jcbaduk

vote none of the above

13 posts in this topic

Go to http://www.votenoneoftheabove.us

I'm hoping that there is enough support for this. Why should we be stuck with two bad choices between religion and socialism? I think the refusal to vote is bad, but voting for someone because someone else is worse won't make things better. I went to this site after reading Scott Powell's blog. Any suggestions? It certainly saves a lot of debates on which party is worse, and reflects a lot more on the sentiments of the public and why there is such a low turn out in the ballots.

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Go to http://www.votenoneoftheabove.us

I'm hoping that there is enough support for this. Why should we be stuck with two bad choices between religion and socialism? I think the refusal to vote is bad, but voting for someone because someone else is worse won't make things better. I went to this site after reading Scott Powell's blog. Any suggestions? It certainly saves a lot of debates on which party is worse, and reflects a lot more on the sentiments of the public and why there is such a low turn out in the ballots.

Your profile lists your residence as Canada. Do you have a "none of the above" option on your ballot? In the US we do not and there is no way to stop one of the two major candidtates from winning. "None of the above" is not an option. Nor is the choice we have between religion and socialism. Voting for someone because his opponent is worse does not "make things better" but if you prevail it does stop things from becoming as bad as the worst candidate wants. For those of us who live under whoever wins that matters. If you determine that one candidate is worse and you live in a contested district where your vote matters you had better vote and hope the opponents follow the advice of "none of the above" and don't vote.

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I'm hoping that there is enough support for this. Why should we be stuck with two bad choices between religion and socialism? I think the refusal to vote is bad, but voting for someone because someone else is worse won't make things better. I went to this site after reading Scott Powell's blog. Any suggestions? It certainly saves a lot of debates on which party is worse, and reflects a lot more on the sentiments of the public and why there is such a low turn out in the ballots.

Your profile lists your residence as Canada. Do you have a "none of the above" option on your ballot? In the US we do not and there is no way to stop one of the two major candidtates from winning. "None of the above" is not an option. Nor is the choice we have between religion and socialism. Voting for someone because his opponent is worse does not "make things better" but if you prevail it does stop things from becoming as bad as the worst candidate wants. For those of us who live under whoever wins that matters. If you determine that one candidate is worse and you live in a contested district where your vote matters you had better vote and hope the opponents follow the advice of "none of the above" and don't vote.

Given that your position is that we ought to vote for one or the other and that mine is that I may well sit this election out, I am curious what your opinion of Ayn Rand is when she chose not to vote in some elections because she was disgusted with both candidates. Is it ever proper, in your opinion, to sit one out (or more than one) even if one candidate can be said to be the lesser of two evils?

I'm not looking for shoulds here, just your opinion. What I decide to do is my choice alone, so I am neither looking for advice nor lecturing on the matter.

Thanks.

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Go to http://www.votenoneoftheabove.us

I'm hoping that there is enough support for this. Why should we be stuck with two bad choices between religion and socialism? I think the refusal to vote is bad, but voting for someone because someone else is worse won't make things better. I went to this site after reading Scott Powell's blog. Any suggestions? It certainly saves a lot of debates on which party is worse, and reflects a lot more on the sentiments of the public and why there is such a low turn out in the ballots.

Your profile lists your residence as Canada. Do you have a "none of the above" option on your ballot? In the US we do not and there is no way to stop one of the two major candidtates from winning. "None of the above" is not an option. Nor is the choice we have between religion and socialism. Voting for someone because his opponent is worse does not "make things better" but if you prevail it does stop things from becoming as bad as the worst candidate wants. For those of us who live under whoever wins that matters. If you determine that one candidate is worse and you live in a contested district where your vote matters you had better vote and hope the opponents follow the advice of "none of the above" and don't vote.

