/her power, they would rip the countries old government to shreds.


Luck doesn't really have a lot to do with it. Having a foot in the door does. And besides, just because the voting majority abstained, why would this result in a complete political reform. Particularly with the 2 party system, it seems more than likely that those remaining would still vote for one of them.

Quote:
Bow before my correct rambling! Twisted Evil
-Silus


no Smile
wolfhnd
Why has no one explained what a republic is supposed to look like. No one in their right mind would opt for democracy.
somnific
in the usa , you should definatly not vote. the whole system is rigged. when the system is corrupt , any participation only further propogates the problem. I also think the current trend of liberal types looking to have your Gun legislation changed is a mistake. The big wig companies would only love to disarm the only people who could make a difference , the sleeping population.
I worked in amsterdam , a popular place for american military personal to stop off on their way to afghanistan and other areas. They bought afghanistan hash off me , and when I would try to point out the irony or even hypocrasy it would completely fly over their head. I've also met some G.I's who feel they're fighting the good fight , to them I say the fight is on their own doorstep. Would have to live in USA , where your civil liberties are being systematically removed , and the dollar is the driving ideology. Not to mention its a nation founded on genocide. How does that american thing go... 'give us your poor , destitute...'etc .......well , I find it disgusting the aboriginal indians are completely looked over , as are the africans brought there against there will. Voting....pah. Wake up.
The Philosopher Princess
wolfhnd wrote:
The simple act of not voting is a meaningless act or nonact if it is not coupled with some other action. If you stand outside the voting location and express your idea that the system is corrupt and get enough people to listen to you then maybe that has meaning.

This thing people have about the system being corrupt is getting tired. If you know anyone or anything that is not corrupt it would be exceptional. Humans are corrupt therefor all human systems are corrupt. It's a relative thing. The US system is corrupt compared to what?
People not having higher standards is what is tiresome to me.

On the one hand, you recognize that corruption is “relative”. Okay, cool!

On the other hand, you don’t seem to recognize that corruption is “relative”. Huh!? Not cool!

Let’s consider the corruption of a ‘regular’ individual with little power, whose corrupt actions affect a few individuals, say, a petty thief. This corruption may be a major pain to those few who’ve lost their possessions, but to society overall, the results are not particularly devastating.

Now let’s consider the corruption of an individual with lots of power, whose corrupt actions affect millions of people, say, a politician whose tax increases steal from millions to be diverted to a few. This corruption is a royal pain, sometimes deadly, for people today and for generations to come. Society is majorly stunted by their actions.

Or, consider the number of people hurt by a small corrupt company versus the number of people hurt by the power of the whole government.

Are you serious, wolfhnd, that you don’t care about the magnitude of these differences? Just because there’s corruption in many places we look, you want us to treat it all the same? Or ignore it?

You won’t find me giving consent to the corruption of people with little power. Why do I find you having little concern for the corruption of people with much power?

Did you never have high standards, or did you lose them at some point? Smile

Come on, amigo, I’d rather have you as a comrade who appreciates moral integrity and who doesn’t condemn those who want to, as much as possible, eliminate corruption.
jveezy
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Because not voting is not doing something
This is not true, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right.

I’m sure you’ve heard of what is commonly thought to be the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” Whether that’s what they actually vow or not, have you studied how important this concept is? It has many applications in life, not just with the medical field. Before one can ever provide any real help, one must first understand how to not do harm. More importantly, they must care to not do harm.

People will often jump into a situation “to help” without first getting an understanding of what’s really going on, without realizing the harmful and long-term ramifications of their so-called help. They’ve been brainwashed to do something, anything, even when they don’t understand what the doing something is really doing.

It would be an amazing positive step forward for humanity, if people would only change in the area of First, do no harm. Yes, more positive steps can occur after that, but most people are not even at this first step. One can’t do truly helpful things until they at least stop doing the harmful things.

A reader here is not yet brave enough to stop altogether giving your Vote of Approval for the whole politically corrupt system? Okay, what about a lesser step? What about at least not voting for issues that steal from people? What about not voting for issues that interfere in people’s lives? What about not voting for politicians whom you know are going to harm people?

First, do no harm. It’s an excellent starting place.


You're right. It's best to not screw things up in the first place. One of the ways we as citizens can do that is by not voting for people that are going to screw things up. Of course it's difficult to tell the future, but we have to try the best we can. As much as we do try, sometimes things are going to get screwed up, and then it's in our best interests to do the best we can to fix it.

Sure voting isn't doing much, and like you said, it does hardly anything at all, but it's better than doing nothing. If something is bad, you don't leave it bad. Even if what you try to do to help may not help very much at all, hopefully there are others out there that want to right wrongs the same way you do.

Sure, one vote may not change much, but no vote changes nothing at all. If you don't wish to vote because you believe your one vote does anything, then that's your choice. I don't think it's your "patriotic duty" to vote, but not voting will definitely not make things better. With voting, there's still a chance as slim as it may be.
wolfhnd
My point was not to accept corruption but that corrupt authority is often the sign of a corrupt populace.
somnific
you can blame the bourgeoise , through their dreams of three kids a refridgerator and a TV , and their overall lust for convenience and keeping their hands clean - the status quo remains unchanged , and more and more consumers are born into the cycle without a seconds forethought. I for one will have kids , and I will teach them. Feed them, show them right for wrong. My belly aches when I see people have kids without a seconds thought , send them to some random institute called a school - so that they can fit in and buy a fridge just like daddy did. The earth , our most gracious host is THE most important thing - next to the Sun and the Moon. And this petty political conundrum is a distraction , priorities need to change ultra fast...and people need to stop breeding until we figure it out. Its unbelieveable , and sinisiter , that no one is on tv saying 'hey - please stop having babies until we figure this out' because thats what needs to be done , in a society that will lock a kid up for marijuana for umpteen years. A society that shows nothing but contempt for the homeless and hungry , dont you see that you are breeding a majority of halfwits ? Not that I've gleened any of my philosophical gems from indian spirituality and such , but you should check it out. They were wise beyond your greatest thinkers. They valued the earth , and knew its impossible to own it , and no matter what god you choose to believe in - I'm sure he/she/it (i dont believe in a god that 'thinks' the way we do , but i have to use the example to get through to people who do) will be indignant to see his children treat the earth the way we for the most part do , the earth provides us with every herb and plant to make us wiser , and heal us when we are sick....but modern living creates cancer , capitalism breeds pharmaceutical company whos driving force isnt to heal , its to make money - big money. These big companies own the politicians , these politicians own you , medical schools funded by big companies educate doctors who prescribe the big companies medicine. the politician bans the herbs and plants that you can harvest yourself , for free. So you have no options. Its best to keep the people stupid , so that they dont get angry. Beucase I see whats going on , and I;m pissed.


I dont mean to debunk this topic....its a good question and the answer is simple. dont vote. for now , its just a giant con. this world is turning to shit , a world where you'll need to buy air. our kids kids will anyways , if WE dont do something -fast-


You're right. not those people who tell you what to do.

the world is full of gullable people , for the most part. sociopaths flatter them , tell them what they want to hear and control them. and a few see whats going on and try to tell the gullable whats going on , but so far its always failed. the gullable prefer to be flattered by sociopaths
Dante
The philosopher princess gave well thought out replies, which I feel I should respond to.

1. Voting. It is hard to see how not voting is a creative act. It does signal a lack of legitimacy of a system, but considering that politicians routinely get in nowadays with less than 25% of the voting population actively against them seems to speak against this position. Not voting seems to mean... Business as usual. Politicians appear concerned about this issue, becuase they need ot be to attempt to shore up their legitimacy. But all that they need to do is continue in business as usual, they may bemoan the loss of a link between rulers and ruled, but in practice, unless someone stops them ruling, it is nto such a big problem for them.

This links ot the issue of deregulation by way of the case study of Mozambique. As far as I understand it, Mozambique has followed the liberalising model fairly carefully. To the point where the major income streams for the government are from outside the country. The government offers little in the way of services to the people, and the people expect little form the government, and pay very little tax. But the show continues, voting is an empty exercise, many don't vote, but the rulers till keep getting their capital flows, so all is well.

The point being that a country needs a strong compact between govenrment and people in ordedr to be civilised. Having public goods provided by private, profit seeking businesses is nto efficient. Businesses are not necessarily more efficiant than public institutions, this is a myth backed up by little evidence. A well run public institution can be more efficient. Also most inventions come form the public sector, so business does nto really drive innovation either this is a myth. As Chomsky points out endlessly, computers, aeroplanes etc.. come form the public sector, because inovation requires risky investment carried out in the long term, not something businesses tend to take on, they are short-termist in character.

As for health care, there are endless statistics on the per capita cost of US and European health care, and the US model is more expensive for what it delivers, precisely becuase there is so much profit being drawn out of the system. I don't have time to cite now, but would like to point out that it stands to reason: Where does profit in health care come from? Ultimately from you, when you are sick.

To sum up, not voting is unlikely to change the world, as states can continue with very weak bonds between rulers and ruled. And the laissez faire approacht o health care is most certainly more expensive.

I am not saying de-regulation never works: The examples the Princess gave are perfectly valid, but they have little bearing on the costs of a healthcare system overall.
Dante
I believe that the Princesses position is drawn from writers like Baudrillard and Deleuze. They have theories driven very strongly by ideas about consumption, and there is a problem in that they tend to fall into the liberal formalism that people are somehow free if left alone. Not so, people still need to make a living, at least in the world as it stands now.

Is this your philosophical position? Where are you drawing your position from? How do you draw the linkage between inaction and creativity?
Dante
Finally a last challenge.

There is growing scientific consensus on climate change that seems to indicate that we need to reorganise the ways in which we draw our livlihoods within the next 10-20 years, or we face the serious risk of a massive human population crash. How will not voting achieve this, it seems a bit passive compared to say concerted public action, like protest.
SunburnedCactus
Dante wrote:
Finally a last challenge.

There is growing scientific consensus on climate change that seems to indicate that we need to reorganise the ways in which we draw our livlihoods within the next 10-20 years, or we face the serious risk of a massive human population crash. How will not voting achieve this, it seems a bit passive compared to say concerted public action, like protest.


The problem with this issue is that it is yet to be put to the vote in most countries. At present there seems to be very little in the way of clearly defined strategies to combat this, with such schemes as carbon trading doing little more than diverting attention. Furthermore the US has refused to have anything to do with the global initiatives to tackle global warming, despite being a large factor in the equation.

Besides, if there were a vote, what exactly would the choices be?
The Philosopher Princess
“Your vote is your voice!”
“Your vote is your power!”

These are the slogans (on placards, signs, and ads) of the votemongers whose mission is to get you to vote.

Consider what they are saying. If your vote were really your voice and your power, then why would you give it away lightly? Why would you give it to those who want to rule over you? Why would you not require something of value (at least an enforceable promise) in return for something as valuable as your personal power? Is the campaign promise something of value?

They say, “vote for me and I’ll give you what you want…” and afterwards that’s known as a “campaign promise” that they can’t be expected to honor. So, in the political world, anybody who expects politicians to be honorable is a naïve knave. You give them your vote in exchange for promises they aren’t expected to keep. Wow! What a deal!

Consider dealing with a (stereotypical) used car salesman. He says he’ll fill the car with gas if you buy it. Maybe some other things he claims are questionable, but if you buy the car without the gas and then he says, “that was just a sales gimmick, you can’t expect me to honor it…”, you’d likely have a fit and get him to honor his promise by threatening to back out of the deal.

But you don’t have the same leverage with politicians. Once elected, they’re harder to get rid of than scabies. Once they get into office, they are in control. And you, their real masters, become their subjects -- all, because you gave them your vote -- your power -- to rule over you.

So you see, when it comes to being believable, campaign promises are below sales gimmicks. Politicians are lower than used car salesmen. It’s obvious from the level of integrity expected of them.

Be careful how you exercise your power!
If your vote is your power, be careful how (and whether) you vote!
alja
The vote is a right but is also is a duty, whe we don't vote we are letting other to decide for us. I know that nowdays and actually always politics have been a untrasted field in our goverments but the point is that if we don't vote we are saying that we do not belong to this country for that when we don't have good options to vote what I do is to use the white vote.
withaar
The article by Brad Edmonds does not so much criticize the current government, but poses that any government is fundamentally evil, since it concentrates power. By his logic not just GW, but all the presidents and governments before are bad. He would prefer anarchy. Here is a quote from the same article:

Quote:
When you vote for anyone, even a libertWhen you vote for anyone, even a libertarian, you are voting to give the coercive power of government to that person. You are voting that he be able to force everyone to do whatever he wants. This is made worse by the fact that there is no legal requirement that any politician even attempt to do in office what he claims while running for office.


I would love to be an anarchist, but, sadly, I don't trust my fellow human beings enough. I also believe that much of the current level of technological and other sophistication we enjoy (internet) depends on some kind of concentration of power, e.g. a standards commission. One of the US founding fathers has a famous quote on this, mentioned in this excerpt:

Quote:
If there is a lesson in all of this it is that our Constitution is neither a self-actuating nor a self-correcting document. It requires the constant attention and devotion of all citizens. There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: "A republic, if you can keep it." The brevity of that response should not cause us to under-value its essential meaning: democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people, they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.

From: http://www.constitutioncenter.org/explore/ThreePerspectivesontheConstitution/ARepublic,IfYouCanKeepIt.shtml

The point is, that any successful democracy stands and falls with the participation of citizens. The current state of the US has more to do with an uninformed electorate that does not read the program, in cases does not make the effort to vote. After the (re)election of GW I remember coverage of voters coming out of the booth, stating they felt they had to vote for Bush because John Kerry was a "flip-flopper". A buzz-word the republicans exploited masterly to catch the legions that base their contribution to the electoral process on 1 minute of coverage on a major network. Oh, and it was of course a lie.

The system in the US has devolved to the point where the 2-party system seems to offer no choice. Voters are disenfranchised. Participation in the republic can go further than voting: run for office, support a candidate you believe in.

Spoil you ballot rather than not vote. If you want your non-vote to make a statement, show at least you made the effort to go to the booth.
xxxse7enxxx
You know in some parts of the world people cant vote, or i mean some poeple can vote but some cant thats screwed up. You know how lucky we have it here in the United States of America. Yeah Really lucky. Everone can vote, assuming they are over 18. So to vote or not to vote.....................................................................................................



TO VOTE Smile......
SunburnedCactus
xxxse7enxxx wrote:
You know in some parts of the world people cant vote, or i mean some poeple can vote but some cant thats screwed up. You know how lucky we have it here in the United States of America. Yeah Really lucky. Everone can vote, assuming they are over 18. So to vote or not to vote.....................................................................................................



TO VOTE Smile......


The point is not that we have the freedom to vote, rather that the choices we have are limited to the point that voting no longer becomes a reflection of our views. This has already been covered in the thread.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Be careful how you exercise your power!
If your vote is your power, be careful how (and whether) you vote!


A great part of having said power is to know when not to use it, as you say. But if "your vote" is truly a gift of power, then those to whom you would be giving it must surely know this as well, and therefore the its power is lost through simple manipulation. This is the basis of modern campaigning and "spin".

Sadly once someone is elected they become practically immune to any rebuke you may have. If a car salesman rips you off you can hire a lawyer and invest in legal proceedings, an ability which allows you to retain much of the power you used to make the purchase. However unless the leader makes a real Nixon of things the public and even members of so-called bodies of power are useless. So you are investing a complete trust, not just in what campaign promises have been made, but also in elevating your leader to such a status.
withaar
SunburnedCactus wrote:
The point is not that we have the freedom to vote, rather that the choices we have are limited to the point that voting no longer becomes a reflection of our views. This has already been covered in the thread.


Although I agree with what you are generally saying, this comment above is incorrect. The original post for this thread referred to an article that expounds a somewhat extreme libertarian view, namely that any form of government is wrong. This is an important distinction to make.

Do you really believe that reducing the voter turn-out will aid the anarchist cause? Quite the opposite I would say. In all likelihood you are not happy and joining all the other unhappy citizens not voting. There views become then unimportant. Imagine what the outcome of the past elections in the US could have been if all that didn't show had voted for Nader! A landslide victory. In north america you can be an anarchist by moving to Alaska, which is, incidentally, where the writer of the said article in the original post is from.

The fact that the big parties and powers that be use slogans to get you to vote and legitimize their position does not mean that voting is evil. It just means that these entities expect to gain from a higher voter turn-out. Vote against them, or spoil your ballot, or run yourself - I might vote for you, but I'd have to read the platform first.
BoKa
Voting legitimizes citizenship in a country with an elected government. In countries without an elected government, obviously, voting is irrelevant. So.. if one were to argue that abstinence of voting makes a statement. Then I would agree only on the basis that the statement is of apathy for the government as status quo. Will that solve anything? No, because nothing is absolute. Generally speaking, there are two opposing forces that serve to strengthen/weaken a government. Nationalism (and the creation of it) is a measure of government strength. On the other hand, devolutionary forces (or the creation of it) serve to weaken government. What you propose does not strengthen nor weaken government. You do not vote therefore you do not change the current administration (to weaken or strengthen it). You, in principle, have made your citizenship irrelevant.
Now for the sake of argument let us say that a significant proportion (never a hundred percent, as that is an impossibility) of the population were to follow you and not vote. What would we call that? reality. Only 50-60% of registered voters in the US, in the last election actually voted.
http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2004.htm This figure has not changed much from previous years either.

So, if you are unhappy with the current state of affairs in a country (that believes in peaceful transition of government through election), you have three impactful ways to change your existence:

1. lead/follow a revolution to change government --- hardly a practical choice.

2. move out of the country --- you wouldn't be the first one to do it...

3. vote --- you would be the few that do.
DarthSilus
I'm noticing that a lot of people beleive that family ties and money are totally commanderring of everything. Not true, without brains, family and money are commandeered by schemeers, and they are smart. DFamily and moeny is only a tool of state craft. Coruption plus democracy equals beneificial auttocracy!
Dante
Quote:

Problem is it hasn't been put to the vote. Besides, if there were a vote, what exactly would the choices be?


Fair point. However I am not advocating voting on the issue, I am advocating serious debate and protest. The philosopher princess has a point in as much as the chances of us getting a real choice out of the electoral system on this issue at this point is almost nill, since getting elected means getting funded for an ad campaign by big business, who are unlikely to give you real choices in this matter. However not voting won't make a difference to this.

The real choices would be around cutting our emissions massively, re-organising the economy accordingly, and re-organising our political system so our politicians are not so dependent on big money in order to get in. That is the big distortion in our system.

The big problem with voting is that it does not transmit very much information, only 1 bit about which candidate you prefer for the next x years. However, the same critique can be made of the free market: It only transmits a tiny bit of price information. There is no replacement for political debate, and where necessary, civil disobediance and protest. That is the history of progress, that's where democracy came from.
DarthSilus
I seem to be getting ahead of myself here. I'm sure you all take it that voting is what I think is one hundred percent best.
Well, yes and no. (please no comments on how "yes" and "no" contradict each other)
As I said, a republic, or democracy for that matter, is simply an autocratic enviroment, only it makes the aristocrats work for their ascendants, regardless of corruption, in fact, because of it, and that allows us to be ruled by dictators, which is positive, only we keep them in check, and we make sure they actually are intelligent.
The thing is, the country seems to be very unsure of itself. Yet, as our founding father Thomas Jefferson said, "Periodically, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots."
We need a president who becomes ruthless for us to reevaluate our priveldege of voting, and to realize the freedom isn't totally acheiveable, nor able to be acheived. Look what happened after Clinton; the country had a re-awakening, and look now, the very oposite movement to the hippie's perverted version of liberalism--conservatism--is now in control, thanks to us, the voters, and our newfound questioning of the questions.
In all, we need to have a jostle like the War in Iraq every now and than to keep us focused on the government, and some day, we'll need to battle an internal tyrant, perhaps loose, than regain ourselves someday sooner or latter, for us to keep our liberty.
Please don't take this at surface value... think on it, I'm not always the best at spelling things out.
d59gibson
I do agree with you that it better not to vote at all if you are just voting for something because you do not agree with the opposing view. You should only vote if you have an informed opinion about what you are voting FOR. Also, on a different note, to be able to dissent is patriotic.
rob31
Voting in what you believe in is necessary, actually obligatory in today's society. Too many corporate companies are taking over what we believe in. Creative advertising that we may be unawares to can easily overcome our self-thoughts and make us believe that we should vote for something that is not right. A morally mature person should easily recognize what is right and what is wrong, but because of today's society and new technology and study of the mind, it often becomes difficult to realize it. Vote for what you believe, believe what you vote for!
Tomokun
Hi, I'm new so please be gentle.

It seems to me that the "opposition" as led by Philosopher Princess, is not being asked the right question. How can you possibly think that not voting will help? Maybe I'm just a young whipper-snapper, or an old fashioned fuddy-duddy, but I can't see how doing nothing will make anything better. Even Ghandi did something, and he was a pascifist.

Let me put it another way. Cool

In this constitutional republic that americans live in, (sorry, I'm a libretarian and prefer to refer to this country as it is supposed to be, not how the media thinks it is supposed to be) we HAVE (not given) the right to vote on those who will represent us. The reason for the government, congress, judiciary et all is to protect our property rights. Yes, they have in fact overstepped their bounds. But that is because we as a society have let them. It isn't just a two-party system, why do you think you can WRITE IN people, hmm? In case you don't like the people running, you can vote for someone else, even none of the above, as seems to be the once again popular phrase *see Brewster's Millions* This country (US) is great because of the adaptability that is built into its construction, but like its people it has become fat and lazy. We all sit our desktops and laptops, talking on our cell phones and texting each other about what a horrible president so and so is, and how rotten things are, but very few actually do anything. Voting is just the bare MINIMUM that you can do. And for those of you who keep saying two-party, remember the Green party and other political parties that have floated about, they tend to have little or no power because they are grass-roots entities, and usually just take votes away from the main two. But did you think it would be easy to move a mountain? Espeacially ones that have stood in place for almost 200 years? No, the power of grass roots is that it SLOWLY undermines the foundation upon which the mountain stands upon, until suddenly it sits on nothing, and creates a new foundation upon which the new grass roots can form its own mountain.

So I ask again, how does not voting help? How does a protest with no publicity actually function? Something to put it in perspective...

They came for the Communists, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Communist;
They came for the Socialists, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Socialist;
They came for the labor leaders, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a labor leader;
They came for the Jews, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Jew;
Then they came for me - And there was no one left to object.

- Martin Niemoller, German Protestant Pastor, 1892-1984

If you aren't voting, then what are you doing to make a difference?
withaar
Tomokun wrote:
It seems to me that the "opposition" as led by Philosopher Princess, is not being asked the right question. How can you possibly think that not voting will help?

I agree completely, also with much of what you say below. In addition, philosopher princess misrepresented the article she quoted to support her point.
Tomokun wrote:
In this constitutional republic that americans live in, (sorry, I'm a libretarian and prefer to refer to this country as it is supposed to be, ...

Note that the original article was written by a libertarian of a rather extreme sort, who suggests that the state should be as decentralized as possible. Your vote helps concentrate power and therefore is bad.
Tomokun wrote:
It isn't just a two-party system, why do you think you can WRITE IN people, hmm? In case you don't like the people running, you can vote for someone else, even none of the above, as seems to be the once again popular phrase *see Brewster's Millions* ... ... it has become fat and lazy.

I think we can agree that at the present it is a "de facto" 2 party system. I appreciate that the US political system is far richer than that, but without a citizenry that takes an active interest you leave the power to those who will come and get it. The voting public is the final check and balance.

A different and more distressing view is that the majority voting americans simply wanted GW is office, the 2nd time around, eyes wide open. This, I believe, indeed has a lot to do with the influence of media and large corporations, which are also severly invested in maintaining the 2 party system. You have a microsoft investing in both candidates and parties but not in green.
SunburnedCactus
withaar wrote:
This, I believe, indeed has a lot to do with the influence of media and large corporations, which are also severly invested in maintaining the 2 party system. You have a microsoft investing in both candidates and parties but not in green.


