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Mini-post

Everywhere I go, I'm inundated with messages to "GO VOTE." I have mixed feelings about the idea of telling people to vote.

Back when I was on student council, we habitually had very poor turn out for our student elections. One year, I decided to change that, and I targeted groups of people that I suspected probably hadn't voted, and likely wouldn't. I bullied and pressured them to get to the voting booth (I didn't actually care who got elected, just wanted a good turn out), and then I saw the downfall of my plan. These people who I had wheedled into voting, they hadn't intended on voting because they didn't know who to vote for. They didn't have an opinion. It wasn't that they had an opinion and were choosing not to express it, they didn't even know the names of the individuals running, let alone what they stood for.

I realized that by pushing ignorant people to vote, I was potentially skewing the results. Better to have 30% of informed voters, rather than 50% of voters where 20% of them voted by "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe".

After that experience, I have stopped worrying about the over-all number of voters. I would rather that the person who won, won because many people felt s/he was the best candidate, vs that they won due to a large majority of the people randomly choosing a name.

Just a passing thought I decided to share.

Comments

( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
perviepom
Nov. 2nd, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC)
I'm torn about this votekerry because I feel that votekerry the more people vote the more the democratic process is served votekerry. I sort of like Australia's compulsory voting votekerry , however there should be a chance to vote for none of the candidates to register you lack of respect for any of the candidates votekerry .

I mean here we have a votekerry government with a huge majority whom 25% of the people voted for. votekerry that was 44% of the vote, but 75% of the people haven't voted for them. votekerry I feel that somewhat undermines democracy.
egbert
Nov. 2nd, 2004 01:35 pm (UTC)
I have this sudden desire to put on women's underwear and go vote for John Kerry.

I was never good with subliminal messages.
(no subject) - perviepom - Nov. 2nd, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - egbert - Nov. 3rd, 2004 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - egbert - Nov. 3rd, 2004 05:19 am (UTC) - Expand
sharya
Nov. 2nd, 2004 02:41 pm (UTC)
I understand your point that 75% of the population hasn't voted for the government in power... at the same time, of those 75% who didn't vote, how many of them care? It seems like what you're wanting, is for everyone to care about who gets elected, and I agree that would be nice. Then you really would have the best candidate, one that a majority of the people agreed upon. Unfortunately the words "caring about who gets elected" are not synonymous with "voting for the person you'd like to get elected."

I really really don't think you want a bunch of people who don't give shit, to be running out and filling up the ballot boxes with random votes. At least the way it is right now, a person can honestly say that of everyone who cared enough to educate themselves and to take the time to vote, their interests are represented.

I have to say though, I do like that idea of a mandatory vote, but with an option to vote for no one. That way those who have no opinion won't skew the votes, as well, those who want to make a statement, can do so without going to jail.

I must now run out and vote Kerry... oh wait... wrong country for that :P
(no subject) - bribri22 - Nov. 2nd, 2004 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bribri22 - Nov. 3rd, 2004 07:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - phaedie - Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perviepom - Nov. 3rd, 2004 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bribri22 - Nov. 3rd, 2004 07:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perviepom - Nov. 3rd, 2004 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perviepom - Nov. 2nd, 2004 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perviepom - Nov. 3rd, 2004 04:57 am (UTC) - Expand
joeymichaels
Nov. 2nd, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC)
I fully believe in the concept of an informed electorate. It is irresponsible for somebody to vote without some knowledge about what they are voting for.
sharya
Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
I think so too. That's why I just get so concerned when I see all these signs that say "GO VOTE!"

I think it should be more like, "Does this topic concern you? Then DO something about it! Voting is today."
joeymichaels
Nov. 3rd, 2004 02:06 am (UTC)
Out here we elect out Board of Education. People get elected to the board all the time strictly based on name recognition. Indeed, often times, the most qualified people don't win because they don't, for example, own a chain of gas stations named after them.
oldcookieman
Nov. 2nd, 2004 09:26 pm (UTC)
Informed Electorate
Tell that to the people who rant and rave when the idea of having to identify who they are is brought up to cut down on voter fraud.
sharya
Nov. 2nd, 2004 10:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Informed Electorate
They do that?
Re: Informed Electorate - oldcookieman - Nov. 2nd, 2004 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
joeymichaels
Nov. 3rd, 2004 02:13 am (UTC)
Re: Informed Electorate
Who are these people you speak of?

At least out here (and everywhere I've voted) you've always been required to have an I.D.
Re: Informed Electorate - oldcookieman - Nov. 3rd, 2004 02:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - joeymichaels - Nov. 3rd, 2004 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - perviepom - Nov. 3rd, 2004 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - sharya - Nov. 3rd, 2004 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - perviepom - Nov. 3rd, 2004 08:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - oldcookieman - Nov. 4th, 2004 12:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - joeymichaels - Nov. 4th, 2004 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Informed Electorate - oldcookieman - Nov. 4th, 2004 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
phaedie
Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'd guess the majority of non votes will be not voting out of apathy as opposed to ignorance.
Sad. :(
sharya
Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:48 pm (UTC)
Maybe a bit of both. Apathy due to ignorance.
osoqres
Nov. 3rd, 2004 09:35 am (UTC)
I absolutely agree with your "Don't vote if you have no idea what you're doing" statement. I would rather that the people that did their homework would make the decision, ....not the "Eenie, meenie, minee, moe"'s!!!

I do love the MTV slogan "Vote or Die!"

People are f%$ked up!
sharya
Nov. 3rd, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, what's up with that? "Vote or Die" That's just stupid.
heidi_13
Nov. 5th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hi...this really isn't about the post. I'm pretty a-political in general.

I'm still trying to figure all of this LJ stuff out and I kinda feel like I'm crashing Joey's party. I'm not really sure about the etiquette for this, (so please forgive me if I'm making a 'faux-pas') but I'd like to add you to my friends list and would love to be added to yours too.

As I've been reading along with the '52 Girls' saga this past month, your comments were always the most intriguing to me (and often exactly what I would have said!)



sharya
Nov. 5th, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! I'm very flattered!

I too have been interested in your comments, and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better :)

Added!
(no subject) - heidi_13 - Nov. 5th, 2004 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )

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