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Nap Time!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Quick voting guide

It's the beginning of September, and that leaves two months or so before the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. I hear that congressfolk are running for office this year, but nobody really cares. It's far more important that we discuss the presidential election, where our vote doesn't actually count.

But instead of just telling you who to vote for and saying anyone else's voting motivations are stupid, here's a quick guide to how to vote depending on how you feel about this fascinating institution of "Republic."

Theoretical idealistic voting: Vote for the person who best represents your beliefs. This is a popular voting philosophy to support in public, but following this philosophy invariably leads to a write-in vote for yourself on election day. (If it doesn't, you've got yourself some serious problems)

Pragmatic idealistic voting: Vote for the person who would best serve as the President of the United States. I would write-in my mother, probably.

Victory voting: Vote so that your choice of President has a better chance of becoming President. Certainly a reasonable philosophy, but most of us aren't in a position to engage in victory voting. As a Californian, my vote will not impact the winner of the presidential election in any way.

Protest voting: Vote to make your voice heard. While your vote may not impact the election, your vote is still going to be reported and available to anyone who wants to look it up. You have the opportunity to let people know that you support Kerry by changing the report from "12,593,221 votes for Kerry" to "12,593,222 votes for Kerry." Of course, if you're really doing it for the protest value to make your voice heard, you would again be doing write-ins, perhaps for "Not Bush" or (in my case) "Somebody not as boring as these people."

Strategic voting (Beetle's Pick!!!): Vote for whatever is best for you. If you're a Californian, regardless of your political affiliation, this means voting for Bush. Given that Kerry wins the state (as he will), we may as well do as much as we can to make the state-wide race as close as possible, so in 2008, the presidential candidates actually have to come and promise us things, too. Then we can get in on the indignation that the swing states have felt for decades when promises are broken.

That's it for Beetle's Quick Voting Guide. A few notes to end with:

A vote for Nader (or any other third-party candidate) is not a vote for Bush (or whatever major party candidate most opposes your third-party's beliefs). It is, in fact, half a vote for Bush (or "").

Not voting is not sinful, shameful, or horrible. It is actually just not voting. Don't care who wins? Better to not vote than to cast a meaningless one. Think voting is too much effort when your vote doesn't matter anyway? Vote for someone who will change things. Oh. Well, just don't vote, then.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2004 09:44:00 PM #
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