Why i have a hard time caring about elections



Look on the bright side, for the first time in my life last election I wasn’t in a safe seat constituency and I voted liberal democrat.

It’s hard, yeah, but I wonder how many people who don’t vote red look at a map like that and decide not to vote.

Even if you know deep down in your soul that an election is forgone conclusion, you should still vote and encourage others to vote. Vote red, vote blue, vote green, vote whatever… if you don’t vote, you aren’t counted, and it’s better to be a statistic than to be completely ignored.

I disagree with you. I’m 40 next year and I’ve voted twice. I can’t even remember which party, let alone candidate, I voted for the first time.

I voted LD because I thought it might mean something, in a marginal seat, the third party, electoral reform etc etc.

I’ll vote tactically if I need to, but I until there’s a box that states “I turned up but decline to vote for any listed party” what’s the point? I don’t want to be a “spoiled” ballot. You might take those to be one in the same but I feel there’s a distinction.

This might be relevant…

Land area /= population.

Very interesting and raises good points. Right now to go back to the beginning of that talk I greater lend my view to not voting than spoiling my ballot. In the uk the question is around why people don’t vote full stop rather than why they do but spoil their paper.

The rest of his talk is very interesting, I agree with some parts but not others.

What galls most is not that my vote doesn’t count but that most races in red districts, as you see, are uncontested. My protest vote can only be cast for Republicans.

Then don’t vote. The non turnout figure does make a difference. If I lived in the US, after the hanging chad fiasco, not voting is a more certain method of registering my dissatisfaction than being lumped in with “invalid” votes. Despite the talk linked above politicians care about no shows because you might have voted for them.

The non turnout figure only matters to the people who don’t win because next election they might spend some time trying to get people who didn’t vote at all to come out and vote for them. The people who win, though, do not care in the slightest about the people who don’t vote unless the vote was extremely close and likely to turn against them the next cycle. In fact, if the winners win by a landslide, they are more interested in keeping the people who didn’t vote not voting.

When I go to vote, there is never just one thing to vote on. It’s usually a dozen or so seats and referendums and whatnot. If I don’t want to vote for the unopposed incumbent that I disagree with, I don’t cast a vote for that person, but since I do vote somewhere on my ballot for something, rather than being counted as a non turnout, I get counted as a turnout who abstained. Since my location uses computer voting and not punch cards with hanging chads, I get counted separately from “invalid” votes. In fact, if I turn up, get my ballot and then vote on nothing, I still get counted as a “no vote” which is different than a non turnout.

Non-turnout also leads to more divisive politics, because politicians feel they have to convince their own base that other side is Lucifer Incarnate or suffer from low turnout.
Even with crooks all-around in politics you can demonize only up to a point before turning into FOX News.

Write-in or spoil ballots is the only way to show dissatisfaction.

Gerrymandering is evil, and leads to problems on both sides.

Charlie Rangel is as much as a product of gerrymandering as Howard Coble (not trying to shame Coble here, he’s a decent man though I’d never vote for him , but he could shoot a nun while clubbing a baby seal and get re-elected here)

Better to vote for a 3rd party as a protest vote instead of not voting.

As a Californian I don’t think I have seen a GOP US Senator elected since the 60’s…maybe the 70’s. The Dems have controlled the state legislature for probably my entire adult life. Although my area has been republican most of that time. Strangely Californians will elect Governors from either party.

And of course unless you vote Dem for President your vote doesn’t count.

I still vote though.

The GOP in California managed to change redistricting through the proposition process last election, only to have the new redistricting work out against them.

Go vote anyway and just skip the national level bits if you don’t want to vote there. Your vote often absolutely matters on lots of state and local issues that will also be on the ballot.

It is the propositions and local tax measures where voting really matters. And that IS why I vote.

S. I. Hayakawa, U.S. Senate 77-83. And there was that lovely period where the Republicans controlled the state assembly by one whole seat. The ultra right got so obnoxious to their own party that my representative (from Diamond Bar), left the party and voted for Willie Brown. Followed by the Republicans going berserk (rather than blaming themselves), they ran a vitriolic recall campaign, and as soon as the new guy was in…they pissed off another Republican women who the Democrats promptly voted in as Speaker, against the will of the Republican big-wigs (who were especially pissed when one of their own exiled them to the tiniest offices). Republicans went ballistic, recalled her, and then…pissed off a friend of hers, who also rebelled, so he was recalled (note not one of these were legitimate reasons for recall, which is supposed to be for misfeasance, malfeasance or just plain non-feasance in office)…and by the time that was done, two years had passed and a new general election came up, scrambling everything once again. Lock-Step or death!

And what did they learn from all this? Yes, recall Gray Davis! And they got Arnold for their troubles, the quintessential RiNO, who probably couldn’t have won the party nomination at the time, but could bypass it in the special election and run directly. The party mover and shakers just don’t seem to understand that they need to put up a more moderate candidate, but compromise on that? No! So they lose.

And of course unless you vote Dem for President your vote doesn’t count.

Nixon, Reagan, Ford…

I still vote though.

California has all sorts of state-wide propositions that are important regardless of the candidates.

The GOP in California managed to change redistricting through the proposition process last election, only to have the new redistricting work out against them.

Be careful what you wish for…

Yep. I completely agree.

(For clarity, my previous post was mainly responding to the various folks above who stated they don’t vote because they’re in a deeply red or blue state/district. I probably should have quoted, but confess I got lazy.)

As always I should be more clear. I wasn’t trying to imply that I wasn’t going to vote, or even despairing that my didn’t matter in practice because of gerrymandering, but that so far gone were so many districts in Texas that there are pages of uncontested candidates whom lack even a token opponent toward who I can throw my vote. It felt eerily East German last election being allowed to vote for page after page of uncontested candidates. Local elections are where my vote still matters, though it’s a bit like choosing between Peter and Paul.

The ultra right got so obnoxious to their own party that my representative (from Diamond Bar), left the party and voted for Willie Brown.

The local right wing talk radio show host I listen to actually wishes for the good old days when Willie Brown ran the state. At least things got done.

Democrat Willie Brown?