August 24, 2008

The "Strategic" Vote

To answer Adam's query shortly:  Obama.

Now for the long, rambling answer and some interjected thoughts...

I was, briefly, discussing this with James... and he talked about "pretend" voting, which I took as voting for the lesser of "two evils"... what many people, independents and those affiliated with other "third" parties do.

(Man there are a lot of parentheses in this post...)

The way I view it, at least in this moment... voting in our democracy seems less an exercise in free will and freedom and exercising our rights as US citizens, and more like a type of strategic game.  Voting equals chess.

And really, it kind of does.  In a game of chess, you place certain pieces strategically, knowing that you will probably lose them to your opponent, but with the goal of ultimately coming out on top.

Politics, and the part that we play, voting, has a similar goal, but for all intents and purposes, dumbed down.  In the general election voting process (in America), you are basically given two choices... two choices that are supposed to represent opposing views (though often only do on superficial levels).  Sure, you could vote for a third party member (and probably should in some of the past elections we've had), but are you making a difference?

Probably not.  It's actually probably true that you are throwing your vote away, statistically.  Or, worse, you are playing into the hand of the party you probably least want to see in power.  Certainly that was the case for those that voted for Nader in 2000 and 2004.  Those that voted Nader in either year, but especially 2000, did not like Gore and they did not like Bush.  And probably for fairly good reasons.  (After all, those people that even knew who Nader was, were probably of the more educated and knowledgeable of the voting bloc - sad as that is - thus it's kind of stupid for other people to insult and call Nader-voters stupid... rather, those people chose not to play the game, probably to their detriment...)

Voting in America is about getting the best possible deal, not about voting who you really, actually like.  It's a sad reality, but it's also a true reality.  And oddly, this reality is self-propagating.  If it wasn't for this strategic voting pattern, we'd probably have another party, or a multi-party system.

This election cycle, many will vote for Obama, and many will vote for McCain, and few will vote for a third party candidate, though there may be many qualified that will run.  And many people may have a third party candidate that they like, but they won't vote for them this time around.  Why?  Because people see this election as an "important" one... one for the ages... and thus the whole "strategic" voting pattern will be in play.

And like I said before, strategic voting is statistically smart.

However, sadly, IF everyone actually voted according to more about who they really liked, and if third party candidates had access to the media the way the Dems and Repubs do... well... it would be a different game.

I will be voting for Obama, and a part of that is simple strategy.  Strategy on multiple fronts.  One, I think my vote will "count" more by voting for him.  Two, I think that though he doesn't have the foreign experience that others have, he knows how to surround himself will intelligent individuals.  Third, I think he might be the first candidate that by virtual of his lack of experience and his excellent oratory skills, may return the Presidency to its original intended goals as set forth by the Continental Congress... a figurehead and leader with lesser power than what is currently seen.  People forget this, but Congress was always intended to be the true power of the United States.

A leader is supposed to inspire and guide, at least in the United States... and after seeing Putin, I can only hope that we return to a more intelligent and measured form of leadership to the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment