Voting. Is it necessary?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by FAST6191, May 5, 2015.

  1. FAST6191
    OP

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,519
    9,347
    Nov 21, 2005
    I do try to make titles that are relevant to the contents of the thread. In this case is actually going out and voting in elections an important thing.

    So the amount of crap I slide on as I wander through my front door out of the rain has increased, as nobody wants to sell me "legal highs" in this part of town (a pity as the ones I used to get when I lived elsewhere were master classes in bad graphic design) and most restaurants already sent new menus this year I guess it is an election year.

    Relevant at this point.


    Now I have supposedly been of voting age for some number of elections (general, European, local and possibly something else). By and large the UK does not vote on as many concepts as the US does; technically you do not even vote for a leader, even if it is considered a bit of a piss take to not call an election if your main leader does step down.
    I have voted precisely never and never been given a good reason why I should. The main reason for me is mathematically it seems pretty pointless around here (very little chance of dangerous cretins getting in and that just leaves incompetent*) and as it is a hard problem (read a manifesto, judge probabilities of it happening, figure out if the good outweighs the bad, figure out if I can even tell if the good outweighs the bad -- I am not an economist, an environmental scientist, someone that knows all that much about healthcare....) then my main choice is to act randomly and not at all seems just as useful an option. I would say I have got stuff to do but I really do not.

    For some reason though said mindset seems to wind people up, especially when the "please vote/vote for me" people decide to approach me if I am out walking about. Granted, I do take about as much delight in winding them up** as I do other cold callers at my door or on the phone; true believers tend to be good for this sort of thing and nobody that is not a true believer has that kind of time to waste.
    Various reasons for this are given but none seem all that satisfactory, the most jarring seems to be "if you don't vote then you don't get to complain" which seems really at odds with basic logic.

    *that might be a bit harsh. I have actually met most of the main politicos around here and they seem to have their head screwed on. I guess it is a similar logic to the "a person is smart, people are stupid" quote I saw in Men in Black.

    **speaking of US elections on crazy amounts of concepts (specific laws, various high level police, fire, mayors that actually do/mean something....) the people out and about there seem to want to approach me as well and, despite the UK accent, they continue to talk to me. Those people people are a true delight to wind up -- most of the discourse seems to be reduced to vote yes/no on prop 69 (you quite literally have to tease out from them what the law is going to be) and only get more and more dumbed down as the voting day approaches, knocking them from their spiel as they are about 80% done is something I greatly enjoy.

    To that end possibly more relevant than the first video


    Edit. I also forgot to mention the apparently popular with the youth TV channel E4 (the slightly younger skewing version of the UK's channel 4( is being turned off on election day. This is as apparently the youth in the country do have better things to do.

    Thoughts and opinions of others.
     


  2. Vengenceonu

    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

    Member
    2,204
    1,933
    Jun 20, 2013
    United States
    The C Standard Library
    i concur

     
  3. SickPuppy

    SickPuppy New Member

    Member
    1,789
    451
    Jul 29, 2009
    United States
    Where is the poll? A simple yes or no poll will do.
     
  4. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Member
    4,843
    2,429
    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    Voting in democracy is what gives the citizen power to say how the government should work like wise I personally feel it is a duty to vote for who you feel is the best leader
     
  5. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

    Member
    7,244
    7,361
    Dec 1, 2014
    United States
    Under a rock
    Think of it this way: A lack of a vote for a person you want to win is less of a chance that they'll even make it past that leg of the election, particularly if they are in a non-traditional party (i.e. Independent, Modern Whig, etc). Candidates like these need votes so that they'll be brought into the public

    And if you're voting for a Democrat/Republican... Well, then it's just kind of voting, since they're pretty much guaranteed to stay in anyway
     
  6. FAST6191
    OP

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,519
    9,347
    Nov 21, 2005
    My lack of fondness for voting also extends to polls on forums. I do not partake in them, I do not have them in threads of mine unless they serve a very clear purpose.

    May I ask what makes it so important as to be called a duty? If I can demonstrate it mathematically not mattering where I might be at then why does it still warrant being called a duty.

