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Old 12-16-2007, 01:25 AM   #1
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why should i vote?

I will be 18 by the next election. I will be living in Georgia, and yet I'm pretty sure I won't be voting for a Republican (I'm a young foolish atheistic liberal. maybe I'll get old and rich and become a Republican and get even older and find God, but not now.)

I'm hopefully not going to school in Georgia if I can get money at the out of state schools I'm looking at. So it's not like I care about local elections. And if I do, it won't be in Atlanta, and I doubt I'd be voting Republican for governor.

Republicans will win the presidency and whatever the noun is for the office of governor in this state.

So, really, why on earth should I vote?
To give whatever filthy liberal another tally in the popular vote? To bolster support for commies in Georgia and prove they're not entirely extinct? I love how they make you feel like "making a statement" is some sort of substitute for actually having a say. I love how they lecture you- appreciate that you even have the right to vote (for what?); if people don't exercise this "duty," democracy begins to fail. It's such a copout because if my vote doesn't count worth shit unless I'm in Florida or Ohio or whatever it is these days, hasn't it already failed?

I guess I just don't want to feel like a fool for pretending to play along, pretending I'm making a statement that anyone's actually listening to.

Really, why should I vote? There must be something I'm not thinking of. (sincerely)
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:27 AM   #2
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feel free to move this to FYM
god I suck at interland these days.
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:13 AM   #3
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Re: why should i vote?

Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
So, really, why on earth should I vote?
To give whatever filthy liberal another tally in the popular vote? To bolster support for commies in Georgia and prove they're not entirely extinct?
Yeah.

To let the opposition know that someone somewhere believes in what they're doing. To let the winners of these elections know that the opposition does exist; that they do have to listen to both sides; that not everyone swallows their bullshit.

And as for the local elections, they really do matter. They're frequently stepping-stones for higher offices, so it's very important to elect quality people to local offices.

You should vote and be proud and happy to do so.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:17 AM   #4
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If you don`t vote, you have no rights to complain about political decisions .
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
If you don`t vote, you have no rights to complain about political decisions .
VERY WELL SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!

You live in a democracy which gives all it's citizens the right to vote and it is not a right to be taken lightly. There are many young people your age in countries that live under dictators and do not give their citizens the right to decide their own fate, so you can consider yourself fortunate in that respect.

Even if you don't agree with the main issues each candidate stands for, there must be some issue that speaks to you and that you feel strongly about. I hope you find one and that you will feel proud to stand in the booth with the ballot in your hand as you take part in this awesome procedure.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:25 AM   #6
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I can appreciate VertigoGal's point. For a period of 10 years, I did not vote. During that time I was neither politically lazy nor uninformed. I was disgusted. I could not bring myself to vote for either candidate. I began to vote when I thought the stakes were getting too high and we were veering way out of balance and I felt obligated to vote, but I didn't feel the power of my vote. My individual vote was meaningless.

Nor do I think you lose the right to voice an opinion if you don't choose to exercise your right to vote. A right to vote is kind of meaningless without real choice. What power do I have when I have the ability to vote for this piece of crap (hyberbole intended) over that piece of crap? I think they should have a No Vote button or buttons to indicate that the voter did bother to come out and doesn't like any of them. People will only come out to vote in significant numbers when voting becomes more than an abstract right and they can actually believe in its power and you don't believe in its power until you can see it brings about real change.

But I vote because it is one of the few ways I have to hold a politician accountable. The reason the young people have no political power is that they don't vote. You cannot make a politician appreciate your vote, but you can make one fear your vote. The Religious Right is pretty savvy that way. The threat to deny a politician is much more powerful than the promise to put him in office.

We are too passive an electorate, even when we vote.

We're having some interesting mini-revolts in the area I live in. The residents of a small town didn't like how the City Council and the people on the ballot were ignoring them on an issue of concern to them. Two weeks before the election, some residents organized a write-in campaign and actually tossed the council and got more votes than the people on the ballot.

We're unseating a few judges, unheard of here.

Citizens have gone to the Secret Service to request an investigation of perceived debit card misuse among county officials (By the way, I'm not crazy. That is one of the functions of the Secret Service which is under the Treasury Dept.) because they didn't trust the county to investigate itself, nor did they trust the State Attorney General.

There's a disgust with the same-old, same-old and an energy around here I've never seen. (Which of course may fizzle out, but for now it's exciting to watch) The electorate is beginning to flex its muscle, albeit on a small level. The electorate wins only when it gets the action it wants, not the spouted ideology it prefers.

You'll make your contribution, VertigoGal, whether you choose to vote or not. There are other ways to make your individual voice heard. There are other ways to make social change. But a collective electorate can have a powerful voice if it chooses to.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:29 AM   #7
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Why should you vote when you believe the system itself is wrong?

