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: to vote or not to vote..
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Oct 17th 2010
I was just reading another thread abut politics here and it got me to thinking. careful now, huh. I'm a staunch non-voter, having never voted once in the 17 years i've been able to. At this moment in time i don't plan on ever doing so either. Its not that i don't care who's in power, more the fact that i have no faith in the whole process. It seems to me that all i would be doing by voting is choosing who would be lying to me for the next four years. Election promises from politicians are little more than a waste of this planet's oxygen resources. On top of that, i really don't believe that the parties or the politicians listen to, or give a shit about what the people think.
Maybe if i was a multi-millionaire or someone claiming lots of benefits it would make a difference to me what party was in power, but as things are, i'm neither. I'm a working-class plebian, who'll get shafted in taxes no matter what hand they take them from. I can't hear no fucking violins. oh well....best get to the point of this gripe i suppose.
What really grates with me is when i'm told i 'can't talk about politics' or 'the current situation' or that 'my opinion doesn't matter' 'because i don't/won't vote'.
Why should anyone have to vote if they feel there's no-one worth voting for?
And why should they have to compromise their stance just to validate their opinions?
I'm not entirely sure that last question makes complete sense, apologies if it doesn't. Apologies also for my grammar.
Just wondered what others thoughts are on the subject, if any..
Oct 20th 2010
I vote. Have since 1976. It may be ineffectual but I'd rather attempt to do something that sit on my butt.
Oct 31st 2010
I came to this after reading:
I won't vote in the midterms
The comments are what got me interested. I have voted once, for a minority party and haven't since, and because I am quite political in my discourse I tend to come up against a lot of these arguments, there is a number of ways of looking at your vote and the result of each is skewed by the voting system implemented.
You can look at voting from an ideological viewpoint, Left/Right, free enterprise/state control... this would be a party political viewpoint and is generally the viewpoint of national elections. My understanding of this is is colored by the fact that most national elections are ran by small number of parties, generally 2, and the funding of these parties by the rich business oligarchies in a country, which dissolves any ideological impact either party will espouse to become almost moot.
The other is as your representative in a governing body, which places that person as someone to represent your views in that body, remember this includes the ideological viewpoint and financing of the person elected. this a healthier and more wide-ranging viewpoint, because you will also have to communicate your viewpoint to the representative to establish that relationship.
Reality isn't as clear cut as above, but I found it to be a nice breakdown, back to the arguments about not voting, do these people believe that voting is democracy? It is just a small portion of your responsibility as a constituent, it is also the easiest controlled, which is why it is exalted. but you have to express your viewpoint to your elected representative regardless of their political difference, otherwise how will they know what line to take on issues. currently they do this through the press, petitions, research, etc. I would include in this bribery which can be very convoluted and I believe endemic in any capitalist ruling class.
I ask people who challenge me on my voting record how much they contact their elected representative after they have demonstrated their democratic right and voted. This question generally stumps them, because the reverence of voting has little to do with understanding of the democratic process, and more as a security blanket to pull up the façade of choice, without the need for personal sacrifice. considering this I don't vote because, in terms of effect on the political process, it is probably the weakest and most dilute.
Name one major egalitarian change in the direction of a countries socio-political landscape that has come about without mass protests?
Thank you for giving me a platform.
Oct 31st 2010
I though I'd add to the last comment regarding mass protest. This is also difficult because where elections have some type of quantifiable counting and analysis, protests are mainly subjective and can be easily stifled or ignored. This was shown in the run up to Iraq war and side-lining this type of participation shores up the vote as the only legitimate method.
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