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I voted. - Lograh — LiveJournal

Wednesday, 06.Nov.2002

9:42 - I voted.

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did you?

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From:boiwondering
Date:17:14 06.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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Yes. Not that it did a whole hell of a lot of good, mind, but I did vote. I always vote. If you don't vote, you have no right to bitch.
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From:macklinr
Date:17:42 06.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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I've always disagreed with that, because the First Amendment doesn't have such a provision on it. To me, that's more like holier-than-thou speak from voters to make themselves feel better and to devalue other human beings, particularly against a generalization or stereotype rather than an actual set of people.

Of course I have people who disagree with me on this. And I've had long discussions about it, some civil and some heated. That's what's great about having the right to speak your mind (which includes the "right to bitch"), regardless of your actions.
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From:lograh
Date:18:15 06.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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actually, I would have to agree with devafall on this one. I did some thinking the past few nights about your very point, and came to a realization that I hadn't previously thought of (or, at least, had but had forgotten about).

The way I see it, if you are not doing anything to attempt to change a situation, then you have no reasonable stance from which to complain about the situation. Now, you needn't exactly vote, but that's just the easiest way by which someone can say they are taking an active role in trying to alter the current situation. You could also give to various charities and lobbying groups, you could write letters to your representatives, you could even just sign petitions to put bills on the ballot or be just another faceless name on a mass-mailing to the government (btw: I've done all of the above on multiple occasions). These will all give you some logical ground on which to stand when you complain about the situation. Doing nothing, though, and still complaining is akin to exactly what an infant does. It sits there and cries. I'll barely tolerate it in infants (they at least have a reason for not doing anything -- they can't), and I've decided I'm not going to tolerate it in adults any longer (who are perfectly capable of doing something).

Yes, you do have a first ammendment right to bitch and moan all you wish, I'm not debating your "right" to complain. I'm debating the logic in complaining when you are doing nothing to change what it is you are complaining about.
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From:macklinr
Date:0:31 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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Yes, but respect the difference between "if you don't vote, I won't validate you" and "if you don't vote, you can't complain" - the first being well within your right (just as my feelings on "not voting as an American right" is my right) and the second being from an authority that you (nor I or anyone else) does not have.

As I've said before, I'm down for a revolution (truthfully thought, not a bloody one. that's just a cynical joke I say), and I think that I wouldn't be true to my beliefs if I participated in the system I personally oppose. Of course, I have no means to enact or seek out such, so I'm just another cynical citizen in the eyes of most people.

Considering that voting is actually a privilage that can be revoked rather than a right (I would define a privilage as that which can be revoked, at least within the system, and a right as that which cannot, against at least within the system), there's a whole class of people (such as felons, both incarcerated and ex-cons) who don't share that luxury. Does that make their complaints invalid, because they may not vote? If you say so, is that because they're (former) criminals? Does that make then less human because of a past mistake they have done their time for?(considering that in many states, felons who have done their time aer still refused the right to vote, or at the very least must petition to regain it - a process that few are educated about)

(one website with more information: http://www.sentencingproject.org/pubs/hrwfvr.html )

And as far as I'm concerned, people whine, voters or not. You know hte kind of jobs we have - we have to deal with people who whine like infants because they're willfully ignorant of technology. I can see where you're coming from, but from my point of view you're making an excuse to devalue people, rather than stating a reason. There's plenty of people, like myself, who choose to "cast their vote" but not taking a part in the system - and we don't all whine, some of us complain intelligently and/or (at least) sparsely.

A few disjointed thoughts, cuz I'm a bit tired, but something to think about. You'll likely disagree, but neither of us are known for bending on things we believe strongly about, though we are known for listening and debating intelligently (or barring that, civilly).
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From:lograh
Date:7:13 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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wow, you're psychic, I do disagree! hehe.. :)

Seriously, though, I'll take your points one at a time:

-) respect the difference between...
Note, I did. I never at any point said that I felt you didn't have a right to complain, mearly that I felt said complaints were unreasonable without trying to aliveiate the source of the complaints. It's the differance between "I don't like this" and "I don't like this, and I tried to change it".

-)I wouldn't be true to my beliefs if I participated in the system I personally oppose
I belive you are mis-representing what you term as "the system". Enumerate what you oppose about "the system" and how voting (or any of the other aforementioned acts) means you are participating in it. It's one thing to be angry with something, it's another entirely to take out your anger on something other than what you are angry at.

-) voting is . . . rather than a right
Irrelevant, it is still an act you can take to alter the situation.

-)their complaints invalid, because they may not vote,
You are misrepresenting my argument. I said that voting was only one of various methods by which an individual may attempt to change the current situation. I also said that I simply feel that complaining without trying to do something to better the situation is unreasonable. Hence, if someone may not vote, they must therefore persuse some other means of enacting a change in the system. Just because they may not vote does not mean the representatives do not represent them. The ex-cons (and others) still pay taxes, so they do still have a voice in the current state of things. As such, they can write their representatives or give to charities or lobbying groups, or support (either in time or money) various civil-liberties groups (EFF, ACLU, and CDT come to mine), or any of numerous other methods. By doing any of the above, they are attempting to make a change. Thus they would be reasonable in complaining when the change they worked for does not occur.