Precisely. So much money has been invested in the system that the balance has been severely disrupted, to the point where lobbying and making donations have more power than any vote.


EDIT: Sorry for the lazy paraphrasing! Embarassed
withaar
SunburnedCactus wrote:
withaar wrote:
This, I believe, indeed has a lot to do with the influence of media and large corporations, which are also severly invested in maintaining the 2 party system. You have a microsoft investing in both candidates and parties but not in green.


Precisely. So much money has been invested in the system that the balance has been severely disrupted, to the point where lobbying and making donations have more power than any vote.


Let us not take me out of context Wink. I agree with your statement per se. Someone who arrives with a million $ at the party office will expect something in return. There are people trying to change those issues, such as a cap on donations, or even limiting donations to personal (non-corporate) ones only.

My statement however should be quoted with the line before it. It is the lethargy of the american voting public that, again, according to me, was clearly not the best choice and in fact an embarrassment to be in the running at all. It still boggles my mind he got two terms in office. One could say he was not really elected the fist time, but he should not even have received 10% of the vote.

Quite clearly all of you who are so discouraged and now think voting simply makes no sense, you are asking the right questions. Vote your hopes not your fears.
Omoel
withaar wrote:
Vote your hopes not your fears.

Yup, you are right. But what if [in the second "part" of elections] ya have a guy who is like a Stalin crossed with a duck, and the second is like Mussolini, crossed with a donkey? What then? They chosed Kaczynski in Poland [teh duck-Stalin]. Ok. And what now? It's like always. He's not doing nothing he promised, but spending cash. Cool, eh?
I still think that people should vote. But, becouse most of them [I'm talking about my country now, but it aplies to others] are idiots, you will get a president-dictator if they vote. If ya don't let them to vote - yer not Democratic. And if ya try to think about other possibilities your going mad. Mad I say!
So - ya should vote only if ya got IQ above 130 Wink

[Hello btw. Smile ]
tfarrell67
I think "South Park" co-creator Matt Stone had it right, if you're uninformed don't vote.

If you're exercising your freedom that's fine but you may as well forfeit your right to bitch about the outcome.

Your lack of participation won't prove anything. In 100 years (or even 1 year) no one will know or care that you didn't vote. However, history will remember who you didn't vote for.

If you really want to affect change then run for office yourself. Start small, locally, and work your way up.

But how can giving up on the entire process help?!?

T. Farrell
_csfp_
Vote or not to vote? This is the problem, I always not vote because that is my vote. So, I don't vote.
Omoel
tfarrell67 wrote:
If you really want to affect change then run for office yourself. Start small, locally, and work your way up.

'K... You say "work yer way up". And what then? What would ya do? Would ya do something different than the guys that have power now?
bethnelson
you should vote.
benwhite
At this stage in the game, it would be more relevent to discuss voting on legislation as opposed to voting on the presidency. Clearly, we have a pretty stubborn and inflexible system in which it is 1) very difficult to run effectively and 2) minority (not race, but opinion) are left to dry in states with an opposing majority (i.e. democrats in Texas who voted for Gore). With this in mind, voting is still a civic duty, but this is not necessarily the area in which voting becomes most important.

In local and state elections, the vote already becomes more relevent. It is much easier to elect the senator of your choice the president. But even then, this is not the most active role voting plays.

A simple example or two should illustrate the point: The vote to legalize gay marriage in Mass. or to award state money to stem cell research in Cali.

People across the country and in the federal government continue to debate these issues. As we speak, more and more states are passing laws banning gay marriage. People vote these measures into reality. Youre elected leaders matter, but when it comes to issues like this, the vote really does count. Unless you're apathetic, it's hard to justify not voting for or against legislation that really does rely on the support of the common citizen. Not every city or state is so liberal or conservative that every law is a given and every political decision a formality.
DarthSilus
I think you have all failed to see another point.
Like I said: not only does the president and other poloticians have to rise up with a public image, but also through the corrupt, complex, and hidden world of the politicians. So, the President, for example, is either A)Smart as hell, or B)ruled by people collectively smart as hell. Also, wealth and family will find itself in the hands of the smartest. Just think, because you know it is true, after all, havn't you heard of scheming and "mind over body"? I think all will agree when I say intelligence is the number one, and only, large factor when it comes to political manueverability.

The point you haven't considered is: all these extra rules placed on polotics, especially unoffical rules generated by our decrepid society, are making it impossible for any politician to function. There is so much corruption that when normally America supported its wars, now, beginning at the Korean War, we have fallen from that. Bush pulled one string by going to war, and, because of globabal democratic corruption, was strangled by the ensuing mass of strings that were upset. This is why we haven't has a "good" president in a long while, and thus, why you think your vote doesn't count.

The fact is, evtentually we'll get a shatter point that, although unpleasant, will clean up the whole thing. Just look to the past.
amalonline123
its rally a good one
Matrixz24
Personaly i think all goverments are all corupt and well i dont vote at all cause whoever we bring in as president or prime minister or what type of goverment they will be corupt one way or another so i dont vote at all i just go with the flow and pay my frigin taxes lol
Omoel
Iluminati, eh Silus?
Even if there is a big friggin conspiracy... Then what does it change? It changes nothing. Because we can't control it either way. So your point is inrellevant [but probably true Wink ].
When ya think about this... Don't ya think that the "Iluminati" - kind of guys, can do good things for da country? They live in it. They could be patriots in some way. Of course, they want money, but their "moves" on the world Chessboard can be good for yer country also, eh?
Whatever, this could make a topic, but this one is about something else.
Even if ya think that ther is an Iluminati Brotherhood that rules yer country, ya should vote. Why? Because ya could be wrong. And it doesn't hurt [most of the times Mr. Green ].
Tomokun
Hmmm, I can see what some of you are saying, but some of the other statements Confused ....

I do agree that we should be voting for people in the senate, because basically that is ithe counter balance to the president. The reason the current regime is so effictively trampling on rights is because something is different from the last good President we had (Clinton), the senate is on his side. That makes a huge difference, and that is also something to consider. Most people don't give a damn about their senate elections, and put none of the time that they put into their decisions on who shall be president. It really should be flipped, because that is a huge chunk of power right there.

And I gave a good start on reading up on the article, when I'm done reading it I have some commentary, believe you me. Rolling Eyes
glennesau
in my opinion if someone dosn't want to vote then they shouldn't have to. it is a right to do or not to do. voting can always seem way too stressfull for someone also. so if you don't want to... you don't have to.
Omoel
Quote:
so if you don't want to... you don't have to

Of course. But still - don't you think that you should do it, because ya can? You've got rights not to vote. But ya also got rights [and their better Smile ] to vote.
Tomokun
Exactly, you don't HAVE to vote. That's why we are a free nation. But like everything in life, there are consequences. You don't HAVE to obey the speed limit, and you don't have to pay the ticket you'll get as a result. You don't even have to get your liscence reinstated, or comply with the officers when they try to arrest you. The difference with voting is that the consequences aren't immediately apparent. A city block of people chose to exercise their right to not vote in 2000, and as a result Bush was able to steal the election. So go ahead, don't vote, in fact I would prefer that people who don't think voting is important don't vote, that kind of mentality would probably vote against my choice of candidates and leads to a larger number of people who will support candidates who support turning back Roe V.S. Wade, increasing taxes, and "voo-doo"/supply-side economics.
Dante
A city block of people didn't just not choose to vote.

A modern election involves databases that can track incomes household by household, block by block for an entire country. This is a by product of market research and advertising. Voting records for areas can be cross indexed with that, and 'swing' voters pinpointed for maximum effect per campaign dollar spent.

In addition, ethnic minorities can be wiped off the electoral register by disqulifying people for minor criminal offences. Since theri is a strong correlation between poverty, minor offences, bieng black and voting democrat, this can account for more than a block full of voters in a Swing state.

Above and beyond that the point has been made well that to even make it into the race you need big bucks for advertising. This effectively limits it to corporate freindly parties.

I can agree that modern electoral politics is a managed spectacle, to quite a frightening degree.

However I cannot at all see how not voting changes anything. Many have put this point on this list and it has not been answered sustantively.

What exactly is the causal link between not voting and bringing down what is admittedly a fairly undemocratic system?
The Philosopher Princess
This post is an invitation to delve deeper into the issue of voting. We’ve had some very good warm-up discussion on this thread. And we will continue to welcome anyone new here weighing in on the basic issues concerning To Vote or Not To Vote: That Is the Question. However, for those of us who are ready to get deeper on the issue of voting, let’s discuss the bigger picture. Let’s study with each other how and where voting fits into the world.

Despite some implications otherwise, voting is not the be all and end all. Even most people who are pushing voting as being very important, will have their limits about what is an improper election and what is improper to vote on.

There have been many well-stated requests on this thread for me (and others who see the bigger picture where Not Voting fits in) to explain more. I intend to begin discussing that, now that the subject has been sufficiently primed.
~~~~~~~~~~
Though I’m attempting to change the specific focus of the new discussion topics here, what I’m proposing is not a new thread because:
(1) anyone who chooses to discuss some deeper things should first read what’s been said here to have a better idea of what constitutes being deeper, and
(2) we’d like to avoid those who haven’t read the initial warm-up posts, from offering repeats of them.

I realize people will still need to respond to previous posts, myself included. Maybe they can also be considered in terms of “the bigger picture”.
~~~~~~~~~~
So, here are some new questions on which we could focus.

** In government elections, what is valid to be voted on? What is invalid? (For example, is it okay if we all get to vote on what the country’s official religion is to be? What about the country’s official language? What about the country’s civilian uniform? What about people's hair length? Is it okay if we voted for a particular race of people to be slaves?)

** For those who don’t have voting limits, i.e., who believe every issue makes a valid election, what would you do if the rest of us voted for you to go to prison for life even if you hadn’t committed a crime?

** For those who have voting limits, on what are your limits based? In other words, why in your opinion are “those” things you mention okay for the public to vote on, but not “those other” things? Can you name your limits in principle form? Or are they just your personal preferences, with no admitted logic?

** Do you have a life/political/world-view philosophy that encompasses your opinions on voting? If not, why do you believe your opinions on voting are valid? Or, if not, do you admit they are not valid? If so, what's a concise description of your "bigger picture" philosophy?

** Can you name elections from history that you consider to have been invalid?

** Is majority rule the end all be all? Do you believe that as long as the majority votes on something, that something has to be done? If not, why not? And if not, what things fit majority rules and that’s it, and what things don’t fit? If so, why? What exactly is majority, and majority rules, as you use them?

** How do voting and elections fit into the bigger picture? What is the bigger picture, as is relevant to this context? (Include factual kinds of things that may not be addressed in your personal world-view philosophy.)

** What are some other “big picture” questions on voting that I haven’t named but would help us get deeper?
~~~~~~~~~~
We don’t all need to answer all of these. I made a list to give people ideas and choices of starting points. And yet, any of us who can’t answer all of these (for ourselves at least) but claim to have a valid opinion on voting, well..., I call the latter into question. So, we could start with some, and answer others as time permits.

I invite you to include words like deeper and bigger picture or your own versions, and/or to state the questions/issues you're addressing, so that the rest of us can tell that you're in this new context.
~~~~~~~~~~
What I’m mostly asking is for each of us (myself included) to come up with our own deeper meanings -- for us each to think about the bigger picture and describe what it looks like. Different ones of us have offered everything from simple, off-the-top-of-the-head notions to already-big-picture thinking. At whatever level of depth you have already reached, this is an invitation to go even deeper -- to think even bigger -- and to help the rest of us do so as well -- all the while keeping (Not) Voting as a main component.
SunburnedCactus
I have a question before we get started: Are you encouraging this debate for some academic purpose or just for fun Shocked ?

Not that it's bad. One of the best threads about in fact. I just wonder what motivates you to put in the effort Philosopher Princess.

Question
lucasaides
yea for what you need all thise?


is help you or somthing???







LUCAS
Omoel
Deeper ya want - deeper it will be. But I don't have all my life to spend, so i will answer for 1 of yer questions. For now Smile .
Quote:

** In government elections, what is valid to be voted on? What is invalid? (For example, is it okay if we all get to vote on what the country’s official religion is to be? What about the country’s official language? What about the country’s civilian uniform? What about people's hair length? Is it okay if we voted for a particular race of people to be slaves?)

What is valid? Everything that concerns country, and doesn't hurt a group of people, IF the grup is legal [so - no kilers, roberers, etc.]. But NOTHING. NOTHING I say, that is busines of one unit, should be voted by everybody.
So no voting on religion - because it's a personal thing, and it can limit the rights of a normal person, that only wants to do something that he/she think is right. Official language? Of course ya can make elections of what language people want, but they would pick the native one, so it's just a waste of time.
This is all for now. If nobody will react on my post, i will write answers for teh rest of questions... So I hope that somebody will react Smile .
Israfel
The idea with voting is that the governed people are given the opportunity to express their collective opinion on a given matter (e.g. which candidate to elect as president). Not voting achieves nothing - regardless of the reason for which you aren't voting. If you disagree with the policies of all available candidates in an election, you still have the chance to tip the scales in favour of the candidate whom you consider to be the best.

I live in Australia, so my knowledge of U.S. politics is somewhat limited, but I'm doing my best to keep up with the discussion. On the first page of the thread, a fellow Aussie mentioned that over here we have to vote. Much as I hate to bring up something from such a long way back, your response offended me such that I feel compelled to.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Oh man, Big Dan, am I glad you showed up!
bigdan wrote:
in Australia...as soon as you turn 18, you are required to vote at all levels of government[...] Sad
Your experience helps make my point beautifully. Pro-government people in Australia got so scared of what would happen if people didn’t vote, that they banded together to use the power of government to force people to vote. That is mob rule.

Talk about lack of freedom of speech! A grown, sane, intelligent adult can’t even make his/her own choice to vote or not vote. This is the opposite of freedom.


First of all, people are not "forced" to vote. They are given incentive in the form of a fine for not voting. This is not a loss of freedom in any way. If this democracy is to operate in the interests of the community, rather than the single person in power at the time, the interests of the community need to be registered. That is the function of voting. If everyone abstained from voting, in order to excercise their "freedom", it would be no different to a dictatorship.

And secondly, you talk about a "grown, sane, intelligent adult" making choices about their life. Surely the future of their country and the society in which they live would hold some small measure of importance to a "grown, sane, intelligent adult"? How can you possibly believe what you write?

As I've seen your responses to similar ideas (Philosopher Princess), I shall take this opportunity to address what I suspect will be your concern: no, voting is not the only way to make a difference. In fact, your single vote would play such a small part in deciding any such matter as to be almost insignificant. But it is still the most effective way for the majority of people to change the way their country is run, for better or worse.

And in response to the title, "Not Voting is Reasonable for People Who Want Freedom", you seem to be insisting that not voting is in some sick way a "freedom" worth fighting for. Are you aware that people fought for hundreds of years for that which you have so callously denied? The right to vote? It IS your duty to vote, because as a member of a democratic society, it is YOUR DUTY to give back to society and protect the ideals it upholds. If the most you can do for your country is vote in favour of a politician who is not quite as corrupt as the rest, it is your DUTY to do so. Furthermore, it's not just your duty to vote, it's your duty to find out the details of the situation and make an informed decision. To vote blindly is as bad as joining the Al Qaeda. (..ok perhaps a slight exaggeration.)

"Deeper" Stuff:

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
** In government elections, what is valid to be voted on? What is invalid? (For example, is it okay if we all get to vote on what the country’s official religion is to be? What about the country’s official language? What about the country’s civilian uniform? What about people's hair length? Is it okay if we voted for a particular race of people to be slaves?)


In any society there need to be certain fundamental rules which cannot be changed. In our society we have the basic human rights, and the more complicated rights like freedom of speech. These rights should never be changed, regardless of how many people vote to change them. Only those matters which directly affect the country as a whole should be voted on, for example the election of a leader, or whether or not Australia should be a republic (in our case). The country's official language is more of a statistic than anything else, and "civilian uniform", "hair length" etc is just making a mockery of the system. So I shall speak no further of them. As I mentioned earlier, human rights etc should not be changed regardless of the number of people in favour of doing so.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
** For those who don’t have voting limits, i.e., who believe every issue makes a valid election, what would you do if the rest of us voted for you to go to prison for life even if you hadn’t committed a crime?


Again, you're mocking the system. Don't be so childish. Your ideas about your "freedom" to abstain will not get any more valid.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
** For those who have voting limits, on what are your limits based? In other words, why in your opinion are “those” things you mention okay for the public to vote on, but not “those other” things? Can you name your limits in principle form? Or are they just your personal preferences, with no admitted logic?


Those things which directly affect the population as a whole. See answer to first question.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
** Do you have a life/political/world-view philosophy that encompasses your opinions on voting? If not, why do you believe your opinions on voting are valid? Or, if not, do you admit they are not valid? If so, what's a concise description of your "bigger picture" philosophy?


That is a very good question, Princess, and one you would do well to answer yourself, as your opinion in this matter is more than questionable. I believe that it is the duty of every member of a society to contribute to the ongoing wellbeing of that society, and as voting represents an important part of the continued wellbeing of any democratic society, I believe it is the duty of every member of that society to make an informed decision on the matter at hand and vote accordingly.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
** Is majority rule the end all be all? Do you believe that as long as the majority votes on something, that something has to be done? If not, why not? And if not, what things fit majority rules and that’s it, and what things don’t fit? If so, why? What exactly is majority, and majority rules, as you use them?


A majority vote is intended to represent the decision of the society in a given matter. Ideally, a majority vote would be defined as a scenario in which more than 50% of the population of a society voted for one thing. Unfortunately, thanks to people like The Philosopher Princess, a majority vote is where more than 50% of the people WHO VOTED, voted for one thing. While this does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the society as a whole, it is as close as we can get. Hence, it is reasonable to base any further action (in the context of the issue voted on) upon a figure of this sort.

I think I've answered the better part of your questions Princess. Would you mind if I asked one of you?

How does not voting improve your society?[/quote]
fathomer6279
Myb u shld b askin da q does voting politicians into power corrupt them? or r they all corrupt b4 nyway? or r u a person dt finks politicians rnt corrupt lyk my 'best' 'friend' at my skl?
The Philosopher Princess
Note, dear readers, that this post might seem off-topic but is probably necessary for the desired level of further discussion. If my personal context is better understood, my questions and statements to you might be better understood.
~~~~~~~~~~
SunburnedCactus, I would be happy to answer your question as best I can.

SunburnedCactus wrote:
I have a question before we get started: Are you encouraging this debate for some academic purpose or just for fun Shocked ?

I am not affiliated with any academic institution nor any public or private organization, whatsoever. (I have had minor affiliations in the past but have personally grown past them, and moved on from them.) I am completely freelance, both business-wise and intellectual-wise (and that is because I've designed it that way). I have no conflict-of-interest obligations with my intellectual goals. I am free to change my opinions when I find it warranted.

Except for a few philosophy courses taken as electives in college (my major and minor were totally different subjects), and a few nighttime adult-furthering-education macro-economics courses, I am self-taught. That means that I've read a lot, thought a lot, talked to others a lot, debated a lot, asked a lot, thought a lot more, devised a lot, revised a lot, etc. -- all in search of the truth in the areas of my interest (which are abundant).

SunburnedCactus wrote:
Not that it's bad. One of the best threads about in fact.

I’m very happy there. That is a goal of mine: to achieve depth at the expense of breadth. When many people go to a party, they try to meet lots of people and have lots of conversations. I, instead, will typically seek out the individual who has a mind and who will journey deeper and deeper philosophically, where we both are experimenting with what we offer and accept; the actual journey depends on us at that time. I'd rather learn a lot from one decent human being than very little from many.

Likewise, here at Frihost, I will tend to concentrate on a few topics rather than sprinkle many topics with flighty posts. And I would rather encourage a (relatively) few daring Frihosters to reevaluate their positions (especially when I believe they are being anti-Reality) than only to get more and more one-time posts. Finding those few who also have my goals is always desired. (You probably expect that I have many more ideas for potentially long-lasting lots-of-fun Frihost threads.)

SunburnedCactus wrote:
I just wonder what motivates you to put in the effort Philosopher Princess.

Question

While, some day, I do plan to publish some books, these discussions are not particularly for that. (Although, everything I do in life might potentially become part of that. Who knows?) While I instigate discussions here definitely for fun (I do prefer to enjoy everything I do Smile!), they are not "just for fun". I am definitely trying out various methods of communication, as well as observing others' thought processes. Just today, I had my Frihost website hosting request accepted -- yippee Smile ! Over there, I hope to gather real-life stories that might be of use, whether personally, publicly, and/or to be part of a publishing project.

I also have a personal real-life -- not just philosophical -- goal of Freedom -- for myself and for others. So, everything I do is consistent with that goal.
~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, that was probably more than you wanted to know. But you asked, and I answered. Very Happy
SunburnedCactus
Wow. Your lack of academic credentials only impresses me more. Keep us posted on the literary works, I'd certainly be interested in reading anything you plan to publish.

Right, enough brown-nosing from me. Wink

On with the debate!
The Philosopher Princess
Oh, SunburnedCactus, I thought of an important follow-up to my last post.

Another relevant goal I have is facilitating discussions. I have done it, but I'd like to do it even better. Whether face-to-face or online, I obviously can't respond to everything that I could respond to. I want people to offer more and more of value, even though I can't hold everybody's hand Wink. Look at all the latest deep stuff, recently added! It's phenomenal! We might say I sort of got that going, but then what has shown up will inspire others to react, and so on.

During those nighttime economics courses I mentioned (macro-economics is very much a part of philosophy, by the way), I founded a student-run discussion group. Each week we would choose a topic for the next week, so any who wanted to prepare could. I was the facilitator, but the content of the discussions took on a provocative life based on everybody. I guess I'm trying to figure out how to achieve such success online. You and everyone here are major players.

We never did discuss (Not) Voting. Debating that topic is brand new for me. I don't have any prepared speeches. I'm learning a lot.

Anyways, like you said:
Quote:
Right, enough brown-nosing from me.

On with the debate!
GranMastah
There is one thing we all should be aware of: voting NEVER changed anything except for people on top of the foodchain. Our votes are nuthing more than numbers and we are also little longer numbers. Why should I vote for someone who doesn't even know (care) that I exist, like a person?

Before elections: we'll give, donate, build, help
After elections: they take, destroy and kill...

Anyone sees the point of voting? Tell it to people in Afghanistan and Iraq, they never had a chance, but I'm almost sure that they would vote for THEIR dictators even after everything they suffered under their dictaotrship. Wouldn't it be silly? But it's always better to vote... What a stupid sentence. Voters Really believe that thay will actually change something. I don't think so. So NEVER VOTE and stay yourself.
ocalhoun
That's right, don't vote!
If fewer people vote, my vote counts more!
If only 50% of people vote, then my vote is 100% more effective!
Billy Hill
GranMastah wrote:
There is one thing we all should be aware of: voting NEVER changed anything except for people on top of the foodchain. Our votes are nuthing more than numbers and we are also little longer numbers. Why should I vote for someone who doesn't even know (care) that I exist, like a person?

Before elections: we'll give, donate, build, help
After elections: they take, destroy and kill...

Anyone sees the point of voting? Tell it to people in Afghanistan and Iraq, they never had a chance, but I'm almost sure that they would vote for THEIR dictators even after everything they suffered under their dictaotrship. Wouldn't it be silly? But it's always better to vote... What a stupid sentence. Voters Really believe that thay will actually change something. I don't think so. So NEVER VOTE and stay yourself.


Wow. God help your poor, misguided soul. Rolling Eyes
Metaguy
Whats the point of voting, the government is stupid anyways. Its like "lets vote on this guy so we can have more wars" or "this guy promises us less tax! Lets believe him!" when in the end they dont do anything but cause more destruction and chaos. Like think about it... if we all voted some stupid @$$ president would make our lives worse. I doubt anyone actually cares inside, they should all know that its going to get worse. Year by year...
Billy Hill
Metaguy wrote:
Whats the point of voting...


That's simple... by not voting, John Kerry could have been president. That's reason in and of itself for voting. Wink
ocalhoun
Billy Hill wrote:
That's simple... by not voting, John Kerry could have been president. That's reason in and of itself for voting. Wink


That's certainly so!
CNN.com wrote:
Bush won Florida by 537 votes

Source
I was one of those votes!
Without Florida Bush wouldn't have won.
Your'e right, If I (and a few others) hadn't voted, we would have accomplished something: We would have gotten the other guy elected.
DarthSilus
I really like where this conversation is going. It seems a lot of our non-voting competition with an actual intellect have grown quite a bit and joined us. lol
Regardless. I was misinterpreted a little. I don't beleive that there is an Illumnadi like organization--although organizations are easy to create and hide--but I beleive that the world has a lot of limiting rules and a lot of money... therefore, every man with a two-bit intelligence and some greedy motivation, in the freedom of democracy, can go for power. Thus, the leaders of the government have to constantly battle internally, let alone doing anything physical for the country. This will clear up, though, when we get a dictatorous president. It'll cause mass purgery and reform within the corrpupt world.

Back to the point: voting may not change anything (but as we've seen in the past few votes, it indeed does) but, like many have pointed out, NOT voting does even less, in fact, nothing at all.
Granted, we are a representative republic. Therefore, we shouldn't vote on too much. But we usually get what we want, regardless... thanks to public opinion polls and the arrangement of our governement.
Thus, I think our voting stops where it no longer involves us: like what was said: small gorups of people. I say the Constitution of the US was dead on on voting.

I beleive that not votting is a form of whining, or lazyness. Nevertheless, imposing voting is totally bad. Also, voting on voting rules or other circular things like that inevitably undermine the power of voting.
I think the solution is to educate the public, and say, know the US, its government, the candidates, and yourself. If you're uniformed and don't care, than don't vote... but you should never not care if you have an ounce of intelligence. If we do this, we may just be able to avoid the dictator president! Either way though, we need to learn our lesson, realize that what we want as an individual may not be best for others and that what we want as a nation shoudn't always be voted on, for its not the best for the individual. Lastly, we need some motivation, and thus patriotism: never for an individual, but for our Constituotional philosophy.

The power is yours, it means something, if you had an ounce of humanity and motivation, you'd vote, and voice your opinion that you won't stand for what tickles your fancy, but is best for the people, and look and observe, voicing your objection to cases of manipulation and corruption. Thanks to public opinion polls, eventually a leader will take advanatge of this movement of eduacted thought, and appeal to it, (even if for manipulation purposes,) and than, can you say "Golden Age"?

Hope that was in depth... Smile
Xipha
I definately think eeveryone should vote, but I don't think people should be forced to vote either. If people are forced to vote there would be too many people just checking a box because they had too. I think that people need to educate thenselves about who they are voting for. There have been way too many duds in office. I think people need to look at background of the people they are voting for especially in areas of management and conflict resolution. Because when you get people wanting to be in charge because they want the fame, or money or power associated you get trouble. Its hard these days to find someone who is truly interested in the benefit of their people. And when they happen to be one of the most powerful people in the world, their decisions could mean life or death for everyone. So, to make this short... be careful who you vote for because they might just end the world....
chefur
I belive if you vote you don't make a large difference so people would vot for something just for fun.

Also Voting takes time and leads to a lot of disagreements

But on the plus side voting means that people have chosen something not been forced
The Philosopher Princess
(Sorry to not yet have added my own "deep" stuff here; I've been tied up elsewhere. In the mean time,.....)

Here are 2 recent sources backing up my claim that the act of Voting itself (as opposed to the results of the Voting) is desired by Government in order to legitimize said Government. In this case, we have extra levels of needed legitimization: U.S. politicians need the Iraqi people to show up for elections to legitimize the U.S. political decisions to start a war. (Does anybody here catch what I'm saying Question)
~~~~~~~~~~
Source: "Security in Place, Ballots Ready in Iraq" article by AP in The NY Times
The NY Times wrote:
For the Bush administration, the stakes were nearly as high as for the Iraqis. A successful election would represent a much needed political victory at a time of growing doubts about the war within the U.S. public.
~~~~~~~~~~
Source: "Bush Acknowledges Faulty Iraq War Intelligence" article at NPR.org
NPR.org wrote:
That's why this week's elections in Iraq may prove at least as important in selling the war as they are to winning the war itself.
~~~~~~~~~~
And these were just 2 that I happened to run across. You'd no doubt find countless other similar claims if you looked, yourself. Now, realize, this "legitimization" claim is not just my personal claim; this is the infrastructure acknowledging the needed legitimacy of the infrastructure.

(If you think the government-supported NPR is an objective media source, and not part of the infrastructure, you will hear me laughing from half-way across the planet. Laughing)
LumberJack
Just to throw in my two cents...

I think forced voting is fine as long as there is a none of the above option on the ballot.
The Philosopher Princess
LumberJack wrote:
Just to throw in my two cents...

I think forced voting is fine as long as there is a none of the above option on the ballot.

Okay. Thank you.

LumberJack, please share with us your overall philosophy of what else is "fine" if "forced". According to your philosophy, what is not "fine" if "forced"?

(We need this to be able to understand your previous statement.)
DarthSilus
Okay, I play along that the government needs us to vote to legitimize.
I think this is a unsupported and shallow claim though. Thus, I, the freggin Highschool student must give some meat to it. (No offense, I'm sure you're busy or you think it is apparent... but its not.)

The government may need us to legitimize it by that without it it becomes a near-dictatorship. With only a few people voting, the government can not say that it is governed by the masses. The idea that not votting will teach them a lesson is stupid though. Elementary, my dear idealist. It will simply turn it into a dictatorship... which may cause people to go out and vote, if they still can, and get freedom. Although it probably won't get like that, because they see that they aren't getting what they want and so they have to deal with it, and so they vote. So, not votting is a good way to get people to realize to vote, and thus get "freedom."
Total freedom isn't possible either... so stop whining. We aren't free to jump out of our skin, nor would anyone want to.

Quit whining and suck it up... go out and vote, so you can at least say that you made an attempt beyond bitching about it on a rambling forums. Get educated before you form an exotic opinion.
The Philosopher Princess
I'm sorry this makes you so emotional, DarthSilus. We're going to need to calm you down to make some headway. Wink

DarthSilus wrote:
The idea that not votting will teach them ["the government"] a lesson is stupid though... Elementary, my dear idealist.
Those are your words, not mine. You're arguing against a straw man. Elementary, my dear votemonger.

I want to teach the masses a lesson, because they are the only ones who can fix anything. They are the ones who will win if things change. The politicians win if things stay the same. Unlike many here, I do not put faith in Government "solutions". I agree that I haven't given you my full answer, but that's no reason to make invalid assumptions.
~~~~~~~~~~
I will say that I don't understand your logic. On the one hand, you do seem to -- not just understand -- but accept -- my point:
DarthSilus wrote:
With only a few people voting, the government can not say that it is governed by the masses.

On the other hand, with the following, you seem to counter what you are saying elsewhere:
DarthSilus wrote:
I think this is a unsupported and shallow claim though.

I know you said you're "play[ing] along", but I'm not sure what game you're playing.

If, as you write, it were to happen that "the government can not say that it is governed by the masses" do you not believe that "the masses" would notice? What do you think they'd do if they noticed?
~~~~~~~~~~
DarthSilus wrote:
(No offense, I'm sure you're busy or you think it is apparent... but its not.)
No offense taken, but thank you for caring Smile.

I will try to work on better ways to explain this to you. And I'm glad a "freggin Highschool student" cares to think about these things.
DarthSilus
I'm beggining to see your point, Philosopher princess. You see, though, I hate it when people withhold information and, (im my mind,) try to manipulate people into sayinmg what they are hiding. Its a good tactic... but its a little unfair. I understand what you're doing though, people can be really dense, and sometimes the only way to expland their minds with a large chance of sucess is to trick them.
I do admire you though... I LOVE philosophy. It's just that I don't think true philosphy needs to be witheld to get people to get it. People who are actually capable of it will get it, those that don't... well, they're meant to be ruled.

Regardless, enough damnable sentiment.
The game I was playing was that I was using converse logic. I assumed what you said was true, than I went off on the affects of this, and said "but this contradicts statement 1 (for example.)"
If the masses realized that the government needed them to vote for legitmacy, they would take their vote more seriously. The thing is, in the meacnwhile, politicians are corrupt, wishy-washy people, who are also smart as hell. They'd take advantage of it. Corrput any postive movement that comes from your scheme of storts. It would be really bad. Rather, I think the easiest way is to educate the masses. That's the beauty of democracy, the governement depends upon The People. Therefore, the better the masses, the better the government.
I Think the fault lies with us, not the government.
Just look at the past.
donkeypoodle
voting is really good because then you get what you want sometimes! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
LumberJack
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
LumberJack wrote:
Just to throw in my two cents...

I think forced voting is fine as long as there is a none of the above option on the ballot.

Okay. Thank you.

LumberJack, please share with us your overall philosophy of what else is "fine" if "forced". According to your philosophy, what is not "fine" if "forced"?

(We need this to be able to understand your previous statement.)


Sorry, really busy lately and I really wanted to post.

Basically, my concerns with Manditory voting are that people will vote for people whom they have no idea what they stand for, just to avoid fines or prison, or whatever the penalty is. There is also the fact that people do have a right not to vote for the candidates running, people have mentioned that they should spoil their ballot, however, that is not really the same as a "None of the above option" as I mentioned before. None of the above make a much more powerful statement.

Could you imagine in the last US federal election, if there was a none of the above option, how much it would be used? That states that you do not want any of the candidates in office, we currently don't have that option.

What if your country (assuming the US) institutes a policy that if greater than 50% of the popular vote is none of the above, you declare a mis-election/nomination and parties must change their nomination for president, senator, or whatever position did not get filled and have another election.... that would be exciting! Very Happy

(do not misunderstand this as the entire election won't be used, just that area.... eg. A candidates who are running in Edmonton, Canada for the Member of Parliment Position, the majority voted none of the above, then the parties would have to draft new candidates in that area in a by-election.)

The none of the above option would be very significant and gives citizens a much greater reason to vote as they would legally be able to say they dont want any of the options to set foot in parliment.
The Philosopher Princess
donkeypoodle wrote:
voting is really good because then you get what you want sometimes! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Hey, donkeypoodle, I really hate to pooh-poodle your donkey-otey love of what you want (because, being a Princess, I love what I want too), buuuuuuuuutt, if you do get what you want in that way, it's probably because you're forcing your way onto other people. Does that not bother you Question

But you're probably just kidding us, aren't you Smile ? You do look happy! In any case, welcome to Frihost, and please weigh back in here when I have doodled something deeper.

(For readers whose first language is not English, look up "pooh-pooh" and "Don Quixote", including all meanings and pronunciations. Laughing)
The Philosopher Princess
LumberJack wrote:
None of the above make a much more powerful statement.

Others have mentioned None of the Above. You, LumberJack, make an excellent argument for it. Given elections happening, I could understand one's wanting to force a None of the Above option being made available. However, I still can't understand your wanting to force people to vote, with or without that option.

The fact that people push the concept of forcing people to vote is evidence that voting does not lead to Freedom, and that voting, in fact, supports those who take away Freedom. So, it is reasonable for Freedom-loving people to refuse to take part in the system that takes away their Freedom.

I accept your statements about how "significant" the None of the Above can be. When you have a chance, would you give my added thoughts another comment?
LumberJack
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
LumberJack wrote:
None of the above make a much more powerful statement.

Others have mentioned None of the Above. You, LumberJack, make an excellent argument for it. Given elections happening, I could understand one's wanting to force a None of the Above option being made available. However, I still can't understand your wanting to force people to vote, with or without that option.

The fact that people push the concept of forcing people to vote is evidence that voting does not lead to Freedom, and that voting, in fact, supports those who take away Freedom. So, it is reasonable for Freedom-loving people to refuse to take part in the system that takes away their Freedom.

I accept your statements about how "significant" the None of the Above can be. When you have a chance, would you give my added thoughts another comment?


For the record, I didn't read everyone's posts, just the first, and the last thread (I know, I am an awful person)

I agree with you PP, forcing people to vote is essentially taking away their freedom not to vote. Let me clarify, that I am against it in general, but my "None of the Above" option does tend to change my stance.

I believe where people differ in opinion in this thread is based on how voting is viewed by a person. Is it a right or a responsiblity?

Re-reading your posts my certainity on the "None of the Above" option does waver, you have excellent points. However, I cant stop thinking about this...

- We as a society have conceeded some freedoms in order to function in an orderly manner. We yield to police as they enforce our common laws, even though this takes away our freedoms. We do this to ensure our society can function in a civil manner

- I am going to argue that voting is just as essential to the orderly function of our society. Democracy is our best tool to ensure a smooth transition of government, and our fairest representation of our population so we can create laws and policies that the majority can live with. Currently, our democracies are being threatened by apathy, and therefore a threat to how our society is able to function. Therefore, it is one of those freedoms that we should conceed for the greater good.

Besides, when you compare to to other violation of freedoms, this is very small violation, so much so that I would define it as an inconvinence.
Jordan310
I dont vote.
I used to ... but that was before all of the electronic fixed machines, corrupt government, appointed president, and gerneral apathy of the country. =)

Fluck voting.
The Philosopher Princess
Jordan310 wrote:
I dont vote.
I used to ... but that was before all of the electronic fixed machines, corrupt government, appointed president, and gerneral apathy of the country. =)

Before "corrupt government" Question Exclamation Shocked Exclamation Question

Wow! You must be the oldest person I've ever talked to! I take my tiara off to you!
SunburnedCactus
Now, now. Respect your elders (no matter how many hundreds of years old they must be). Laughing
Arnie
Governments are, in my eyes, often composed of both sincere and 'bad' politicians mixed together. Often politicians are seen as an evil group, while it's just a bunch of individuals. Probably a lot of them aren't sincere though :x But it's important not to instantly write any politician off as corrupt
Dorfinger
Isn't iraq to corrupted to think voting people are not forced to vote what other people might tell them to ?
The Philosopher Princess
SunburnedCactus wrote:
Now, now. Respect your elders (no matter how many hundreds of years old they must be). Laughing
Gosh, and I thought taking my tiara off was a sign of serious respect! Laughing

Well, it's being placed back upon my noggin now anyway.
~~~~~~~~~~
Arnie wrote:
Governments are, in my eyes, often composed of both sincere and 'bad' politicians mixed together. Often politicians are seen as an evil group, while it's just a bunch of individuals. Probably a lot of them aren't sincere though Mad But it's important not to instantly write any politician off as corrupt

I used to also think that, Arnie. I am a lay-scientist who's always been skeptical of sweeping, emotionally delivered generalizations and "evil" plots.

But the political arena is an area I have studied. Finding a sincere, non-corrupt politician is like finding a sanitary sewer line. While it may have been clean when it was first laid, it doesn't stay clean for very long.

I agree, however, that theoretically it's possible that there may be one -- or maybe more than one -- non-corrupt politician. Let's turn this "theoretically" into reality. Let's go in search of non-corrupt politicians.

Soon, I will start a new Frihost thread: In Search of Non-Corrupt Politicians. I will first do a little research to prepare. I think you're going to like what I have in mind. UPDATE: I have started the new thread at http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-21723.html. Supplemental information will be collected at http://thephilosopherprincess.frih.net/non_corrupt_politicians.html.
The Philosopher Princess
Dorfinger wrote:
Isn't iraq to corrupted to think voting people are not forced to vote what other people might tell them to ?

Yes, people in Iraq are likely voting out of fear. But that's no different from the rest of the world who also votes out of fear. People voted for Gore out of fear for Bush; people voted for Bush out fear for Gore. Fear fear fear. To listen to the media and politicians, there is no such thing as never fear. (Fear sells well.)

That's part of the nature of the "lovely" democratic process. The US Congress voted for the anti-Patriot Act out of fear of terrorism. Citizens support having their bodies and privacy invaded before flying, before entering concerts, and elsewhere, and support giving Government more power to search, hold people without trials, and generally to run roughshod over Freedom -- out of fear.

We are continually losing liberty through the democratic process because people vote their fears.

Democracy is not a positive process. It's all negative. (Yes, I know I need to show you a better alternative. I'm working on it.)

Take note Exclamation: This trend of voting one's fears leads to a world filled with exactly what one fears the most.
mstreet
I don't believe in the vote or die concept but I feel people should use their right to vote.
alkutob
Voting can give the better that you hope for ,,, the more you give ,,the more you get >>>
So don't blame others for their desires when you never try to vote for yours
mehmet
ın my opınıon,we must vote,because of not beıng raw,we should choose our polıtıcans and ıf they r not good at theır job,we should do what ıs needed.votıng ıs very ımportant for the country,so dont gıve your vote for nothıng,thınk carefully and make the best choıce,lısten me and wın,
blackheart
The lazy would find it easier to vote, than spend months coming up with reasons as to why not to. Too lazy to think, so they think on how not to think - which involves more thinking that could ever be reasonable.

If the corrupt are the only ones to ascend to power, then why do the good not try?

Also, picking the better of two evils has to be better than leaving it to chance.

And people are far too picky with politicians - a decision can never please everyone, but will always be aimed at the slight majority where-ever possible. (Note: they are actually people, and are not perfect - and when you are under such public scrutiny every mistake is exasserbated).

Take Melbourne's Steve Bracks. He cops hell for seemingly over-spending on education and medicine in comparison to his predecessor, Jeff Kennet - However the only reason for this was that Kennet under-spent - firing thousands of teachers and nurses that then had to be re-hired.
thekpo
humm you can to explain the post i didnt stund it
DarthSilus
You tend to think that corrupt politicians are bad.

Well, I think we should define "bad."

They may be corrupt, but to get to the top, they need to be smart. To stay at the top, they need to appeal to us as well as the corrupt politicians. Thus, they play by a set of rules. All politicians do.

Necessary evil.

So, what's "bad"?
mastertork
I think we should all vote, no matter what.

Last election I didn't like either of the candidates, but that didn't stop me from voting.

You really got to look at it this way.

You have to pick the lesser of two evils if you dont like the candidates
LumberJack
mastertork wrote:
I think we should all vote, no matter what.

Last election I didn't like either of the candidates, but that didn't stop me from voting.

You really got to look at it this way.

You have to pick the lesser of two evils if you dont like the candidates



You should have the right to pick none, and demand better...
The Philosopher Princess
LumberJack wrote:
mastertork wrote:
I think we should all vote, no matter what.

Last election I didn't like either of the candidates, but that didn't stop me from voting.

You really got to look at it this way.

You have to pick the lesser of two evils if you dont like the candidates

You should have the right to pick none, and demand better...

Exactly, Lumberjack!

Why, mastertork, do we "really got to look at it this way"? Why are your standards so low? You "didn't like either of the candidates" but still voted for one of them. How can that be smart? How bad does it have to get before you won't vote? (As others here have brought up...) Would you still vote if your only choices were Hitler and Mussolini? You said "no matter what". Are you serious?

As I've asked elsewhere on this thread:

Did you never have high standards, or did you lose them at some point?

And now I add:

You even admit in so many words that your standards are low. What would it take for you to consider raising your standards?

Also, please explain what this means:
mastertork wrote:
Vote or DIE!

Do you want to kill people if they don't vote?

These are not rhetorical questions. I truly would like to know these things.
~~~~~~~~~~
To, DarthSilus, you are absolutely right that we need to work on what's corrupt -- what's bad. I've been thinking about a way to get that going.
Stubru Freak
I think, although I'm not American myself, that Americans should not vote. And you, gave the perfect reason.

mastertork wrote:
I think we should all vote, no matter what.

Last election I didn't like either of the candidates, but that didn't stop me from voting.

You really got to look at it this way.

You have to pick the lesser of two evils if you dont like the candidates


Why two? Why do you have to choose between two candidates? Between two candidates, who, nowdays, have almost exactly the same thoughts?
I'll give you the truth. You can't vote.
You have 4 "choices":
First one: "vote" for the democrats
Second one: "vote" for the republicans
I'll explain these later, first the other two.
Third one: "vote" for someone else
Fourth one: don't "vote"
Let's be fair, these two really don't help anyone. If you vote for someone else, well, he's not going to win. Only 1 percent of America votes for someone else. Sad, but true. Period.
Then, not voting. Doesn't help either.

Well then, you choose one of the other two. What's the point? They're both corrupt. They're both bad choices. They both have the same thoughts. The only difference is the name and the television station they're sponsoring. Your "choice" will probably be the television station you like the most.

Conclusion: none of the four is in any way usefull, at all. So, I think the best thing you can do, except actively rebelling against the system, is just don't vote, because of two reasons:
- to show your disagreement with the system.
- and because you shouldn't support something you don't agree with.
sanarteaga
okay, so voting is evil?

Mmm interesting, so its not worth voting after the founding fathers shed tears and blood? Its not worth after the civil rights moment made such an effort to get that right?

If it is not worth, what is the whole pourpose of democracy? What are the chances of a free nation?

Isnt it like living under Hitler or Stalin?

VOTE PLEASE!
taiman
found out that voting isn't cool at thiss website called votingsucks.com. It was said that voting sucks **** but it is wrong but anyways voting rocks. Cool Peace Out hommie
Stubru Freak
sanarteaga wrote:
okay, so voting is evil?

Mmm interesting, so its not worth voting after the founding fathers shed tears and blood? Its not worth after the civil rights moment made such an effort to get that right?


It is, and you really SHOULD vote for your favorite candidate. But that's the problem. You can't vote for someone good, you have to vote between two candidates you both dislike. So don't vote for them. But instead, make use of your civil rights, to give a message to the country that it isn't okay this way.
MWANGI
We should not vote because politicians are hypocrites. They just want attention.
beatmicrosoft
Ya it is cool but it is copyrighted? Never Mind. Okay. My account got banned for nothing. And One day I am going to beat microsoft.
MrMoffo
Voting isn't neccesarily evil. And the Founding fathers did know what they were doing. We don't though. Democracy is just a best case scenario. It's only the best way because it resists any one person trying to control it. The best system would be a benevolent dictator. But the point is if you don't vote and provide a counterweight to the people who support everything you don't, then the system doesn't even do that right.
Stubru Freak
MrMoffo wrote:
Voting isn't neccesarily evil. And the Founding fathers did know what they were doing. We don't though. Democracy is just a best case scenario. It's only the best way because it resists any one person trying to control it. The best system would be a benevolent dictator. But the point is if you don't vote and provide a counterweight to the people who support everything you don't, then the system doesn't even do that right.


That's the problem, there is no democracy. You can choose between two persons.
Dante
Philosopher Princess

I see how you are playing this list now, this is not really about not voting for you, but about raising awareness of the limitations of voting as a form of political participation. If that's the case, I basically agree with you, but I am not going to keep debating the point as a part of your experiment, even though I think your facilitation has actually been very good.

I would like to look at the issue of how democracy is framed, a wider or deeper view if you like, although ideas have neither width nor depth.

Firstly you align your personal intellectual and political efforts in terms of freedom. However freedom is itself a very slippery idea, ad that is one reason why experiments in democratic legitimation (which is what our systems are) are very hard to work with.

Are we talking about freedom to do things? Opportunities to exercise our powers without constraint? Or are we talking about freedom from want and need, from poverty, overwork, risk, fear etc... This affects how you view your political model, with American style democracy focussing on the irst much more than European approaches do, which tend to focus more on the second (social democracy if you like.)

You also say you are looking for truth in your area. Are you assuming that disucssion and consideration will therefore always settle down in to something conclusive, or into consensus? Doesn't this ignore how politics, and reality production in general tends to be shot through with ongoing differences and conflicts? Doesn't your perspective talk towards expert rule (by Philosopher Guardians for instance, or technocrats) rather than the kind of open-ended debate that your facilitation politics seem to call for?

So there, your view of knowldege, reality and discussion is also part of how you view democracy.

And how much should be up for grabs? Very radical views of democracy claim that everything should be negotiable. The argument is that as soon as democracy becomes bound up in a specific set of rules, than those rules favour some over others, and thus entrench inequality, and force some voices out of the democratic arena.

