November 04, 2008

"My Vote Doesn't Count" Nonsense.

Now I'm sure that I will get someone who doesn't agree with this, and that's fine... differing opinions are what strengthen communities...

Wait, let me qualify that statement:  INTELLIGENT differing opinions strengthen communities.

I was talking to someone not more than a moment ago, and asked them if they voted.  Her response was:
iamcrystal531:  no
no time
doesn't really matter anyway
its a democratic state
presidents have not wone
won because of the popular vote
we all knwo that
stupid electorial system
I'm not going to the argue for or against the electorial system, because I think it has its pros and cons and that's a debate for a different occasion.

What I more take exception to is one, that the idea that any vote won't count, and that the popular vote doesn't count.

So to the first.
Yes, in a stream of millions of votes, one vote will not likely sway any election.  But, as is typical of our independent-single-server focused society, when you look at one vote out of millions, of course it doesn't matter.  But when you look at it in terms of larger groups, larger group dynamics, and statistics, then every vote does count, because you don't get from one to many in a single bound.  It is a quantitative process.

Secondly, when you take the "my vote doesn't count" theory and expand it outward, you run into the dangerous realm of complacency... a death knell for any democracy.  Indifference and complacency are interesting because they can only really crop up in a democracy, and they are two of the biggest factors in the destruction of democracy.  People who live in a totalitarian state (qualifed:  an oppressive, punishment totalitarian state without at least symbolic rights for the masses), usually become interested and unsettled and take action (eventually).  Then they win their "freedoms" and the complacency sets in.  Cyclical.

It's probably inevitable that the US will move toward a less democratic state.  Certainly if trends in complacency continue.  The speed at which that happens... well that's sadly in the hands of individuals referenced above.

To the second premise, that the popular vote doesn't count.  Okay, so technically maybe it doesn't count.  In the strictist of terms, we elect our president based off of the electoral college.  But the one thing that the popular vote can give a president is a "mandate"... a sort of unofficial boost of enthusiasm for the president-elect, at least if the popular vote win has a decent margin.  In effect, is says, "hey, we as the populace give you our blessings to undertake your agenda for the government".

Whether it seems like it or not, that's kind of important.  So much so that our last president claimed a mandate despite a small margin of victory.

In even less obvious terms, the popular vote is great for statisticians and government officials to understand the true way in which the country swings

So yeah, this is a rant, with a basic premise.  Go Fuckin' Vote.  It doesn't matter to me who you vote for... but if you ever want to bitch and moan about something political, then go fuckin' vote.  Even if you don't like ANY of the candidates, you have the option of a fuckin' write in.  So do that.

(If you do the write in, I suggest candidate jOe Macauley - so that I can be the puppet pulling the strings behind that administration.)

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