-)have to deal with people who whine like infants
So? Having to deal with them and respecting their complaints are two entirely differant things.

-)you're making an excuse to devalue people
Explain how I'm devalueing people simply because I feel they have no reasonable ground on which to complain. For one, my opinion of their complaints only effects how I feel of them as a person in one specific area. Take yourself, for example. I feel you are an intelligent person with a lot of vary intense viewpoints -- some thought out and some not. Just because I think your complaining about the government without trying to change it is unreasonable, does not mean I think *YOU* are unreasonable. You are confusing my views of one specific action by a person with my views of the person as a whole.

-)making an excuse . . ., rather than stating a reason
Uh, that's very unclear to me. The way you are using it, to make an excuse is to give a reason. Please restate if you wish to make a point with it.

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From:lograh
Date:7:14 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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{continuation}

-)who choose to "cast their vote" but not taking a part in the system
You do know, don't you, you are not obligated to mark a selection for each and every item on the ballot, right?. You could just go to the polls, take your ballot, and then turn it back in unmarked. That wouldn't invalidate your ballot one bit, it would just be counted as a "no vote". But at least it would be counted! You could say that you went to the polls and didn't vote for anyone because you didn't like anyone. Moreover, you could go and just not vote on the offices, but you could vote on the local measures on the ballot, as they decide where your tax dollars get spent. You do pay taxes, like it or not, and you do have a voice in where they get spent (to an extent) so you may as well use that voice.

I realize you are strongly opposed to "voting", but I think you misunderstand just what it is that "voting" entails. I've heard your arguments in the past, and it seems more like you are strongly opposed to our system of elected officials than anything else. As such, my last point (voting only on the local measures and nothing else) would make the most sense. There were a few I think you would have liked to have voted on (reducing property taxes (which you pay through your rent) and re-allocating transportation taxes (possibly to allow for a Light Rail extension to the airport)). These have nothing to do with "the system" but have a lot to do with urban development, which you will have in *ANY* "system" -- not just this one.
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From:macklinr
Date:9:25 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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Well, you're correct. It's not voting I'm opposed to, nor am I opposed to the idea of an elected government. I believe we've talked before about our ideas against career politicans, which is the heart of my issue with "the system". That, and how mass media deals with it sickens me. None of those have to do with voting, per se, but

However, that's sidetracking. I don't feel like a debate right now, but I felt I should mention the points that I agree with. Yes, I could have gone to the polls and filled out an empty ballot. Or even filled out those selections which I felt strongly about. However, I didn't know about election day until only a couple of days beforehand (I don't watch a lot of TV or read the news). And I don't feel that I was educated enough on the issues to vote on them (another problem I have is that when mass media or a political party tell people how oto vote, and then vote without looking at the issues on both sides, it becomes a mockery of the process - more akin to a high school popularity contest than a government election). Yes, that doesn't stop me from filling out an empty ballot, I'll conceed that before you bring it up, but I do feel that we're ethically responsible to know what we're voting on, not just that someone told us Yes on this number, No on that one, etc. I hold myself to that same standard I believe others should be held to.

Two years ago I got hit with the same argument, now that I recall - about going and filling out an empty ballot - and it rang true to me then. I am a little more cynical now. Perhaps in 2004 (I doubt that I'll be able to escape the media hype of a national election, so even I'll be aware of it going on with enough time to educate myself, tho I'm surprised I was able to for this one).

Question - would you accept complaining about an elected official from someone who voted for that person?
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From:lograh
Date:9:39 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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(2004?? why not 2003? we have voting every year, iirc)

Of course I would accept complaining from someone who voted about the subsequent actions of the person they voted for. I'd remind this person that they voted for this official, but at least they felt this official might do better than the other options.
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From:macklinr
Date:10:05 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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We have voting every year? That's a new one on me - I thought it was only every other year - our state does it's statewide thing two years before/after the national election. Not saying I'm a voting expert, but that's what I thought. If there is an election in 2003, it'd most likely only about local offices/issues, which is what I'd be down with anyway - they are more likley to speak issues instead of mudslinging.
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From:lograh
Date:10:40 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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Yeah, I thought the ballot went around every year for local measures and such.

And if that is the case, and it's what you're more down with anyway, all the more reason to start your voting carreer with that type of stuff!
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From:macklinr
Date:11:13 07.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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Restart, anyway. I used to vote. In fact I once voted in the exact manner in which I now detest, because I was too lazy to get informed. And I didn't feel right about it later. That experience was the start of turning me off of the process - mainly because I saw how many ther people did it without so much as a care about what they're throwing away.
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From:macklinr
Date:17:32 06.Nov.2002 (UTC)
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I did not. I don't vote. But I think you already knew that of me.
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