Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I Will Be "Wasting" My Vote

I’ve heard it said too many times that voting for anyone other than a Republican or Democrat is a “wasted vote”. I cannot tell you how frustrating an idea I find that to be. I’ve heard all the reasons; a third-party candidate can’t win so why vote for them or if you don’t vote the lesser of two evils, the greater evil might win. Seriously people? Is this what it’s come to? Voting based not on preference but on popularity, like some high school contest? I think it was Jesse Ventura that said voting is not a horse race. We’re not betting on who we think will win. We’re telling others who best represents our views.

So for those that are curious, here are all the reasons I’ll be “wasting my vote” this year:

1. Voting for a candidate other than the best representative of your views has the exact opposite effect. Since the candidate already knows that your vote is in hand, he can then concentrate on moving the platform AWAY from your wishes, in order to court the votes of people with beliefs far from your own.

Many people who like Libertarian ideas always vote for Republicans. What does the party do to reward them? They make policies to win over moderate liberals. Similarly, many people who prefer Green Party ideas always vote for Democrats, and so the Democrats ignore them and make policies to win over moderate conservatives. Either way, the voters get the opposite of what they wanted, as the Democrats and Republicans both move toward the political center. Even Democrats and Republicans are getting screwed as their party plays politics as usual, instead of standing up for their ideals.

2. If the greater of two evils was to win it wouldn’t be my fault, because I didn’t vote for him. Nor would it be my fault that I didn’t vote for the lesser of two evils. The fault lies in the hands of anyone voting based either on popularity or fear, rather than policies, issues and ideals. Keep in mind that voting is suppose to be FOR something, not AGAINST something.

You personally have only one vote. Like it or not, you are powerless to turn the results of a democratic election. This being the case, your one vote counts for something only in the sense that it represents your approval of some set of principles. Voting is a means of conveying information about what you believe. If you ignore your principles then this information is lost, and your vote really is wasted.

3. I do not wish to take part in the status-quo. I believe in real change, not just change of hands. And real change will never come by supporting that which we do not agree with out of fear of who might win if we don’t. I think we’re on a slippery slope to fascism and both parties are to blame. My supporting the status-quo with my vote sends the message that I will tolerate what they are doing. (Click here to watch the documentary, America: Freedom to Fascism to fully understand my view.)

4. My vote may be extremely unlikely to affect the outcome of the election. But it can influence policy. A vote for one of the two main candidates will be lost in the mass of voters, while a vote for a minor candidate, especially if he gets enough to make the margin of difference between the other two, will have far more influence. It will impel the other two parties to appeal to the voters for that minor candidate, and that may come to be as important if not more important than their main positions. So my vote can be a drop in the ocean or a splash in the pool. I’ll go for the one that gets more attention.

5. Voting for the lesser of two evils, still results in evil in the White House and I refuse to take any part in that.

6. On a more personal note, Both McCain and Obama support this ridiculous “bailout” plan. I don’t find the solution to all our problems to be in the form of more government. And you don’t save a sinking ship by adding more water to the hull. Big Government got us into this mess, Bigger Government won’t get us out. Neither of the major candidates seem to understand this fully, therefore they do not share my utmost ideals. See #1.

So there ya have it. All my thought and research laid out for you. Call it a wasted vote or call it a protest vote. Either way I plan to send a message by supporting my third-party candidate this year. Whoever you choose to vote for, I simply hope it’s a vote for the right reasons; someone who best represents your views.

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