Might as well not even vote?

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nonyuppie
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Re: Might as well not even vote?

Postby nonyuppie » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:28 am

Missing from this discussion is the potential to send a message to one of the mainstream parties by voting for a third-party candidate. Voting for Jill Stein in 2016, although it wasn't going to result in her winning, was the only way to cast an anti-war vote -- pathetic, but true. If enough people had done it the Democrats might be more inclined to support an anti-war candidate in 2020.

In a related matter, I see Tulsi Gabbard joined Mark Pocan in abstaining in the vote to outlaw withdrawing from NATO. No Democrat voted against it. AOC voted for it. Some serious arm twisting going on, I bet.

DCB
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Re: Might as well not even vote?

Postby DCB » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:16 am

Missing from this discussion is the potential to send a message to one of the mainstream parties by voting for a third-party candidate.

What message do you think you're sending? Do you really think your protest vote will have any effect on the those parties' platform?
If enough people had done it the Democrats might be more inclined to support an anti-war candidate in 2020.

Again, this means your strategy is entirely contingent on coordinated behavior with large numbers of other people. This only makes sense if you have some kind well-organized movement.

There is no well-organized anti-war movement, sadly. But if we did have such a movement, you could actively lobby the Democratic party, which might actually make a difference.

I don't think voting for an opportunist like Stein is going to make any difference at all.

penquin
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Since Hillary lost, does that mean voting for her was a waste of time?

Postby penquin » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:59 am

DCB wrote:But it probably isn't going to work.


Maybe it will - maybe it won't. But you're saying that the odds of it (and by "it", I mean anything/everything that voting helps a political party with, up to and including but not limited to winning the election) happening are exactly the same as if people didn't vote at all, and that is what I am calling into question.

And that goes for all the other responses as well...wasn't really wanting to get into hypothetical situations about how many more votes a party may or may not get with easier ballot access or how things would be different today if Al Gore had managed to carry his home state. Don't want to get into a long talk about how both parties have HUGE racial issues and neither one is really looking out for the poor or middle class and didn't wanna give a history lesson about how Prohibition (and its repeal) and Woman's Suffrage came about due to pressure from other political parties, or delve into how the GOP managed to win Congress in the mid-90's.

Fact of the matter is that if a candidate gets "X" number of votes then all kinds of things happen for their political party. Claiming that not voting for a Republican or Democratic is the same as not voting at all is ignorant and anti-democracy. I don't often agree with how other people choose to vote, but I'll defend their right to vote as they choose. Shame on any of ya who try to suppress the vote of others simply because they won't march to the beat of your personal drummer.

DCB
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Re: Since Hillary lost, does that mean voting for her was a waste of time?

Postby DCB » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:23 pm

penquin wrote:
DCB wrote:But it probably isn't going to work.


Maybe it will - maybe it won't. But you're saying that the odds of it (and by "it", I mean anything/everything that voting helps a political party with, up to and including but not limited to winning the election) happening are exactly the same as if people didn't vote at all, and that is what I am calling into question.

OK - where is the evidence your vote has had any effect at all.

penquin wrote:Fact of the matter is that if a candidate gets "X" number of votes then all kinds of things happen for their political party.

What things? Do any of them have any measurable effect on elections?

penquin wrote:Claiming that not voting for a Republican or Democratic is the same as not voting at all is ignorant and anti-democracy.

No - it is a statement of the facts as I understand them.

penquin wrote: I don't often agree with how other people choose to vote, but I'll defend their right to vote as they choose.
Me too!
penquin wrote:Shame on any of ya who try to suppress the vote of others simply because they won't march to the beat of your personal drummer.

WTH? Nobody is suppressing your vote. Go ahead and throw it away on someone who isn't going to win if you want. Just don't fool yourself into thinking that it means anything.

Paleo2
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Re: Might as well not even vote?

Postby Paleo2 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:00 pm

There are very few ways to efficiently get a third party up, and none have been successful in over 150 years.

The last successful one was the GOP, at a time when the Whig Party and the American Party were dying off and the Democratic Party was in disarray. It was a mix of the old Whig Party with the Northern branch of the American Party, plus a few disaffected Democrats.

In the 1860 election the Democratic Party had split into several regional factions which helped the Republicans to win.

There were a few times there were parties based on one charismatic leader, but none won. The most successful was the Bull Moose version of the Progressive Party. They came in Second ahead of the Republicans.

The last third party to win any states was the American Independent Party in 1968. This was when the Southern branch of the Democratic Party broke off, and went for Wallace. Wallace supposedly has a deal with Nixon in case no party had a majority of the electoral college.

