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Monday, November 06, 2006

No, It's Not Wasted

I was driving home from a job today, as usual listening to AM talk radio when the commentator made a remark that nearly got me to drive off of the interstate. Understand, this is a guy I listen to and agree with 90% of the time. So to have him piss me off this much is pretty tough.

A caller told him that he was writing in person X as his candidate for governor, and person Y for attorney general. The caller was convinced that who he was writing in was more qualified than any of the party candidates on the ballot.

At that point the caller was told he was an idiot for "wasting his votes". I'm sorry, Mr. Big Time Radio Guy, but it's not a wasted vote. In fact, it's probably the best type of vote there is, let me explain why.

A wasted vote is a vote for someone who doesn't reflect your values, ideals and thoughts on what government should be doing. If you want to waste a vote, and hurt your conscience, then vote for the candidate from the Big 2 parties who you disagree with the least. If you really think "the lesser of two evils" is a better idea than you have, vote for the Big 2 parties.

If you are only going to cast a vote for someone who has a chance to win, even though they aren't the type of person you'd support any other time, then you are wasting your vote.

This year polls have shown between 15 and 30% of the electorate wishing there was a different choice on the ballot. If that group would each write in someone, anyone, it would get the attention of the major parties. While person X or Y won't win that way, what will happen is the number crunchers at the DNC and GOP headquarters will see that of the million votes cast for some elected office, only 700,000 had a vote for one of the two party candidates.

Undecided voters are always the biggest draw to the parties, when they see a number that big, they will both start asking what they can do to get that group into their camp. That's when the disenchanted voters are going to get their voice back.

As long as folks are willing to go along like sheep with Mr. Big Time Radio Guy, and only vote for the candidates "with a chance to win", then the parties don't get that message. Instead, they think their negative ads, outright lies, and deceptive double talk is the way to go, since it keeps getting folks elected, and voters checking one of the two boxes.

So go ahead, you have my permission to ignore the talking heads, pundits, and pollsters, and write in what ever name you'd like if you dislike all of the candidates. Maybe by "wasting those votes" they'll become useful, by sending a message to the major parties that you are sick of their crappy campaigns and broken promises.

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8Comments:

Blogger shoprat said...

Follow the wasted vote reasoning and it's a wasted vote to vote GOP in Detroit, Flint or Saginaw.

9:06 PM  
Blogger LargeBill said...

CP,

Ten years ago I'd have agreed with you on principal. However, the stakes are higher today. Throwing a hissy fit and voting for a candidate with no chance who more closely reflects your values isn't a viable choice if it means electing a candidate who will lead to our surrender in the war. I'm not thrilled with Mike DeWine because he has a couple liberal leanings. I voted against him in the primary. However, in the general election he is facing Sherrod Brown who is actually to the left of Ted Kennedy. If my preferred candidate was running as an independent in the general election I'd be a fool to vote for him and make it easier for Brown to win. We don't have the luxury of casting protest votes.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Extreme Wisdom said...

Largebill,

The only wasted vote is one not cast.

Seriously, I would agree with your reasoning as a "party animal," but not as an autonomous human.

I know all the arguments about primaries, wasted votes, lesser of 2 evils, etc. On a case by case basis, I agree with you.

If I were in OH, I too would vote for DeWine. OTOH, the fact is that we voters of conscience, whether 'progressive' or 'conservative', need to become more sophisticated on a race-by-race basis.

Here in IL, the existing "R" establishment must be driven out before the party improves. In OH, a Blackwell can still win a primary. Here in IL, the party can destroy all such candidacies.

My view is that the 2 party system has broken down in some places. IL & NJ need alternatives, whether a 3rd party or an independent candidacy. Such a candidacy can't be "fringe," but must appeal to the nation's huge center.

America is in need of a renewal, and I see nothing in the Dem party to lead us there, and precious little in the Republican Party.

10:49 PM  
Blogger CP's Big Little Bro said...

So, yeah large, let's just keep putting the same old assholes we've been complaining about for 20 years back in office, Republican or Dem. Let's just keep voting for the same career, I-was-born-and-raised-to-do-this politicos we've always had, and just hope their Jiminy Crickets tell them it's time for a change of heart. They all killed their Crickets when they saw their first PAC checks. people like you make me sick, "Oh, let's just give up, we don't make a difference so why try...boo,hoo,hoo,sob, sob, my pussy hurts." CP and I are brothers, our Dad has worked at the polls every year since he retired in '96. Guess what, dumbass... EVERY LAST VOTE COUNTS, AND IS COUNTED. You are exactly what the Dems want us all to become, the guy who votes for the lesser of two evils, or worse yet, doesn't even get off the fucking couch to go vote because "it won't make a difference".

The only time a vote is wasted, is when no vote is cast.

You people are really pissing me off today

SAB

11:04 PM  
Blogger CP's Big Little Bro said...

Wow, that was wierd, Wisdom and I must have been channeling each others blog thoughts.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I detect a little anger in some comments. Please keep in mind that attacking ideas, not people, is a much better way to handle things.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Great post.

I think we have found something we agree on 100%. Hell write Mickey Mouse in for uncontested seats....say something at least.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Prague, it just goes to show just about anyone can find some common ground :)

10:13 PM  

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