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Monday, August 01, 2005

Suze and Politics: Part I Forget What Number I'm Up To

The election is soonish and I am more than bored with politics. All the political blogs seem to be churning out ever increasing numbers of words per day. Quantity? No thanks. So I have stopped reading them. Far too much information. Far too tedious. I am sure it is all very insightful and important, but the truth is I don't really care.

I have forgotten why I decided to not vote Labour. It would be nice if someone would remind me or write a concise list or something.

I am definitely leaning towards consulting the Tarot about who to vote for.

Don't forget, not voting is a serious option, and is a vote of sorts as well.
Yes...I remember that option. I quite like it ;)
Curious. What layout would you use?
I'd make up my own layout.

Probably one or two cards for each voting option. I'd ignore all those parties that I definitely wouldn't vote for.

I'll let the blog know how it works out if I get around to doing it.
not voting is BULLSHIT. what does that show? that you're just as stupid as the apathetic shits who don't vote and then whinge until the next election.
I'm sorry manda, this post must've been very irritating...not voting AND consulting the tarot :-) Woops! But don't take anything I say here too seriously. These are just thoughts passing through my mind.

Anyway, I don't know any of the theory about not-voting. I plan to read that at the last minute only if I need to ;)

However, I would think though that choosing not to vote is reasonable. It is not really apathetic because you are making an informed choice. It seems slightly different from not bothering to vote or not caring who wins.

If I choose not to vote, it won't be uninformed and it won't be for lack of trying to find someone to vote for.
The principled decision not to vote is far from apathetic. It can take far more consideration to decide that *no one* is worthy of your support than to meekly agree with what everyone is telling you (you HAVE to vote!) and to just pick the candidate with the nicest hair. *That* is the cop-out.

I refuse to allow my vote to get counted as sanctioning the evil that all government officials commit when in office.
Thx Suze. I've never done real custom layouts - perhaps I'm not attuned right for them. I have found that reading with the same deck where one question follows another have provided some rather interesting results though!

Manda: David and Suze have said it very well - there is no sense in picking somebody who does not represent you in substance. The choice not to vote can be an informed, conscious choice because there are no parties representative enough of you.
principled choice to not vote? HA! i can't remember whether we have a 'no confidence' option on our ballot papers but that is the "principled" way to show that you don't believe. otherwise, how are you differentiated from the people who are too lazy?

consult the tarot! personally i think it's flawed but it's better than pretending that non-participation isn't a waste of a vote that some would love to have the opportunity to throw away.
I think we'll have to disagree on this one manda...or discuss it more with alcohol added :)

I don't care if I am differentiated from people who are too lazy. I am fine with being lazy and apathetic. I don't care if I am principled or not.

Why is non-participation bad? Why is everyone who could vote but doesn't wrong/bad/whatever?

Just because other people don't have an opportunity doesn't mean that you are bad and unprincipled for not taking that same opportunity.

Non-participation being a waste of a vote...isn't that kind of like "you have to eat all your dinner because children in Africa are starving"?
Well said, Suze. It's not a matter of "differentiating" oneself from other non-voters. If you vote for a particular party, does that mean you believe all the same things or have voted for all the same reasons as everyone else who has voted for that party? Of course not.

Since I believe that the vast majority of government actions are at best incompetent and at worst evil, to cast a vote for *anyone* means that I am voting for incompetence and evil. Refusing to cast such a vote is hardly being apathetic.
if not apathetic, at the very least irresponsible. i'm sad that as an intelligent, educated person you have such an attitude.

if you're going to waste your opportunity to contribute, why all the bother with following any of this stuff in the first place? why not just hang out with david and pat each other's backs about how great you both are for being lazy, apathetic and [insert appropriate adjective here].
Wow manda, you really have a hard time understanding. It in fact takes a great deal more effort to weigh options and take a principled stand against government and say "i think none of you should be given the power to control any aspect of my or anyone else's life" than it does to go along with the herd, perform your "civic responsibility" and pull the lever for a criminal who is indistinguishable from any of the others on the ballot in any meaningful way.

But that's ok, you go ahead and cast the vote which has an infinitesimal chance of affecting the outcome of anything and think you're making a difference.
put it this way: you not voting is ambiguous. my voting is a definite statement about the fact that i care what happens in my country and to the people who live in it.

you don't. we're different like that, and i'm scared of people like you - especially since you dont' consider the fact that you vote not only in your own interest but that of your family.

You are right. I don't care like you care. Why is that scary?

I hadn't thought about voting for my family's benefit. Although can't they can vote for themselves? It might be different if I had children.

I suspect that my family might disagree with me about what I think is best (ie I think my family will probably vote for someone completely different from whomever I end up voting for). So if I was to vote for the benefit of my family I would be a little bit confused about who to vote for. Would I vote for a) who my family are voting for, or b) who I think is best for them. And what happens if the party I think is best for my family is different from the party that I think is best for me?

The same goes for voting in the best interests of "the country." Different governments benefit different groups in society. Which groups are more important?

All of this is too confusing, which is probably why I tend to stick with the selfish what-is-best-for-suze approach.

Sorry...long reply...apparently I think too much ;-)

It is specifically because I care what happens to me, my family, and those I care about that I consider not voting probably the best option.

And with that, I hereby retire from this thread :)

Suze: Thinking is overrated. As Dilbert observed, very intelligent people come up with opposite answers to the question of whom to vote for, so obviously lots of pondering over the question is pointless :)
Quick question here Manda. I write a few names on slips of paper, drop them into a hat and draw one at random. Then I vote for that party. Did that vote count for anything?

Not really.

If none of the political parties suit what you believe then not voting is a definite choice and makes more sense than simply picking one at random and voting that way. It has infinitely more value. Think about it.
okay then - let me just put this out there to the non-caring parties:

since the election and the mmp system and the way the politicians are etc etc is a given, it's not going to go away and this is the system we have why not be a part of it and influence it rather than just pretend that being an ostrich is a good idea?

for a start, i think if you three, who seem to have very similar views, all voted its likely you'll vote similarly. then if you each convinced one person to not waste their vote do you understand the chain reaction which happens and creates an effect?
Abstention is not wasting a vote. It comes about from careful consideration. It is most definately not about being an Ostrich. Let's try a different example.

You are at a crossroads. Road one is covered in brambles with three inch thorns. Road two is made of glue encrusted broken glass.

What you are saying is we have to walk down one of the roads, blindly, because they are there.

What we are saying is - standing still because you do not believe or agree with either of the roads.

Out of interest Manda - I am voting, but will defend the right not to vote when it is done as an informed choice.

Doesn't that make much more sense than simply voting blindly because you somehow must?
i don't vote blindly, but i hope since you're actually using your vote, that you're not going to cut yourself on your "example".

i believe that if you want to have a say (as most people do) you must protect/exercise it by using it. i konw why i vote, i realise why it's important and i'm surprised that it's not apparent to others.
Suze, tease me and say you live in Epsom!
Why Epsom?
Because your vote might make a difference there. Or (if you prefer) not voting might make a difference.
Phew, just managed to squeeze in a reply before the election. Sorry for the slow response!
Not in Epsom :(

Isn't the election miles away? I am quite pleased with the universe at the moment, so am happy to let it take care of the politics thing :)
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