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A vote for a losing candidate is not squandered.

 
 
Supposn
 
Reply Sun 14 Nov, 2010 07:47 am
I disagree with those contending a vote for a losing candidate is a squandered vote.
Such a vote demonstrates dissatisfaction with the winning candidate and to the extent the position(s) of the candidate differ from all other candidates, it additionally demonstrates that if the winning party modified their position(s), they have an opportunity of attracting my vote in future general elections. That may seem an improbable outcome but my vote for a third party indicates my belief that was the best method to advance my political agenda. Alternative choices were less likely to induce reform of a major party or the emergence of a future acceptable candidate.

To believe otherwise is also to believe that votes for Republicans within predominantly Democratic districts or votes for Democrats within predominantly Republican districts are squandered votes.

If you vote for a more popular candidate or party that do not share your opinions to a similar extent rather than voting for a candidate that more closely aligns with your positions, you are (to the extent of lacking commitment to your positions), weakening those very positions; to that extent you have squandered your vote by supporting a major candidate that does not and/or will not effectively support your positions.

My enemy’s enemies can only remain my friends until they also turn against me. Obama and my Democratic congressman have demonstrated more concern for Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans rather than for the political positions that I hold. I do not fault Obama and legislators such as my congressman for not delivering complete victory; they’ve acquiesced and surrendered too much rather than negotiating for the best acceptable deal. Continuing such tepid support perpetuates net defeats for what I advocate.

Respectfully, Supposn
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AlwaysCurious
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 01:26 pm
@Supposn,
When an ideal candidate is thought to have no realistic chance of winning, some voters resort to "damage control" by selecting the lesser of two realistic evils. Albeit I agree, when people stop voting their conscience and start resorting to strategy games, may as well dispense with elections altogether especially in countries where vote for either wing of the same bird of prey is seen as some real choice. IMHO.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 12:13 am
I think you are completely unclear on the concept.

Votes aren't just theoretical things. They represent political power. Elections dictate policy. They have real impact on people and on the country. Who you vote for matters in a practical way.

Let's separate two situations. If you have Democratic beliefs in a Republican district, obviously you should vote Democrat, period. This is the best way to support your interests and the fact you likely won't win doesn't change that.

But assuming you have opinions or concerns about real issues like protecting abortion rights or repealing don't ask don't tell. These are issues where who is in Congress, and which party controls congress matters.

If you care about real issues such as these then voting for a third party is idiotic.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 12:51 am
@Supposn,
Supposn wrote:

I disagree with those contending a vote for a losing candidate is a squandered vote.
Such a vote demonstrates dissatisfaction with the winning candidate and to the extent the position(s) of the candidate differ from all other candidates, it additionally demonstrates that if the winning party modified their position(s), they have an opportunity of attracting my vote in future general elections. That may seem an improbable outcome but my vote for a third party indicates my belief that was the best method to advance my political agenda. Alternative choices were less likely to induce reform of a major party or the emergence of a future acceptable candidate.

To believe otherwise is also to believe that votes for Republicans within predominantly Democratic districts or votes for Democrats within predominantly Republican districts are squandered votes.

If you vote for a more popular candidate or party that do not share your opinions to a similar extent rather than voting for a candidate that more closely aligns with your positions, you are (to the extent of lacking commitment to your positions), weakening those very positions; to that extent you have squandered your vote by supporting a major candidate that does not and/or will not effectively support your positions.

My enemy’s enemies can only remain my friends until they also turn against me. Obama and my Democratic congressman have demonstrated more concern for Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans rather than for the political positions that I hold. I do not fault Obama and legislators such as my congressman for not delivering complete victory; they’ve acquiesced and surrendered too much rather than negotiating for the best acceptable deal. Continuing such tepid support perpetuates net defeats for what I advocate.

Respectfully, Supposn



If you voted for Gore during the 2000 presidential elections, you squandered your vote?

I don't think anyone is suggesting that.

There are, on the other hand, many people who believe that if you voted for Ralph Nader in that election you squandered your vote.

Even worse, you, in effect, voted for George Bush!

I tend to agree with you: If you put any degree of thought into the process, you can't squander your vote.

The worst sort of squandering of a vote is not to cast one in the first place.
0 Replies
 
Supposn
 
  0  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 09:51 pm
@maxdancona,
Maxdancona, I had previously written my enemy’s enemies can only remain my friends until they also turn against me. Obama and my Democratic congressman have demonstrated more concern for Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans rather than for the political positions that I hold. I do not fault Obama and legislators such as my congressman for not delivering complete victory; they’ve acquiesced and surrendered too much rather than negotiating for the best acceptable deal. Continuing such tepid support perpetuates net defeats for what I advocate.

