Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Only Seven Days Until People Stop Trying to Shame Me Into Voting

I had a conversation with an old friend from high school the other day and naturally, with the elections looming, our conversation turned to politics. This is about when I told him I don't vote.

Why don't I vote? There are three common reasons why people would engage in this democratic ritual: (1) they enjoy partaking in the democratic process; (2) they like expressing their support for a candidate through voting (no doubt because the candidate tells them that is how they like having support be expressed); and (3) they think their vote will make the difference in the election (thus gaining benefits from that outcome).

I gain nothing from (1) or (2) and I know (3) is about as likely as a jellyfish making me dinner. My friend had trouble relating to my position and told me a story that for this election he convinced people in his office to vote his way and brought in absentee ballots for them to fill out.

I have no problem with people voting. There are clear reasons to do so (like to shut up people who want you to vote). I only have a problem when politicians lie, saying people that their vote matters. That's different from being counted--the vast majority of votes are counted. But most don't matter because most don't decide the election. Telling people their vote will matter is like telling people Creationism made life on this planet. It's possible but not really.

In the end I'm tired of this discussion. It's not really a puzzle why some people vote, nor why others don't. It's just a heated debate between those passionate individuals who can't stand that the other side exists. I don't care which you do next Tuesday, just leave me out of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You said why in your penultimate paragraph. It's possible.