Saturday, July 26, 2008

Go ahead, waste your vote!

I mean it, go ahead and waste your vote. Chances are that if you vote, you're about to completely throw it away.

Now, I don't mean this in my usual sense of "do the same thing over and over again and hope for a different result this time," or wondering why you think either major party is going to have candidates that do a bit of what they promise.

No, I mean this in a more pragmatic sense. Most of you live in states that are heavily favored one way or the other. Very few people (comparatively speaking) live in states that are "swing states," or ones where the public is not going to vote for one candidate by wide margins, due to the party bias of the majority there.

What does this mean to you? Say you live in Texas, and the year is 2000. The state is going to vote for George Bush. He will win the state, and therefore win the Electoral College votes for that state. End of story. If you vote for George Bush, you are throwing away your vote (unless you support him so overwhelmingly that you want that margin to be even higher). If you vote for Al Gore, you are throwing away your vote (unless you support him so overwhelmingly you just want that margin to be slimmer). But if you are like the majority of people, voting what you consider "the lesser of two evils" just to avoid the candidate you think is going to ruin the country... You're just throwing your vote away.

However, if you vote for a different party, you are making a protest. You are using your vote to say "I will not play this game so long as it remains rigged." You are saying "I will not support a false dichotomy which gives me no real choice." And if enough people realize this, then two things are likely to happen.

1) A lot more states will become "swing states," with voters actually getting more power
2) As third parties get higher percentages of the vote, the two major parties might be forced to actually listen to their constituents, as they realize their monopoly on power is slipping.

Two other possibilities that are less likely, but still entertaining,
1) People wake up to the idiocy unworkable nature of the two-party system, and we get a multi-party system that can actually restrain the rampant acceleration of government power
2) The government admits that everything is scripted, and just like professional wrestling, everybody enjoys the show a lot more when nobody is pretending it's real.

Anyway, due to the electoral college, you're most likely going to waste your vote. So think about that, before you try to convince me I'm wasting mine!


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