American Election 2016 Redux

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Which is worse; Not voting or an uninformed vote?

Not voting
6
22%
Uninformed vote
21
78%
 
Total votes : 27

American Election 2016 Redux

Postby DWMagus » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:00 pm

Those who know me around here and on facebook know that I haven't shared any political thoughts on the more 'public' places. Those that know me personally know that I have very strong opinions regarding what was going on. Now that the election is over, I don't mind sharing my thoughts, but to start off, I thought I'd ask the simple question, "Which is worse; an uninformed vote, or simply not voting at all?"

The reason for this? Before the election, we saw many people saying "It's your duty to vote" and "You need to vote to make your voice heard". But we all know that when it comes to elections that when it comes to the 11th hour and you're being shoe-horned into a vote center, you don't really have much information to go off of, so you end up just listening to rhetoric. We all know rhetoric isn't reliable when it comes to the 'true' issues at hand.

So then the question becomes an 'unreliable' source of information at the last minute vs. simply not voting.

Thoughts?
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Dinosawer » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:46 pm

Any action with consequences needs (extensive) prior informing and deliberation; if I didn't inform myself before election I'd vote blanc.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:02 am

If you don't understand the issues or where the available candidates stand on those issues, don't bother voting.

That said, voting/not-voting isn't the problem. A press that actively (but surreptitiously) aids one party's candidate isn't the problem. Craptastic candidates yielded by an out-of-touch two-party nominating system isn't the problem.

All of those are but symptoms of a civilization that has decided to hate itself. Once you've switched from "we're awesome and everyone should be more like us" to "we suck, we're sorry, we'll go away now," you start seeing all the asinine phenomena of this election on top of all the other similar symptoms of a suicidal culture.

Whoever accidentally manages not to lose an election -- even to the U.S. presidency -- is irrelevant in the face of that pervasive civilizational self-loathing. No election can fix that.

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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby CSE » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:12 am

You need information to vote.

As a citizen, you should vote. Otherwise you loose all rights to complain or disagree.
So as information is required to vote, it is your duty to get informed as well!

Now everybody can inform as he sees fit - party propaganda is probably enough for many. But if you do not want to believe prpaganda (i.e. you have enough brain to be a slightly independant thinker and tie your shoes alone?) than you must try diverse sources, and discussion with others, even people not sharing your opinion :o

That's democracy. It will not work (and begins to break everywhere) because people are not able to inform themselves anymore and get "twitter"- 130 characters- attention spans!

So "uninformed vote" is a lazy excuse. I might add though that it may be more difficult to get neutral info in a 2 party system then with a multi-party like we have, and where you have a whole range of opinions and propaganda.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby BFett » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:32 am

As this little Facebook post hits the issue on the head I highly suggests reading it. This isn't a political post per say so I don't believe this is breaking any forum rules. Mike Rowe has no public party affiliation.

In a nutshell I have to say that an uninformed vote or worse a misinformed vote hurts the public in general. I'd much rather such a person not vote if they do not care to educate themselves about the issues. Though I will say, voting on bills is a pain most of the time.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Zanteogo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:08 am

I would probably say it's better not to vote, rather than voting at random or voting without understanding what you are voting for.

However, low voter turn out, particularly when they can tell where the low turn out is, causes elected officials to not give a damn about certain groups. For example, if low income people don't bother to vote, and only high income persons do, guess who's getting the tax cuts?

I think people sometimes in general just get fed up. I honestly would have been stumped if I was American this year. I didn't find any of the "main" candidates all that appealing. Part of the problem is biased media. Watching Fox News you would think every liberal eats babies and Hillary was a serial killer. Watch CNN and Trump was Hitler who was going to send all non-white people to the sun...

BFett wrote: This isn't a political post per say so I don't believe this is breaking any forum rules. Mike Rowe has no public party affiliation.