However can everything be up for grabs? Can we let the wolves eat the sheep: How about if people voted to televise death row for public entertainment: Is there a core of humanity that we wish to defend from renegotiation? Do we trust our fellow citizens to make such decisions, or do we prefer moral caretakers and experts to do it for us?

None of thse questions are easy, but it is a democratic process to debate them. And that is the contradiction here, the princess, whilst questioning democracy, she is also engaging in a form of democratic practice,as if that is a solution to the worlds problems.

But can we be sure that the majority in the world are mainly concerned with their democratic rights, or is it more with their immediate livlihoods? As ddebaters of democracy we whould be concerned about what is important for the majority of people., and that includes the 1/3 of the world living on a dollar a day.
djrimz
what up yall
mr_deeds
i always wan't to vote,
but when the time comes to vote, i never do the vote !! Confused
LA Ridge
Voting of course is what separates our form of government from the dictorial advances of sadists like Hitler, and/or Saddam Insane. The whole process of the Electoral College seems to be rather remote from the conceptual understanding of the average citizen. It is not well known that the representatives are not obligated to cast their vote in accordance to constituency majority vote. There are some other strange things that the average person may not be aware of about our system, but this thread was about voting specifically.

I am personally under the belief that the majority of people should not vote. The reason I make this broad brush statement is that the populace as a whole has no earthly idea what they are voting for or against in most cases. When voting for a President there are always a few dozen propositions as well as the details that are necessary to know about each candidate. It is unfortunate that we are under a two-party rule and that only the super-wealthy are ever even considered as candidates. Sure we have other parties, but it is rare that a candidate from one of those groups can ever build the momentum that it would take to win an election.

My question has always been "What in the hell does somebody like the Kennedy's, or the Bush family know about the average citizen and their trials and tribulations?" I have nothing against wealthy people mind you, I just can't for the life of me fathom what George Bush knows about what it takes for Joe Sixpack to make it in this world!

Conspiracy theories aside (and there are many possible conspiracies), the only real advantage seems to be level of education. In other words, the wealthy can afford the Harvard degrees and the tuition to Skull and Bones, etc...

Other than that, if someone isn't completely educated on the candidate, then stay out of the voting booth! They are probably voting for the wrong guy for the wrong reason anyway.
LA Ridge
beatmicrosoft wrote:
Ya it is cool but it is copyrighted? Never Mind. Okay. My account got banned for nothing. And One day I am going to beat microsoft.



Laughing Good luck my man. That and plenty of cash is what you'll need for that venture...

Some people believe that Microsoft is some evil empire. The truth is
Capitalism IS our economy, right? That's why we vote... To support our way of life. Like it or not, Microsoft and large corporations ARE what we do best in America... It's our Gross National Product!

I would like to see a vote to rewrite the copyright laws. They are way to vague and totally outdated. But, that's a whole other thread I suppose.
LA Ridge
On a side note... In response to the thought of an honest "anybody" is truly beyond the realm of the human condition.

It is much better to have a realistic/optimist who knows that EVERYBODY lies, and is willing to at least take responsibility for the decisions they make. I always go into things knowing that the worst can happen, but believing that the best can too! I also know that I don't ALWAYS tell the truth all the time. At least I am not lying to myself, and that's just as important as not lying to others.

Look at Marion Barry. Remember that guy? Gets caught buying crack on video, resigns, and then gets elected once again to the very post he resigned from! Reason: He admitted he was human!

People lie. Period. All the time, every day. We do stupid, greedy, self serving things! We lie about our age, our religion, our weight. That is the human condition. When a man/women does not have a handle on the most important aspect of their character, their sexuality, that is when the majority of leaders fall from grace. There are only two real evils that can possess a person totally... Sex and greed! There are other character defects that make one obnoxious and pitiful, but those two are the primary fault of the vast majority of people.

Look at Bill Clinton. Nearly toppled his own presidency over a blowjob! That is a man who, at that juncture in his life, was not a mature person. A human being only reaches true intellectual maturity when they have a handle on that aspect of their personality. As long as they continue to act "Young, dumb, and full of come," they are not prepared to handle the power they attain, and usually end up losing that station in life, or killing themselves literally and/or slowly with chemical induction.

The only real "honesty" that a person can claim is their willingness to take RESPONSIBILITY for the inevitable mistakes that they will make in a lifetime. Other than that, the general population of the world consists entirely of liars, cheats, and thieves. Most likely even Pope John Paul lied when someone asked "How you feeling today?" He probably told them he felt fine when in reality he was feeling like crap! It's still a lie, right?
LA Ridge
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Dorfinger wrote:
Isn't iraq to corrupted to think voting people are not forced to vote what other people might tell them to ?

Yes, people in Iraq are likely voting out of fear. But that's no different from the rest of the world who also votes out of fear. People voted for Gore out of fear for Bush; people voted for Bush out fear for Gore. Fear fear fear. To listen to the media and politicians, there is no such thing as never fear. (Fear sells well.)

That's part of the nature of the "lovely" democratic process. The US Congress voted for the anti-Patriot Act out of fear of terrorism. Citizens support having their bodies and privacy invaded before flying, before entering concerts, and elsewhere, and support giving Government more power to search, hold people without trials, and generally to run roughshod over Freedom -- out of fear.

We are continually losing liberty through the democratic process because people vote their fears.

Democracy is not a positive process. It's all negative. (Yes, I know I need to show you a better alternative. I'm working on it.)

Take note Exclamation: This trend of voting one's fears leads to a world filled with exactly what one fears the most.



My Dear and Honorable Princess... Humans are fear-based creatures. Fear of loss being the most compelling. There is even such a thing as fear of getting too much, as in Richophobic people who hate everyone on the planet who has anything. Fear is what drives people to war, fear is what stops the fighting. Fear is what drives people to stay with someone they do no want to be with, fear is what causes dis-ease.

Whether this is some chemical impasse of reptilian brain matter, or the cause and effect of turning our back on the Spirit, it is the primary motivator of action/reaction.

Pro-Action is the opposing force of fear. It may be driven by the course of realizing that what you fear most will come to pass, but in a proactive status we are preparing ourselves to avoid discomfort.

Human beings are not truth seekers! Most do not want to hear the truth, it is in many cases, way too painful of an event. People are comfort seekers. They seek the warmth of fire and the appearance of safety in numbers. Fear can only be conquered by facing it head on! There is no other way. To do anything else is to only delay the inevitable.
The Philosopher Princess
{Deeper-Concept Essay}

{Series} How Voting Fits into the BIGGER Picture

{Topic} Allegiance Versus Freedom

{Author} The Philosopher Princess

{Definition} allegiance: loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like

{Definition} liege: a feudal lord entitled to allegiance and service; anybody under the system of owing allegiance (duties) to others in a feudal system; {Usage} Liege refers to a relationship between a lord and servant. The liege lord owes the duty of protecting and providing for lesser lieges, who in turn owe the duty of fighting for, working for, and obeying the liege lord. It is a trade-off of agreed (contracted) duties. The basic liege contract: “I agree to be your liege servant and do whatever you want me to while you agree to be my liege lord and will protect and care for me in return.

{Axiom derived from definitions} When one swears allegiance to a liege lord, a king, a secret society, or a system of government, one is pledging to be a servant, a slave, a liege to that entity to which one pledges allegiance.

This allegiance creates a duty to serve. It creates a duty to obey.

Pledging allegiance is the stronger, more ominous equivalent of the case where one agrees to play a game with rules. In order to take part in the game, one is agreeing to follow those rules. Once one is playing the game, one cannot (validly) change the rules.

The act of swearing allegiance puts a person in the position of either
(1) serving and obeying, or
(2) having no integrity.

The act of Voting enters one into a similar sort of liege relationship. Basically, it implies that one is “voting allegiance” to the democratic system. It implies: "I agree to abide by and be ruled by the outcome of this vote." If one enters into such an agreement and then fails to, or refuses to, abide by the outcome, that person is a knave with no integrity.

If, however, one does not enter into an agreement to be bound by the outcome of a vote, or otherwise make an agreement to be a liege slave of some monarch, government, secret society, or some such group, then one has no duty to be ruled by them.

If one has not entered into an agreement whereby he/she had accepted the duties of being a liege, then one can validly use the inherent option of self-defense against those who would enslave. Every organism has the inherent option of self-defense unless one has voluntarily surrendered that natural option by agreement with others.

A liege has the duty to support the liege system. A free person has the option to decide what to support, what to refuse, and what to defend against.

Any "rules" set by the "rulers" that are logical (i.e., consistent with Reality) should be followed anyway -- and smart human beings do so. Good rules do not require a ruler having forced them upon people. People who are Free (i.e., who have not sworn away their Freedom to make decisions) are free to follow good rules (in their opinion) and not follow bad rules (in their opinion).

However, people who've sworn allegiance to the system, by participating in the process of Voting, have given up their inherent option of self-defense against the results of the Voting in which they participated.

In general, one is Free not to enter into contracts. When one enters into a contract voluntarily, one is duty-bound to adhere to that contract. Entering lightly into any binding contracts is not intelligent and/or is not for people of integrity.

Entering lightly into binding contracts of allegiance -- or of agreement to be bound by whatever duties the majority decides -- or whatever the rulers decide to impose -- or any other situation where one gives up self-government for the government of others, is counter to the love of Freedom.

For one to Vote to infringe on others’ Freedom, and thereby agree to allow the majority to likewise infringe on oneself, is an action that cannot promote or protect Freedom for others or oneself.
~~~~~~~~~~
As always Frihosters, especially on the "deeper-concept" essays, I will welcome your feedback on
Arrow what you believe is anti-Reality (i.e., untrue) herein,
Arrow what you don't understand,
Arrow how you think I could explain this better using this method,
Arrow your own explanation of this same concept using a different method, and
Arrow what you like (or dislike) about this.

If any of your comments don't fit in the context of this thread, you are invited to send them to me personally.
LA Ridge
Very nice!

You have nailed the subject and done the research to back the claim that the "People" live in ignorance. So now the education begins...

To identify only a problem constitutes a series of additional problems. It's much like a dog chasing it's tail. Are you looking for a solution from the gathering here?

A conclusive solution does not exist here on this plane of our current reality. It can only be approached at that time when all of us are at the level of mastery that will be required to enlighten those souls who are still lost and forgotten.

For now the "Caste" system is all there is or will ever be! It even exists within the realm of the Spirit. Once enlightenment is attained though, all reliance upon rank and file will not be necessary. Until then, there will be leaders and there will be followers. Then there are the lost ones.

So my friend... What is the ulitmate goal of your research? To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we exist in the 3rd Dimension? You have done that well.
eznet
In the United States voting has been something that has been passed on as a duty for any American citizens who wants to consider themselves a responsible and contributing citizen. From afar this seems to make sense. It would seem straight forward; if everyone votes for what is right then as a result “right” will become the inevitable outcome, right?
On paper this is all fine and well but we all know this is not necessarily so. It must first be considered, who defines “right”? Most certainly one could argue what is right for people in the deep rural bible belt of the south is most likely not what is right for the peoples residing in California (even though the southern Baptist association would love to force their beliefs on all the “drug” using sinners and Sodom and Gomorra like homosexuals of San Fran.) . With the voting system in its current form this is exactly what we are doing; voting for ONE moral viewpoint for all the U.S. Not only this but most often NEITHER side of the voting populous gets anything near what they believed they were initially voting for.
I cannot completely condone a “no voting” policy as it would seemingly be more counterproductive than it would serve to accomplish stabilizing the political system. If the public as a whole (and it can NEVER really operate as a whole) were to boycott the next election then all that would be left to cast a ballot would be the politicians themselves. Most likely the outcome would be a crushing of the minority as well as a massive restructuring of the current government form inevitably leading to a system dominated by one party; which in-turn would continue to utilize propogaunda to inform the masses (much as both sides do now) pushing the whole of the country in the moral direction of the ruling body.
Not only would this crush the possibility of future choice and the ability to upheav an oppressive government (not to say that this has not already largely occurred as we currently have little choice) but would also serve to provide a means for a government head in the U.S. to dominate unchecked. Now admittedly many can argue this is what we are currently going through in the U.S. with our currently administration as it can largely operate without check for its actions while largely ignoring the cries of the international masses but one could also argue the opposite. What if we had not voted anyone into any position. Then the only political party (the one in power) would be in the position to assign all other positions with yes men (yes, I am aware of the parallels of this essay to what is taking place in the US currently) leaving no one in other official capacities to prevent outrageous activities from occurring.
In this one party system there would be no voice of opposition. We could all sit home quietly protesting by not voting every time we are offended by their choice but in the end what would this actually accomplish other then to strengthen the people that we in actions are opposing. Although voting as of late has seemingly become less effective in its aiding to the voting public to get their viewpoint and wishes across to the politicians it is still necessary as without it we will simply be told what to do by other because it is how they feel we should be instead of us having any role (albeit a small role currently) in deciding our futures and our rights.
juanito
a desision have been made, so go and vote, it is the best way, to select the best of the worst ...
potterrpg
Freedom would be cool.. And I agree that voting for the best of two bads does not help eaither. I mean if you vote for the bad or evil one then your country will be in peril. You country will be a major source of eveil. I totally agree, if we don't want to vote then why should we. All these political leaders promise us freedom, but if we have to vote then that is not what you call freedom. ]

In my own words, voting against someone should be allowed, not voting at all should be allowed, not being forced to vote should be allowed, that is what you call freedom.
LA Ridge
EZNet: If you know much about the Electoral College, then you know that political people vote political people into office anyway. The representative of that constituency with that particular district, is NOT required to cast a vote based on the popular vote, but rather their OWN conscience as to the "relevance" of the popular majority vote. In other words, they can vote in opposition to the majority rule. I have no idea if this has happened much over the years, and I have no real time to reference the proof right now, but it can happen.

That being said, it IS a good idea to vote in a Democracy. But we are a Republic and not a true "Democracy." In an actual democracy it is a majority rule based on popular vote. In our system it is not that way. It is very strange and very complicated how our officials in Washington, D.C. are hired. I may do a thread on it, but I doubt anyone is that motivated to post on it. Most people don't really care that much. So it would just be me giving out research information. I could do that if people would at least read it. ????

But the Vote is still the best thing around, if people stay informed. Otherwise it has about as much validity as a "forum" vote on who your favorite celebrity is...
pacslim
all i got to say about voting like in a democracy is dumb
because its proven the people with a high inteligent are a minority so a vote is allways a poll of the majority so often a DUMB choose or need/wish lol peace who all agree with me say no voting lol voting is dumb lol Wink Arrow
LA Ridge
pacslim wrote:
all i got to say about voting like in a democracy is dumb
because its proven the people with a high inteligent are a minority so a vote is allways a poll of the majority so often a DUMB choose or need/wish lol peace who all agree with me say no voting lol voting is dumb lol Wink Arrow


I wouldn't go as far as to say that voting is "dumb." But I certainly think the Dumb should not vote. And for the most part the "dumb" do not, because they have no motivation to learn. That is why they are "dumb" to begin with.

Voting is a fantastic priviledge in a society. I would never encourage anyone not to vote. I would however hope that they have at least a partial handle on the reason behind the particular vote they cast. There are local and State elections also. These are Proposition rich elections directly effecting your community, much more so than Federal elections. A State has the right to ignore Federal Statute as long as it does not pertain to a criminal matter or Interstate Commerce. Federal Laws will prevail in those cases, unless the Feds release jurisdiction.
frankb.
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
In a context of freedom, particularly of speech, I was recently unsuccessful at stirring up some discussion on the reasonableness of not voting (see the whole thread at http://www.frihost.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14434). So now I’m going to go for it more directly. Here is a snippet of an article entitled “Voting Is Evil”, which you can read in its entirety at http://www.lewrockwell.com/edmonds/edmonds223.html.
Brad Edmonds wrote:
The other LRC writers have made the case perfectly well, but sometimes in a subtle fashion, within articles that discuss, e.g., the major political parties. I’d like to make the point absolutely black and white. Here it is:

Voting is evil.

Abstaining from voting is good.

Voting is nothing more than a legal but immoral act of violent aggression. Abstaining from voting is the voluntary omission of a legal act of violent aggression, when indeed your vote could have resulted in more government handouts for you. Abstaining from voting is, in effect, making a personal sacrifice (however academic) in service of upholding an important moral principle.
The USA in particular has evolved to the point where, very often, people who vote are voting against some politician or government program rather than for something they truly believe is good. They believe (incorrectly) that voting for the best of two bads helps. I say, in the long run (and the long run is what matters), it does not help. Voting for a “better” bad gives more power and more legitimacy to the whole political system, which is just that, political.

Politicians, as a whole, would much rather have you vote against them than to have you not vote at all. (If you don’t yet believe that, pay more attention to their own statements on voting.) Why? Because the more people who vote, the more the politicians can claim a public mandate for the horrendous power-grabbing acts they do.

What do you think? (Please give us some intelligent reasoning with your opinions, not just short quips without any support.)


Voting against something/someone is really -truly- the only power we as citizens have. We can attempt to vote for something/someone...but, how do you really know that who or what you're voting for will be true? I listen to a politician when they are running for office. I make a choice based on factors that are hard to put into words. But, once I make the vote, I watch the person I voted for. (not in a crazy stalker way Laughing ) and base the next vote on the actions I've seen. I realize it's a bit of work, but with the internet, it's really much easier than it used to be. So, if the person doesn't live up to his word, I vote against him. Yep, he can get 2, 4 or 6 years "free", but second time around he's accountable and I have a long memory. What was the subject of this post again? Very Happy
horseatingweeds
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Thanks, tribe, for leading me to sharing another observation, not directed at you, personally.

Logically, something cannot be both an honor and a right.

Logically, something cannot be both a privilege and a duty.

And yet these 4 descriptions are very often used to simultaneously describe the act of voting.

What are we left to understand of the people who say these things? One thing is that they are not being logical on the subject of voting.

What do we do when we discover such significant illogics? One thing is we must be seriously skeptical of anything else these people say on the same subject. This, of course, is only if we are to be logical, ourselves.


You misunderstand logic and illogic Princess. Illogic is when someone says something contradictory. An example of illogic would be saying that water is below a certain boat and water is not below a certain boat. It is perfectly logical to say that water is below a certain boat and water is above a certain boat, however.

It IS perfectly logical for something to be both an honor and a right.

It IS perfectly logical for something to be both a privilege and a duty.

Examples:

If I were to run and win a race it would both be my honor and my right to receive the award reserved for the winner.

It is both my privilege and my duty to feed my dog, make dinner for the family, have a job, make love to my wife.
anubis26
LA Ridge wrote:
EZNet: If you know much about the Electoral College, then you know that political people vote political people into office anyway. The representative of that constituency with that particular district, is NOT required to cast a vote based on the popular vote, but rather their OWN conscience as to the "relevance" of the popular majority vote. In other words, they can vote in opposition to the majority rule. I have no idea if this has happened much over the years, and I have no real time to reference the proof right now, but it can happen.

That being said, it IS a good idea to vote in a Democracy. But we are a Republic and not a true "Democracy." In an actual democracy it is a majority rule based on popular vote. In our system it is not that way. It is very strange and very complicated how our officials in Washington, D.C. are hired. I may do a thread on it, but I doubt anyone is that motivated to post on it. Most people don't really care that much. So it would just be me giving out research information. I could do that if people would at least read it. ????

But the Vote is still the best thing around, if people stay informed. Otherwise it has about as much validity as a "forum" vote on who your favorite celebrity is...


In nebraska and maine, there are laws which allow the electors from the electoral college to vote differently than the people which they represent.

Today's system requires a couple changes. The government should be elected purely by popular vote. This is the only way we can be a democracy...

Let's take the supreme court into the picture. Their duty is to interpret laws to determine if they are constitutional. However, these people are appointed and approved by the government, so the people who protect the public are chosen by the group of people who are most likely to infringe on our rights.

Lets take the patriot act, for example.
Look at amendment 4 of the US constitution:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
And yet what does the supreme court do?

absolutly NOTHING

Why?

The cheif justice is appointed by the president, our [least] favorite Texan, George W. B. Also the president is appointing the second spot of the supreme court...

We should make justices have terms and be elected by the people.

Except none of these things will happen, because the people in Washington DC who benefit from the current system are the only ones who can cause these change.

So we're back where we started.
DarthSilus
Wow, the converstaion has just been weaving in and out of rabbit holes!
Some fools come in and say "yay, go and vote Smile " while others go "voting is bad, if you vote, than whatever you voted for--the oposite will happen."

Anyways, i think you've been giving evil too many two-dimensional qualities. For instance, you seem to think that corruption is harmonious, that all the evil little politicians are totally harmonious or that the only ones that exist are the ones that are in the front picture. You also seem to think that the President is all-powerful or that Bush is some sort of bumbling fool of a dictator. Well, i laugh at you. You obviously havn't had much contact with real evil.

These politicians scheme against each other all the time... and the president? -heck, they're everybody's main target. Where do you think Bush Hating (yes, it's an actual term) cam from? -Other politicians. Checks and balances, my good people.

Our leaders can't screw us up that bad... nor would they want to in the ways they actually can. Who wants to have more power over a dying country (who is intelligent--and intelligence is the force behind all leadership, ie-corruption.)

You need to take into account this before you go on anarchy-mongering.
Also, if you don't like voting, please give us a FREAKING ALTERNATIVE!!!

Thank you,
-Silus
Kaisonic
I do agree that voting for the better of two bads is worse than voting for a good vs. a bad, but I don't think this should prevent people from voting. Voting is one of those age-old American traditions, or something like that, and I think voting is very important. Just think of it this way; if everyone stopped voting, then how could we decide who's our leader? It would destroy democracy and we'd end up living in a monarchy or something. People like Bush would be able to lead our country without having to get votes from people. I dunno, at this point, I'm too tired to notice what I'm saying.

In conclusion, voting is good. We just need better people to vote for.
Stubru Freak
Kaisonic wrote:
People like Bush would be able to lead our country without having to get votes from people.


And you think he isn't doing exactly the same thing now? You can only vote for him, or for another person as bad as him. So the first term he has to be somewhat good to the people to be elected again, but the second term, he can do what he wants.
mrhansol
Hello

This is my first post

i think its ok to vote, if the one you voteing for is real, and not harm others
LA Ridge
anubis26 wrote:
LA Ridge wrote:
EZNet: If you know much about the Electoral College, then you know that political people vote political people into office anyway. The representative of that constituency with that particular district, is NOT required to cast a vote based on the popular vote, but rather their OWN conscience as to the "relevance" of the popular majority vote. In other words, they can vote in opposition to the majority rule. I have no idea if this has happened much over the years, and I have no real time to reference the proof right now, but it can happen.

That being said, it IS a good idea to vote in a Democracy. But we are a Republic and not a true "Democracy." In an actual democracy it is a majority rule based on popular vote. In our system it is not that way. It is very strange and very complicated how our officials in Washington, D.C. are hired. I may do a thread on it, but I doubt anyone is that motivated to post on it. Most people don't really care that much. So it would just be me giving out research information. I could do that if people would at least read it. ????

But the Vote is still the best thing around, if people stay informed. Otherwise it has about as much validity as a "forum" vote on who your favorite celebrity is...


In nebraska and maine, there are laws which allow the electors from the electoral college to vote differently than the people which they represent.

Today's system requires a couple changes. The government should be elected purely by popular vote. This is the only way we can be a democracy...

Let's take the supreme court into the picture. Their duty is to interpret laws to determine if they are constitutional. However, these people are appointed and approved by the government, so the people who protect the public are chosen by the group of people who are most likely to infringe on our rights.

Lets take the patriot act, for example.
Look at amendment 4 of the US constitution:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
And yet what does the supreme court do?

absolutly NOTHING

Why?

The cheif justice is appointed by the president, our [least] favorite Texan, George W. B. Also the president is appointing the second spot of the supreme court...

We should make justices have terms and be elected by the people.

Except none of these things will happen, because the people in Washington DC who benefit from the current system are the only ones who can cause these change.

So we're back where we started.


Truthfully ALL States have that ability. It's universal, not just Nebraska and Maine... It's the Electoral College. And your right, we don't live in a Democracy. Iraq does, we don't. We live in a Republic. "And to the Republic, for which it stands..." So I am upholding your statement, just expanding a bit.

With the exception of Supreme Court Justices (good point) whatever the President says or does is only effective the first 18 months of his tenure. After that it's time to concentrate on re-election. In the second term he could become a "Lame Duck" president, which with the exception of being Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mr. Bush is just about there. Since he did hire some new Justice guns, his poilicies will have a ripple effect for years to come. Much more than regular Presidencies. That's why the Democrats were FREAKING out this last election.
LA Ridge
Kaisonic wrote:
I do agree that voting for the better of two bads is worse than voting for a good vs. a bad, but I don't think this should prevent people from voting. Voting is one of those age-old American traditions, or something like that, and I think voting is very important. Just think of it this way; if everyone stopped voting, then how could we decide who's our leader? It would destroy democracy and we'd end up living in a monarchy or something. People like Bush would be able to lead our country without having to get votes from people. I dunno, at this point, I'm too tired to notice what I'm saying.

In conclusion, voting is good. We just need better people to vote for.


I can see... lol It's hard to think when your tired.
Stubru Freak
LA Ridge wrote:
... And your right, we don't live in a Democracy. Iraq does, we don't. We live in a Republic. ...


France is a democracy and a republic. Those two things are unrelated, a republic means there is a president, just like a kingdom means there is a king. Both can be a democracy. (Republic: France; Kingdom: Belgium)
Alacarde
Hmm, I don't know about voting on everything, but I do know that people need to look at everything from all sides, not just the viewpoint that they were raised upon, or that the news shows. For instance, let me use the War in Iraq. Why? Cause as a United States Soldier I have seen the war from both sides, the news side and in first person.

The news shows us sitting in Iraq doing really nothing in bases that we have all over their country now. Most Americans want to know why we are there, what is the reason for it? If it was Afghanistan that attacked us, and not Iraq, what business do we have being there in their country? Would we like it if some other country just came into ours?

Well, let me tell you people that the Iraqis do want us there. Why? I watched a movie about a month ago of a mother and three of her children. The baby of the children, (about two, I'm guessing), was taken in the middle of a room, and the mother made to sit on a bench, un-restrained. The man with the baby told the mother not to move, cause if she did, the other two children would get the same thing done to them, and the mother would have to watch.

The man stuck needles into the babies temples, killing it, while the mother watched, tears coming down her cheeks, but she tried not to move for the other two children in the room. In the end, the Iraqi did it to another child, and on the third, when there was nothing left to restrain the mother, told her that if she moved, the same thing would be done to her, if she didn't, she would die quickly. She didn't move.

Now what do you think? Should we be over there, or should we just pull out and let the same thing keep happening? This is something that most of the American Public will not know. People vte without knowing the whole story, and that is why our country is not as strong as it should / could be. There is nothing wrong with voting, just the knowledge that people have while they vote.
Stubru Freak
Alacarde wrote:
Hmm, I don't know about voting on everything, but I do know that people need to look at everything from all sides, not just the viewpoint that they were raised upon, or that the news shows. For instance, let me use the War in Iraq. Why? Cause as a United States Soldier I have seen the war from both sides, the news side and in first person.

The news shows us sitting in Iraq doing really nothing in bases that we have all over their country now. Most Americans want to know why we are there, what is the reason for it? If it was Afghanistan that attacked us, and not Iraq, what business do we have being there in their country? Would we like it if some other country just came into ours?

Well, let me tell you people that the Iraqis do want us there. Why? I watched a movie about a month ago of a mother and three of her children. The baby of the children, (about two, I'm guessing), was taken in the middle of a room, and the mother made to sit on a bench, un-restrained. The man with the baby told the mother not to move, cause if she did, the other two children would get the same thing done to them, and the mother would have to watch.

The man stuck needles into the babies temples, killing it, while the mother watched, tears coming down her cheeks, but she tried not to move for the other two children in the room. In the end, the Iraqi did it to another child, and on the third, when there was nothing left to restrain the mother, told her that if she moved, the same thing would be done to her, if she didn't, she would die quickly. She didn't move.

Now what do you think? Should we be over there, or should we just pull out and let the same thing keep happening? This is something that most of the American Public will not know. People vte without knowing the whole story, and that is why our country is not as strong as it should / could be. There is nothing wrong with voting, just the knowledge that people have while they vote.


It's most likely a single case. And you shouldn't say you saw that in first person, you saw it on a video...
sniffass
wow, what a striking subject. Upon first discovering this topis and reading the introductory paragraph I thought "well it's all the same whether you vote against or for a party/policy".

Then upon further investigation I realized the point (sorry i can be slow sometimes). It's just like in my home country - England. We have three major parties, I believe, Conservative, Labour and the Liberals. I don't bother voting because I don't like any of them. If I was given a chance to vote against them then I would take it. If people could start to vote against these three largest parties then the field would be more open for the advancement of the minor parties. Which if you vote for one of the small parties at the moment it's almost a waste of time because they don't stand a chance.

Well, I know some people might want to flame me because I mention voting could potentially be a waste of time but please don't take it out of context.

Gabe
sniffass
actually I feel I should add that the definition of freedom would dicatate tha tI can choose who/what to vote for. Or even vote against. Or not vote. But then if all I can do is vote for something this could still be argued as being freedom when contrasted to a dictatorship. So... I guess things could be better with the World but then things could also be a whole lot worse.

Gabe
LA Ridge
Nobody is gonna flame ya here. Against the rules anyway. It is an intelligent debate.

Debate Protocol is as follows in my thinking:

(1) Don't try to tell me what I am, or what I do. You don't know me well enough to make that call.

(2) Your opinion is valid. I may change my opinion based on new information supplied in earnest by your comment and valid research proof of your point.

That is the purpose of constructive debate. To share philosophy and understand the word compromise. The only winner in a debate are the people who compromise and agree to disagree. Anyone who flames is not very sure about their opinion and does not have the research to back up the claim. That makes people angry. Who are they angry at? Themselves, for not being able to prove their point in a diplomatic sort of way.

People who flame are lame. Treat them as you would a sick puppy dog. Pet them, give them a bowl of food, and let them be puppies. They will grow out of it and become real dogs someday.
Tsubakii
Democracy, the way the system is made up is to give everyone the right to vote, the right to decide who they think represents them best. However, how is voting for someone you don't actually like democracy? Instead of voting for the right reasons- to be represented by a government that actually makes good decisions, people vote so 'the other guy doesn't get elected'. Forced voting is pointless, you'll just have more people who vote for the wrong reasons. Over the years, the U.S. has just gone in more and more debt. If the presidents are doing their jobs then why is this a fact? I don't think it's voter turnout that needs to change, I think it is the presidents themselves that need to reassess themselves.
Hana
Hi, everybody,

This morning (it is now 5 pm here in the Netherlands), I joined this forum fot the first time and found this to be a very interesting topic. But then I spent over 4 hours just reading all the posts. I wanted to react to many of them, but it is just not possible.

My general reaction is that the initiator of the descussion, The Philosopher Princess, is making a statement in a somewhat radical manner. I also got the impression that she might be an anarchist, anarchist being someone who is loyal to anarchism as defined on page 3 or 4 by Resident Egoist.

I do understand and support the basic feeling from which her opinion or belief originates, being (If I understood it correctly) "governing yourself" and living your life in the way that you respect your own values and protect them with your own defence/ actions.
Not imposing your values on others or being forced to live by rules of others seems reasonable to me. Also the self-controlling way of competition or free market arranging interactions among people seems logical in a sense. I mean: this all could just as well work!

People living in harmony, not because they all share the same values, but simply because they don't interfere with one another. Situations may occur where people do actually share the same values, and they would then probably become friends. But they would not have enemies simply because they mind their own business?

This seems a perfect system - one in which everybody is happy, because they only interact with business relations that bring them food and they only interact with friends who share the same values in life.

I'm sorry, but it's just too good to be true!

If this is a perfect system, how come it doesn't exist? How come natural selection didn't lead to this, but history came up with something called the government?

I think I have a clue why. We all live together in the same world, using the same resources. Therefore we have to share or divide among us. Therefore, when interacting or trading or using each others services, we make agreements or contracts. Contracts / agreements are all about relying on the other person that he or she will respect this contract, and there we have it - we make rules (for example a constitution).
The rules for all involved parties to respect (read = society). The complexity of services we offer or want to use is enormous and has different levels and there is a need for some kind of oversight or control. We cannot control those alltogether because we are simply busy enough by fullfilling our part of the agreement - hence contributing to the society with services we provide - we love, we care and we work. So we give the task of controlling to the group of people we think will do a good job doing that. There you have it - the government!

(The problem that this task comes with a certain power and that most of the mankind is too weak to resist evil temptations of having power is something different!)

The only way not to have the government would be not to be a part of the society as it is. You are free not to choose taking part. It just seems to me like a hell of a lonely existence!

If one decides to take full part in the society, (when one reaches the age or the will) then I think voting is just one of many ways he/she can use to influence it.

I hope my view comes accross. The whole discussion stirred up my mind!
kanaalboysrotem
I'm from Belgium and maybe some of you know that Belgians are obliged to vote.
However we can off course vote blanco.

In our neighboor-country, the Netherlands there is no such obligatory voting. Still you can see that in the Netherlands people complain more about politicians than in Belgium.

I think if you vote, you share the responsibility of all people for a good policy of your country.

If you don't vote, you give that responsibility and power out of hands and every vote can be crucial.

Sad to notice than, that many people complain about a lack in democracy, when they even don't vote themselves.

So don't complain about democracy when you give away all democracy you received with the right to vote...
Joey2804
It really should be compulsory to vote, it is in Australia and it works wonders.

Voting isn't seen as a burden, but a responsibility, and something that we take very very seriously.

The whole voting process is alot more upbeat, with every elections happening on a weekend so that the majority of people aren't working and can vote easily. The parents take the kids and say 'hey we're off to vote' and the kids come along, then they go have fish and chips after the parents have voted and make it a real family day.

It's a shame in the US that the "leader of the free world" (despite the fact him not able to spell 'free world') is elected by 25% of the populous of ONE country.

Sad.
poogle
i'm from a little european country and our voting system is not exactly like american but i know what you think by saying- choosing better of two bad things. we have more candidats but people still don't know about politics good enough to be able to vote properly (some people voted for a man that was a famous football coach just because he could coach well Rolling Eyes , and some for another one who was our president before because there was peace at his time (it's still peace, thank god Pray )
the trouble is when people don't vote because they think their one voice can't make a change, well i tell you-all of us can make a change, we just have to start with something small....
sniffass
LA I know I shouldn't need to worry about flaming, but I#ve posted on too many bbs sites and had unpleasant results with people getting carried away. I very much side with what LA says but there are oh, so many people who will just pick one sentence in a post and get angry about it because they're taking it out of context. I really annoys the **** out of me. I really like this forum, the topics chosen are top class and the people are really cultured. Cheers guys.

Gabe
jmaneri
we should vote
The Philosopher Princess
Thankyee thankyee, horseatingweeds!! I appreciate the additional opportunities to show that 2 opposite things are, indeed, opposite -- and that 2 things that are not the same, indeed, are not the same. But you're also giving me a bonus opportunity to explain 3 new, important concepts: context-setting, context-switching, and context-mixing.

My next post is just going to be a "quick" intro to these concepts, because to really learn this stuff much more would be needed, but I do consider it a deeper-concept essay, as I worked to be somewhat thorough and fit it into the Voting subject.

This part you have correct:
horseatingweeds wrote:
Illogic is when someone says something contradictory.

In my essay, I will address your points and your very excellent examples:
horseatingweeds wrote:
It IS perfectly logical for something to be both an honor and a right.

It IS perfectly logical for something to be both a privilege and a duty.

Examples:

If I were to run and win a race it would both be my honor and my right to receive the award reserved for the winner.

It is both my privilege and my duty to feed my dog, make dinner for the family, have a job, make love to my wife.

However, I want to avoid making this a personal attack on you, while keeping the principles in tact, so, to remind us of that, I will quote without attributing it to you. I'm not really talking to you about your dog and your wife, but to a hypothetical person about their hypothetical dog and their hypothetical wife. Smile
The Philosopher Princess
{Deeper-Concept Essay}

{Series} How Voting Fits into the BIGGER Picture

{Topic} Context Uses of Privilege, Duty, Right, and Honor

{Author} The Philosopher Princess
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
{Definition} context-setting: specifying a particular perspective to be used for subsequent verbiage {Example} Mary is merry. She is dancing. {Explanation} We know that "She" refers to Mary and not some other female, because the context (perspective) has been set to Mary.

{Definition} context-switching: after a context has been set, the context is changed, often surreptitiously {Example} I'm often choosing between two evils. I always like to try the one I've never tried before Twisted Evil. {Explanation} I rewrote this from a quote attributed to Mae West. "Evil" in the first sentence means sinister, as if Voting for the best of 2 evil and corrupt politicians; while the implicit "evil" of the second sentence means sin or lighthearted mischief. The first sentence got us thinking in one direction, and then the direction was switched on us.

{Definition} context-mixing: simultaneously, using 2 different contexts {Example} Tom DeLay is not showing up for the House of Representatives Vote because it's a chance to lower taxes. Mad Freedom is DeLayed again! {Explanation} I created 2 purposeful simultaneous meanings of "DeLayed": affected by Congressman DeLay and postponed/impeded.

Context-setting is a mainstay of communication. Humans couldn't use language without it.

Methods of context-switching and context-mixing are mainstays of comedy; they are used to pleasantly trick people, causing laughter.

But context-switching and context-mixing are also the methods used to trick people in more ominous ways. (If you want to see how the gullible public is tricked into anti-Reality, pro-Government beliefs, read various books by William Lutz with "Doublespeak" in the titles. There's also a fun interview available at http://www.booknotes.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1451. Realize that Lutz's "doublespeak" is only one kind of context-switching.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Duty and Privilege

More complex definitions are possible, but let's keep things simple for now.

{Definition} duty: You must do "it", period.

{Definition} privilege: Not everyone gets to do "it", but you may do "it" if you want; however, you don't have to. Privileges (original meaning: private laws) are special options, granted by rulers, to a select class.
~~~~~~~~~~
{Example}
Quote:
It is both my privilege and my duty to feed my dog, make dinner for the family, have a job, make love to my wife.

