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The Wasted Vote

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Back in 2008 I was a Ron Paul supporter.  I was going to vote for him.  But by the time the primaries came around to Colorado, he had already dropped out of the race.  While he was still in the race too many people told me that I was wasting my vote with him because he has no chance of winning.  I understood that logic.  But I fell back on "I'm not going to choose the lesser of two evils" and "I have to stand on my principles."  Others responded with eye-rolls (as I'm sure that some who read this post will be doing about now, if not sooner).

But I realized something about their hypocrisy.  John McCain?  Really?  While I could go on about why he was a lousy candidate, that isn't my point.  By the time the primaries came around to Colorado it was certain that Obama was going to win.  It was no less certain that McCain would lose than Ron Paul.  So what is the difference?  

"At least there is a chance with McCain."  No. There wasn't.  If it were certain that he'd lose by a 5% spread or by a 70% spread, it's still certain he'd lose.  So, why was a vote for McCain not considered a "wasted vote" but with Paul it was?  From where I sit, I see no difference.

Edited by Guest

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There lies the question: do we vote for someone we see as evil, just because they are (maybe) less evil than the other guy (gal)? Or do we vote what we believe is right, even though we'd be "throwing our vote away"? 

Bring back the popular vote, please. Electoral college is no longer necessary, with technological advancements making it easier to count and track votes. 

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56 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

If it were certain that he'd lose by a 5% spread or by a 70% spread, it's still certain he'd lose.  So, why was a vote for McCain not considered a "wasted vote" but with Paul it was?  From where I sit, I see no difference.

I don't see any difference either "if" it was certain. Were the "wasted" vote comments prior to the "certainty" or after? I could see those types of comments being valid in their eyes if McCain still had a shot and they wanted to beat Obama regardless of the Rep. candidate. 

Almost finished with Season 4 of "House of Cards" on Netflix. The politics makes my head spin. Bummer season 1 had to be so "MA" rated. This last season does not have the MA content and is better than the earlier ones. 

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2 hours ago, Eowyn said:

There lies the question: do we vote for someone we see as evil, just because they are (maybe) less evil than the other guy (gal)? Or do we vote what we believe is right, even though we'd be "throwing our vote away"? 

Bring back the popular vote, please. Electoral college is no longer necessary, with technological advancements making it easier to count and track votes. 

There is still a very good reason why the electoral college is necessary.

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My major issue with those who vote third party is how nasty and holier than thou they are, aside from yes, it really is throwing your vote away.  

When Romney won in 2012 I saw an overwhelming number of evangelicals refuse to vote for him because he was : gasp : a Mormon. it was disgusting. Here was a highly decent man with sterling morals and a wonderful business record get rejected because of his religion. The things evangelicals said about him (and us, as LDS) were horrible. 

Now, I see people look down their noses at those of us who dirty our hands voting for a major party.  They use name calling, finger pointing, lecturing and basically act like five year olds. 

This is politics. The perfect truly is the worst enemy of the good. If you can't accept that, politics isn't for you. 

Other than that I love third parties. 

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1 hour ago, NeedleinA said:

Were the "wasted" vote comments prior to the "certainty" or after?

It is largely a matter of perception, isn't it?  Early on, I'll grant, it was not clear.  It was anyone's guess.  Heck, many pundits said it was a foregone conclusion that Clinton would cinch it.

By the time primaries were in Colorado, it was a foregone conclusion to me.  I predicted by that time that Obama would win by about a 10% spread of the popular vote and a landslide in the electoral college.  And that never wavered throughout the election.

Others simply couldn't see it and they kept up hope that something would change.  It didn't.  

So, what was the point? Whether I "threw away" my vote for a man I believed in, vs. a man I mostly found on the wrong side of every issue, vs. vote for the man I knew would win anyway but found to be as close to evil as any President in my lifetime.  What was thrown away, my vote or theirs?

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The wasted Vote is about voting against a certain candidate or party.  For example "Anyone but X."  When you see that then you can see the logic of the wasted vote claims...  For example if you were voting against Obama... and McCain was the best option you had to make that happen... any one that didn't want Obama, but didn't vote McCain "wasted" their vote.

 

However we are suppose to vote "For" people not "Against" people

 

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On 3/16/2016 at 8:04 AM, Eowyn said:

Bring back the popular vote, please.

There never was a "popular vote" for president. Not even under the Articles of Confederation.

On 3/16/2016 at 8:04 AM, Eowyn said:

Electoral college is no longer necessary, with technological advancements making it easier to count and track votes. 

It's necessary more today than it ever has been.

The Electoral College is the last vestige of federalism in the Constitution. The Senate has become an elite House of Representatives via the popular vote and we lost significant power as it went from the states to the central government. The states have ceded (often voluntarily) their rights to the central government through the regulatory state. More and more the states have become mere provinces of Washington.

