Conscientious Objection to Voting

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by spejic, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    I don't normally find South Park all that funny, but the latest episode had me in a little ball on the floor in convulsive laughter. It centers on the idea of the schoolkids being forced to vote between two new school mascots, a giant douche and a poo sandwich. Stan finds the election ridiculous and refuses to vote. He then gets hit with all the various entreats to vote, including a send-up of the mad "Vote or Die" campaign.

    Is conscientious objection to voting a valid choice? Should it be institutionalized by adding a "none of the above" to the list of choices? Should voting be mandatory as it is in Australia? Is the current election a douche vs. poo sandwich choice?
     
  2. GRUNT

    GRUNT Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lake Oswego, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes. Why not? No. Definitely.
     
  3. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Apr 29, 2001
    New Jersey, USA
    I think it was Fifty Cent who said "vote or get a cap in yer azz" or something like that.

    Voting is a great right that we should all take advantage of. It shouldn't be mandatory and IMO it should be made as easy as possible. If there were secure ways to do it over the net or by mail in, i'd be for that too.

    Able-bodied people who refuse to vote, don't give a sh!t enough to vote or who say "my vote doesn't matter anyhow, so i'll just sit here & play another game of 'Grand Theft Auto'" are the laziest form of ameba dung on the planet. People who happily say "oh, I don't vote!" should be put in stocks in public squares and beaten with bamboo poles.
     
  4. GRUNT

    GRUNT Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lake Oswego, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But only if they're Earthquake fans.
     
  5. 1953 4-2-4

    1953 4-2-4 Red Card

    Jan 11, 2004
    Cleveland
    So Kerry represented the douche, and Bush the poo sandwich?
     
  6. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yup. The ending (i.e. the final line) was absolutely classic.
     
  7. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

    Aug 14, 2000
    Berkeley
    Club:
    Connecticut
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, it was a turd sandwich.
     
  8. Smiley321

    Smiley321 Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    Concord, Ca
    The election is best described by Garry South, who had a difficult re-election campaign for a despised Gray Davis here in California. He succeeded in making the opponent even more distasteful in his "Damaged Goods vs. Defective Merchandise" campaign

    (a year before Arnold got voted in by the recall)
     
  9. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think voting should be mandatory, but I recently read something that made me think maybe it would be a good idea.

    The whole point of negative ads are to get the other guy's supporters to stay home. With mandatory voting, it's very likely campaigns would be more positive, more issue-oriented, and less personality driven.
     
  10. verybdog

    verybdog New Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Houyhnhnms
    I support voting be mandatory and voting day be a national holiday.
     
  11. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to 1953 4-2-4 again. :D
     
  12. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    In Australia, mandatory voting is very popular (between 70% and 80% approval rate). But it seems to have certain side effects, a big one being un-informed voting. Doesn't this seem to be a problem with non-partisan pro-voting campaigns like the MTV "Chose or Lose"? Besides, it seems that lots of seemingly non-partisan pro-voting campaigns are actually partisan (like motor-voter registration, which supposedly has the side effect of registering lower earning people who are supposed to vote Democratic).

    The basic problem is that we are trying to run a system of filtering the desires of a massive and varied citizenry, and it isn't just a ridiculous exercise by outward appearance of its implementation, but mathematically speaking as well. The outcomes are just as based on the system as the votes cast, and playing the system becomes a desirable and effective means of changing the outcome. And the clear solutions to removing this effect (simplifying, centralizing and equalizing everything) will never happen because both sides have a vested interest in the current method.
     
  13. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
    My thoughts are that if everyone who could vote did. Then we wouldn't be in the current mess we're in.
    A certain amount of blame goes again to the overblown media hype. It's their responsibility and lot in life to fill the airwaves 24 hours a day with their thoughts and predictions. (The unwashed masses cannot think for themselves.)
    So, on game day (You'll understand 'game day' better than Voting day, that really could affect your life if your team loses.) at about 11 AM on the East coast, They WILL tell you who has won the election.

    So it really is a waste of your beer drinking and TV time if you live in the Midwest, mountain or Western states to get out and vote on something that has already been decided on by them for you.
    Most of 'Them' will be looking towards Bush seniors friends at FOX network for the definitive answer.

    I've just seen, now on "Meet the press" that the electoral college IS evenly split....What does that mean for voters? It means the the House of Reps will decide for you anyway. I wonder how that will go....!
     
  14. dmar

    dmar Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Madrid, Spain
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Yeah, but I do understand the someone wanting to vote no candidate... I follow politics a lot, and I did vote in the last elections here, but I casted a blank vote -an empty envelope or with a white sheet in it-
     
  15. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    Yeah, GOTV campaigns are, by their nature, going to be partisan. There might be truly altruistic GOTVers out there, but otherwise, why else would anyone try to sign up more voters if they didn't think (a) there was a problem with the status quo or (b) the status quo is being threatened?

    BTW, Australia' system isn't so much mandatory voting as it is mandatory registration and presence at the polling station. They have to show up, but they don't have to vote.
     
