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Why bother to vote?

  1. Sep 13, 2008 #1
    I mean really. Not only do the politicians we elect fail to fulfill at least a quarter of the promises they made to their voters, and that you basically have two choices where there is a 1/100000000 of a difference on all of their political positions and everyone else who is running is virtually ignored by the media , to top it off, your vote doesn't even count; as most of you may know , the real votes that determined who the next president of the US will be is the electoral vote. Apparently , the founding fathers thought most americans of their time were not fully informed on the political issues of the day and thought the voters might not be intelligent enough to make an informed vote relevant to the political positions of that presidential candidate, and rather vote on something inane like what the presidential candidate looks like, what party he is affiliated with , what kind of personality he has, or what kinds of religious beliefs he holds. Apparently , this sentiment still holds today and that is why the electoral college is still in placed. I mean sure, some voters vote on issues, but the overwhelming majority of voters vote on things characteristic of a presidential candidate irrelevant to issues; Like voters a segment of voters will vote for Obama for the reason that that the US hasn't had a black president , or voters will vote for mccain because of his war record or they will vote for Mccain because of what palin looks like and that she is a member of the NRA. Interesting fact: There is four times in US history where the electoral vote was not in sync with the popular vote, not just in the 2000 election.

    The question I posed to you all, do you really believe your vote really counts? The obvious answer is no. But even if your vote did really count , why bother to waste a vote on a politician when the politician you voted for will not fulfill most the campaign promises he made to you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2008 #2


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    I'm afraid you are wrong. Obviously each individual vote goes to the total vote. Some people think that their one vote isn't going to change anything except they fail to stop and think about what would happen if millions of others thought the same way and didn't vote. Of course all of those "single votes" could change the outcome of an election. And in order for a candidate to get a states electoral vote they have to win in that state. So in that regard, not voting could cause the electoral vote to go to the candidate you don't want. Even a few thousand votes could change the outcome in a close election.
  4. Sep 13, 2008 #3


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    This is quite inaccurate. The electoral college was established at a time when travel could be quite arduous and time-consuming and the results of elections could take a lot of time to compile. The electors would take the results from their districts to a central location at which they would present those results and determine the outcome of the election. In cases in which the electors thought that the the interests of their districts might be better-served by forging alliances with other electors, they could be "unfaithful" and cast their votes for someone other than the candidate chosen by the voters back home.

    As for the voters not being "intelligent" enough, that's wrong, too. Early on, voting was restricted to men who were property-owners, and they tended to be the most educated people in the country. A typical curriculum for boys would not only include reading, writing, mathematics, and history, but Greek and Latin, as well, and the students were expected to read the classics in Greek and Latin.

    Yes, your vote does count. Not every politician is a liar, so vote for someone who appears most likely to do things that you want.
  5. Sep 13, 2008 #4
    When a Liberatarian is actually in the Presidential Race, that's when I'll cast a vote. My non-vote is my message to the Democratic and Republican parties.
  6. Sep 13, 2008 #5
    I'm sorry Evo , but I am afraid you are wrong. I am NOT voting for any of the two major candidates running for this election. I planned to vote for one of the third party candidates. And they have no chance of winning the presidential election. If I vote for any of the non-major candidates, all that would do is give a politcal advantage to one of the major candidates that are running, Like the Ross PErot vote back in the 1990's helped Bill Clinton when the 1992(or was it 1996) presidential election. As I said before, there have been a few cases where the popular vote was irrelevant. I know that at least 3 % of the american public votes for a candidate not affiliate with

    There is still no guarantee that the electors will vote based on the popular votes of their respective state. There have been 3 instances throughout US history where the electoral vote did not represent the popular vote. And there have been 12 states where the electoral vote did NOT represent the popular vote of each state. Its all on this site: http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepoliticalsystem/a/electcollege.htm , http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html#history It has happened before and it can happened again. All that matters is the electoral vote , regardless if they vote for a candidate that much of the american public voted for. The electors composed of members of the US of House of representatives and the US Senate. All of them voted for either of the two major candidates. So three percent of the popular vote who might voted for someone like Ralph nader, didn't even can there votes represented by the electoral college.