    Also what if I vote for someone silly on an item I know nothing about? For instance I am not an economist, though I guess there is that theory of economics that nobody can totally grasp how an economy works and should be approached accordingly but enough of that one, so I could vote for someone that is likely to pass laws on issues I care for (computing, intellectual property and such like) that someone else might have hosed up but at the same time they might not have hosed up the economy that the other group (which I otherwise like) would have. This seems to be the problem with some of the specific issue parties (say pirate party, more broadly the "green" party in a given place).
     
  7. SickPuppy

    SickPuppy New Member

    Member
    1,789
    451
    Jul 29, 2009
    United States
    I vote every two years. Most times I get right in there without a wait because the line for my precinct is always short or empty.
     
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.
  8. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

    Member
    7,244
    7,361
    Dec 1, 2014
    United States
    Under a rock
    Technically we're a democratic republic, that's why the only chance we have to influence the gov't is when we vote for elected officials. If it were a true democracy there would be a national vote on every major decision that is made
     
  9. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Member
    4,843
    2,429
    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    I guess the duty is that we have to use our power to fight wrong and stand for what ever we think as when people care less about the world around them is when we have failed as a society (more kids care about the new iPhone than the election ). I have supported small time people who had little shots of winning but again I feel that it is my duty to vote for who I feel will lead us the best way(the whole 3rd party is a waste is the counter aargument, at least in america). As for issues I feel that it is just a side effect of democracy in that the people chose and they can chose evil(like Nazis chose Hitler and hate)
     
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.
  10. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,943
    1,337
    Oct 19, 2013
    Gaza Strip
    Voting or not will make no difference because the next puppet will appear to be better than the one whom was there before but then the people will start to loathe him even more.

    Just look at the great Obama, he had so many promises and now he's just another one.
     
  11. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

    Member
    7,244
    7,361
    Dec 1, 2014
    United States
    Under a rock
    Some of us hated him from the beginning, but hey, let's not let this turn into one of those threads
     
  12. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

    Member
    6,192
    2,150
    Jan 2, 2011
    As some people so elegantly put it, no matter who won the last election, and hell, even the one before that, we were fucked. Regardless, approximately 40% of the country wouldn't be happy with any decision whatever the winning president made, about 40% would celebrate the president's every move, and 20% will be some mix of just not caring or wishing their obscure third party that never had a chance would have won.

    Now, I find voting in the US to be silly. I don't vote just because I can't find the worth in it. I get so annoyed when people act like government robots telling me about how voting is my duty and privilege as a US citizen. In the long run though, where do our votes matter? Electing state representatives and senators? No, because we are still bound to picking either/or, democrat or republican, for people we couldn't be assed to learn anything about. State measures? I guess, but in the long run, people are mostly concerned with pot or GMO labeling, nothing that says I should actually go out of my way to participate in an otherwise broken system. Presidential elections? At that point, my vote is just being cast into what amounts to a popularity contest between people from the same two parties every time that represent what are basically only slightly differing views just left or right of center on the political spectrum. Instead, that vote is decided by the fuck if I know what it is electoral college system that nobody I have talked to actually really knows much of anything about. We simply acknowledge that it is the group in each state that casts a vote for everybody in the state regardless of what the people of the state think or desire. Woohoo yeah yay useless popularity votes and an endless string of people voting for us.

    It's just a dumb system. Maybe if the US system entertained more than a "two sides of the same coin" system of governance, it wouldn't be so bad, but you literally have no chance if you aren't within the two major parties of holding an actual position of influence. Other than that, it seems like most of what our votes go towards ultimately works against us in some way. I mean, can you find one person that actually likes and appreciates Congress and what they do? No, we bitch about them endlessly, our group of government officials that we gave the okay for, and ask why they're so useless.

    The tl;dr version is that the US government sucks, voting in the US is nothing short of a joke, and I'd rather not vote than show my support for a broken system by saying fuck it and tossing my vote into the pool as if it will ever matter.
     
