Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting, 'Statement' Voting and Not Voting

Today is election day. Even though the rise of by mail and early voting has pushed some of it earlier this is still a big day.

I encourage you to get out and vote. We live in a country where we get a voice and should use it. 

If you really do not want either President Obama or Mitt Romney to be our next president then vote for somebody else. There is a whole ballot full of all sorts of interesting folks. You've got the Liberterians, the American Constitution Party, the Greens, and all manner of socialists. We all know that at least in this cycle the President is going to be an R or a D. However it is worth noting that getting 5% of the vote will give a third party access to the same public funds and other advantages that help the R and D folks.

Personally I voted for a third party candidate. You can probably guess which one but I don't want to muddle the waters. This brings us to 'statement' voting. As noted above getting a 3rd party really into the game is a worthwhile goal and as such a vote for them is not wasted. However if one still wants to call 3rd party voting a statement thing I guess that is fine. It is also worth noting that a 3rd party candidate for dog catcher or county sheriff or state senate or even congress may be realistic.

Another consideration is how your state is going to vote. Some states are solid blue or red and as such the odds of a close election where you would be splitting the vote away from the major candidate you dislike less are remote. Depending on how much you like or dislike both major party candidates that might be a consideration.

As to not voting. First and foremost it isn't like you can really opt out of our laws, tax code and such. I didn't vote for him is not a get out of jail free card. The biggest question I would have for these folks is what they plan to accomplish. The answer is usually nothing cohesive and that the system can't be fixed. Historically groups abstaining or in the case of North Ireland electing people who refuse to take their seats have had serious PR and on the ground campaigns to affect something. I do not see this in the American 'I'm not voting because the two party system is evil crowd'.

I would really encourage folks who decide to abstain from voting for a presidential candidate to look at the smaller races. These are the local stuff that actually matters. The Sheriff or the city council who hire a police chief that might or might not SWAT your house. The animal control folks and planning boards that can mess with homesteaders to no end or leave them alone.

As to predictions for today. It has seemed to me that the winds are flowing in the direction of Mitt Romney but it is very close. Today will be an interesting day.



12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, you voted for Obama.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that, "if you dont vote for romney, you voted for obama" (superior, condescending voice). Radio, blogs, friends, and family. My vote is for who I think has the stuff to be in that position. If youre candidate didnt convince me that he had the balls to speak truth, and did speak truth then he and you have no one to blame for a possible loss but him. Compromise your standards and honor if you want (if they exist), but i will not. No matter the consequences.
Sean.

Anonymous said...

Yah, I voted for the guy who would balance the budget, stop screwing with other countries and keep the government's nose out of my stuff as much as possible. Pretty sure that definitely wasn't Romney or Obama. Anyone who says otherwise, must be smoking the pot my candidate would probably legalize ;)

Elder Dragon said...

3rd party all the way. A lot of dyed in the wool republicans here abouts did the same. The only answer to Obamma VS Romney was none of the above.

Ryan said...

@ 9:58, My home state is not a battle ground. In fact it is pretty much guaranteed to continue voting the same way. Thus I do not feel like I voted for Obama by default.

Scott M of Indiana said...

I didn't care what party they were with. I preferred Libertarian, but we have Rupert (from Survivor) running as Governor of Indiana. He didn't thrill me much. You have to follow your ideology. I am tired of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils.

Anonymous said...

Those who fail to learn the lessons of 1988, are condemned to Bush/Clinton/Obama forever.

Yes, it would be nice to see a conservative on top of the ticket, instead of a sop.

But to date, and into forever, the only "3rd party" candidate to go from nowhere to President was Lincoln. I haven't seen any Lincolns from any 3rd party ever, in my entire lifetime.

Call me when a 3rd party starts by winning at 5000 city council levels, then at 30 state levels, so I'll know somebody's serious, rather than just a crank-magnet.

So, after the GOP (again) running a guy who'd be a Democrat in 49 other states as a Republican, and all the protest votes and home-staying, how's a couple more Kagans and Sotomayors on the Supreme Court for the next 30 years working out for everybody the next time gun rights comes before the court?

Just curious.

-Aesop

Anonymous said...

Aesop is correct.

How many seats did freedom lose because you don't really believe in what you preach. The time to advance our ideas of liberty are at the grass roots and then primary races. If you can't win there, you will not win the general election. 3rd party Quixotic adventures ultimately deprive us all of freedoms. Look no further than Montana, where liberal Tester will be returning to Washington to support our rapid decline. All because the libertarian took liberals money an ran his campaign EXCLUSIVELY targeting the republican. This is true of many state level 'dog catcher' races as well. Yeah...that'll show 'em.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

That's the beauty of Freedom. We all get to have our own opinions and beliefs.

Anonymous said...

A similarity we share with voters in the late Weimar Republic, and something which was doubtless a great comfort to them in the 1930s and 40s.

Archer Garrett said...

You can blame a lot of people and a lot of things, but the fact is we have failed to properly educate people on the virtues of limited gov. Probably like 90% of voters don't get it and about 50% of voters are wholly ignorant of history and governance.

Our fault.

Progressives have been padding the dog catcher positions and on up (especially state AGs) for a century. They've also beat us in the schools - robbing us of our youth. They've had a long view.

We all have rolls we can fill locally. We can't point fingers at nobody if we're not personally out busting our @sses in our communities.

Anonymous said...

The blessing of democracy is that everyone in the boat gets a paddle.
The curse is that you're always headed into the next wave.

-Aesop

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