At the point that you were deciding whether or not to take on the responsibility of owning a pet dog, it was your privilege to make that decision. (You had the option but you were not forced to accept it. Not everyone in the world had the same option with that same dog as you.) You did not have any duty at that point.

But, once you accepted responsibility of owning a pet dog, it became absolutely your duty to feed your dog (or see that it's done). You voluntarily accepted the responsibility to care for your dog and it is no longer a privilege to feed it. If you don't feed your pet dog, you have shirked your duties and lost your integrity with the world.

The statement, "It is both my privilege and my duty to feed my dog", is an example of a context-mixing. You are talking about 2 points in time as if they are 1 point in time. It's a trick. You attempt to disguise 2 simultaneous perspectives within the words of 1 seeming perspective. But the attempt fails for people paying attention.

The same method of context-mixing is involved with your "dinner", "job", and "wife". At one point, those things were indeed privileges. But once you voluntarily accepted responsibility for having a family, taking on a job, and getting married, those things are no longer privileges but duties. You decide not to feed your kids? You deserve prison. You decide not to show up regularly for work? You deserve to be fired. You decide not to make love to your wife? You deserve divorce. These duties are not privileges.
~~~~~~~~~~
Dear readers: Nothing is a privilege and a duty at the same time in the same context. When you find that it seems as if something is both, become suspicious, for then it is time to look more closely; break up what's being said into components, into smaller chunks of meanings, to see what's really going on.
~~~~~~~~~~
Let's look at just a few Voting contexts. Those here who understand these things may have more (interesting) examples to share.

{Example} If we set the context to Government requirements of voting-eligible citizens, then we can say that the US citizens do not have a duty to vote -- they are, as of now, free to not vote. But (as I've learned here) the Australian citizens do have a duty to vote (and if they don't do their duty, they must pay a fine). In this context, privilege is irrelevant.

{Example} If we are talking about all people who live within the US, then some people -- namely, those people who fit the Government criteria and who have jumped through the hoops of proving citizenship and registering to Vote -- are granted a privilege of Voting. No matter how long certain other people have lived in the US and how much they aid the economy, they will never gain the privilege of Voting in the US. In this context, duty is irrelevant.
~~~~~~~~~~
{Example} Now here's a funny one from http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/s102902.htm. Feel free to look at the below in the context of the whole Help America Vote Act.

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT SIGNING OF H.R. 3295, HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002 wrote:
Bush Signs Help America Vote Act
...
All of us in America have a duty to vote. I urge all Americans to show up for this election cycle on November 5th, to do their duty as Americans, to recognize in a free society we have a responsibility to participate in the process.

He's certainly saying that Americans have a "duty" to Vote. But is he being truthful? Consider the illogic of living "in a free society", of really and truly being Free, and yet one must Vote and is not free to not Vote. Can you see how ridiculous this is? In any specific context, being Free and having a duty are incompatible; in a particular context, you might be Free or you might have a duty, but you cannot have both.

If one is Free, then they must be free to not Vote and there is no duty to Vote. But, of course, even our dense politician above sees this. He knows it's not really a duty. Otherwise, he wouldn't need to "urge" people to Vote. He needs to "urge" Americans to do something that they don't have to do because he has a lot to gain from it, namely, legitimacy for a Government that has lost the vision of Freedom. He purposefully uses that word duty as a trick to make you feel bad if you don't do it.
~~~~~~~~~~
{Example} People have a duty to pay their mortgages or housing rent. People who have accepted such contracts are not free to not pay. Leaders don't typically go around urging people to pay these because, being a duty, it's already taken care of: if you don't pay, you get foreclosed or evicted because you broke the contract. But, curiously, politician "leaders" do go around urging people to Vote. They may call it a duty but, then, they are used to lying as part of their overall strategy to stay in power and keep the public ignorant.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Right and Honor

{Definition} right: a guarantee granted by agreement {Explanation} By entering into a contract, a person obtains a right to the things granted to him/her (by granting/giving up other things) as specified in the contract. (Also see "Governments and Rights", below.)

{Definition} honor: something given as a sign of respect {Explanation} Bestowing an honor upon someone is a way to distinguish that person from other people. If "everyone" is getting a so-called honor, then what's being given is not really an honor.

{Further Explanation} Once someone has the right to something, that something must be given (or the owing person withholding it has shirked their duties). But an honor is not something that must be given. It may be given by choice of the giver.

{Example} It would be my honor to be able to escort you to the party. {Discussion} The potential escort has no right to escort nor does the escortee have the right be escorted. It is a choice by both.
~~~~~~~~~~
{Example}
Quote:
If I were to run and win a race it would both be my honor and my right to receive the award reserved for the winner.

The example is context-mixing. Before entering the race, a context is set; an agreement is made that is the understanding between you and the entity hosting the race such that if you win the race, you will receive an award. So, if you win, you have the right to get the award. Honor in this context is irrelevant. However, the person chosen by the race host who ceremoniously gives you your deserved award may indeed have the honor of doing so.

To further distinguish these 2 concepts, let me point out that if the person chosen/honored to give you the award, at the last minute gets sick, then someone else will be chosen to bestow the award to you. That person was to have the honor until the last minute, but they didn't have any right. However, if you won the race and were due an award for it, but then at the last minute got sick and were rushed home, you were still owed that award. You, and no one else, had the right to the award.
~~~~~~~~~~
Let's look at rightand honor with Voting.

There is no natural right to Vote in Government elections. It is something that can occur after certain things have happened. One cannot just show up for elections not having followed needed requirements. But, once someone has followed all the requirements, they do gain the right to Vote. That is because by following the Government requirements and by receiving the official Voter registration from the Government, they have entered into an agreement, a contract, with the Government. As long as registered Voters follow their end of the bargain (including not to be convicted of a Felony), then they have the right to Vote.

Voting is not an honor. There is nothing honorable about it. (And this is not to say that it is dishonorable, for that is a different subject. Honor is irrelevant.) Anyone who follows the Government rules can gain the right.
~~~~~~~~~~
Citizens are often made by politicians (and political followers) to feel special by getting to Vote. This is an unhealthy kind of special feeling. When you have the right to something, there's nothing special about it. Feeling special and "honorable" by Voting is a trick to keep citizens from realizing what they must give up to get this right and what harm they are bringing to fellow human beings when taking part in stealing from other people and forcibly limiting other people’s free options.
~~~~~~~~~~
{Example} http://usinfo.state.gov/wh/Archive/2005/Sep/27-436313.html
Secretary Condoleeaza Rice wrote:
But the real message is to the people of Haiti that this is an election that could be a turning point, and each and every citizen of Haiti should take it as his or her personal responsibility and personal obligation and personal honor to vote.

Rice says Haitians have an "obligation" and an "honor". It is ridiculous to feel special, to feel honorable, for doing something that you are obliged to do. There is no honor involved, if you are obliged. One or the other (or both) is not true. If you are not obliged then maybe you have the honor.

Rice is a politician with a main goal of keeping citizens of her country and other countries in line, in step, and not making waves. A good way to achieve this is to make people feel special, when they are not. She's a master of wordsmithing; that's why she has the power that she has. How does she keep the everyday citizens from realizing they have no power? By lying very well, in public:

Secretary Condoleezza Rice wrote:
There is no more powerful weapon in the hands of a citizen than the vote.

Making average joe and jane citizens believe they really have power with a silly vote really works. It diverts attention away from things that really could be powerful. Moreover, claiming that the Vote is the most "powerful weapon" citizens have gives them the message that citizens really have no power at all, since anybody who follows politics can see how meaningless (and powerless) the individual vote is.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Governments and Rights

There is a grand mythical misunderstanding that governments grant rights such as the right to freedom of speech and the right to freely assemble. They do not. People start out with the options of free speech and free assembly by the nature of being humans existing in Reality. These options are not rights but are simply available until such time as they are limited (whether limited by force or limited by the person voluntarily contracting to limit oneself).

The US Bill of Rights, as an example, does not grant rights, despite its verbiage; it is instead an acknowledgement of the options people naturally have, and a method designed to limit Government from overstepping its bounds (a method that has failed miserably).

Adding the amendments called The Bill of Rights to the US Constitution was controversial at the time precisely because some Founding Fathers wanted to prevent people from mistakenly believing that these explicitly enumerated options (called "rights") were the only areas in which people were Free. Others feared that if government were seen as the grantor of “rights”, then it would seem natural that government legitimately had the power to take them away.

The Bill of Rights proponents won the argument by pointing out that without guaranteeing certain “rights” that any time the majority decided to trample on any minority, the majority could use the democratic voting process to take away every freedom from that minority. In other words, it was because the Founding Fathers understood that democratic voting was a danger to freedom, that they included the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.

When everybody gets to Vote on what your “rights, duties, and responsibilities” are, then you become the servant of everybody. Everybody being in charge may be somewhat better than being under the rule of one monarch or a small group of power-mongers, but it is not necessarily better. In many ways it is worse.
WoolmerHill
The right to vote is fundamental to a free society, so much so that certain countries have made it comupulsory, e.g. Australia, Belgium.

The problem with the US is that both parties are dominated by the corporations and offer little choice.
zjosie729
I think voting is very important and is what makes a good country. Voting gives the people their rights to choose a leader they trust, one that they believe will lead the country to success. Therefore, I think voting should exist in all countries, yet it doesn't.
polarBear
double post, sorry.
polarBear
Representative systems DO really work as expected. Just not like the voters expect. Why is that? The system works this way:

There are a couple of vaguely known faces that for some reason people think they are trustworthy. Periodically, you are invited to give them your political will, or on the other hand be absolutely ignored . What does this mean? You can choose between approving someone else's future acts or just obeying them.
Those 'known faces' -politicians- also periodically call their bosses -typically a trust or an economic group-, receive THEIR instructions, NOT yours, and do what THEY want. With or without YOUR approval.
It does work!!!! Don't we have presidents after all? And a senate? And what is better, don't they get the Presidence even if practically no one votes? As you can see, the system works wonderfully. Just not for the voters.