Given that your position is that we ought to vote for one or the other and that mine is that I may well sit this election out, I am curious what your opinion of Ayn Rand is when she chose not to vote in some elections because she was disgusted with both candidates. Is it ever proper, in your opinion, to sit one out (or more than one) even if one candidate can be said to be the lesser of two evils?

Ayn Rand didn't choose not to vote just out of emotional "disgust"; her assessment (whether one agrees with it or not) was that both candidates were significantly destructive in different ways. In the earlier election between Nixon and McGovern she was adamantly opposed to Nixon but saw that the ideological leftist McGovern was much worse, and she came out in her Ford Hall Forum speech that year supporting voting for Nixon as an "anti-Nixonite for Nixon".

Another reason for possibly not voting to choose between one of the two major candidates is if you are in a district which is essentially uncontested so you know in advance not to waste your time trudging down to the polls. But the act of voting by "pulling the lever" is not the essential issue here, which is advocacy for a candidate within the choice realistically available. If you think it makes a difference then you should speak out and do more than just "vote". If you think it doesn't make any significant difference which one wins, then you can speak out against both of them while explaining why you think it doesn't matter who is in power. But that isn't the same thing as simply not liking either choice without regard for which one is worse -- The context of the election is to determine which one will be in power, not a philosophical poll. The significance of Ayn Rand's choices was in her influence, which had far more impact -- in both influencing the culture and numbes of votes cast -- than her single vote choice alone.

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The quote levels are mixed up in the above post, with Jason's question merged with my older post. For clarity, Jason's question was:

Given that your position is that we ought to vote for one or the other and that mine is that I may well sit this election out, I am curious what your opinion of Ayn Rand is when she chose not to vote in some elections because she was disgusted with both candidates. Is it ever proper, in your opinion, to sit one out (or more than one) even if one candidate can be said to be the lesser of two evils?
and my response is:

Ayn Rand didn't choose not to vote just out of emotional "disgust"; her assessment (whether one agrees with it or not) was that both candidates were significantly destructive in different ways. In the earlier election between Nixon and McGovern she was adamantly opposed to Nixon but saw that the ideological leftist McGovern was much worse, and she came out in her Ford Hall Forum speech that year supporting voting for Nixon as an "anti-Nixonite for Nixon".

Another reason for possibly not voting to choose between one of the two major candidates is if you are in a district which is essentially uncontested so you know in advance not to waste your time trudging down to the polls. But the act of voting by "pulling the lever" is not the essential issue here, which is advocacy for a candidate within the choice realistically available. If you think it makes a difference then you should speak out and do more than just "vote". If you think it doesn't make any significant difference which one wins, then you can speak out against both of them while explaining why you think it doesn't matter who is in power. But that isn't the same thing as simply not liking either choice without regard for which one is worse -- The context of the election is to determine which one will be in power, not a philosophical poll. The significance of Ayn Rand's choices was in her influence, which had far more impact -- in both influencing the culture and numbes of votes cast -- than her single vote choice alone.

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Well I am from Canada and we do not have "none of the above" as a choice on the ballot. The reason why I'm more interested in US politics is because if there is a more effective way of improving the voting system, it should start in the US. Canada and other western countries would most likely see this as a viable option and follow suit. However, I think simply not going to vote versus going to vote and telling them you're not satisfied with the candidates are very different. In canada, we vote for the party, rather than the individual candidate, so it's probably more urgent for us to do something about it (i.e. we vote for the candidate from our region, and this candidate votes for the party leader on our behalf). Hence, if we like our prime minister who's conservative, but the conservative candidate from our region is incompetent, we have no choice, but the difference in voting system is another issue. I would like to know if anyone thinks that this campaign is heading in the right direction. One thing I was ambivalent about was the fact that this campaign wants to add this option as an amendment to the constitution. I'm not such a big fan of adding amendments, because it would most likely confuse the matter even more. One of the biggest argument that socialists always like to use is to use bill of rights as a document that enumerates the rights that citizens may only have and nothing more. Of course, this contradicts the original intent of the founding fathers.