    Even though Ross Perot received at least 20 % of the popular vote, he received like no votes from the electoral college. They voted on party lines.
  7. Sep 13, 2008 #6


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    No, you are wrong because you are thinking of only your single vote. If you are asking if one vote can change the election, no, but you asked the broader question of people if they think their vote counts and the answer is yes. What you choose to do with your personal vote may be meaningless, but as a whole, yes, votes count.
  8. Sep 13, 2008 #7


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    Well, if everyone thinks like you, then no, they obviously have no chance of winning: that doesn't happen though. However, by definition, if someone is in the presidential race (i.e. is able to be voted for), then there is a chance of him winning.
  9. Sep 13, 2008 #8
    Listen. Ross Perot got 20 % of the popular vote and he did NOT received a single vote from the electoral college.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_P...ter/electoral-college/votes/members_1992.html Your vote does NOT count if you are voting for someone who is NOT a republican or Democrat. It is what it is.
  10. Sep 13, 2008 #9
    Uhhh... If you are one among 100,000,000 voters then your opinion weights 1/100,000,000 of the total. Isn't it exactly as it is supposed to be? Or did you presume that your personal opinion should be more valuable than everyone else's?

    But I prefer that you don't vote. For everyone who fails to voice their opinion, my own becomes more significant. I'm always part of the figures politicians look at when they consider the electorate's wishes. So please, do me a favor and don't vote because your opinion might be different from mine and therefore unimportant. Thanks!

    Politicians control what they say during a short electoral campaign but they must keep doing what they have always done because that's who they are. They cannot change who they are. If you vote based on their record instead of their speeches, your will support someone who does what you agree with, no matter what they say.
  11. Sep 13, 2008 #10
    20 % of americans( Thats almost 20 million voters since almost 100 million voters participate in the elections). did not get their vote counted! That 20 millions americans who wasted an hour in line waiting to vote for there presidential hopeful, and none of their electors represented them. If the electoral election truly represent the American people and not the two major parties of this country, then ROSS Perot should received at around 107 electoral votes, but he only received 0 electoral votes. The voting process is flawed.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  12. Sep 13, 2008 #11
    In my opinion American politics is a Barnum and Bailey world. I recommend anyone not to vote.
  13. Sep 13, 2008 #12
    Yet their votes were counted (you're giving us the counts). And after counting these votes, the candidate didn't have enough to become president, electoral college or not.

    I'm sure it can be improved since it is now technically possible to count all votes directly. It would not have helped Perot one bit, but it would have helped Gore.
  14. Sep 13, 2008 #13
    He-he, I so agree. Just you and I should be voting.
  15. Sep 13, 2008 #14
    I'm telling you that the popular vote doesn't matter, it is the electoral vote. It doesn't matter if Ross Perot didn't received the majority of the popular vote or not. At least 20 % of the electoral college should have represented 20 percent of the american popular vote. That means for every district were the majority of voters voted for Ross Perot, the electoral constituent that that particular district elected did NOT vote for Ross Perot.
  16. Sep 13, 2008 #15
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  17. Sep 13, 2008 #16


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    But the electoral college vote is not independent of the votes of the population-- it's just the way your electoral system works! In the voting system that you favour, the electoral college is redundant, since the winner of the popular vote would just win the presidency. Is this a more simple system? Yes, of course it is: but then, there is a reason that the elections are done in this way. (And it probably has something to do with turbo's comments above.)
  18. Sep 13, 2008 #17
    ...which still would not have made Perot president since Clinton got 43%. That's more than 20%.

    Please don't vote.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  19. Sep 13, 2008 #18


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    But those are exactly the people they don't want voting - victims of the Bush - McCain backed - lack of financial regulation that allowed indiscriminate mortgaging that led to the sub-prime melt down and the downturn in the economy that cost so many of them their homes.

    Why those would be the very people they want to disenfranchise.

    All under the banner of change and Government reform.
  20. Sep 13, 2008 #19
    There is something I remember from Political Science, electoral salience I believe it is called. The closer the election, the more influence your vote has, so the higher the amount of salience. Like a voter in Ohio has a lot of influence over whom is elected President, while a voter in California or Texas as virtually no influence.

    But even if you live in the 40 States where your vote is not likely to have a big effect on the outcome of the Presidential election, there are still many reasons to be involved. You can still contribute money or time to a campaign and there are many other offices and issues voted on every election where your vote is much more salient.

    I do tend to agree that the Presidential election this year holds the least interest for me ever, because I really do not feel that there is nearly as much at stake as in the last two elections, but I am still going to vote, even though I know that, as a California voter, my Presidential choice means bupkis.

    I also realize it is disappointing to watch the media focus on trivial issues about the candidates personal lives rather than on substantive issues like the economy, foreign policy, education, the budget, taxes, et cetera.
  21. Sep 13, 2008 #20
    Your missing the point. It doesn't matter if Ross Perot won the election or not, what matters is why didn't the electoral college count the voters that voted for Ross Perot. Electoral college was put into placed to represent the popular vote. 20 million voters did not get represented. Bush also didn't win the election and he received a proportion of the electoral vote.

    The electoral college is there to represent all Americans who participate in the Presidential election, not to vote for someone who is likely to win the election.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
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