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U.S. | Government & Elections

Don't vote! It only encourages them!
by Razer Ray
Tuesday May 13th, 2014 10:01 AM
"It doesn’t matter whether or not you vote, you are throwing your vote away regardless. Or, if it makes you feel better, it is thrown away for you."
800_g_p_-_horizontal.jpg original image (1024x500)
Dimitry Orlov @ClubOrlov checks in on the Gilens & Page Princeton study of American public opinion and it’s i̶n̶f̶l̶u̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ non-influence on government policy and illustrates with charts the sway y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶  t̶h̶e̶ ̶o̶l̶i̶g̶a̶r̶c̶h̶s̶   t̶h̶e̶ ̶P̶l̶u̶t̶o̶c̶r̶a̶t̶s̶  … 'the economic elite and business groups' DO have over public policy.

This outcome is undoubtedly just as inevitable in local elections as the national races.
by Voter
Tuesday May 13th, 2014 7:35 PM
Voting is a bit like being on the Titanic, heading for the icebergs -- at either 40 knots under the Republicans or 30 knots under the Democrats*. And then being offered a choice every so often of how fast we are going to speed towards catastrophe -- except that in most cases, the result is largely pre-determined due to the election system that we currently use in this country. (For example, we have "single member districts" instead of a "proportional representation" system that is used by almost all of the other wealthier countries on the planet. And many other countries also offer free media access to every candidate on the ballot, instead of the "plutocratic" campaign-financing system that we use here! However, there's a small "silver lining" for the majority of races where the outcome is "largely pre-determined", which is that you can then easily cast a "protest vote" (for example, for a Green or Peace & Freedom Party candidate) which will be counted, instead of "leaving it blank" (or not voting), which doesn't show up when they report the results).

Anyway, voting can definitely help "slow down the rate" at which things get worse, which is important, because we obviously are going to need time to build strength and convince enough people to make more radical changes. And at the local level it is actually possible every so often to make positive changes for people, such as what happened in Richmond, CA a few years ago when they elected a (relatively) progressive majority to their city council. And finally, there are ballot measures, where it is important to stop the really bad ones from becoming law (so we can help prevent things from getting worse even sooner) -- and where there occasionally are reasonably decent ones which can improve things a little bit.

It's clearly very unlikely that any of the "big changes" that we want will happen merely because of voting! Rather, they will likely only happen when enough people get out in the streets -- and protest, and resist. From the 19th century labor struggles to the women's suffrage movement, to the multiple issues of the 1960's, it was people being out in the streets, protesting and resisting, that have brought about the biggest progressive changes to date in this country. So "being out in the streets" (and related organizing) is likely going to be the significant majority of "the solution" (perhaps 70%?). But in the meantime, we can still buy ourselves more time by taking 15 to 30 minutes to vote! (For a list of recommendations for the upcoming June election, please see: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/12/18755681.php ).

*40 knots is about 46 miles per hour, and 30 knots is about 35 miles per hour. For some unknown reason "knots" are used for nautical speeds instead of "miles per hour".....

by rosa barrio
Wednesday May 14th, 2014 12:46 AM
A nation with an Oligarchy/Corporatocracy and its people divided into two “teams” complete with pompoms.