The Electoral College protects the small (population, not land mass) from the large states. That's why the Senate was originally elected by the legislatures and why each state has two, irrespective of its population (and why the Document specifically forbids any state's losing its equal representation therein, even by amendment).

If the president were elected by popular vote, the large states would steamroller the small ones. It would make the candidates ignore all but four or five states altogether, because California, New York, Florida, Texas, and one other would be all it would take to win the election.

The Electoral College was never about lack of communications. It was about federalism. We reject the wisdom of the Framers if we destroy their most important output: federalism, the federalism that protects the minority against the tyranny of the majority.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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9 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

There never was a "popular vote" for president. Not even under the Articles of Confederation.

It's necessary more today than it ever has been.

The Electoral College is the last vestige of federalism in the Constitution. The Senate has become an elite House of Representatives via the popular vote and we lost significant power as it went from the states to the central government. The states have ceded (often voluntarily) their rights to the central government through the regulatory state. More and more the states have become mere provinces of Washington.

The Electoral College protects the small (population, not land mass) form the large states. That's why the Senate was originally elected by the legislatures and why each states has two, irrespective of its population (an why the Document specifically forbids any state's losing its equal representation therein, even by amendment).

If the president were elected by popular vote, the large states would steamroller the small ones. It would make the candidates ignore all but four or five states altogether, because California, New York, Florida, Texas, and one other would be all it would take to win the election.

The Electoral College was never about lack of communications. It was about federalism. We reject the wisdom of the Framers if we destroy their most important output: federalism, the federalism that protects the minority against the tyranny of the majority.

Lehi

Absolutely true. If we abolished the electoral college, states like Vermont, NH, Idaho-their populations would be totally ignored.  

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12 hours ago, Eowyn said:

There lies the question: do we vote for someone we see as evil, just because they are (maybe) less evil than the other guy (gal)? Or do we vote what we believe is right, even though we'd be "throwing our vote away"? 

Bring back the popular vote, please. Electoral college is no longer necessary, with technological advancements making it easier to count and track votes. 

"If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right."   ~ Ezra Taft Benson

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For the  past thirty-five years or more, I've always voted for the Libertarian (or occasionally the Constitution) Party unless there was a less-than trivial chance that my vote would make a difference in the ultimate outcome. In those cases, I'd look at the two major parties and decide which was the least objectionable.

No one likes to vote for the lesser of two evils. We should vote out consciences, but the sad fact is that USmerica is a two-party country and there is exactly no chance of any but a Republican's or a Democrat's winning any major election here.

So, while voting for the lesser of two evils is unpalatable, the real option is, by default, voting for the greater of two evils. I submit that this is worse.

Lehi

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10 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

\, I've always voted for the Libertarian\

And all this time I thought you were a socialist.

 

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10 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

\, I've always voted for the Libertarian\

And all this time I thought you were a socialist.

 

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16 minutes ago, mirkwood said:

"If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right."   ~ Ezra Taft Benson

 He is one of my favorite church presidents, for sure. 

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Getting rid of the Electoral College would be a disaster.  Imagine a close election like we had in Florida.  But now, the margin of error is at a national level, and the recounts must be done nationally.  Nope, the Electoral College stops the debates everywhere, and lets the delegates be localized to avoid such a mess.

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And big states like California do need to be split up.  And I would like to see the 17th Amendment repealed allowing for the appointment of the Senate and not the election of it.  That would help so much with political corruption, and wasted time on elections.

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12 hours ago, mirkwood said:

"If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right."   ~ Ezra Taft Benson

So I went looking for a source on that, to read the entire thing, and the best I found was: "In a quote loosely associated to Ezra Taft Benson, he is remarked to have said..."

(FYI, for others who like to know the source and context of quotes.)

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On 3/17/2016 at 10:06 PM, Eowyn said:

Idaho IS ignored. At least, we feel that way.

Ah hah!! Now I can complete my Lord of the Rings map. I now know where "Middle Earth" is = Idaho!

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On 3/17/2016 at 5:44 AM, Backroads said:

I'm an idealist, I suppose. I do vote for my favorite candidate regardless. The 2-party situation will never change if we let people scare us into voting on two parties. And yes, that's major idealism.

I agree with this in principle, but I think if we get away from the two-party system we risk becoming like Italy or Great Britain. Many political parties, each vying for representation, and no one having a majority. That leaves the door open for all sorts of political scheming, temporary party alliances, and in general lots of confusion. I think that as bad as our current two-party system is, a European-style party split would make things much, much worse for our country, and hinder any decision-making processes.

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If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right.

-Ezra Taft Benson

 

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2 hours ago, Koalemus said:

That leaves the door open for all sorts of political scheming, temporary party alliances, and in general lots of confusion.

You mean like all the backroom deals we currently have going on?

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