voting apathy

Only about 50% of the people in the US vote for national elections, the rate is even more dismal for local and state elections.
Do you think that this is because people are apathetic and believe that there is no point, or that they are mostly happy with the status quo, and don’t feel a need to try to change things?

I was going to respond…but there’s really no point…

I think that people think that there’s no point, that their vote won’t make any difference, so why bother? What with all the goings-on (for lack of a better term) in Washington this past year or so, folks figure that the political system is out of control.

I used to feel this way myself, but I’m feeling better now :). Seriously, I feel that I’m more represented, because I voted last fall. Of course, that could be because my candidates won (U.S. House and Senate). Still, I feel like I did something.

Ironically, if only 50% of eligible voters actually vote, then each person who does vote has a stronger voice.

The Cat In The Hat

I have only voted once, in the last presidential election. That one I considered pretty important.

Other than that, I tend to think that it doesn’t matter who I’d vote for, they’d just screw up the job about the same. It’s not like I have the time or inclination to research the candidates for every piddly local office.

Nerd: The problem with not researching the candidates is that you wind up with a school board like ::shudder:: is here in KS.

And if you pay no attention, then you have no right to complain. Even about those who screw up. Hell, especially about those who screw up.

Flick Lives!

Just curious, but what were the numbers like pre-Nixon. It seems to me, after asking a few folks at work, quite a few of them became disenfranchised with the political system proper once Tricky-Dicky was pardoned.

I vote every chance I get because I don’t want to be one of the slackers bitching about everything without something to back it up. Take some time, research the candidates, make a choice and vote. Local goverments are more important IMHO because they directly affect your planning commision, schools, etc. I actually have political aspirations for local government someday. I think everyone should.

I vote in every election; but I’ll have to be honest and say that in the last two Presidential races, I did not vote for candidates in either of the two major parties. There is little real difference between them any more; all they’re really out for is money. Frankly, I think it’s kind of a joke that we do vote, considering that even when elected, our “elected representatives” do not represent their constituents; they represent the lobbies, special interest groups, industrialists, and political action committees who bribe them with obscene amounts of money. How can I compete with that?

As a municipal government employee, I make it a point to vote, even in the primaries. I like being able to choose who’s going to sign my check. But I’m also a resident of the city I work in, so the issues themselves are important to me as well. My husband has never been a registered voter. I’ve just about got his mind changed, though. He claimed to be excersising his right not to vote. I said “Okay, but I hope you don’t mind me excercising my right to tell you to shut the hell up whenever you do complain about the government.” Every once in a while, he’ll snipe at me, the old “well, you voted for him” thing. Yeah, I did. That gives me even MORE right to complain about him. If I voted for him, and he’s not doing the job he promised me he’d do, well then I’ve got every right in the world to scream about what a #@%&*^%$ he is, then vote him out at the earliest opportunity. That’s democracy. And every so often, it does work.

I vote. Thanks to the internet, I actually get to e-mail candidatres and ask why I should vote for them. Pretty cool results in our last elections from doing this!

But, yeah, I can see the apathy. I mean, if voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal and all… But I still feel obligated to make my decisions, even though all too often I find myself just voting Libertarian to protest the system, or picking a lesser of two evils when someone I dislike less in a major party needs my help…

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

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Pickman’s model:

First of all, don’t forget that they’re constituents too.

But besides that, you have the choice of whose puppet to elect, don’t you? If you’re for gun control, don’t vote for the candidate in the NRA’s pocket; if you’re against tobacco, don’t vote for the guy in the tobacco lobby’s pocket.

Furthermore, I find it worse that when push comes to shove, our elected officials will toe the party line, seeing every vote as a move in a game of political chess, rather than actually vote the way anyone, you, me, or big-money bribers, feels. (Of course, the big-money bribers give directly to the party, which is part of the problem.) I don’t want my senator voting against what he told me he’d vote for just because if his party loses that vote it puts them in a weaker position for some future election.

Personally, I’m not an apathetic voter. I make a point of voting in every election. But I think that those who are apathetic are apathetic for that reason: they see all politicians as people playing power games rather than actually discussing the issues that affect our lives.

I think that if we could somehow do away with political parties, the system would be cleaner. I know that even if we abolished the parties, those who wish to work and act together will find a way to do so. But if that cooperation is not formalized as an actual organization, then maybe all that strategizing that kills real lawmaking and executive action will be curtailed.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

I wish that I had time to find out the positions of each and every candidate…which I just don’t seem to have. Nor do I always believe what they say. I am completely removed from both the Dems and the Reps…just starting to hear about the liberatarians…maybe when I have it all figured out…I’ll vote again.