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Well I am from Canada and we do not have "none of the above" as a choice on the ballot. The reason why I'm more interested in US politics is because if there is a more effective way of improving the voting system, it should start in the US. Canada and other western countries would most likely see this as a viable option and follow suit. However, I think simply not going to vote versus going to vote and telling them you're not satisfied with the candidates are very different. In canada, we vote for the party, rather than the individual candidate, so it's probably more urgent for us to do something about it (i.e. we vote for the candidate from our region, and this candidate votes for the party leader on our behalf). Hence, if we like our prime minister who's conservative, but the conservative candidate from our region is incompetent, we have no choice, but the difference in voting system is another issue. I would like to know if anyone thinks that this campaign is heading in the right direction. One thing I was ambivalent about was the fact that this campaign wants to add this option as an amendment to the constitution. I'm not such a big fan of adding amendments, because it would most likely confuse the matter even more. One of the biggest argument that socialists always like to use is to use bill of rights as a document that enumerates the rights that citizens may only have and nothing more. Of course, this contradicts the original intent of the founding fathers.

While it might seem tempting to have a choice that says 'none of the above', for the most part it would at best be a side issue that does not address the more fundamental problem of why no one better is running and what their purpose is in running for office. You can't establish a proper political system by concentrating on negatives like 'none of the above' and 'term limits'. You can see part of the problem when you recognize that 'none of the above' would also be the theoretical choice of socialists. How would 'none of the above' improve the nature of government and by what standard?

Then there are the questions of how you would implement it. What would it mean in its consequences?

First, you would still have to be concerned, if you cast your vote for 'none of the above', about risking the worst of them winning anyway in a three way race including the nothing. And what would it mean if 'none of the above' does win? They aren't going to abolish the office. Someone will still be in power, but who? The incumbent? The runner up? The winner of another election with the same or similar candidates? How would 'none of the above' replace them? With what? By turning down the current crop of candidates you might create a chaotic mess, but to what end?

There is a tendency to think that somehow people's frustration would automatically lead to a landslide vote for 'none of the above' and that things would then automatically become better, but that isn't true. If there were that much opposition from people who knew what they were doing and understood what a proper government is we wouldn't be in this situation at all. They may be dissatisfied, but what do they want to replace it with? Where are the better candidates going to come from and who will vote for them? 'None of the above' does not address that.

As much as you properly hold contempt for the current cast of candidates in your frustration, I wouldn't waste my time on a project that does not address why that is the case and what would improve. Trying to implement a voter choice of 'none of the above' would require a big expenditure of effort better spent on something more practical and purposeful.

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Good explanation, thanks.

I may be remembering incorrectly, but didn't Miss Rand not vote in the 1980 elections between Carter and Reagan? I think her reasoning was that Reagan would introduce religion into politics via his anti-abortion views. Carter was, well, Carter, and we all know how disastrous he was. That's my comment, not Miss Rand's.

I don't trust McCain any farther than I can throw him, and I think he's worse than Reagan, but I am starting to come around to the idea that it's better McCain in office than Obama. I haven't made my final decision, however.

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Good explanation, thanks.

I may be remembering incorrectly, but didn't Miss Rand not vote in the 1980 elections between Carter and Reagan? I think her reasoning was that Reagan would introduce religion into politics via his anti-abortion views. Carter was, well, Carter, and we all know how disastrous he was. That's my comment, not Miss Rand's.

Yes, she urged voting for Nixon to keep McGovern out, but opposed Reagan. Reagan wound up leading the country out of the Carter malaise, didn't do much at all concerning religion, and actually did some good things.

I don't trust McCain any farther than I can throw him, and I think he's worse than Reagan, but I am starting to come around to the idea that it's better McCain in office than Obama. I haven't made my final decision, however.

McCain is much worse than Reagan and Obama is frighteningly worse than all of them. It's a grim situation.

