21 thoughts on “Surprised by Election Day? Please Don’t Vote!

  1. PrairieChat says:

    Here’s my criteria for a qualified elector. Ask them if they have sold their vote to a special interest group, if so no vote. That one criteria would eliminate nearly 95% of congress. (the remainder are just waiting for the check to clear)
    Just because someone has knowledge about the political process does not mean their vote is any better, Case in point – just watch any political convention and try to identify who is and is not crazy.


    • Matt says:

      You make an excellent point. You do.

      But I would NEVER discourage someone from voting just because I don’t agree with them about their choices. People are motivated to vote by whatever they’re motivated by. It’s usually something self-serving. I can live with that, even if I don’t like a particular election’s results.

      It seems irresponsible to me to encourage people to just go vote for voting’s sake.

      I get the sense I don’t have a lot of people agreeing with me on this.


  2. Really, it makes you wonder what kind of a system would actually need to shame people into voting… Good point! And this is true for many countries in the world.

    Besides, choosing not to vote can derive from an active, aware, political decision when people feel like they are forced to choose between the frying pan and the fire.


  3. Nephila says:

    I have a different take: it’s the the other way round! If you’re obliged to vote you’re more likely to know who you want to vote for in my experience. People still pick a vote for stupid reasons, that’s inevitable. But they don’t just turn up and tick a random box in my experience. Here, voting is compulsory and you’re fined if you are registered and don’t vote, or if you’re eligible and don’t register. Participation breeds thinking, not the other way round. Can’t guarantee its good thinking but no system can.


    • Matt says:

      Rest assured I want EVERYONE to be engaged in the political process. I hope it doesn’t seem like I don’t. 100-percent participation would be amazing.

      But let’s not put the cart before the horse.

      We don’t hand people car keys until they first know how to drive.

      Don’t encourage voting until people understand what they’re voting for.

      “Participating breeds thinking” is a idea I can absolutely get behind.


      • Nephila says:

        Well from what I see in my home country, 100% participation is now cultural, but it stays that way because it is compulsory :) I was fined for not voting once (just returned from living overseas and not yet re-registered). I felt awful. And even if it is only for a week or a few days at the end i think when you are made to vote you *do* think about it. I dont think its the cart before the horse at all, coming from somewhere that does it well.


  4. mjmsprt40 says:

    We have a guy on a forum I frequent who insists that if you vote for anybody other than the Republican or the Democrat, you’ve wasted your vote. Considering what the Repubs and Dems are offering up these days, I can’t agree less. I voted already, on an absentee ballot because in my job I can’t be sure I’ll be home on election day. I voted for reasons of my own, funny thing is while it was the Republican candidate for governor here (Illinois) who was pushing so hard for the early vote I voted Libertarian for that office. Both of the major candidates— nope, I’d rather have the empty chair, it wouldn’t do as much damage to the state. But, an empty chair is not a valid option so the Libertarian guy seems to be the better choice. Certainly better than the other to.


    • Matt says:

      Had this discussion over lunch today, sir. Same talk.

      I can see both sides. Often it seems the choice is between the lesser of two evils.

      Thank you for having the courage to vote your conscience.

      And thank you for participating in this conversation. I appreciate your time very much.


  5. mjmsprt40 says:

    Reblogged this on mjmsprt40, sez me. and commented:
    I’m letting this stand without much comment from me. Matt is right….


  6. nights7 says:

    I just made this same point to someone today. They were encouraging our fellow college students to vote. I asked them why: Why vote if you have no idea who or what you’re voting for?
    Apparently that is a novel question.
    Of course if you DO want to vote it only takes a few minutes to find a basic run down of the candidates & the issues online.


  7. girlseule says:

    I don’t know even people that don’t pay a whole lot of attention usually have some idea of what they want. Voting is compulsory here in Australia and most people (including me!) seem to be for it.


  8. martha0stout says:

    What made my sister laugh about yesterday was that our house didn’t receive the “Vote Now!” phone call until about five minutes before the polls were closing.


  9. Susan says:

    Well said, Matt. I completely agree which is why I did not vote. I haven’t had the time or interest and I wasnt’ about to vote for the sake of voting.


  10. mjmsprt40 says:

    Just so’s you know— everybody I voted for lost. No big surprise, of course the Libertarian candidate stood little chance. Otherwise– my vote tends toward the Republican side of the aisle, and after the last re-drawing of the maps I’m in a heavily Democratic district these days.

    Of all the candidates, only the ones for State Representative from my district put up much fight. Either the candidates themselves or their henchmen were canvassing the neighborhood EVERY DAY trying to drum up support. All the other candidates for office seemed to think a couple of ads and a few signs would be enough, and of course when that happens the incumbent is almost a shoo-in because the challenger didn’t put much effort in.


  11. garden2day says:

    Thank you! I wish more people had stayed home and not voted. They didn’t vote for what could be done or the person–they voted party lines and not telephone lines :D . I am so thoroughly disgusted with people. It is our responsibility to be involved and make the people we vote for accountable but the greed has gotten out of control. I am really depressed about our country. No one wants to work together–they just want for themselves. Childish.

    Now, where is the pizza? :)


    • Matt says:

      It gets frustrating.

      Pizza time? Great question. I have a dilemma. The pizza place I like the most is in a REALLY inconvenient location, traffic-wise AND a bunch of stoners work their so the customer service is total shit.

      BUT. The pizza is delicious.

      So, the choice is always–Good pizza with potentially bad service 90 minutes from now?


      Average pizza (because even bad pizza is usually edible) and better service?

      I’ll probably write about it sometime because I like to complain once in a while about things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme.

      So, what time?

      Probably two hours later than we plan.


      Liked by 1 person

      • garden2day says:

        Or make you own? :D I worked for one of those pizza places for about 8 years–while in graduate school and afterwards. First a cook then supervisor.. worked my way up to general manager for one at a mall with a decent size restaurant and take out-had great–wonderful pizza!!!

        Sad about the location but you can have fun making memories I guess :D I’d rather have better pizza so I would wait, lol….even two hours. :) Life–it’s a trade-off at times.


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