You responded by writing “But assuming you have opinions or concerns about real issues like protecting abortion rights or repealing don't ask don't tell. These are issues where who is in Congress, and which party controls congress matters.
If you care about real issues such as these then voting for a third party is idiotic”.

I do have opinions or concerns about real economic issues. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties are representing most of my primary economic views. Specifically I’m a proponent of an Import Certificate specific trade proposal.
[Refer to the topic “Reduce the trade deficit; increase GDP & median wage”].

My confidence in that proposal is to the extent that I would give my vote to any devils if I believed they would strive, (I cannot expect my senators or representative alone to succeed, but I need reason to believe they will strive) to effectively reduce our global trade deficit and thus increase our GDP and median wage.

I’m a New Jersey Voter. In 2010 I voted for the Green Party candidate to indicate my dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party. I’ll do it again this year.

Democrats did not confront the Republican Party on the floors of either congressional houses with regard to the federal budget. Before the 2010 elections Democrats had so little confidence in USA voters that they feared confronting Republicans with regard to taxes and spending. It’s been said that 80% of any job is showing up ready to work. Democrats deserved the 2010 defeat they suffered.

Failure is acceptable. Seldom has anything significant been achieved without encountering failures along the way. Failure to show up and strive IS UNACCEPTABLE!

In aggregate the Democratic Party is still failing to show up and do their job. They cannot force Republicans to negotiate in good faith or prevent them from filibusting, but they can force Republicans to take responsibility for their obstructionist activities.

New Jersey is not a swing state. If my votes for Green Party candidates in 2012 should deny the White House to Democrats, so be it. If it has come to that, then I’ll accept it. I suppose I would vote differently if I were a swing state voter.

Respectfully, Supposn
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2012 10:54 pm
@Supposn,
Supposn,

There is no difference between voting for third party candidates and not voting (except that you have to go through the trouble of going to waste your vote). No one cares about these votes. No one even knows or cares how many third party votes there were.

In every way these votes are meaningless. Whether you cast these votes or not is the same thing. You are refusing to take part in our two party democracy and no one cares. You casting third party votes doesn't deny the Democrats anything more than you just staying at home would. It is the same thing.

But if it makes you feel better, then go ahead. I suppose it doesn't hurt anything.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2012 09:28 pm
@maxdancona,
Why should anyone allow the fact that others know of or care about their vote influence their decision?

A vote for a third party is hardly meaningless.

Whether or not it was their intent, the voters for Ross Perot assisted Clinton in winning the presidency and those who voted for Ralph Nader assisted George W Bush.

Refusing to accept a two party system is precisely the point, and it's a perfectly reasonable way to express one's position.

Personally, I have no belief that we will ever have a three party system. Should a viable third party arise, it will quickly kill one of the two others.

Never-the-less voting for a third party candidate (whether in effect it helps the candidate of either of the main parties) is not at all the same as staying home.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2012 09:47 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Whether or not it was their intent, the voters for Ross Perot assisted Clinton in winning the presidency and those who voted for Ralph Nader assisted George W Bush.


What about the people who didn't vote? The people who stayed home helped Clinton and Bush in the same way that the people who voted for Perot and Nader did.

I am not saying that voting for a third party has no effect. I am simply saying that it has the same effect as not voting does.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2012 10:39 pm
@maxdancona,
But the people who stayed home never registered their preference...assuming they had one.

For all we know they could have written in Stephen Colbert on their ballot.

The people who vote for a 3rd Party Candidate have an effect that extends beyond the impact their vote has on the candidates of the two main parties.

We have had 3rd Party movements in our history and on rare occassions those 3rd Parties (Republican) joined the ranks of the major two.

Someone who wants to vote for a 3rd Party shouldn't be constrained to do so only if he or she has a strong reason to believe the 3rd Party will become a major factor in our politics.

Believe me, I hate the idea of Ron Paul running as a 3rd Party Candidate because if he did, he would take votes aay from Romney, and while I might try your argument on them to satisfy my personal goal, I wouldn't really believe in it.



maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Oct, 2012 11:05 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
The people who vote for a 3rd Party Candidate have an effect that extends beyond the impact their vote has on the candidates of the two main parties.


What effect are you talking about? The people who voted for Ralph Nader (or Ross Perot) had no more more impact than the people who stayed home.

I am not saying that people should be constrained to vote for anyone anymore than people who want to stay at home should be forced to vote.

I am simply pointing out that voting for a candidate who has no chance of winning has no more effect, or significance, than deciding to stay home on election day.


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