I've had a chance to vote once, when I did it meant nothing None of the candidates meant anything to me. Voting for the sake of voting is kind of a pointless exercise then isn't it?
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
If you don`t vote, you have no rights to complain about political decisions .
Right. So I should participate in a system that couldn't care less about my participation, respect a system that doesn't respect me, so that I have the "right" to complain...according to you.

I'll complain about the fact that my vote doesn't count if I want to complain about it.

And I'm not just talking about how I hate all conservatives blahblahblah. I'm sure conservatives in very liberal states feel the same way, and I sympathize. Why bother voting if the second the other guy gains a majority/plurality/whatever, they essentially throw out your vote and go along their merry way?

If I do vote, it will be for local officials as a symbolic gesture/favor to my parents who I guess will still be living in this area after I go away to the Big University of Somewhere Else. What to do about the presidential vote though...might as well have fun with that one. Is it true that Nader's not running this year??!?!?!?!11
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal

And I'm not just talking about how I hate all conservatives blahblahblah. I'm sure conservatives in very liberal states feel the same way, and I sympathize. Why bother voting if the second the other guy gains a majority/plurality/whatever, they essentially throw out your vote and go along their merry way?
Yeah, I would imagine that this is really a very discouraging system, where your vote means all or nothing, and in your particular case almost certainly nothing.

I would always go voting, but I know that my vote actually does have the power to make an impact as it might secure one more seat for my favoured party in the parliament (though, still, this is of course very relative), but if I knew that my vote would be for the bin because the other party gains the majority and hence all votes go their way, I don't know if I still would bother to go.

On the other hand, if enough of the opposition would go voting this might not earn them a majority, but it sure would decrease the margin by which the opponent would win and thus sending out the sign that he has to respect also the opposition. So, even though your vote doesn't change much, it could make a strong signal to the other party.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal


Right. So I should participate in a system that couldn't care less about my participation, respect a system that doesn't respect me, so that I have the "right" to complain...according to you.

I'll complain about the fact that my vote doesn't count if I want to complain about it.

And I'm not just talking about how I hate all conservatives blahblahblah. I'm sure conservatives in very liberal states feel the same way, and I sympathize. Why bother voting if the second the other guy gains a majority/plurality/whatever, they essentially throw out your vote and go along their merry way?

If I do vote, it will be for local officials as a symbolic gesture/favor to my parents who I guess will still be living in this area after I go away to the Big University of Somewhere Else. What to do about the presidential vote though...might as well have fun with that one. Is it true that Nader's not running this year??!?!?!?!11

You know what? I live in what was a very very very very VERY red state (former capital of the confederacy!) I was just as frustrated with the conservative politicians as you are. But you know what? We voters kept at it. It feels hopeless at times, but slowly, we've now become a purple state. We're getting bluer and bluer each election. Baby steps, VG. There are very few goals in life that can be accomplished instantaneously. Persistence is key. There has to be a collective change of consciousness, and that can only happen if there is somebody there facilitating that. It sucks, because it is slow, and often met with very little if any significant change. But that is not to say it isn't possible.

So bitch about how the system sucks all you want!!! It's true, it sucks!!!! But vote because you can, and it is one of the easiest thing to do.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico


So bitch about how the system sucks all you want!!! It's true, it sucks!!!! But vote because you can, and it is one of the easiest thing to do.
Well said.


If people stop voting, it will be very very easy to lose the right. Look how many other rights we've already lost for the sake of "security." Let's not let this one be taken from us as well.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:46 AM   #12
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Based on the current Atlanta water crisis and how the Republican governer responds, Democrats might have a better chance of winning.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:50 AM   #13
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point taken. (last 3)
who knows.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by LJT
Why should you vote when you believe the system itself is wrong?

I've had a chance to vote once, when I did it meant nothing None of the candidates meant anything to me. Voting for the sake of voting is kind of a pointless exercise then isn't it?
I agree with you. There will be those who insist you must vote for the 'lesser of evils' so that the 'evil' won't get into office, but what, if in your opinion, there is no lesser evil? I can't in good conscience cast my vote for anyone I don't approve of.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
Right. So I should participate in a system that couldn't care less about my participation, respect a system that doesn't respect me, so that I have the "right" to complain...according to you.

I'll complain about the fact that my vote doesn't count if I want to complain about it.
That may be true, but in many Southern states, there is often a sizable Democratic minority (40%+). In other words, there's only a difference of 10% to worry about.

I understand why you're discouraged, but, as a matter of principle, you should do your part to be part of--and potentially grow--that 40%. It might help encourage some other liberal cynics to actually bother to vote in future elections.
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