If anyone ever wanted to vote someone who's not a repug or a demoRat, he's screwed. If anyone ever wanted to avoid voting, he's also screwed.
This electing system does need a change, and a deep one.
i_am_mine
Wow, this is probably the most longest thread , well spoken thread I've seen.

Nice to see.

In a way its a symbol of Democracy itself, a discussion such as this.

Cheers.
asmlover
WoolmerHill wrote:
The right to vote is fundamental to a free society, so much so that certain countries have made it comupulsory, e.g. Australia, Belgium.

The problem with the US is that both parties are dominated by the corporations and offer little choice.

I agree with you. Even in Russia, the country i don't know at all, people have right to vote. And nowadays it is really possible to choice what you want and not the persons, who considered to be chosen in any way (as it was in 1930-50).
asmlover
To live means to vote for things you appriciate, you want to see. No voting - no life.
The Philosopher Princess
asmlover wrote:
To live means to vote for things you appriciate, you want to see. No voting - no life.

Yes. For the votes that are part of your life.

And to die means that others Vote for things in your life, that they want to see.
~~~~~~~~~~
Various people could be good at various entrepreneurial business concepts that would harm no one. But "the majority" gets to Vote that these businesses are not allowed, and they are stopped -- by force. The Vote is literally killing those entrepreneurs.

Various people's lives could be saved by various kinds of medicines. But "the majority" gets to Vote that these medicines are not allowed, and they are stopped -- by force. The Vote is literally killing those people.

Various people could be good employees at various jobs with voluntary employers -- harming no one. But "the majority" gets to Vote that these potential employees are not allowed to work "without papers" and for other arbitrary reasons, and they are stopped -- by force. The Vote is literally killing those people, both the employees and the employers.

Various people could live and let live. But "the majority" gets to Vote that these people are sent off to war to kill and be killed. The Vote is literally killing those people.
~~~~~~~~~~
Hey! If we were talking about Votes that affected only the people who voluntarily wanted to be affected, that would be one thing. Or if it were about people who were harming other people. But we're not. We're talking about Votes that initiate harm -- to the point of death.

Votes can kill.

I prefer to live. And I prefer not to kill.

I wish other people would at least start by refraining from Voting for measures that initiate harm against other people. Is that too much to ask?
i_am_mine
Well Philosopher Princess, I agree that the lives of a great many have been lost because of an ignorant profit-motive fuelled government.

But the only way to get these people out of the White House is to vote against them isn't it?







Evil Inc.
Promoting Equal Rights
And Democracy
Since Jan 04,2006
skizzles
Vote
bassgs_17
Due to the way the United States Gov't and other democracies are set up, the whole gov't revolves around voting. And remember, we have to have some sort of leader, so get out there and vote! You can't complain if you don't vote!
-Aquastrike
alkady
Not voting is perfectly reasonable. Alot of people just dont like to get involved in politics even if they should vote since the person the voters put in power will determine their future. I firmly believe that it is reasonable since isnt that what freedom is about? the choice of voting or not without being criticized for their beliefs on which ever grounds they may choose?
i_am_mine
I agree with you completely: If a person chooses not to vote - It is his or her right to do as she pleases without asking for approval from the state.

My point however being that, if faced with a governement you no longer wish to see in power, wouldn't it be disastrous to not vote and voice your dissent, and also, wouldn't you be giving more power to a majority you oppose.

And wouldn't it be better to remove this leader you do not wish to be lead by, by voting?
LA Ridge
All I hear is problem after problem, complaint and more complaint. No solution mind you. Not that there is one right now, really.

So what are you suggesting? Anarchy? Won't happen. Do you know why? Sloth. Zero motivation. Total tolerance of the status quo, with no remarkable resistance.

No, people are interested in IPods, Growing Up Gottie, and who Paris Hilton is currently having sex with. Those are the current needs of the era. Oh, and I forgot... Cool ringtones!

Not that any of these things are bad mind you, it is just the general sloth of the magnitude that would compare to the poor Jewish population in Nazi Germany. Just follow the leader, no matter whether they are leading you to the chamber or not. Anarchy isn't about violence, it is about resistance. I believe that there are people out there with bad intentions, there always will be. But could the events of 911 have been a set up? A tool of control of a willfull society that was headed into independence way beyond that the world has ever known before?

Think about that. In the days prior to 911, we were bustling and headstrong. Was it not time for our keepers to put us back in line? Who is Bin Laden anyway, and how come we can't catch his butt? Maybe he doesn't exist...

So vote your heart out. Just know what your voting for. Even if it is a farse, at least you got your two cents in.
LA Ridge
i_am_mine wrote:
Well Philosopher Princess, I agree that the lives of a great many have been lost because of an ignorant profit-motive fuelled government.

But the only way to get these people out of the White House is to vote against them isn't it?







Evil Inc.
Promoting Equal Rights
And Democracy
Since Jan 04,2006


No. If you have been reading this thread you would know the answer to this question. Of course you don't believe any of it, so I guess it does not matter really.

The Electoral College is the problem. It's up to you, the Youth in America, to see this and make the change! I am way past the age of making that kind of change in this country, but you are not. Stay in school, get educated, stay off chemicals, keep your tool where it belongs long enough to be of service to your country, and fix this mess!

It's up to you!
zluis
I'm from Portugal. We are having presidential elections in 3 weeks.
To say the truth I don't like any of the candidates and I'm a bit mixed-up about what to do.
But I also know that people died so that I could have the right to vote.
I also know that the right to vote is also just a way of making us believe that we are free to choose. We all know that we are not.
Most election are just a theater just to make us feel important.
All the candidates after beeing elected always forget all the promises they made and never keep them. So what's the point about choosing a candidate ? We already know that he is going to cheet on us.
I believe that those who fought for democracy and the right to vote were honest. But the best way to kill a revolution is to convince everybody that the revolution has happened and that they have won. So there is no need to keep on fighting and asking for something that they say we already have.
But I think that we should vote, either voting for the candidate we agree with or just voting blank to show that we don't agree with any of them. But we should always vote.
I guess that on the 22nd I'm going to make a lot oof crosses on the voting bulletim.
mschnell
i think it'd be great if everyone were informed and voted...i think generally poorer people don't vote so much and some of this is not fair seeing as they, perhaps, wouldn't have the money for transpertation to a polling place or the flexibility in their work to get their...
The Philosopher Princess
I have every intention of eventually addressing many of the reasonable challenges by Dante, LA Ridge, and many others. My being slow to respond directly should not be interpreted as a lack of interest. I do have some deeper-concept essays ready and almost ready to go. These were inspired here, at least indirectly.
The Philosopher Princess
{Deeper-Concept Essay}

{Series} How Voting Fits into the BIGGER Picture

{Topic} Freedom and Democracy

{Author} The Philosopher Princess

People often confuse democracy with freedom. They think that being able to Vote for rulers and rules somehow makes one more free than those who can’t or don’t Vote for rulers and rules.

The reality is that when everybody gets to Vote for rulers and rules, that means that everybody is, to a certain extent, a ruler. So, in a democracy instead of only having a few bosses, everybody becomes your boss, ruling over you, taxing you, making rules for you to follow, and interfering with your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. That is not freedom.

Under democracy, if your neighbor down the street decides he wants your house or business, and can get enough Votes or bend a few rules, he can use the force of Government to take what is yours.

Under a democracy, if a majority of your neighbors don’t like what you like, they can Vote to make you conform to their wishes, even if it is none of their business.

Under a monarchy or dictatorship, only the ruler can change the rules and only the ruler (and the ruler’s delegated authoritarians) can infringe on your freedom. Under a democracy, anybody and everybody can infringe on your freedom.

The fact is that every form of Government infringes on freedom. That is why freedom-seeking people have led the way into the wilderness, lived with hardships, risked death, tamed frontiers, and created new civilizations. The pioneer spirit is fueled by the desire not to be ruled by others. Yet, every time freedom-seeking pioneers braved the wilderness and created a safe place to live, the "civilizers" followed with their rules and regulations and instituted Government.

In America, we have the democratic slogan, “government by the people and for the people”, which means that the people, through their Votes, give their power to the Government, and that the Government in turn, uses that power to take from those with few Votes to give to those with many Votes.

Thus, we have special interest groups who wield many Votes and control many politicians and make the rules and choose the rulers for everybody. To be successful, politicians have to suck up to as many special interest groups as possible, promising to force everybody to do the things those special interest groups want done.

Sometimes this works well and seems to be a good thing. But, most of the time, the conniving of the politicians and the special interest groups is used to take freedom (and property) from everybody.

One special interest group wants it illegal to smoke -- poof! It’s illegal! Another wants to take prime property for a park -- poof! It’s a park -- and the owner gets the shaft. Another wants Government to fund their businesses -- poof! Tax dollars from the many go to the few! Another wants to force higher wages. Another wants to dam a mountain valley for water for cities. Another wants everybody to pay to fund the arts (but only certain ones chosen by the monopoly). Another wants a huge military industrial complex funded by taxes. Another wants to make it illegal to create cheap energy. Another wants zoning laws to control all their neighbors. Another wants to force everybody to… (fill in your own pet peeves -- there’s a special interest group for everything).

Freedom? Democracy has no tolerance for Freedom. Freedom would mean that you could make your own decisions. The democratic process is designed to let special interest groups, and everybody else, make your decisions for you, and use your own power of the Vote to force those decisions on you.

Logically, freedom and democracy cannot coexist. If everybody can Vote on what you can do, then you have no Freedom.
Tony The Tiger
Democracy is a form of government where all people have a say. The power of choice is given to the people. As the society/economy grows in scale representative democracies become common where people vote for a subset of the citizenry to make choices for all of the people. Freedom may be a political right in a democracy, but it is merely the a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another. The two almost go hand in hand, but they are different. I suppose there could exist democracy without freedom or vice versa, but it would not make much sense. If everyone has a say, but some of them are coerced then everyone does not really have a say. Clearly, every could be free without everyone having a say. In the U.S., this was the case before women and blacks were enfranchised. In a sense, minors do not have a say so we do not have uniform democracy. Ex cons do not have a say either as I understand it. There is a difference between the 2.

No one can take your house because he can get enough votes from the citizens to do so.

People can only infringe upon your freedoms unless you don't know the laws. We have a good legal and legislative system with good laws and regulations whereby reasonable men who act reasonably will almost always prevail if they understand the rules.

It is not really conniving governors who infringe upon freedoms. It is silent majorities that are the real problem. When Many believers do not express their beliefs government goes awry as those nonbelievers who become activist and arise to vote against things usurp power.
somnific
doing something [i hesitate to say throwing bricks] is reasonable for those who want freedom.
zluis
Well I don't know how law is uplhold in your countries but in Portugal we have a kind of " Animal Farm" kind of state. Everybody is equal but some are more equal than others.
I live in the Algarve state, we may say it's a kind of Portuguese Florida.
Lots off turistics resorts. My wife owns a plot of land 100m from one of those resorts. We can't build in it. It's a protected area of some sort, nobody knows what sort, not even the city hall, they only know we can't build in it. But almost every week somebody wants us to sell the plot so they can build 6 or 7 Villas in it.
Where's the law?
Don't forget about WWII, Hitler was elected by the people, so by modern concepts he was a democrat. But Jews lost all their possetions, and some their lives, to the democratic elected government.
I know it is far fetched, but sometimes reducing things to the absurd is the best way of seeing.
And, by the way what is a law?.
Who wrote them?
Why do they say this and not that?
Are all of you sure that they say this and not that? Or does the this depend on who is reading and on who it is going to be aplied to?
I'm almost forty but I never wrote a law in my life, did you?
Do you know how many backdoors any law has?
If the law is the same to everybody why are some lawyer more succesfull than others? The law is the same to everybody, so why do I need a top lawyer to defend the rights that are suposed to be mine?
Top lawyers know all about backdoors and how to open them.
So being able to vote has nothing to do with democracy, it is just a way big corporation and such, use to make us feel free.
Crosis
i'm French... it's a democraty, but... i don't feel free... (and i think it's the same in a lot of country)...
we are like sheeps, the school learn to us a lot of things we don't need. So many things are absurds and nobody try to change it. laws are no goods (not all, but it's not far)
PS: Erm... sorry if you can't understand me, but i'm french, and i hardly use english... Embarassed
DarthSilus
Well, I've yet to hear a solution. I feel we have all heard Philosopher Princess's two-bits and her teams arguments... but so far, they havn't amounted up to anything but complaining that we don't live in Utopia. Got news--there's no such thing as Utopia.
Anarchy was smashed. I mean, there are leaders and followers, and they get in the way. US becomes anarchy, Canada and Mexico take over US, US no longer anarchy, but colonial territoy.

Move on, I grow tired of complaining. Give is a viable alternative to democracy.
Besides, look what democracy is doing here? It's getting you all to discuss it. We also aren't being gunned down for doing so. We also can lead rallies and movements against democracy and still not get into trouble. To me, the power to change is the power to grow, and freedom is just about being able to grow. Sounds to me that democracy has its problems--no one is saying it isn't--but its the closest thing we have to Utopia on Earth right now. The reason we don't have something better is because, obviously, we haven't thought of anything better.
Dante
I think Darth Silius is missing an important point: Not all democracies are the same, so to criticise democracy as it is practiced in concrete instances is not to complain about a lack of Utopia, but is tyo criticise the current order in order to hopefully improve it, and try and make it more democratic.

Criticism does not instantly need to lead to solutions, it is part of the gradualism of democratic debate, and a key tenet of democratic theory, that a continuous discussion and critical reflection on the social order can lead to aimprovements in democratic practice, without requiring finished products before criticism is listened to. Darth Silius is thus being antidemocratic in trying to block debate. I don't know who's team I am on, but I have called substantively for the funding of political parties by large companies to be addressed. This is a glaring problem, and something that has been successfully legisdlated upon in places like Sweden, with good results in terms of their democratic process. Proportional representation is also a good measure, to improve the possibility for new political parties, to represent shifts in public opinion, and allow a greater diversity of views in public life.

But besides that, criticism is key to democracy, and should not be dismissed out of hand, but explored carefully.

One instance of when voting makes a difference, might be in Iraq. Chomsky points out that the US Govmt is not so keen on demoracy in Iraq, precisely because it might produce a sovereign government that reflects the will of the people. That will does not correspond to US foreign policy objectives. This is a case where the powerful elites do not have the political process sewn up, and where voting might change the course of events.

see:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=9475
zluis
To begin with, I'm on nobody's team.
I'm just saying what I think and feel.
Then being able to talk doesn't mean that I'm in a democracy or that I'm free.
Beeing able to be heard is a democracy and is freedom.
In those elections I told you about, I found out about a week ago, that there were 13 candidates. Only 6 are able to go to vote due to burocratics. But during the pré-campaign only 5 of them had TV time.
Nobody heard about the others 8 until now. The press, the radio nobody gave them a chance to speak and to expose their ideas.
Is that what democracy is about? We are able to vote all right, but only in those that somebody else chosed for us?
Don't forget that somebody said that: "a democracy is a dictatorship of the majority"
It's not because many say or think the same way that makes it the right way.
DarthSilus
I think Dante is missing a critical point: we are talking about "not voting" as the way to go, thus, we are talking about democracy in the sense of an idea, and thus in general.
I agree that whining is the first step in taking action (usually in the form of voting, lol) but very rarely does it ever go past whining and trying to convince people that you have it all figured out. Got news: compared to a lot of other people, you are stupid. Try some humble pie... it'll help you think. More news: intelligence not used (whining doesn't count) is worse than no intelligence at all.

I wasn't trying to stop debate either, I was trying to move it on. If we argue whether tator tots are better than fries for all eternity, how can it ever go beyond just a simple opinion? Let's do some assuming, both ways. Use some counter-postive logic. (Ex- assume this is true, if this is true, than this must happen, or this has to apply... but than that's not possible, so the whole thing isn't true.)

So, I say again, do something about it. Stop whining. Give us a solution on how to make democracy better, or give us an alternative to democracy.

I grow sick of your one-liner opinions... why don't we grow up and start musing on ways to fix things, like "this is bad, and this is good, so we need to go from point A to point B... not sure how though." This would be a vast improvement.

Likely, though, you'll just complain about this post and argue instead of, God forbid, getting deeper than saying either "voting sucks" or "voting is awesome."
wingo
Voting for candidates because of their stance on issues is stupid, so I guess voting isn't so great in that case. Voting isn't bad itself, because it maintains a democracy. Do you WANT to have freedom of speech? Do you WANT to talk about why voting is bad? The only way you can be listened to FOR SURE is by voting. If you don't vote, then you let the country you live in go in the direction you don't want. Maybe direct democracy would be a better system...
anthonycheshire
Voting is an essential democratic right - it is also a responsibility. If you don't vote you are tacitly saying "I'm happy with things just the way they are!"

If you are happy with your world then well and good - ignore what is happening and don't go and have your say.

Most of what I have read on this forum however is from people who are unhappy. They seem to think that by voting they give their consent to the wrongs in the world. In fact the reverse is true - the biggest failure of people is when they fail to act - if you fail to vote then you are saying either:
I am not part of this system so nothing you do has relevance OR
I approve of everything you say and everything you do.

Voting is only one tool in a democracy - but it is a tool that everyone can use.

I vote - not because it is my right to do so - but because it is my responsibility.
zluis
I agree that in spite of everything democracy must be the best political sistem available yet.
I also said in my first post that we should vote, even if it is a blank vote,
or better yet: we must vote, especialy if it is a blank vote.
A blank vote means that we took the time to care and went voting just to say that we are not pleased with the way thinks are. If we don't vote even for good reasons, it will only be taken into the abstention numbers.
Nobody will take the time or care to try to figure out why we didn't vote, they will only just say that we don't care.

But it doesn't mean that we live in real freedom. How can we try to change things?
Our school system teaches us to obey and to not argue or contest the teaching that we receive.
The army teaches us to obey first and blindly.
Most television shows and programs are just meant to dull our senses, the press if far from beeing independent, politicians are suported by political parties and by corporations that surelly don't think about country first and them later.

Even if we are rigth we are a minority seeing thinks are wrong, and as a minority we have no activ part on things.
And don't forget that most of the time we are allowed to say what we think if it goes along with what is considered to be proper, if not, we are asked to shut up or are labeled crazy or lunatic or revolutionary or troublemaker or unemployed....

If politicians looked at the needs of the country instead of their needs, if they could keep their word, if they would use common sense instead of hidding behind stupid laws and regulations the democracy would be better.

Democracy is a good sistem, politicians just ruined it, mostly because we let them and I think this is the sad truth.


(Sorry if this doubl posts but I'm having connections problems)
Vrythramax
Let me first say that I am not crazy about the elected officials we currently have in office....but to paraphrase "it's better the devil we know..."

It is every citizens *right* to vote and if anyone chooses not to vote, that is also thier right. But I belive that if you don't vote you give up your right to complain about who gets voted into office. Granted, the elcted officials may or may not be acting in our own best interests, but if we (the people) acted as a whole maybe, just maybe we can make an educated assesment about who may work for and towards our best interests. This may be my own little fantasy....but unless we try it we will never know
unsat77
Having had the opportunity to have served in the military of the United States, directly working for elected officials, I have to say it is very important to vote, even if it is for the lesser of two evils...all politicians are lying, evil, thieving bastards out for one thing: to have power...one should not take your right to vote in this country lightly...nothing is perfect, so you've got to go with whatever candidate is better for whatever it is you believe in...on the other hand, if you choose not to vote, in my opinion, you shouldn't really bitch about how things are being handled by elected officials...Here's the important thing: We have the rights and abilities to do anything we want in this imperfect country of ours...and I guess we have the right and ability to bitch even if we don't vote, which in a weird way makes this country so great...we have freedoms that other people aren't given...Having an option like taking advantages of these freedoms is what makes us Americans. Non-voting doesn't make you unpatriotic, or unamerican. The only other option we have for not picking the lesser of 2 evils is to take up politics ourselves, and run for public office...and I dare say that most of us wouldn't want to put up with all the bullshit involved with being a politician!!!
ewitha
-----------------Voting legitimizes citizenship in a country with an elected government. In countries without an elected government, obviously, voting is irrelevant. So.. if one were to argue that abstinence of voting makes a statement. Then I would agree only on the basis that the statement is of apathy for the government as status quo. Will that solve anything? No, because nothing is absolute. Generally speaking, there are two opposing forces that serve to strengthen/weaken a government. Nationalism (and the creation of it) is a measure of government strength. On the other hand, devolutionary forces (or the creation of it) serve to weaken government. What you propose does not strengthen nor weaken government. You do not vote therefore you do not change the current administration (to weaken or strengthen it). You, in principle, have made your citizenship irrelevant.
Now for the sake of argument let us say that a significant proportion (never a hundred percent, as that is an impossibility) of the population were to follow you and not vote. What would we call that? reality. Only 50-60% of registered voters in the US, in the last election actually voted.
http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2004.htm This figure has not changed much from previous years either.

So, if you are unhappy with the current state of affairs in a country (that believes in peaceful transition of government through election), you have three impactful ways to change your existence:

1. lead/follow a revolution to change government --- hardly a practical choice.

2. move out of the country --- you wouldn't be the first one to do it...

3. vote --- you would be the few that do.------------------


VOTE! That is my opinion! I agree with this person (what they said) here!!!
Meretenacity
I see many people advocating not voting, because voting nessatiates a choice between to evils. Wake up and write in.

Write in votes tend to be harder to be counted wrong, and leave a better trail in the wake of corruption. Yes, we all know the diebold machines can be hacked and the punchcards aren't much better... But to give up voting is no better than to vote for who you don't want in office.

In the end, if you want to make a change in your world, do it... voting is the worst case of backseat driving around. Get off your butt and make things happen.
Spartacus
Better to vote against somebody and pick the lesser of 2 evils than to sit by and watch something you dont like take its course. If we had a dictator come into power because nobody voted, and we could have had just a rude and boring leader if we had just voted... well, it seems to speak for itself. Not voting is a selfish and cowardly act that shows a disregard to your fellow citizens
polarBear
if you vote you are legitimating the whole "we-ignore-you-so-what" system, and if you don't vote, they get elected too. The sorce of their political authority got lost a LONG time ago.

But it's still working right? And we are all comfy with that fact, right?
vedet
i don't want to jugde the policy of USA but i think it sucks Very Happy
I prefer more to democracy that capitalism.. In Finland we're having a Voting for new President, if some of you watch Late Night With Conan O'Brien you propably know it already..Very Happy "i've heard that the finnish president Tarja Halonen looks just like me!!" and so on..

for me it's all the same who is the president on finland, After we joined EU finland hasn't been independent..
zluis
vedet wrote:


After we joined EU finland hasn't been independent..


The same for me except that I'm in Portugal. And I do care who the president is, afer all he is the one representing my country.
When we joined CEE, it was supose to be an economic comunity, now, almost without nobody knowing about it, we are in something called the European Union.
What does it do?
Well, it tells us can we can have lots of money from them as long as we spend it on useless things and we have to make sure that those useless things are really, really, really useless. Otherwise our economy, and industry might grow and we don't want to upset the rich countries that have been so generous giving us all that money...
It tells us also that we have to forget all about our past and our story because now we are Europeans and our laws and traditions aren't worth a dime. The European laws are the ones we should follow.
Besides the European laws we should also follow "The convergence pact" it's an Germano/Italo/French stuff that is suposed to be so good that every country that is in crisis has to break it, to allow it's economy to grow.
Has you can see the existing democracy may be the best political system around, but it has a lot of politics and little real democracy in it.

But I still say: We must vote.
The Philosopher Princess
Hey y'all! I've kept up with reading the posts here (which are awesome) but I can't seem to keep up with my writing. I do have something special Wink in mind to write up for each of DarthSilus and Tony The Tiger.

