Friday, 26 October 2012

Voter or Joker?


I'm sure that most of the world knows by now, that America is about to take the big vote. Should we be bothered or should we take note? Does it really matter who is in power, after all, whatever these polititians  say now does not always have any affect after they have taken up office, so why is it so important that we should waste our time voting anway?

For many years I have heard many critisms about voting. Some are justified and many are not. 

How can you really just sit back and do nothing, then without shame start to verbally abuse the person in power because of what they are now doing? 

Should we not be happy that we live in societies where we can vote with our feet so to speak without fear of reprisals? Many countries don't have the freedoms we do and voting can be a matter of life or death. 

Just one example, to put my point across, let's look at black people in the US. Digging back into a time AFTER slavery, blacks were discouraged from voting in many states when it should have been a right. They were not given details of how and when to vote, a poll tax was used, knowing they could not afford to pay it,  and even if they could afford it many were not able to read or write. I read today that black slaves were counted as 'three fiths' of a white or freed black person in regards to voting. With that in mind, why wouldn't a black American person do all they can now to exercise that right now?


Conversely, if voting was so insignificant, why did blacks, the common people and women have to fight so hard to win it?

Shouldn't we be overjoyed that the person we voted for will run our country the way we want? Why is it that so many people still feel that it's ok not to vote?

Do we ever think about the harsh struggles that won many of us the vote? But now, years later, after all they suffered we sit back with our legs up, beer or tea in hand, and can't even be bothered to put a tick next to someone who may possibly change our future for the better? 

I know, it's difficult at times. Politicians are notorious for saying one thing, and as soon as they get into power they have a change of stance. But could it be because once in power they were shown what was really going on behind the scenes and their dreams were never going to make reality anyway? 

What if you were not able to vote right now? How would you feel?

What reason do you have for not voting? and can you justify it?

Do you feel that everyone is society should have a vote regardless to their disposition? 
(ie: the over 65's, under 18's, the mentally ill, those in prison etc.)

What do you think about all of this?

I'd love to hear your opinions and comment on this. 

44 comments:

  1. We vote every year, except when our votes don't match and cancel each other out. We do not discuss politics or our views, because we don't want to fight, but will tell the other which candidate we've chosen and if it's the same, we vote, if not, we aren't hurting the outcome.

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    1. Oh, that's different. So basically, you only vote if you happen to choose the same candidate? I guess that canceling-out situation works in a country with only 2 parties, but what if there were more than 2? Just provoking!
      A quick question then. You stated you don't discuss the vote in order to avoid a fight, so, if you are both content to do this, then why not just both secretly vote instead, without checking whether or not your votes don't match? Thanks Barbara for sharing how you view on voting.

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  2. Whenever I hear someone say that they can't be bothered to vote, I have only two words to say to them: "Emily Davison".

    Not that I think our voting system in the UK is particularly democratic. I don't know whether you've read my post on this subject, which explains why I think this way. It's called Democratic Deficit.

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    1. Thanks Dennis. I did have a read of your post called Democratic Deficit and you bring a new meaning to voting. Ha ha ha, so I now understand what you mean and I'm sure you gave a few people a good laugh that day too :)

      If anyone would like to read Dennis's post please press on the link called Democratic Deficit within his comment above.

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  3. If we don't vote, we have no excuse for complaining at the outcome. We can at least say, we did our part. Tyranny takes over when people allow it to happen!

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    1. Thanks Carol, I see it that way too. Despite what happens I feel that we should at least do all the necessary research to satisfy ourselves that we are making the best possible decision for our country and ourselves.

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  4. As everybody knows democracy was invented by Greeks.

    Of course, it was not nearly similar to the democracy some countries live today.

    For one, and this was only one of many differences, Athenians could vote to exile a politician for ten years instead of voting him into an office, situation that I miss nowadays.

    Besides, not everyone could vote, one must be citizen for the right to vote, and women, slaves, children and several other entities were not considered citizen.

    Now, the idea was good, the problem is that it must be carry out by human beings.

    So since, lobbies, cabals, conspiracies, collusions, and all those interesting ways to work in politics exist, there is a kind of feeling that we are losing time with this activity.