  16. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    No.

    Sure.

    Absolutely. We already have a spot for write-ins. so it's not like anyone's being forced to choose someone specific. Heck, write in Jerry Seinfeld or your favorite uncle, but I do agree it should mandatory to at least show up at the polling place on election day.
     
  17. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    If anything, it can help track wanted criminals or recoup some revenue through fines.
     
  18. 1953 4-2-4

    1953 4-2-4 Red Card

    Jan 11, 2004
    Cleveland
    You are so so wrong, but the funny is--it's this ignorant attitude that loses elections for your side. Thank God many liberals have such extreme prejudice against the "capitalist" system, so much so that they rationalize not voting (even in an election that could make Colorado, Ohio, Iowa or Wisconsin absolutely crucial) because the "man" makes the decisions by 11AM anyway.


    We got another one, Lord Vader!
     
  19. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
    My comments were 'tongue in cheek' perhaps you didn't understand the humour and sarcasm. Maybe this'll help :D
    You have absolutely no concept of a liberal if you think they are prejudiced against a capitolist system. Or you stupidly believe that because it somehow makes you feel better.
    I'm in business for myself therefore a capitolist but that dosen't make me some sort of right wing fascist like you and the current admin.
    There is capitolism, this a is a consumer society and there's the abject greed of this bunch of fascists who are sending Americans to their deaths to make a few extra million, with people like you blindly following along helping them do it.
    Tell me how much better you are off since these shitbags got in power.
     
  20. Ian McCracken

    Ian McCracken Member

    May 28, 1999
    USA
    Club:
    SS Lazio Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Frankly, the more people who vote the worse off we would be. I find all these voter drives ridiculous. What do I care if someone else is not registered to vote? Now, I would certainly try and encourage as many like-minded individuals as me to vote. But, that's a far cry from all these phony get-out-the-vote drives that try to pass themselves off as non-partisan.
     
  21. dawgpound2

    dawgpound2 Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are two kinds of "not voting".

    The idiot who is just too dang lazy and doesn't care, and the person who genuinely does not like any of the candidates and makes a conscious choice not to vote.

    I have a major problem with the first clown, and no problem whatsoever with the second.

    The very system that allows citizens to burn the flag should allow people to not exercise their right to vote.
     
  22. ViscaBarca

    ViscaBarca Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    London
    that's civilized for you...
    in fact they should be congratulated for figuring out that all that democracy crap is just a big show, to make you believe that you actually have any power
     
  23. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    Why? This definition of freedom is a based on a negative conception of liberty. As in, "liberty = the absence of constraint, external force, etc."

    But the idea of democracy is based on a much more nuanced idea of liberty that assumes a positive aspect. IOW, democratic socieites can't just take all shackles off and say: "There--everyone's free. Have fun!" It doesn't work that way.

    Rather, democratic societies need to create positive structures that nurture the tolerance, informed deliberation, and equal access to power that is the fundamental basis of the democratic ideal. To that end, such societies realize that certain things are indeed essential and thus should be forced upon the populace. Mandatory education, for one thing. Conscription, in times of war. Compulsory periodic participation on juries, for another.

    It's absolutely consistent with the democratic ideal that people should be required to at least show up at the polls once per year. What they do once they get there is up to them. Write in a favorite teacher. Check "These people are all losers." Whatever.

    Sitting at home on the couch pretending that you're participating in democracy is a crock and is the worst form of welfare cheat, IMO. Lazy jackasses benefiting from all that America offers its citizens, but ignoring the primary responsibility that all democratic citizens share.

    And yes, voting is a responsibility in a democracy, not a right.
     
  24. chad

    chad Member+

    Jun 24, 1999
    chicago
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great post, Dr. Jones.

    I absolutely agree that positive liberty (if we are to use liberty as the starting point) is absolutely crucial and prior to negative liberty. Without a concept of personhood fostered by democratic insitutions, no sense can even be made of an ideal of negative liberty. But this just means that our institutions have failed to produce a populace that will reinforce and perpetuate the very democratic institutions themselves. It is hard to argue against this, I think.

    Ideally, every member of a democratic state would vote. When you have to ask whether it should be mandatory, you've shown that there is a problem with the insitutions currently in place. Not to get all heavy, but Hegel (not my favorite, but I always thought this insight was good) believed that Western democratic insitutions stood at the end of political development in such a way that they would never be sublimated into a better political system. Once established, all that was left was to tweak them and perfect them. A problem arises when these insitutions fail to perpetuate the "reason" that lead to their establishment. That seems to be what happens when citizens feel no need, for whatever reason, to vote.
     
  25. Frankfurt Blue

    Sep 3, 2003
    Doytshlund
    People should vote. It is a right that has been won by our forefathers on our behalf. It gives us a voice. To not vote is almost a crime. But if it is to be enfoced, those that are uninformed, no longer care, or just think the options are not relevant to them, there should be an option box for their voice. And such information coule tell a more accurate picture of public opinion with the state of politics in a particular country.
     

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