Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Get Out The Vote - an opposing viewpoint

Nymz (905908) writes | about 6 years ago

Editorial 4

Low Voter Turn Out == Higher Quality
Get Out The Vote campaigns are disingenuous at best, and voter fraud at worst. In fact, countries should take pride in having a low voter turn out, because that means they have a more concentrated percentage of concerned citizens, that are doing the voting. Think of the quality difference of Slashdot stories on theLow Voter Turn Out == Higher Quality
Get Out The Vote campaigns are disingenuous at best, and voter fraud at worst. In fact, countries should take pride in having a low voter turn out, because that means they have a more concentrated percentage of concerned citizens, that are doing the voting. Think of the quality difference of Slashdot stories on the firehose (all 100%) when compared to the choosen few on the frontpage (1%).
"Don't even get me started on the frickin' Firehose." - Captain Splendid

Coercion vs Choice
Countries with near 100% voter turn-out often have widespread ballot-stuffing (hollow appearance of choice), or use threats of violence (coerced choice) to maintain their hold on power, but in a free country you have free choice, and that includes choosing not to vote.
"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." - Rush

Funny Exception To The Rule
Australia is an exception with their mandatory turn-out laws (not mandatory vote), which can be explained by the fact that they are down-under. It also explains why, when it's winter here, that it's summer down-under, and why their toilets drain water clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. (Corilis Effect) Not to mention they look kind of tough, so it's probably not wise telling them what to do.
"Where does an Aussie croc crash? Anywhere he wants to." - Mate

cancel ×

4 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

To be clear (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 6 years ago | (#24741055)

My problem with the Firehose is the design and implementation, not the content.

Same can be said for voter turnout efforts. It's not trying to get people to vote that's a problem, but how you go about it (at least in reference to the link you posted).

A small part of me would dearly love a rudimentary IQ test to be passed before being allowed to vote, but the fact of the matter is that as less and less people vote, you start slipping out of the democracy category and into oligarchy. Yeah, my neighbours might be complete morons who vote based on fear and ignorance, but at least they're involved in the process. You want a large pool of smart voters, it's just that nobody wants to put in the work. Turn out the vote efforts are just the very beginning of that undertaking.

Re:To be clear (1)

Nymz (905908) | about 6 years ago | (#24742681)

To be clear...My problem with the Firehose is the design and implementation, not the content.

Most everyone has some problem with the firehose, and I thought your quote best expressed that frickin' sentiment.

...but the fact of the matter is that as less and less people vote, you start slipping out of the democracy category and into oligarchy.

Yes, I agree with you there, that getting people 'involved' in the process is important. As for solutions, I'm not convinced that Get Out The Vote campaigns do anything more than register more people (with corresponding votes) for ones own party. My journal entry was simply an effort, hopefully an entertaining effort, to point out the importance of quality to the process, and that we shouldn't settle for current campaigns that only water down that quality.

Low Voter Turn Out != Quality (1)

JetScootr (319545) | about 6 years ago | (#24751611)

The hidden and incorrect assumption in your statement is that the only reason that people don't vote is because they're not concerned.
I attended a democratic precinct convention once; in the next election, a republican. I gave up on politics because there was no input in either party from the people, only from the "national platform". In advance of the precinct meetings, I tried to get info on what was going to happen. I was told (in both cases) "discussion and voting on local issues to move up to state and national levels". There was no discussion; in both parties, the vote was called for and seconded the instant each agenda item was read out by the chair; the chair did not recognize anybody except those calling for the vote; it was obvious from who and how that a single block of people were voting in concert.
The platforms read were actually those "suggested" by the national party headquarters. If this is what happened at a significant percentage of the precincts, then no voter input was actually being accepted.
One reason to not vote is that there really isn't a choice. Yes I am concerned. No, voting won't change what I see as the problem with the system. No, we aren't getting "quality" in voting or in government. And no, I haven't "decided not to decide". It's that my decisions can't possibly make a difference, not even in some tiny philosophical, feel-good kinda way.

Re:Low Voter Turn Out != Quality (1)

Nymz (905908) | about 6 years ago | (#24753621)

The hidden and incorrect assumption in your statement is that the only reason that people don't vote is because they're not concerned.

Na, I think that both of our statements are correct. Like the difference between 'lower' taxes and 'low' taxes, our statements are referring to different concepts. My 'Lower' voter turn-out is a relative comparison of quality to a near 100% turn-out, like saying that 'lower' taxes are 'always' better when compared to being 'over-taxed'. Your concept of 'low' voter turn-out is referring to a relative comparison to what level voter turn-out 'should be', like saying that our taxes are too 'low' to cover our projected spending.

It's that my decisions can't possibly make a difference, not even in some tiny philosophical, feel-good kinda way.

Ya, many people are frustrated at the power held by the two big parties. I think that too often political parties actively stifle the long-term best interests of the country, and instead 'play politics' to make short-term power gains for themselves. So while you may be correct in a sense that your "decisions can't possible make a difference", you can still attempt to make a difference in a smaller meta-sense, that of fixing the overall system. Fixing the overall system by not accepting candidates, even in ones own party, that exhibit bad behaviors like a lack of integrity, a lack of transparency, and a willingness to play politics.

Anyone that promises they can make 'big' changes is most likely bullshiting you, in order to make you 'feel-good', so you will support them. So when I suggest settling for very 'small' changes, it may not 'feel-good' as false promises, but it's reality and better than feeling hopeless.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>