    So written and said, he are my answers:

    1) What if you were not able to vote right now? How would you feel?

    It would be no issue, I am an expat, so if I decide to vote I only must register in my Embassy, whatever I am, and cast my useless vote! But that seems a worthless effort.

    2) What reason do you have for not voting? and can you justify it?

    I guess it was clear above, any candidate I choose, has reached the place because he or she has many ties around, so what's the point?

    3) Do you feel that everyone is society should have a vote regardless to their disposition? (ie: the over 65's, under 18's, the mentally ill, those in prison etc.)

    There was a time when it was supposed that only qualified people should vote, but then again, who can judge who is qualified and who isn't, so let everybody vote and have a nice civic feast! In the end there will be not too much difference.

    4) What do you think about all of this?

    It is a long time I renounced to think about this subject in particular. Humankind is humankind, politics is politics, and that's it!


    Greek, Roman, Arabs, Spaniards, Britons, German, American, (to name only some of them), everybody has shown a wonderful corresponding attitude when in power, so I have lost a little faith in anyone in that position, but I do respect and try to understand those of us 'menial' people who still think there is hope in our species. :)

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    1. Untony, you make some valid points that affect many people when deciding whether to vote or not. Every time elections come around, more and more people are becoming less interested due to all the false politics. I know this is a real long shot, but maybe everyone should one day decide to vote, I mean 100% of the whole country, just to see what happens OR maybe I'm fighting a losing battle in encouraging people to exercise their legal right, especially when so many others before us fought so hard for it.
      Thanks for your comments :)

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  5. I could not wait to vote. And yes, every time I do, with a lot of research vote. I truly think that the voting age should be lowered to 16, because it effects the younger generations more than the older, but there should not be an age limit, as in too old.

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    1. Jamie, I envisaged you as someone who wouldn't just vote for the sake of it without careful research, so I'm not surprised that you do take the time to do this.

      Although you said about lowering the age to 16, do you feel that when you were that age, you would fully be able to make a conscious decision as to what voting was about? I ask this because many people of that age are not always mature enough to make a serious decision like that as they make just see it as a joke?
      Thanks for commenting :)

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    2. Most people I know my age are better informed voters than thoe over 40, scho is a very political environment. My principal in HS used to say our lunch hour was a mix of CNN and big brother, lol.

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  6. Like voting we need another options to stay neutral in both sides

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    1. Sitting on the fence does not always work Kara, or does it? Can you explain more why you would want to stay neutral knowing that at the end someone will be running your country for the next few years, and you could have been part of that decision?
      I'm not opposing your views, just trying to find out more about what you are saying. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. The problem with the argument about voting now, is that people are now labeled by who they vote for. Its become something that sticks with you. And its definitely not a pride thing.

    Here in the US, the last....lets just go 2 presidential elections, were all about chosing the lesser evil. I voted for Obama because McCain/Palin was the worse choice for the country. I voted for Bush because John Kerry was the worse choice for the country.... I didn't vote for the people I voted for because I wanted them specifically for president, I voted for them because I feel the country would have been worse off with the other guy.

    The sad fact is, you can talk bad about those that don't vote all you want, but when it comes down to it, there is noone worth voting for. I have a right to complain if I don't vote, because what I complain about is that we have no true choice. The choice this year is about the the guy that dropped the ball but tried, or the guy who's lying his butt off and twisting truths, but in the end, saying the same thing as the other guy.... The candidates that had real ideas never got funding, and never got heard....

    If I were unable to vote this election, I wouldn't care. I have yet to go to the polls and vote and feel that I made any difference at all. No matter who gets office, this country continues its downward spiral because noone that gets on the ballot truly understands anything about the country, and seems to only run for their own goals.

    Your comment and question about those who couldn't vote before, but fought to vote in the past is a great one, the problem is, back when they fought, there were candidates worth voting for. True people with morals, who stood up for what was right, and made hard decisions because it mattered. There hasn't been a president since JFK that has made a truly hard decision correctly. Everyone since then has taken the easy way out. Sure, some of them have had moments that we'll remember forever, but none of them will have as positive a lasting effect as JFK.

