Saturday, 4 November 2006

How to vote

I think that Urban Survival has a useful process for deciding how to vote:
When I go to the polls on Tuesday, I've distilled my politics down to a simple set of "rules":

If someone is an incumbent, I will vote against them.

If someone has held assortment of elective offices for more than 10-years, I will vote against them: They are "professional politicians" - and we don't need them around.

If there is no incumbent to vote against, but one or the other candidate is a lawyer, I will vote for the civilian who has no interest in creating phonebook sized law books. To my way of thinking, because lawyers are "officers of the Court" they should be barred from office anyway, because they are already working for the Judicial branch of government.

And finally, if I can find a race where there are two non-incumbents running, I'll be voting for the one that looks most like an old-time Republican - not the current batch of pretenders. That means:

Supports the Constitution
Supports small foreign entanglements
Supports a balanced budget
Is a State's Rights/small central government advocate
Believes all laws should simply and clearly written, including and especially the IRS Tax Code.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

OK, OK, 'First' rather than 'Rirst' 
Jeez, I'm struggling today!!

13 November 2006, 21:01:19 GMT
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Rirst word of above post should read 'Neil' rather than 'Craig' 

13 November 2006, 20:56:10 GMT
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Craig, I am not entirely sure you understand my position. I do not vote because I regard currently constituted democracy as a 'God that has failed' not because I consider my individual vote as worthless. The fact that 'my vote'is, as Josh illustrates, worthless, is another (though associated) matter entirely. 
As a somewhat more erudite individual than myself commented: -"What is the ballot? It is neither more nor less than a paper representative of the bayonet, the billy, and the bullet. It is a labor-saving device for ascertaining on which side force lies and bowing to the inevitable. The voice of the majority saves bloodshed, but it is no less the arbitrament of force than is the decree of the most absolute of despots backed by the most powerful of armies". - Benjamin R. Tucker

13 November 2006, 20:54:08 GMT
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Neil Craig
You have the excuse of not having a PR system where at some level every vote counts Josh. Even so I would still suggest you at least cut down the winner's majority. It won't changemuch, indeed 1 vote shouldn't change much. but it does at least mean the winner is that much less able to ignore his constituents. 
Musrum you make a good argument for going to the poll & spoiling your ballot. There is a world of difference between that & just staying home. Either way however we are going to end up with a government & I prefer the sort where we have some input.

12 November 2006, 17:59:16 GMT
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Wild Pegasus
Sometimes elections are very closely contested. 
Any sufficiently close election will go to the courts. 
Your vote, among others - can often hold the difference between whether 'your side' or the other gets power.  
Mathematically very unlikely, more so when you factor in lawsuits. Of course, this presumes that my side is one of the major parties. It isn't. 
It's important to be politically active 
No, it isn't. The time wasted on voting is time I can put to better use. 
- Josh

8 November 2006, 16:14:12 GMT
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Misery And Suffering
Josh - you're crazy. 
Sometimes elections are very closely contested. It times of less central-driven political parties there was a large divide between them; but only a few votes. Your vote, among others - can often hold the difference between whether 'your side' or the other gets power.  
It's important to be politically active, and it's important to vote. If your vote isn't important, then nobody's is; why should anyone vote?

8 November 2006, 00:08:49 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Wild Pegasus
Josh if you don't vote you have no right to complain about the result. 
Nonsense. Consider my local congressional election (NJ-2) in its most recent election: 2004. 
Incumbent Republican Frank LoBiondo raised $1.29m. His Democratic challenger Tim Robb raised just over $8,000 - yes, eight thousand dollars. There were 4 other people on the ballot, none of whom reported raising any money. LoBiondo raised 161 times as much as the rest of the field combined. 
LoBiondo won with 65.1% of the vote. Tim Robb came in second with 32.7%. None of the other 4 challengers even got 0.02% of the vote. There were about 270,000 votes cast. 
If I had voted, I would have been one vote in 270,000, in a race where the incumbent won by about 85,000 votes. What's my vote worth? 
Anyone who think one vote among millions is some kind of voice or duty is delusional beyond description. I'll go right on complaining, thank you very much. 
- Josh

7 November 2006, 19:56:49 GMT
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'Josh if you don't vote you have no right to complain about the result'. 
I hold the exact opposite to be true. The very act of voting offers implicit acceptance by the voter of the outcome, whatever that might be and wherever it may lead. By taking part you have legitimized the process. The winners ignoring your views, raising your taxes etc? - Well hard luck - you took part knowing such was a possible outcome. In short - you lost. Lack of obvious legitimacy is the ONLY outcome the parasitical political class fear, and can only be achieved through large scale non participation. It is only us non-voters who have proper cause for complaint - we refuse to legitimise the whole corrupt process.

7 November 2006, 19:27:09 GMT
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Neil Craig
One reason I hoped Huhne would win the LD contest was that he had spent most of his life makingb his pile before becoming first an MEP & then MP. This ie that he was a "newcomer" was also one of the reasons Simon Hughes, who won when he was young & has grown bald in the service, gave against him. 
Josh if you don't vote you have no right to complain about the result. This is so particularly in Scotland where we have PR. I would rather you vote BNP than sit & girn.

7 November 2006, 15:24:54 GMT
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Wild Pegasus
Voting is pointless. You're about as likely to contract flesh-eating bacteria on the way to the polls as affecting the outcome, presuming the outcome isn't already decided by the complicity of the parties. 
- Josh

6 November 2006, 02:43:05 GMT
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None too likely to vote for a Toni Blair figure, then.

5 November 2006, 14:19:39 GMT
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james higham
Can't argue with that, except perhaps the small foreign entanglements.

5 November 2006, 13:04:05 GMT