These days the most effective way for third parties to run would be as regional parties in states where one of the major parties has complete control.

For example, if there were a left wing party they could organize in places like California, with a deal that if they actually won they would support the Democrat, the way Byrd’s votes went to Kennedy in 1960. Or a right wing party could organize in Oklahoma.

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Re: Might as well not even vote?

Postby Donald » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:50 pm

In first past the post voting, Duvenger's law implies that a voter makes the best choice by voting for the candidate who most agrees with that voter, AND who has a chance at winning. Clearly, this favors a two-party system, and most first past the post voting systems converge on a two-party system and only rarely diverge from it. Notice that "most agrees" does not mean they agree with you on everything. Indeed, that candidate may agree with you on very little, but if that candidate agrees with you on one issue out of ten, say, it pays you to vote for that candidate over one who completely agrees with you, but has no chance at winning. Why? Because if the 0.1 candidate wins, at least he or she will support your position 10 percent of the time, while the other candidate will not support your positions at all. If your vote goes for a third candidate with no chance of winning and that sinks the 0.1 candidate, you have just voted against your own interests. My caveat is that if that 0.1 candidate has zero or minimal chance at winning, you can go ahead and vote for any candidate that better matches your desires.

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Re: Since Hillary lost, does that mean voting for her was a waste of time?

Postby penquin » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:02 pm

DCB wrote:
penquin wrote:Fact of the matter is that if a candidate gets "X" number of votes then all kinds of things happen for their political party.

What things? Do any of them have any measurable effect on elections?


Lots of folks are under the illusion that the only effect a vote has is in determining who wins that particular election, but there are other things that also happen with those votes...things that were listed in the first post in this thread. And yes, they have very measurable effects on elections.

For example, if a candidate receives between 5%-20% of the popular vote in a general presidential election then their political party receives public funding for the next one. (Each "major" party automatically gets over $20 million of public funds).

But that only happens if they get enough votes...if everyone who is dissatisfied with the Democratic and Republican candidate did as you suggested (just stay home) then those funds (estimated at ~$10million for the 5% threshold, and climbing upwards from there) would not be released to the minor political parties.

I sincerely beleive that a large influx of funding like that would have a measurable effect on an election.

WTH? Nobody is suppressing your vote.


Technically, you ain't suppressing MY vote...'cause I know better and thus ain't buying what you're trying to sell. But other folks do beleive the propaganda you're helping to spread, and thus they take your advice to just stay home on election day if they don't like either of the two main candidates.

Over 46% of all eligible voters did not cast a ballot in the last presidential election. That's pretty pitiful...especially for a country that prides itself on "democracy"...and I beleive that a vast majority of those non-voters are staying home because they bought into the claim that their vote doesn't matter at all.

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Re: Might as well not even vote?

Postby penquin » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:13 pm

Donald wrote:Notice that "most agrees" does not mean they agree with you on everything. Indeed, that candidate may agree with you on very little, but if that candidate agrees with you on one issue out of ten, say, it pays you to vote for that candidate over one who completely agrees with you, but has no chance at winning. Why? Because if the 0.1 candidate wins, at least he or she will support your position 10 percent of the time, while the other candidate will not support your positions at all.


But that assumes all issues have equal weight. Some things are dealbreakers, no-matter what other issues the candidate & I may agree on.

For example, what if I agree with a candidate that our trade deals are bad and need to be re-negotiated, that we need more manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, and that hedge fund managers are out of control...yet am appalled at his racist rhetoric. I agree on three - disagree on one, so the math says I should support him...but to me, that racist behavior overrides everything else.

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Re: Since Hillary lost, does that mean voting for her was a waste of time?

Postby DCB » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:57 pm

penquin wrote:For example, if a candidate receives between 5%-20% of the popular vote in a general presidential election then their political party receives public funding for the next one. (Each "major" party automatically gets over $20 million of public funds).

At some point you're going to have to understand the difference between hypothesis and reality.
We've done the experiment, multiple times.

Read the comments from P2 above - historically there is just no significant appetite for third party candidates.

In 2016, Neither the Libertarian nor the Green party reached the magic 5%, because their Presidential candidates were buffoons.

penquin wrote:
WTH? Nobody is suppressing your vote.


Technically, you ain't suppressing MY vote...'cause I know better and thus ain't buying what you're trying to sell. But other folks do beleive the propaganda you're helping to spread, and thus they take your advice to just stay home on election day if they don't like either of the two main candidates.

Fact-based arguments are not "propaganda". And while I appreciate the inference that my comments on TDPF are influential on a national scale, I don't think I can claim credit for anybody else's voting behavior.


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