    And to sum it up, you put up the question about 'being overjoyed about the person we voted for running the country the way we want.' Fact is, there is NO candidate on the ballot, that will run this country the way I want. And there hasn't been, in the entire time I voted except for Ross Perot, who was hamstrung by a speech writer. Every trip to the polls, I sit there and think, "Ugh, I don't want this guy to be president, but God I hope the other guy doesn't get it...." And that, RPD, is NOT the way it should be when voting.... I'm ashamed I voted for Bush, I'm ashamed I voted for Obama, but I hold my head high, because at least I didn't vote for the other guy....

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    1. Good points Dan. It's interesting that you recognise the value, even in choosing the lesser of two evils. Kind of realising the limits of what you can do, but still doing it for what it's worth.

      I mean, perhaps even if that is all democracy boils down to in the end - that since politics is about power, and power corrupts, and therefore politics is intrinsically corrupt, at least it provides a system whereby those without power call to account those who have it and go some way to limit the damaging effects of that power.

      That, in my opinion is nothing to be ashamed of! Thank you so much Dan.

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  8. Much of how I feel has been expressed in Dan Bonser's comment.

    Mainly...choosing the lesser of two evils.

    As I'm sure you know from reading, the U.S. is in a very sad state.

    This is perhaps the toughest election because as far as I'm concerned, I don't care for either one of them. But I WILL vote because I have to know that I at least did, and cross my fingers that they actually DO what they say.

    Great post topic!

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    1. Yes, it will be tough I think, because President Obama never really got to pursue his program in full (Whether you agree with it or not is another matter) because of the Republican congress who hamstrung his initiatives, with the notable exception of his healthcare reform. I hope you understand, as a Brit, how close this issue is to my heart.

      If he stays he may continue what he started and if he goes, someone else will have to start from the beginning. At least you're not letting your vote go to waste. Thanks for commenting Ron.

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  9. I've never been very interested in politics or the elections, and have only voted in a handful of elections since I turned 18, which was 32 years ago. There are many reasons why Americans choose not to vote, ranging from apathy to wanting to avoid jury duty. Because I'm a proponent of nationalized health care, I have already cast my ballot this year, and I did vote in the 2008 election as well. I personally don't feel any American should be deprived of his or her right to vote, not even convicted felons.

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    1. Oh, interesting point Helena because in London there have been recent ongoing debates on whether people in prison should have a vote. Some say No, because their liberty has been taken away and they are in prison for a reason, and others say they are being deprived of their human right to vote. Difficult one. Thanks Helena.

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  10. I try to remember that it's not the person I'm voting for but the issues that are important to me. Bearing in mind I am one of many voices, I absolutely exercise my right to vote!

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    1. For me, that's a good way to look at it, simply because it will always be the 'issues' that will effect you in the long run. Thanks Michelle.

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  11. hmhm... that's quite an argument. Well, I am from India and can only answer with regard to the situation in my country.

    Yes, I think I will miss voting. Yeah, democracy here, is pretty much controlled by all the factors that tony has said but what also cannot be avoided in India is the numbers game and the mood of the general population. (we have a humongous voting population and that can make for more pretty unexpected group phenomenons and results..)

    And yes, I think everybody is entitles to vote. People must have a say however small and insignificant in the functioning of the government and yes, general apathy is rampant here also, but for whatever may be the reasons, not voting is not going to salve them. Voting means at-least you are ready to do your part.





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    1. An interesting insight from the largest democracy in the world. A bit of a teaser though. You say that such a humongous voting population causes some unexpected group phenomenon's, would you mind sharing some of these? Thank you so much for commenting Muthu.

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  12. Hmm that's difficult. So far I haven't been able to vote because I wasn't 18 yet during the last elections here. On the one hand, I have to agree with what Untony said. On the other hand, I think I will definitely vote. I mean, even if the candidate I vote for has reached this place only because he has so many ties around, it's the only voice I have in politics.
    I also agree with Dan, it seems to have become a choice of voting for the lesser evil.
    In Germany, it doesn't seem to make much difference who's in power nowadays. But, as I said, I'll go and vote.
    About who should be allowed to vote... There was a time I thought under 18's should definitely not be allowed to vote because they are very often not informed at all. However, there are so many adults that are not much informed either and really don't have a clue about politics, so I think it wouldn't make much difference if you were allowed to vote when you're 16, for example.