That's a rule?
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Dinosawer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:15 am

Zanteogo wrote:
BFett wrote: This isn't a political post per say so I don't believe this is breaking any forum rules. Mike Rowe has no public party affiliation.

That's a rule?

Nah. The rule is
Da Rulez wrote:No images of or links to obscene or offensive content, including but not limited to sexism, racism, incitement to violence and extreme religious and political views.

which doesn't mean no politics at all, just no "all liberals should die" :ghost:
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Zanteogo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:23 am

Dinosawer wrote:
Zanteogo wrote:
BFett wrote: This isn't a political post per say so I don't believe this is breaking any forum rules. Mike Rowe has no public party affiliation.

That's a rule?

Nah. The rule is
Da Rulez wrote:No images of or links to obscene or offensive content, including but not limited to sexism, racism, incitement to violence and extreme religious and political views.

which doesn't mean no politics at all, just no "all liberals should die" :ghost:


Ah, being how extremely polarized and how crazy everyone got with the last election that's pretty much every "political" link.

I even have non-American friends who de friended Facebook people based on who they supported during the election. It's an extreme response for your own election, let alone some other countries.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby DWMagus » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:55 am

BFett wrote:As this little Facebook post hits the issue on the head I highly suggests reading it. This isn't a political post per say so I don't believe this is breaking any forum rules. Mike Rowe has no public party affiliation.


This is actually most of why I put up this poll. That and a political cartoon I can't find. First panel was people urging someone to vote who doesn't normally vote. Second panel was him voting. Third panel was the same crowd now chastizing the person for voting because he didn't vote for 'their' party's candidate.

Zanteogo wrote:I would probably say it's better not to vote, rather than voting at random or voting without understanding what you are voting for.


Care to go in-depth on this? Wouldn't the whole 'voting without information' lead to an increased risk of voting for something that could potentially harm you? I.E. one of the candidates is running based on the idea that welfare is ruining the country and you need welfare to get by (for whatever reason), and your random vote would end up in that bucket.

However, low voter turn out, particularly when they can tell where the low turn out is, causes elected officials to not give a damn about certain groups. For example, if low income people don't bother to vote, and only high income persons do, guess who's getting the tax cuts?


As I stated above, if a low-income person votes uninformed and votes for the same person that high-income people vote for, does it even benefit?

A part of the problem as some are alluding to is that at least in American politics, we don't have an option to vote 'no confidence'--and even if we did, and there was a vast majority voting this way, we can't just go back to the president and say "Sorry, but you're here for a few more years because no one likes the upcoming people". It's either A or B and not a "Neither A or B". You can't truly vote AGAINST everyone. Sure there are write-ins, but then you just get 'Deez Nuts' and 'Harambe'.

So who are you left with? 3rd party. In American politics it's always said "Voting for 3rd party is like voting for Candidate X" or "Voting for 3rd party is just throwing your vote away". Every time an election is coming up, it's always linked on Facebook or any other social media sites that if everyone who could vote, but doesn't, vote for a third party, that third party wins. But there is too much of the mindset that these people won't vote.

There is also the mindset that once a candidate has 'lost' in the Primary election, that the remaining party nomination is entitled to those voters. A good example is when Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton, the majority of the Clinton fanbase was "Sweet, all those votes are now for us". But that's not the way it works. There are very legitimate voters who would prefer Bernie over Trump over Clinton. The entitlement on the democratic side was stifling.

This also comes back to what I perceive as another flaw in the system; we can only have one party nominee. I'm curious as to how much the party would have split (if at all) if both Bernie and Hillary were on the ballot for the General election.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Lum » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:59 am

DWMagus wrote:This also comes back to what I perceive as another flaw in the system; we can only have one party nominee. I'm curious as to how much the party would have split (if at all) if both Bernie and Hillary were on the ballot for the General election.


