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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I really really hate advice along these lines. Yes, the system is completely corrupt, and no one of true integrity can get far enough to be voted for. So what should we do?

    Simply saying "don't vote for Obama" is spectacularly useless. The question is not what we shouldn't do, but rather what we can do to change things.

    My take on this is that this year, if you care about improving the world a little, you might as well vote for Obama. He sucks, but sucks a little less than McCain, and there's no other viable

    • He sucks, but sucks a little less than McCain, and there's no other viable choices.

      That attitude is why there are no other viable choices.

      I can't, in good conscience, vote for either McCain or Obama, because I believe they both:

      • Deliberately misunderstand the purpose of the presidency (why should the chief executive have a legislative agenda?)
      • Have spent the past two years ignoring their elected responsibilities to run for president (who's represented the people of Arizona and Illinois since January 2007?
      • I'm not disagreeing. Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice. Hopefully you do more than _not voting_ to further your social agenda, though.

        Again, instead of saying "don't vote", you could say "don't vote, there are many more important things you could do instead, here's a few of them you can start doing right now ..."

        • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

          This is a fiction. Not voting says you don't care. It's not making a statement that none of the parties are good enough for your vote. It's not telling the politicians that you're sick of their rubbish. It's saying you don't care enough to vote. That you're happy with whoever the people who do vote pick.

          There is no way to distinguish between people who are too lazy to vote and people who think they're making a statement, thus everyone who doesn't vote must have been too lazy. Those who really do want to make a statement by not voting, submit informal votes. Get yourself to a voting both, wait in line, and then vote for Scooby Do. That's a much more effective statement than ignoring the election (but it still says you're happy to let the rest of the voting population pick for you).

          If you don't vote, you are just as responsible for the elected party as if you had voted for them, because perhaps, if everyone else who didn't bother to vote had actually done so, then you might have gotten a different result.

          If you don't vote, you are part of the reason that smaller parties and independents can't provide a decent alternative. You want to change the how elections are run? Vote for the candidate who behaves mostly in the way you want candidates to behave.

          Not voting is self-disenfranchisement. It's lazy. But, most importantly, not voting is NOT making a statement! . It should never be considered "a perfectly acceptable choice" for anyone who has a political opinion.


          • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

            This is a fiction. Not voting says you don't care. It's not making a statement that none of the parties are good enough for your vote. It's not telling the politicians that you're sick of their rubbish. It's saying you don't care enough to vote. That you're happy with whoever the people who do vote pick.

            Or it could just be that you've reached the not unreasonable conclusion that voting is not an effective way of changing the world.

            I didn't say it was a statement. I agree, it's not a statement, because very few people will ever know why you didn't vote. But it is a reasonable choice given the choices voting allows.

            Again, if all you do is not vote, you're not doing anything useful. If you're involved in real activism and you also choose not to vote, that's fine. As I've said several times in this thread, voting is not activism, and if that's your sole contribution to changing society, it's near useless.

            Nonetheless, I will be voting tomorrow. I'm not very motivated by the presidential race, but we do have a few good local candidates, including a Green Party candidate for state legislature who could possibly win. I live in a ridiculously left area (one of the leftiest parts of a very lefty city (Minneapolis)).