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    1. Thanks Kleopatra. I was going to ask if you thought under 18s were much too young to vote due to maturity etc but I think you've answered it very well because like you said, many over 18s 'don't have a clue about politics' either. Perhaps the youth may bring a new ingredient to the mix, as it is the age when people tend to be most passionate and idealistic.

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  13. My older son missed being able to vote by just a few weeks. I've gotten a home ballot mailed to me because I want him to see it and be able to talk about it in more depth than we have before. In terms of not voting, I think that in a country this large it's hard to imagine your one little vote can change anything. Example of both sides: My husband and I cancel each other out every year. Frustrating cause I feel my vote just gets canceled by his. The other side of the coin is that if I don't vote, I won't be canceling out his vote, LOL!

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    1. "The other side of the coin is that if I don't vote, I won't be cancelling out his vote, LOL" nice to see you see the silver-lining :)

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    2. Karen, I like the idea how you've decided to take the time out to talk with your son about politics. At least he will be well informed next time. Thanks for commenting.
       

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  14. Listen, if everyone has the right to vote is safe to assume that everyone has the right not vote, you said it yourself, it's a right, not an obligation therefore I won't mind if some don't want to vote but I will mind if the ones who didn't vote won't shut up about the ones who were chosen to rule the world. By voting you're basically buying yourself the right to criticize the governments and all the ones that somehow are in charge of ruling the country. Ever since I became eighteen I excised my right to vote on every occasion. Even if it's one vote I want to feel that it counts. I wish I was american 'cause I'd go and vote for sure :) But not just for that, I am more american than what I actually am.

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    1. Thanks Izdiher, is there a reason why? Would you mind sharing?

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  16. In my opinion, it is not good to give Voting right to kids < 18 yrs as they do not have the ability to take a correct decision on their own.

    Voting is our right and our responsibility. We can skip it only under extremely bad conditions (say, for example, if we are sick
    and hospitalized on that particular day. ;))

    - Dhaston
    http://dhaston.blogspot.com/

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    1. Dhaston, Kleopatra made a good point how some over 18s don't know about politics too. So what age would you suggest is a good age to vote? Would you also think it a good idea if voting was mandatory? as you spoke about only missing it if you were ill or in hospital. Just thoughts that popped into my mind as I read your comment. Thank you so much Dhaston for commenting. :)

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  17. In America, I am thankful for the right to vote, especially being an African American because so many fought so hard for us to have the right to vote. We should use our right to support the candidates of our choice and to address amendments and other proposals. On the other hand, I understand the voter frustration out there. The lies during campaigning, the broken promises while in office, the partisan spin on everything that the opposing candidate says or done. I could go on and on with the problems people see with the voting process. But in the end, it's the only system we have and sometimes it works as we intended.

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    1. Every thing you said is valid Frank. I was just wondering with all the problems that occur within voting, if you thought it might be a good idea if they overhauled the whole way voting occurred? Your comments are always appreciated Frank.

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  18. I have given you the Leibster Award-answer as little or as much as you want http://motherofnine9.blogspot.ca/2012/10/first-i-must-thank-patricia-needham-for.html

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    1. Thank you so much Motherofnine9, I truly appreciate it and a big thank you for thinking of me for this award. I've sent you a private message. :)

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  19. I vote to make a difference in what I believe is right.

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  20. I am happy to say that I exercised my right to vote and did so yesterday for early voting. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to be ignored and not having your vote count--so grateful that I live in a country where my voice can be heard!

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    1. Thanks Menopausal mama. Today is the day when America votes, and I can't wait to hear the results. One thing is for sure, you have rights to vote despite all the things that can and do go wrong.

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  21. Equal rights should be given to all, yet in so many instances, even in free countries, rights are taken for all sorts of justification. Those of us who can vote freely should realize what a great gift that is.

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    1. Yes, many have died to give us a right to vote, so why not use this as an opportunity. Thanks Donna.

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