This, amongst many other things, is what I don't understand of the US-system.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby MrPerson » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:01 pm

In my honest opinion, an uninformed vote is worse than not voting. Not trying to sound like a bigot or anything, but I heard a TON of people blindly vote for both Obama and Hillary just because they were going to be the first Black or Female president, without knowing anything about the policies they wanted to enact or where they stand on issues. Same can be said of people who vote for "their" political party without even taking into consideration again, the policies and views of each candidate. Blind voting is the worst kind.

Non voting means that you do not think any of the current candidates align with your views and you don't want to support any of them, which makes much more sense than just blindly voting because of reasons like above.

All in my opinion of course.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby DigitalDuck » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:56 pm

MrPerson wrote:Non voting means that you do not think any of the current candidates align with your views and you don't want to support any of them, which makes much more sense than just blindly voting because of reasons like above.


Not true - not voting means you don't care. In order to show that you do not think any of the current candidates align with your views, you should null vote, "none of the above", or spoil your ballot. Contrary to popular opinion, spoiled ballots are counted in all major first-world elections (it's called the residual vote in the US), and therefore considered by all candidates when making their policy choices.
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby BFett » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:11 pm

How would someone spoil their ballot? Is that like crossing out everything or writing a complaint in the margins?

If you don't like the choices how do you convey what you are looking for?
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Flatfingers » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:57 am

Lum wrote:
DWMagus wrote:This also comes back to what I perceive as another flaw in the system; we can only have one party nominee. I'm curious as to how much the party would have split (if at all) if both Bernie and Hillary were on the ballot for the General election.

This, amongst many other things, is what I don't understand of the US-system.

This is actually pretty simple: the point of political parties having one nominee is to maximize the vote for that party.

Suppose a party nominates one candidate. That Nominee A might get 48.7% of all votes cast. These days, with angry voters increasingly turning to third party candidates, 48.7% of the popular vote, properly distributed among the states in order to earn 270+ Electoral College votes, could well be enough to win. So let's say that happened, with Nominee Z of the other major party collecting 43.2% of the popular vote. 8.1% of votes tallied go to various third-party and write-in candidates. (The voters are REALLY steamed.)

Now suppose Nominee A's party decides to tolerate multiple candidates on its ticket. To keep this example simple, let's suppose they have a minimum cutoff for official support; you have to score more than 10% of votes at the nominating convention. Let's also assume every single state goes along with this.

This time around, two candidates make that cutoff. Now this party has Nominee A and Nominee B. The other party, hidebound reactionaries that they are, still stubbornly fields only one nominee.

Election Day happens. Third-party/write-in candidates get 7.4%. Nominee A gets 31.3%. Nominee B gets 21.2%. Together that party collects 52.5% of the total vote, which is considerably more than only one nominee would have gotten because the political interests of that party's adherents are better represented.

Unfortunately, Nominee Z of the other party still manages to score 40.1% of the vote, far more than either of the other party's nominees who split their party's vote. So either Nominee Z collects 270+ Electoral College votes, in which case that party's lone nominee wins, or nobody gets 270+ EC votes and, by the Constitution (as amended), the election is thrown to the House of Representatives to resolve.

This is not an Electoral College "problem." This is simple math: if only one party splits their vote with multiple candidates, that party loses. Thus this will never happen, because political parties exist to win power. This is why both the RNC and the DNC were so desperate to declare Cruz and Sanders losers as soon as possible.

So in a functioning representative democracy, there are only two real options for correcting a broken party: either reform that party from within by purging it of an intractable minority, or circumvent the defective party through the formation of a very large third party that eventually grows big enough to be a new major party (which has happened at least once that I know when what became the Republican party splintered from the Whigs).

More than anyone wanted to know, I assume. :D
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Re: American Election 2016 Redux

Postby Dinosawer » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:08 am

Flatfingers wrote:This is not an Electoral College "problem." This is simple math: if only one party splits their vote with multiple candidates, that party loses.

Easy to fix though: make the presidentship go to the most popular nominee of the most popular party instead of just the most popular nominee overall. ;)
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