I am extremely impressed with what has been stated in a number of posts by zluis (though not the final conclusion of given all those problems, vote anyway). But zluis has questions and challenges that are some of the smartest I've seen here.

For now, I have a "quickie" for everyone.
The Philosopher Princess
I have a brand new line of reasoning on the Voting subject. I now offer you proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that some people should not Vote.

I devised this argument based on a post on this thread. Since I don't want any of you to claim that I took anything of this person's meaning out of context, let me quote it in its entirety (from page 11):

skizzles wrote:
Vote

Laughing Yes, that's the entire post. Laughing

My argument rests on the fact that some people believe everyone should "Vote", based on the reasoning offered by skizzles. (Meaning, no reasoning at all!) (That post is considered a "quality post" by Frihost, right? So we should consider it a quality post here too right!? Wink)

Okay, okay, joke, joke. In reality, I gather that the cutely-named skizzles had no intention of submitting anything truly quality with only their 1st Frihost post. They were just after the free Frihost hosting. We'll give skizzles a break on this one -- but only because razzing has been accomplished Razz.
~~~~~~~~~~
However, I can be more serious on this little topic.

To the many people here who are submitting posts of true quality (some in disagreement with me and some in agreement), please consider whether or not I am right on my next assertion.

Of the people who have a knee-jerk reaction to whether people should Vote or Not Vote, almost all react: "Vote!"

In other words, you can quite easily find people who will give auto-pilot / blank-stare / Homer Simpson answers of "Vote", with no backup, or "backup" that is devoid of substance.

But when you run across someone who says, "Don't Vote", you rarely get no reasoning. Instead, you get reasoning of substance (even if it is reasoning with which you disagree).

It is mostly only knee-jerkies who say (or sometimes SHOUT): "Vote!"

If my orange assertion above is true -- and I am now open to paying more attention as to whether it is -- I would think it is true because, whatever brainwashing is going on, it is going on, on the Pro-Vote side. It's like a religion. Youth are often taught, "Vote based on faith, not because you have reasoned through and come to a thoughtful conclusion."

Voting is "PC" these days. "Voting is cool."

On the other hand, people who believe it is of value to Not Vote, do not come to that conclusion lightly. There is no faith-based religion surrounding "Don't Vote". To believe one should Not Vote, one is going against the status quo. To make such a statement publicly, one must be prepared to be rebuked by the outwardly vocal status quo.

Said another way, whether it's right or wrong to Vote, it doesn't take guts to say "Vote!". But to state "Don't Vote!", it takes something of substance -- whether smarts or maybe just guts.

Now, of course, I am in no way making a point about the people who happen to be pro-Voting and have good reason for being pro-Voting -- and there are plenty right here. My context is only about the knee-jerkies.
~~~~~~~~~~
My real argument is the following:
Arrow People who have limited or no reasoning available, should not be relied upon to make decisions for other people.
Arrow The outcomes of Votes make decisions for other people.
Arrow People who have knee-jerk reactions of "Vote!" are people who have no reasoning available.
Arrow Therefore, people who have knee-jerk reactions of "Vote!" are the very ones who should not Vote.

(Notice my use of "available". While some of these knee-jerkies aren't capable of reasoning, others are fully capable, but choose not to use it.)
~~~~~~~~~~
So, I'm now curious about how accurate my orange assertion is. I wonder what this thread's count is for knee-jerkies. Maybe I shall collect them to see if there is a trend for yea's or nay's.
baronblod2003
I think politicans stink!
In Norway where I live they dont do anything they promise...
We that is under 18 years old can't vote and it's us with the strongest opinions!

I think that all the people should be given a chance to vote!
But only us over 13.
It's us that I have noticed is so sick and tired of all the mess they make.




Sad


It should be two separate votes.
•People over eighteen
•People thirteen and up too eighteen

Would like a second opinion about what I just said.
Please reply and say what is your'e opinion! Wink
Amadeus
I have read the comments throughout this particular forum with interest and I wonder regards the pop princess' most recent post/argument what her point is: Simply don't vote? This hardly solves the problems that she has outlined at the beginning of this forum.

I leave my post at this length, as I wouldn't want to be accused of submitting quantity not quality; nor would I want to be accused of just submitting a short post to rack up the points for the free-hosting (but that is why a lot of people sign up, isn't it?...), especially as I am just a mere 'New Member'.
Ray Gravin
Ok first things first, I just want to say that I did not read all 12 pages of this thread. If I happen to repeat a few things that have already been stated I apologize. The first few pages were plenty to get my brain warmed up, and bring my thoughts and opinions to the tip of my tounge.

I completly understand the philosopher princess's theory on the evil of voting. Especially in a goverment that offers very little in the way of choice between parties. I live in the united states, and I voted during the first election i was eligable for. I voted for my chossen candidate (major party) becouse he held one and only one stance on an issue that I felt very strongly for. Following hes election to office he failed to live up to the standards that I expected him to (big suprise right) and continued to disapoint me through countless issues. The next election I choose not to vote. I felt very strongly against each candidate based on one or two issues. I know that doesnt sound like much but there was no lesser of two evils for me. They were both unfit for office in my opinion. I could have voted for an independant candidate, but I couldnt find a viable official to elect there either. As a whole Ive found the whole process very bleak and unrewarding in both situations.

I understand that as far as the living standard of our citizens go's, we live in one of the better of the nations on this planet. Ive also come to recongnize that we also come from one of the worst countries in terms of how we behave on a world wide level. I dont have all the facts but from what ive observed we have created a nice sized hole for ourselves and future generations to climb out of and we seem to only make the hole wider with each generation. (We vote for what benifits us directly, we are unwilling to make sacrafice for a better future, and we will use force if nessasary) that is the message we send as a country through our vote.

It baffels me to the point of wanting to find a cave in the arctic to flee too when I look at the state of human society. I have a very critical opinion of more then just our system of voting. but lets stay on topic!

Voting should be the right choice for a citizen to make. However in order to make an impact on any issue it takes more then just a vote, it takes action in a comunity. It takes the education of a society and formation of tradition and culture to sustain that education. Voting Like a sword or a gun is no more evil then the raw materials used to create said sword or gun. Its the user of an object or force that makes it evil. The only valid solution to the problems in our society lies in the iradication of the curruption of our society.

Im starting to trail off a bit... I dont think this is a subject that someone of my small brain capacity can takle all at once so I will continue to read the rest of the thread and respond to any critisism of my statements : )
The Philosopher Princess
Wow! Very Happy Notice the difference between the first Frihost post of Ray Gravin and the first one of the person I mentioned in my last post! Yours, Ray Gravin, was all quite fresh, very well stated, not to mention on target.

I have one challenge for you.

Ray Gravin wrote:
Voting Like a sword or a gun is no more evil then the raw materials used to create said sword or gun. Its the user of an object or force that makes it evil.

First, I would say: It's "the user of an object" for "force that makes it evil." I think maybe that's what you intended.

More importantly, can you picture any scenario where the act of Voting itself would be "evil" (given your own definition of evil)? Can you not imagine any case, whatsoever, where entering is "evil" in and of itself? (At the very least, this is a good thinking exercise.)
~~~~~~~~~~
Amadeus wrote:
I have read the comments throughout this particular forum with interest and I wonder regards the pop princess' most recent post/argument what her point is: Simply don't vote?

Amadeus, my message is the opposite: Don't do anything related to politics, "Simply".

Instead, if I had to offer my most "Simply" stated suggestion, I'd say: Think!
~~~~~~~~~~
Anyway, welcome newcomers! Smile
haris3
To vote or not to vote has many approaches. You either vote because:

1. You like the candidate
2. You stand with the candidate's believes
3. You have to.

Many people don't vote, and most of the time it is becuase they do not favor the candidate. And if both candidate are not worthy, then a person does not vote. Some people also don't vote because:

1. Hate going to poles and waiting in line.
2. The hate the political system
3. They do not get politics.
4. Get get to the poles.
5. And Many other reasons.

I think to vote or not to vote all depends on the runner ups.
Dorfinger
I don't believe in voting anymore , the world seems to be corrupted
somnific
i get the feeling you'll still be having this trite discussion from within the prison cells you'll call a home some day in the not so distant future.


if you want freedom, take it. cant you see the game is rigged? of course you can. cant you do something about it other than discuss it ad-nauseum ?

start discussing the solution at least, for the love of all that is good
bogden
i dont' think so.
bauzz
Being a swiss citizen you can hold a vote on every change of law and constitution no matter whether it is communal, cantonal or national. If you are against a certain change of law you have the possibility to collect a certain number of signatures from swiss citizens (it's around 200'000) and take hold of a referendum, which means the swiss population has to decide or vote whether they agree to the change of law or not.

This requires a certain majority of the citizens and in addition demands time and interest. Else people are very easily affected by political commercials and propaganda-close party-information...

Believe it or not, the swiss system is a 1 PS car with Ferrari Brakes. Each change has to be agreed by all minorities and this is how the Swiss culture is: 4 languages, regions and cultures devided by the alps united in one country.

I am happy to live in a country in which citizens can not only vote for representatives in the council. The Swiss take an active role in forming the country. Therefore I vote.
zluis
Well,

I'm also displased with all politicians. One of my favorites phrases is:
"There will only peace in the wolrd when the last politician will be hanged with the guts of the last priest"

Sorry if I ofended some of you, I'm, not that radical but this sates two majors war makers, politics and religions.

When I say vote I don't mean to imposse my will on anyone, I even defend that if we are not pleased we should vote in blank. But with our system the only way of making a statement is trough votes.
If just don't vote we are silencing ourselves volontarely, wich I beleive is not good at all.
If blank votes would reach a significant amount politicians would have to look at things the other way.
In Porugal the abstention rate is alway about 35%, the only conclusions that politicians and political analist reach is that Portuguese don't care at all wich way the country is going. Does not voting help or change anything?
But on the other way what does change anything?
What is on our reach to change things?

Well on my part I think it is working as hard as I can to improve myself.
If each one of us would improve himself the world would be a lot better place to live in, because each individual would be the best he or she can be.

We would reach a Tao state of regulating without regulation.

I like the Swiss way of things, I would like to know more about it.
earningonthenet
The question is simple. Do you want to have a say in your future, your life and your liberties? It is true, often today it seems futile to cast your vote. Often the people take measures beyond simple voting to express their views...ie riot, revolt, uprising... even revolution. These are all forms of voting albiet some more productive than others. My thought is that so long as the society I'm living in allows me basic freedoms including the right to earn a fair living, the right to travel where I wish and the right to express my thoughts through a variety of means, I will support that society by calmly expressing my opionion at the polling station. BUT, if that society begins to encroach upon those basic freedoms as mentioned above, my vote turns to revolution!
no_face15
It would be nice if people were represented rather than, as it was in the past election, you get to choose between 2 people, neither of whom are worth voting for... actually it was more like, keep the old or try this other guy. Its like asking if you'd like a job and get stabbed, or get stabbed and not have a job, nobody wants to get stabbed, but for some reason there are people who would like other people to get stabbed and lose their jobs, make sense, i know it does.
Ray Gravin
In response to the first challenge : ) .... What I ment to say boils down to the classic guns dont kill people, people kill people theory. Voting isnt nessesaraly evil and shouldnt be an act of evil in an ideal society. However In a rigged system It is completly evil thus I agree with your statement that voting is as such. Im pretty sure thats what you were saying I was saying ....

I dont know if its still as bad now as it was then (I cant imagine its gotten much better none the less) but has anyone read a book called the Jungle? It basicly documented the life of a lithuanian imigrante family in chicago, I think it was Chicago. Anyway half way into the book it exposes the curruption of the voting system in that city and the book as a whole exposes the curruption of power in that area. The Meat industry ruled everything with a doller filled fist. Granted it was a pro socialist peice of literature, and was bias, Im pretty sure it was based on fact even down to the family he chose to base hes novel around. It even went into detail about the practices and procedures involved in the production of the meat (wich will probably make you think twice about what your putting in your mouth) Ok a litte off subject but I think that anyone interested in seeing how similar the system was back in the very early 1900's should give it a read. Beware though, its depressing as hell : ( The last few chapters make it all worth wile though : )

I agree that a change in the voting system that would include a none of the above option would be a good improvement here in the united states. We should have the freedom to not have to choose a candadate we dont want to elect to office. I could see how it could present a huge problem with the flow in our country though. We have just become to big to not have some sort of controling force to keep the machine moving forward. I believe that giving enough time our society will crumble just like the ones before it that became as large and unmanagable as ours will eventually become. Capatilism like any force of evil will ultimatly destroy itself through its own lust if all else fails to stop it first. I should hope that humans can evolve first.

wow im really sorry my post become so huge. Im new at this but I will learn to format my ideas a bit more apropriatly for a forum : ) I kinda just ramble dont I ?

anyway next challange : ) a situation were voting is evil ? well any situation that involves a lack of ability to vote for what is right. If your presented with two wrongs then there can be no right in voting. I think our rights and abilities in this country if anyother steem deeper then the ability to vote. We have the ability to speak out against what we feel is wrong. Ultimatly thats were the change has to take place. We have to educate and cultivate a culture that adhears to ideas of true morality and concern for what happens in our world.

Im not sure if the original poster was just taking an anarchist's stand on the subject or not? Im curious to know this though? and if so Im not that familiar with the ideaology and would be interested in any direction to some literature and such to better understand the ideology.
michael88
very very good topic, i will vote this month.
zluis
Yesterday a group of people asked the government to make a referendum about some of those stupid uselless things they have to make to spend lots of money.
The minister replied that they don't need to make an referendum because they were democraically elected, so they are free to do wathever they want...
How about that for a democracy??
They are going to make investments that my grand sons sons will still have to pay for, but we can't ask he people if they agree or not. Great...

I also thought about majorities, usually there arre 30 to 35% abstentions, then about 2 or 3% blank votes. The winning party had about 51% of the remaining votes.
This means that I am governed by a majority of 30 or 35%, exactly the same amount of abstentionists. So what gives them the right to govern?

I think it is worth to think about it.

By the way I'm one of those who voted against them.
forgeteden
To vote or not to vote.

Not to vote.

I come from a country where voting is compulsary (australia)

And seriously, people just tick the first box *which is paid for by the richest political party*

Making people vote is stupid.. 20 Million people in Australia line up, on the same day. fill in a ballad *is that how you spell it?*

and then the same party who would always win. wins.

some people dont even voteproperly. they just pick the smallest party. to try and make sure their vote doesnt count.

its stupid.

let people vote.. but make them take a test first, to see if they understand which party means what, and stands for what. so they know what they are voting for.

give people licenses to vote.
otiscom
Voting does nothing!


They (the politians) lie to you in promises and renague on them, to late then, they are there for years.


One way to stop this could be an election every year based on what they said they would do and the actual results.

This would at least make them think about the original promise made, before they make it.


Perhaps then they would tell less lies?
Amadeus
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
my message is the opposite: Don't do anything related to politics, "Simply".

Instead, if I had to offer my most "Simply" stated suggestion, I'd say: Think!


An evasive response to my query. Unfortunately, I don't know how to respond to statements that rely on colour-coding to make their points clear. I'm not being offensive, but I'm an intelligent person and I find it difficult to appreciate the point behind your argument. For someone whom earlier criticised another forum user for putting a post up just to rack up some points, why is it that I get the feeling your 'discourse' has been written at great length just to achieve the same aim, and yet feel somehow 'more correct' in your use of the forum?

Yes - I am fully aware of the 'Catch-22' element here - as aren't I doing just the same thing? Therefore, let's just say my questions are rhetorical!

Who thinks Arnold Schwarzenegger should be the next President of the United States (regardless of the Constitution)? Hypothetically speaking, would he do a better job or worse than the current administration?...
DX-Blog
Is voting usefull? Yes and no. If you live in a country in which there are major parties which go along with your ideas then voting is useful since you can vote for them, to give them a better support (more people) in the final goverment.

If you live in a country though where the major parties are just about always the same and basically always appointed by the less educated side of society which massively vote on certain people for idiotic reasons like:
*Their 1st man looks like harry potter.
*They will make things better! (note, no true arguements are giving on how they will do so, just saying they will is enough for a lot of people).

Now there remains the other part of society, which actually looks into what they vote. But this results in like 2 major parties and other parties becoming pretty small.

There has been only 1 party which has been voted on by the educated part of society for a long while, but also on that there is no longer any true reason beyond tradition anymore.

I guess it won't take long before TV icons will make it into the goverment, one is already up and running and looks to be getting several positions already. After only like 4 months his party already is getting more attention than loads of others, why? Since he's popular and that's all what matters.

So I have decided not to vote, but not voting is a waste of your vote though, so instead I vote on the party of the animals. Just to give them that 1 additional vote to perhaps reach the 1k voters.
Dixieman
Voting the best of two bads is like chosing whether to be killed by a sword or a gun; you'll die anyway. I agree with that. But I also think that we have to be realistic. Those people are the only ones available for us to vote. There's just ain't two ways about it. You just can't change the way we run this country. I'm asking anyone of you who go against voting; do you REALLY HAVE a better solution for that?
So, I think, rather than cursing our fate of having to pick the best out of two bads, we'd better take what's in hand and go for the better future. The analogy goes like the case of condom (yes, condom).
Many priests and pastors raise a fuss on condom, stating that it just encourage people to have sex 'illegally.' But rather than banning condom, we took a better decision: let it be. Yes, it does make lotsa people have sex here and there without the consent of marriage (thus, illegal). But what can we do to stop people from doing that? Nothing! Without condom, sexual deseases and abortions would be uncontrolled by now.
Likewise, we have to take this voting issue the way we take the condom issue. There are lotsa ways for us to help that best-of-two-bads-president to get this great nation in order. We love this country. We want her to prevail throughout the age. And that's all that matter, right? So, stop protesting about something you can't change, and do something real!

God bless!
zluis
I live in such a country.

[quote="DX-Blog"]If you live in a country though where the major parties are just about always the same and basically always appointed by the less educated side of society which massively vote on certain people for idiotic reasons like:
*Their 1st man looks like harry potter.
*They will make things better! (note, no true arguements are giving on how they will do so, just saying they will is enough for a lot of people).
End of quote.

The current government was elected because " they would do things better". During the campaign when someone asked how they would do it, they weren't able to answer.
nevertheless they have a absolute majority, more than 50% of the votes.

I had an ideia, how about puting one more line to votes bulletins. What I mean is there would be the list of the candidates wih the litle squares, and at last there would the folowing option:

None of the above.

What do you think?

This would be my option, at least in the next elections anyway.
DX-Blog
Voting blanco is an option here as well, but people find that a waste of vote so instead they vote for the "we'll do things better!" party anyways. A democratic system is nice, but you should not forget that you're letting the advancement of your country rely on not only 50% of the above average educated part of society, but also off the 50% under the average. Their will always remain a major amount of people just going after the party which promises good things on short terms without any foundation.
gonzo
When I go vote I hope all you libbies stay home... and never vote again
The Philosopher Princess
{Deeper-Concept Essay}

{Series} How Voting Fits into the BIGGER Picture

{Topic} Pledging to be Lieges

{Author} The Philosopher Princess

We've been introduced to the concepts of liege, liege relationship, and allegiance in the deeper-concept essay, "Allegiance Versus Freedom" (page 9). We looked at how "The act of Voting enters one into a... sort of liege relationship. Basically, it implies that one is 'voting allegiance' to the democratic system."

Anyone who reads history can gain an understanding of the liege relationships of olden days and how those relationships created duties for all parties involved. Though we may not condone such feudal relationships, we can study how they relate to the situation today.

It may seem like feudal liege relationships have vanished, but the liege relationships haven’t really disappeared; instead they have been masked so that those entering into liege service don’t understand that they are entering into servitude.

It may seem that the civilized nations do not have such liege relationships. But anyone who digs deeper and notices what people are doing, what they are swearing to do, what they promise their rulers, or what drives people, will discover that liege relationships are still in full-force existence. The main difference is that people do not understand the duties of being a liege, or that they really are lieges of the politically powerful, or how they got into servitude.

Once one (finally) makes this discovery of current-day lieges, they are often in awe of the Reality Surprised . A next logical thinking step is to wonder how this could be.

In a day and age when people talk (using their own words) of valuing their own sovereignty more than the sovereignty of kings, czars, dictators, etc, how is it that they voluntarily enter into liege relationships where they are duty-bound to sacrifice oneself to serve others?

What, in general, is the best way for any notion -- good or bad -- to get instilled into people? The answer, of course, is to get 'em while they're young! The earlier people can be trained to think that liege relationships are good, are natural, are what "everybody" else enters into, the better. Such training goes best, and takes a hold deeper, if what's happening is not realized by the trainees.

Who stands to gain by more people believing more deeply in liege relationships? The answer, of course, is the liege lords who, with their liege followers' support, are able to direct the lieges in doing their duties. In modern society the Government is the liege lord and the citizens are the lieges.

Where is the best place for Government to begin the training of children to be liege devotees? The answer, of course, is Government-controlled schools. This is where the lieges’ obedience training is most effectual. Of course, for those who resist the early brainwashing, there are more extreme methods and more intense institutions.

“I pledge allegiance to my liege lord, to obey and serve him in whatsoever he demands, to lay down my life for him if necessary, in exchange for his protection and support, so long as we both shall live…” was the essence of the common liege pledge.

Does that sound familiar? Did you learn to repeat a similar pledge in school?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Does that make any sense? Who would pledge to be a liege to a "flag" -- to a piece of cloth, flapping in the breeze? How can a flag be a liege lord? Does a flag make decisions, give orders, or otherwise deserve allegiance? Even before you think more about the deeper implications, don't you feel like an idiot to be pledging to serve a flag? And to support teaching young children to pledge away their sovereignty to a flag?

How about swearing to be a liege to “the republic for which it stands”? The United States of America was founded on the principles of Freedom, repudiating the concept that people were born to be lieges. The founding documents of the republic were designed to keep the Government from enslaving the people. So, why should the people then swear allegiance to the republic, thereby repudiating the principles upon which the republic was founded?

How about swearing allegiance to “one nation”? Wow! Now we are pledging to support only this one nation, no matter what it does, no matter whether it happens to be causing destruction. Plus, ignoring the fact that some people of other nations may have a grasp of Reality, of Freedom, and deserve respect.

Swearing to keep the nation “indivisible” means that nobody can choose to secede, even when they want more Freedom and don't want to be part of destruction. (Note: “indivisible” was added at the time of the Civil War, also known as the War of Northern Aggression.)

And what about swearing allegiance to one nation “under God”? This, when forced onto children, is not only being disrespectful of people who believe other religions, but assumes, along with the throng, that the nation has the divine right of being under God. What unmitigated gall to make such presumptions!

All this makes a mockery out of “with liberty and justice for all.”

Doesn’t it seem bizarre that children who don’t understand the words are taught to swear allegiance -- in juvenile detention facilities surrounded by high fences (known as schools) -- where liberty to them is a bathroom break or recess -- in a society where the Votes of other people can bond them for decades to pay off bonds to fund libraries, parks, stadiums, city superstructure, or the very schools they are imprisoned within (while they are too young to Vote) -- and they are taught that this is “liberty and justice for all”!?

In feudal times, the liege lord owed a duty to his lieges. In modern times, lieges are content to serve in exchange for empty campaign promises. This is the democratic way.

People are not validly bound by agreements that are coerced (forced upon them), or contracts made while a minor or not competent to make agreements. So, pledging allegiance as an ignorant child in school is legally (and morally) meaningless. But, when one becomes an adult, and becomes aware of contracts and agreements, it is wise to look closely at what one pledges, to what one agrees, to whom one pledges to serve, to what one accepts as duties and responsibilities, and how one allows the option of Freedom to be limited or controlled by others.

Responsible adults also don't support children being prepared to become lieges by forcing or even encouraging them to pledge allegiances before they are mentally ready to make decisions for themselves.

Pledge of Non-Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to no flag, and to no nation, nor to any oppression, nor will I force any religion upon others, nor prevent people from seceding from their oppressors, nor will I believe or perpetrate the outrageous concept that any government can ensure liberty and justice for all.”

Fellow lieges, we have been tricked into swearing allegiance before we knew better. What then shall we do to the liege lords who tricked us? Shall we continue to serve them? Or, shall we learn from our mistakes, repudiate our misbegotten oaths of allegiance, and teach others to avoid their treachery?

“Choose ye this day whom ye will serve…”
heath
The fools I'm referring to here are th lazy, apethetic fools. Sure voting requires some responsibility, but the whole act of voting can only be a positive experience at both the individual and community levels. If people vote regularly, eventually 'the lesser of two evils' won't even be there to vote for. I'm all for Compulsory Voting, like in Australia.
Soulfire
The only thing that bothers me is when people don't vote, but then complain about who is in office. In my opinion, in giving up their vote, they gave up the right to criticize the people in office.
zluis
When I was on the air force I swore to protect my country and to serve my flag.
By doing so I didn't swore upon a "piece of cloth", but upon the symbol of my country, wich I love in spite of everything.
By swering upon the flag I did not swear to hurt or harm any other country, I just swore to protect my own.
I know that this is not fashionable now. But that's the way I am and that's the way those who threw the tea over board were.

I know that nobody should have to vote, that we should live in peace and that my neighbour would love me as much as he loves himself and I should be able to sleep with my doors open and shouldn't be concern about whar the Iran is going to do with the uranium.
But we don't live in such a world and we never will. Because we are greedy, we enjoy ourselves with the misfortune of others. All of you must know how pleased the European press and politicians were with Katrina, and the 9/11. I was disgused by the way comentaries were made. Those who died and lost all their belongings had nothing to do with politics. But the message was: " well done, they think they are the best but now they got a lesson".
It was a lesson allright, but there is no need to be happy about the way it was given.
By not voting we are letting others choosing for us, and we are giving up on the only way we have of beeing heard. And it won't change anything and nobody will ever now what we think and why we didn't vote.
I know that all politicians are the same, I know they are not allowed to do what needs to be done, I also know that we won't let them do what needs to be done. But voting is the only way of having our say.

I'll repeat once more: we should vote acording to our conscience, if we think none of them is good enough, then we should vote in blank.
zluis
Well it lokss like this forum is dead.
I'm voting this sunday. It is a presidential election.
How do you folks fell about monarchie?
How's that for a new forum, republic or monachie which is best?
justmooit
What happened to democracy and freedom, it is the fault of that person if he/she does not want to vote and it is the ignorance of that person that makes that decision. It is the fault of that person if they see the side that she did not want in power. If you want to then you can, if you don't then let the people who care about the fate of the country do it.
The Philosopher Princess
zluis wrote:
Well it lokss like this forum is dead.

Not “dead”, just taking a nap Wink. Our other lives need attention too Smile.

zluis wrote:
How do you folks fell about monarchie?

I feel that's just another moanarchy and groanarchy. Rolling Eyes

zluis wrote:
I'm voting this sunday. It is a presidential election.

Good luck on that. Given our discussion on Voting and your considerable inputs, please share with us whether you are having (or end up having) even the slightest twinge to not take part in a system that you, yourself, admit is a “theater”.
~~~~~~~~~~
I just ran across the article I quote below by U.S. Congressman Ron Paul appearing at http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2006/tst010906.htm.