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McCain is much worse than Reagan and Obama is frighteningly worse than all of them. It's a grim situation.

I am coming to the same conclusion. In my opinion if you can conclude for yourself that one is worse (in kind as well as degree) then your course of action should be clear. If you can reach no such conclusion in time, then it makes sense to withhold an essentially useless vote.

I'm not sure that a third ballot option like "none of the above" would satisfactorily mitigate anything, except perhaps short term vanity. To me it sounds like an excuse to stop thinking about what to do. As far as making a statement goes, I don't think it satisfies the requirements. If it were a one time thing, where the "none of the above" was functioning as a sort of write-in non-candidate :wacko: then checking "none of the above" could function as a declaration of support of their platform (not this guy for a reason and not that guy for a reason). But their platform is overarching as an additional ballot option, in that any number of reasons could qualify for not voting someone in. Their "mediocrity in politics" message doesn't translate well to altering a voting system. It just seems pragmatic on its face.

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I think the refusal to vote is bad, but voting for someone because someone else is worse won't make things better.

I think that it would be an error to think that a trip to the polls was, by its nature, meant to effect radical positive change all the time. Or even that it must effect any degree of positive change, i.e. "make things better.".

It is a worthwhile value to pursue conditions under which you can best put up a fight. The office of the President is a major catalyst for certain conditions, Supreme Court judges for other conditions, etc. Voting the lesser of two evils isn't about giving up or sanctioning the worst in a candidate, it is about pursuing a value, and the value is the political conditions under which you can continue to function.

The Presidential election, as big of a deal as it is, is simply a step too far down the road of political philosophy to ever effect the kind of change we are seeking in our culture. If you have an inclination to direct your energies toward that kind of positive change, it is best exerted in an area that is more rewarding and productive, such as your work or your family. And more power and good luck to you if your work happens to involve our culture's youth! :wacko:

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The Presidential election, as big of a deal as it is, is simply a step too far down the road of political philosophy to ever effect the kind of change we are seeking in our culture. If you have an inclination to direct your energies toward that kind of positive change, it is best exerted in an area that is more rewarding and productive, such as your work or your family. And more power and good luck to you if your work happens to involve our culture's youth! :wacko:

I agree. I think that's why I've been leaning towards a refusal to vote for either candidate. It's BECAUSE they're both so bad, with Obama being worse, that whatever is accomplished by voting for the lesser evil (McCain) is so paltry in the long run as to be almost meaningless. I say almost because it may achieve the one thing we need, which is time. So if it means buying some more time to get better ideas into the culture, then fine, I can cast a vote for Mr. McCain.

I don't think anyone on this FORUM would argue that they're voting FOR McCain. To be clear, when I say FOR, I mean IN FAVOR OF. It really is an "anti-McCainites for McCain" situation, in my view.

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Go to http://www.votenoneoftheabove.us

I'm hoping that there is enough support for this. Why should we be stuck with two bad choices between religion and socialism? I think the refusal to vote is bad, but voting for someone because someone else is worse won't make things better. I went to this site after reading Scott Powell's blog. Any suggestions? It certainly saves a lot of debates on which party is worse, and reflects a lot more on the sentiments of the public and why there is such a low turn out in the ballots.

The website blames the problem on "mediocrity", when in fact both candidates are exceptional. They just happen to be exceptionally bad. But identifying this fact requires that you understand the purpose of government and the basis for individual rights, which your average voter does not. That's the real problem, and the reason we get lousy candidates. Just watch an Obama rally and watch the enthusiasm from the crowd. Are they voting for the lesser evil?

Adding a "none of the above" option would cede the election to those rabid collectivists, because they really are passionate about seeing the absolute worst candidate put into office and there is no way a handful of people abstaining is going to fight that. Also, even if the none of the above option won and the election started from scratch, does that send a message about what who we want in office? Could we really expect any better the second time around?

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