  13. FAST6191
    OP

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,519
    9,347
    Nov 21, 2005
    If you are interested in the US electoral college then the same guy that did the video on first past the post that I linked up also did some on that (and a whole bunch of other voting systems and related topics)



    Also another issue that crops up in US elections is gerrymandering, though amusingly there the "slightly differing views just left or right of center on the political spectrum" thing can fall a bit flat. There have been a few cases in recent times (the main one I heard about was new york) where a combination of gerrymandering and some nutjobs meant the seriously crazy nutjobs stood a chance of dethroning the incumbent.
    Also hah on US politics being considered central in any spectrum but its own.
     
  14. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

    pip Contributor
    GBAtemp Patron
    Tom Bombadildo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    10,694
    10,707
    Jul 11, 2009
    United States
    I forgot
    ^^^^^^ Basically all of this (except I know what the Electoral College does :P). But yeah, 99% of the time voting on just about anything just ends up being...stupid.
     
  15. Tomato Hentai

    Tomato Hentai baja boner blast

    Member
    3,751
    6,113
    Oct 30, 2014
    Canada
    actually north korea. please send help
    I'm too lazy to write anything too long, so I'll just say this:
    If you complain about your government and country, you should go and vote. Voting is how you can help your country change. Every vote counts.
     
    RevPokemon and TotalInsanity4 like this.
  16. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    16,077
    12,592
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    To lazy to vote.
    Simple as that.
    Besides, nothing changes here, shit country.
     
    Tomato Hentai likes this.
  17. endoverend

    endoverend AKA zooksman

    pip Contributor
    GBAtemp Patron
    endoverend is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    2,847
    3,550
    Jun 6, 2013
    United States
    It's actually very simple. Sure, the odds of your vote actually mattering to the election are extremely low. It seems oversimplified, but if no one voted, and everyone decided that the effort of getting their arses up to the voting booth was not worth the mathematical probability of making a difference, we would have a problem. Sure, the electoral vote system isn't perfect, and no one expects it to be. But frankly, it's one of the few windows citizens get to even have a tiny chance to make a difference and change something (even if they don't totally agree with all opinions of the candidate/bill in question).

    So what do I think? Vote, because it really doesn't take that much effort, and because it's a relatively easy way we're given to have a chance at helping our government in a democratic (well, at least nominally democratic) society. And honestly, why the hell not?
     
    TotalInsanity4 likes this.
  18. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

    Member
    6,192
    2,150
    Jan 2, 2011
    Which ends up being totally backwards because by voting, you're conforming to the amount of power given and the choices granted. A large voter turnout, even if with a largely negative opinion, grants the belief to those that can actually make a change that the system is working. An abysmally low voter turnout would send a far greater message than simply accepting that participating in the system is the only way to alter it. If you try to argue that by voting, we can put people in power who are willing to make those changes, you completely miss the point that time and time again, we simply vote in the same kind of people completely predictably in every single state. You miss the point that those who fall outside of the designated core of the US political spectrum don't get the chance to succeed, at least not in the numbers required to actually make a change, and not within the level of governance necessary to make a major change.

    With that said, it basically boils down to the fact that while in some systems, the idea of participating to alter the state of government itself may be relevant, the US government is not that kind of system. Voting is not the path to true change within the United States.
     
  19. Nightwish

    Nightwish GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    372
    203
    Oct 16, 2013
    Portugal
    Voting is all you have to change the world, mate. It's a small thing to do to try to change the world, even if it really doesn't amount to much. There's always more than two candidates to vote for, even in the US, so there's always a reason to vote. Ok, not always, but even voting blank is a valid choice.
    As for not being informed, I rather uninformed people didn't bother, because it's not that hard. Take macroeconomics, the basics are really simple and settled, the problem is that politicians know people are ignorant and pander to that ignorance to push the agenda of the people who pay them to give them more and more monopolies so they can own the economy of nations without having to do much.
     
  20. Minox

    Minox Spytech Employee

    Supervisor
    6,063
    2,798
    Aug 27, 2007
    Sweden
    I don't feel like anyone has the duty to vote if they do not want to, but if they choose not to vote they shouldn't go around whining that their country is being run poorly because they haven't even begun making an attempt at changing things.
     
    Vengenceonu and TotalInsanity4 like this.