Consider the sentence I reddened in it. If it’s true that politicians sell their votes, then, when you give the politicians your vote, you are directly supporting corruption.

U.S. Congressman Ron Paul wrote:
Scandals are a Symptom, Not a Cause

January 9, 2006

The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
James Madison


The Washington political scandals dominating the news in recent weeks may be disheartening, but they cannot be considered surprising. We live in a time when the U.S. government is the largest and most powerful state in the history of the world. Today's federal government consists of fifteen huge departments, hundreds of agencies, thousands of programs, and millions of employees. It spends 2.4 trillion dollars in a single year. The possibilities for corruption in such an immense and unaccountable institution are endless.

Americans understandably expect ethical conduct from their elected officials in Washington. But the whole system is so out of control that it's simply unrealistic to place faith in each and every government official in a position to sell influence. The larger the federal government becomes, the more it controls who wins and who loses in our society. The temptation for lobbyists to buy votes-- and the temptation for politicians to sell them-- is enormous. Indicting one crop of politicians and bringing in another is only a temporary solution. The only effective way to address corruption is to change the system itself, by radically downsizing the power of the federal government in the first place. Take away the politicians' power and you take away the very currency of corruption.

Undoubtedly the recent revelations will ignite new calls for campaign finance reform. However, we must recognize that that campaign finance laws place restrictions only on individuals, not politicians. Politicians will continue to tax and spend, meaning they will continue to punish some productive Americans while rewarding others with federal largesse. The same vested special interests will not go away, and the same influence peddling will happen every day on Capitol Hill.

The reason is very simple: when the federal government redistributes trillions of dollars from some Americans to others, countless special interests inevitably will fight for the money. The rise in corruption in Washington simply mirrors the rise in federal spending. The fundamental problem is not with campaigns or politicians primarily, but rather with popular support for the steady shift from a relatively limited, constitutional federal government to the huge leviathan of today.

We need to get money out of government. Only then will money not be important in politics. It's time to reconsider exactly what we want the federal government to be in our society. So long as it remains the largest and most powerful institution in the nation, it will remain endlessly susceptible to corruption.

I think I’m correct when I say that we all know that at least some politicians sell their votes. The current scandal in the US Government is just a recent example. But also, a few of us know that the political systems of all countries' Governments currently in existence are such that all politicians sell their votes. If you don't believe that, give me an example and evidence over at In Search of Non-Corrupt Politicians.
zluis
Well here I am.

I did vote, as I said I would.

Altought I didn´t vote for him I think that the one who won was the less bad, not the best just not the worst.

The abstention was about 40%, the winner had 50.6% od the votes. This means hat someone who just got 25% of the possible vote was elected the representant of my country. It is far from the ideal situation.
Dante
Isn't it interesting that people can love something that they have never experienced: THat you can swear alleigance to a flag, and see that as swearing alleigance to your country, even though it is impossible for you to know what your country really is.

Just stop and think: How many new people do you meet in a day? How many of those do you gain any real understanding of? How long would it take you to gain an understanding of the 250 million odd people that comprise "America" even if you could speak all their languages? Longer than a lifetime.

People don't vote for the love of their country, they vote for love of an idea of their country, based on some tiny fragment of experience and knowledge of that country.

Similarly people don't vote for politicians, or policies, they vote for their idea about these things. Democracy is another such idea, so it is a little silly to debate if it is good or bad: We are not even really sure what we are referring to.

Do any of us know very much about democracy is actually practiced in our countries: Have we participated in an election campaign, have we seen how votes are counted, have we interviewed people disqualified to vote, have we been to meetings between polticians and corporate donors, have we seen a publicity campaign being designed, or campaign for swing viters being devised. This is the stuff of voting and democracy, and we are not talking about it.

Oh and voting can make a difference, for better or worse: Hamas's victory is a reminder of this.
The Philosopher Princess
The Philosopher Princess Asks: Who Votes for Terrorists?

Democratically elected leaders in the USA and Israel claim they won’t deal with terrorists, and they call the newly democratically elected Hamas leaders in Palestine terrorists. Hamas (and many other organizations, as well as some UN resolutions) call Israel a terrorist nation. Many have pointed out that the USA and its allies use terrorism in invading countries with which they disagree, torturing prisoners, and using whatever scare tactics they can to get their way politically.

The fact is that Governments all use terrorism to maintain control of their own people. People pay taxes because they are afraid. People submit to all sorts of wrongs because they are afraid. The main tool of Government is fear. Governments all use fear to control people, and deadly force to back up that fear.

BIG Governments terrorize smaller Governments. Groups that don’t have political power, but are trying to overthrow the terrorism of Governments, resort to terrorism themselves. Hamas, and most Palestinians, have been trying to take the land back from Israel, but Israel, with help from the USA and other BIG Governments, has a lot more firepower, and more ability to invoke terror. So, the Palestinians have used their own methods of terrorism.

Why is it terrorism to blow yourself up bombing a few dozen people, but not terrorism to sit back in the Oval Office and order the bombing of a few million people? It’s only because the terrorist in the Oval Office gets to decide whom to call “terrorist”. And he gets to make that decision because he has the mandate of his democracy.

The best way to wage a “war on terrorism” would be for everybody to quit funding terrorists by not paying taxes. But terrorists will terrorize people into paying for their instruments of terror.

So, until there are viable candidates (or a political party) that refuse to take part in terrorism, and that provide a plan for transition to a peaceful, considerate society, I cannot Vote my conscience. And, therefore, I must purposefully withhold my Vote and support of such terrorism. My conscience is anti-terrorist, and Governments are terrorist organizations. Every politician that has come close to winning any major office in decades has supported the terrorism of the state.

Will you continue to Vote for terrorists? Or will you join those of us who oppose all Government terrorism, and refuse to support it?
zluis
I don't like terrorists.
I think there is no excuse for killing that arre seating in restaurants or in a queue on an airport or just taking a bus or a train to work.
One thing is to aim at one target and to kill people who were nearby, another thing is to do actions with the sole purpose of kiling as much innocent people as possible.

One of the problem with the Hamas is that said that they would not negociate with Israel. The problem is not only about they beeing terrorists, Yasser Arafat was also one and Israel and other countries negociated with him. Hamas already said they won't, so they shut the door themselves.
And we must think a bit. In Austria a neo Nazi party won the elections, in France the mayor of Lion gave rewards to couples who were "pure french citizens". In france people are not allowed to use religious simbols in public, french former president Mitterand publicly said that he understood and agreed with Hitler's "final solution". During the war he was a colaborationist helping the german invaders. Kurt Waldein, former president of the UN, and almost president of Sweden (I think) was an nazi oficer who was responsable of "cleaning" severral villages in Yugoslavia.
One of the candidates in the last elections in Portugal, and former president, is responsable for 180 000 deaths just in Timor, and also for the mines fields in Angola.
I see those things, most don't, but I don't think that the way to avoid them is just by sitting at home and letting others decide in my name.

I may not win but at least I fought.
The Philosopher Princess
Thanks, zluis; that adds some relevance.
~~~~~~~~~~
I’m enjoying my pondering of Dante’s last post. There is so much good stuff to discuss! But I follow up with only one of his many questions/issues.
Dante wrote:
even though it is impossible for you to know what your country really is.

One thought that conjures in me is that most people seem to think about their country in very emotional terms -- whether positive, negative, ambivalent, or other -- as opposed to structured terms -- like just geographic area. Few can attain what I think is the healthiest method: irrelevance.

I think the emotional feelings about country, per se, are not only unhealthy for individuals, but unhealthy for the whole human race. For example, when people think of other people in terms of their countries, rather than as individual, unique, human beings, then it allows all kinds of weird anti-human-race notions like “my country is better than your country”, “my country’s going to whip your country”, “my country’s going to war against your country”, “who cares what people get killed in your country as long as my country wins”, “go ‘my country’ go, no matter what!”.

This kind of pro-country emotionalism starts out benign enough, but can be very “slippery-slopey” leading towards worse and worse emotionalism. Eventually, many people get so emotional, they support all kinds of terrorism, themselves. And, of course, anyone who is learning about my philosophy knows that I’m not just talking about the secretive-cell form of terrorism, but also the in-your-face Government-supported terrorism of many countries. And, individuals who support the multitudinal BIG Governments’ so-called War on Terrorism are, in fact, also supporting terrorism, themselves. By Voters’ support of these Governments, people are condoning invasions of other countries, irrespective of the innocent individuals who get harmed, and even supporting their own Government’s invasion into their own privacy (like the wire-tapping of his own citizens without a warrant that the Bush administration performs and is getting away with).

If most people instead discounted countries, per se, and dealt with human beings as human beings (some being “bad” and worthy of shunning or even retaliation, some being “good”, some just to be ignored) and didn’t think of them as some amorphous part of my country or your country or their country, it’d be a whole different world. People wouldn’t be as quick to support terrorism, which would in turn cause others to not be as quick to support terrorism, and so on.

It’s expected that each person has their own definitions of bad and good. But consider how different a person thinks when they think in terms of “bad” individuals, and needing to perform necessary defense and retaliation of those individuals -- versus “bad” countries. Bush’s buddies could have gone after just Saddam Hussein and particular individuals that they considered “bad”. But, no. They had to invade the whole country, overthrow the government, destroy the infrastructure, make life miserable for everybody there, and waste billions of dollars and millions of lives (and drive up our cost of oil), and promise to keep doing all that until hell freezes over or the Iraqi people choose to do everything “our way”, whichever comes first.
~~~~~~~~~~
We’ve all heard people, even on this topic, shouting at us things like:
Quote:
SO VOTE!!!

USA ALL THE WAY

Frankly, that’s embarrassing -- or so it should be. It’s treating countries like football teams. I’m sure most of us have enjoyed being part of a school or community sports team, whether as participant or spectator. Those teams playing other teams can be fun. I had a lot of fun with my schools’ rivalries. But I also remember how sometimes college football spectators got so horridly rapped up in their emotionalism of being pro-their-school and anti-the-other-school, that they would get seriously violent! It’s totally ridiculous to allow your mind to be so pro-your-school that you’d actually physically harm people of rival schools! And yet it happens.

This emotional pro-school phenomenon is actually a much tamer version of the emotional pro-country phenomenon that I’m talking about. If we were only thinking about pro-this-country and anti-that-country when it came to the Olympics, and it was all in good fun, that would be perfectly fine. But that’s not what happens. People allow their emotionalism to take over to such an extent that their analytical minds no longer function properly.

There are, of course, many other instantiations of this pro-group and anti-other-group phenomenon. For example, the political-party-liners, the ones who will support corruption and thievery, as long as it’s by their political party, but never if it’s by an opposing political party. And this attitude is especially evident in hoodlum gangs that are an interesting microcosm of socio-political activity, having most of the characteristics of countries (more particularly nation-states), but controlling only a few square blocks. You can more easily study how countries work, by studying how hoodlum gangs operate; the actions and reactions are the same, but the model being studied is small enough to understand.
~~~~~~~~~~
So, what do y’all think of this post? zluis? Who finds it really totally off? Who sees something Reality-consistent in it? I’m particularly interested in Dante’s views on this one; do you find that it complements the other things you were saying, or do you take offense at any of it?
illini319
i am shocked and awed (all pun intended) of the endurance of this one thread. it is absolutely amazing how much fervor there is for this topic given the current level of citizen participation in all things civic in our country. i was watching a movie the other day and, as in all incorporated movie theater chains, before the movie is a slide reel of triviaL facts. most of them are mindless celebrity info. There was one, however, that caught my eye. It said 110 million people in the U.S. voted in the last presidential election, and over 550 million votes were tallied for the finale in American Idol. Obviously some were multiple votes... but the fact remains: this nation is far more interested in Carrie underwood (that was the winner, right?) than the leader of our nation. what a disgrace!?

I don't know what the demographics of this thread are; my guess would put most of you all in the 18-34 category? am i somewhat accurate? if i am, then it should dishearten all of you, in this category, that this age group always shows this much 'fervor' and interest in politic LEADING up to an election... and all of a sudden don't show up come voting day. is this apathy? is this a hangover from last night? is this an oops i forgot moment? what is it? rock the vote my a**
The Philosopher Princess
A princess never tells her age Laughing .

Glad to see you show up again here, illini319. I hope people respond to your valid inquiries. (I probably will at some point.)
~~~~~~~~~~
FYI, I just added a preface in red to the very first post on this topic (page 1) to invite people not to be intimidated by the topic's length and to post (valid stuff) anyway.
zluis
Hello I'm back.

I also think that the right thing should have been going just after Sadam and some of his folower, instead of going against the country.
But that's the Israel's way of doing and dealing with these subjects. And people who consider themselves intelectuals and freedom lovers don't agree with these solutions.

Some times loving our country is sinonim of hating the others.
I don't subscribe to this point of view. All countries and all peoples are good and have the right to live their lives their way, acording to their traditions.
I was raised in France, beeing Portuguese I know the feeling of beeing a "lousy foreigner", I felt it on my bones. But I'm gratefull to have experienced the contacts with other races. I lived in Paris in an area with lots of emigrants, I had collegues from Spain, Italy, Morrocos, Algeria, Youguslavia, Martinique, Algeria. My best friends were a Jew and a boy from Yougoslavia and I shared my desk with a Muslim girl.
All this mixed races gave me an experience that I hope never to forget.

If some of you understand French, there is a song from George Brassens about people who think their country or their village is the best in the world. I think the name of the song is: " Les imbeciles qui sont né quelque part", it means kind of " Those stupid folks that were born somewhere", it is really worth listening to and understanding the lyrics. And if you add the fact that it was written about 40 or 50 years ago, you will end up seeing that the human race really doesn't change, most of the time it is only cosmetics.
zluis
I forgot, I was 40 two weeks ago Wink

I also think that it is sad that most people prefer soccer or rock "stars" to working people who do their best to live their lives meaningfully.
That's another reason why sometimes even among my friend I'm still the " Lousy foreigner".
The Philosopher Princess
Very Happy Happy Belated Birthday! 40 is a good milestone! Very Happy
~~~~~~~~~~
zluis wrote:
Some times loving our country is sinonim of hating the others.

Yes, and both are basically, prejudicial, i.e., judging individuals because of a group to which they belong, rather than on their individual characteristics.

Rather than “loving [a] country” and “hating” other countries, rational people love or hate (or are neutral towards) individuals based on factual information (as best as they can determine).

zluis wrote:
I don't subscribe to this point of view. All countries and all peoples are good and have the right to live their lives their way, acording to their traditions.

People should only “have the right to live their lives their way” as long as they’re not infringing on others’ similar “rights”. If someone’s “traditions” include thievery, rape, and murder, surely you wouldn’t still say they “have the right to live their lives their way”, would you?

(Is anyone able to predict what I'd say about {pre}judging Politicians' {non}corruption?)
~~~~~~~~~~
In summary, I advocate people judging others (when appropriate), but judging rationally, not irrationally.

Amadeus on page 12 called my message of “Think!” an “evasive response”. But that is exactly what people aren’t doing enough. Agreed, zluis?
Arnie
Quote:
Rather than "loving [a] country" and "hating" other countries, rational people love or hate (or are neutral towards) individuals based on factual information (as best as they can determine).
Who are you to say what "rational people" do? Rather speak for yourself only. There may be people with good rational reasons to love or hate a country. Especially considering that "loving/hating a country" can have all different sorts of forms. From loving a country for its looks to hating a country for its dominant political climate. Your quote implies a lot of things. For instance, you put away people that talk about love for their country etc. as irrational. That's a bit too easy.

Then again, what exactly is rational? No, I'm not looking for some rock-solid definition or whatever. That's a nice answer, but applying it in real situations is a whole different story. (And I'm not even mentioning that even the exact definition is discussable.) Just like laws need jurisprudence, the definition of rational (whatever you get out of the dictionary) can be interpreted in more ways. And how easy is it to (ab)use that to put away somebody whose opinion you don't like? Very easy: first you point out that only rational views are acceptable and then you portray the other guy's views as irrational.
william jones
i vote
do i think that your vote is counted or observed?
NO
but i still encourage you to
this is your country and not just your right but your obligation to vote.
Giampi
Abstention, while in theory a good idea, will NOT guarantee you the freedom you desire from the government. Think about it. Even if you stop voting, or get a large amount of people who decide to stop voting (hell, perhaps even every member of the country), there will still be a small number of people who will want the system to perpetuate itself--namely, the people who run said system. Those people, through suffrage, will decide how the government is run...in the end, there is a higher risk of LOSING freedom because the people who come into power are represented by a minority who will, more than likely, pursue interests prurient to that minority.

Yeah, I know, it's reductio ad absurdum, but it's true.
zluis
First of all thank you, someone said that live starts at 40 I sure hope he was right Wink

Quoting:
People should only “have the right to live their lives their way” as long as they’re not infringing on others’ similar “rights”. If someone’s “traditions” include thievery, rape, and murder, surely you wouldn’t still say they “have the right to live their lives their way”, would you?

I agree entirelly, I already said that our rights should end where other's rigths begin.

I also think that most of the world problems come from not thinking enought, people do not use common sense anymore.
That is the reason for all the rules and laws we should abide to. Most people do their best to just follow the rules. That way they protect themselves in case something goes wrong. It reminds me of the most heard phrase in a famous judgement 60 years ago:
" I was just following orders"

About a month ago two litlle children died in Portugal due to a fire in their apartment. The authorities were warned severall times by neighbours, that the kids were in danger and were being abused by their parents. Rules were folowed and two inocent lives were lost. Nobody is to blame because "rules were folowed"...

But this thread is about voting, well I still say we should vote, even in blank, by not voting we are not using the only way we have of being heard.
Althought we all know that politicians only hear What they want and only When they want and interpret our opinions the Way they want.
The Philosopher Princess
zluis wrote:
First of all thank you, someone said that live starts at 40 I sure hope he was right Wink

If you keep writing better and better stuff, we’ll have evidence that that “someone” is right. Smile
~~~~~~~~~~
zluis wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
People should only “have the right to live their lives their way” as long as they’re not infringing on others’ similar “rights”. If someone’s “traditions” include thievery, rape, and murder, surely you wouldn’t still say they “have the right to live their lives their way”, would you?

I agree entirelly, I already said that our rights should end where other's rigths begin.

Okay, good. Now, let’s try to figure out what that means. Let me give you a hypothetical. How would you analyze the following, in terms of rights beginning and rights ending?

** If Mr. X gets to vote on what the minimum wage is that Mr. Y must pay his employees, and

** If Mr. Y gets to vote on what the minimum wage is that Mr. X must pay his employees, then

** In this area, are Mr. X’s and Mr. Y’s rights equal, fair, equivalent, etc.? If so, why? If not, why? Discuss whatever else is relevant.


(I would be glad to work with hypotheticals of your concoction. I hope you will enjoy working with mine.)
tdlinkin
I think that voting is over rated many people say that voting is what you need to do becuase you have the right and the privelegde and i say so what. Then they say that its something good and i say,"Why would i deprive myself of something good, are you saying that i am a fool." I dont think that i have a problem either. My forefathers might have fought for the right to vote but they also fought for the right of freedom. That is why i can do what i want when i want to and i choose not only not to vote but to anounce that i am agianst people that try to pressure other people to vote. It is their right to vote and it is my right to freedom. Idea Idea Idea
Biodiesel
I used to think that voting was important, but it's so hard to say. I think with all the crap the media comes up with at least in America, well, too much information is worse than no information sometimes. Without having the time to check into each political candidate's background, I would not vote. By checking into their background, I do not mean hearing a blub about them on TV (which I don't watch at all). I check the mass media only for events, and by that I mean the fact of something, not how it went down, or the details that distract us from the true ramifications.

Say a politician kills the economy. I don't care a lick who they are, what they do otherwise, the fact is, they brought us down. Now in my mind, that is a good thing if they brought us down evenly. But if some people are getting filthy rich while others are starving, that' wrong. My politics dictate that that person is a dirtbag. [The US already consumes 25% of the earth's resources, we should be reducing our impact as it is.] The point here is that in order to vote, you have to understand fundamental aspects of who you are and what you believe in.

The whole Vote no-matter-what thing is bogus. That's all about the fact that most people don't know a lick about who or what they are voting for and watch a lot of TV. Their brains are dulled and desensitized to quick manipulation, and TV watchers tend to drop things more often (a sign of mild brain damage similarly found in Marijuana abuse). So when people just go out and vote, they tend to vote for established moneybags and other political scags. Not all of these people are bad, but enough are to make one cringe.
zluis
Hie,

Princess, Ijust read your message, I´m still figuring out an answer.

I don´t think that too much information is bad. The problem with today's
"Information" is that it has a lot of volume but very little substance.
TVs and other kinds of media are bombing us with lots of so called news, that most of the time amount to nothing specific just to make us believe that we are being informed.
What they are really doing is dulling our senses and our objectivity so that the real facts and the real stuff is camouflaged and making our brains and our sense of critics lazy.

Bye.
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