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How Much is Your Right to Vote Worth?

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the how-much-are-you-offering dept.

Education 857

Attila Dimedici writes "Two thirds of the students at NYU would give up their right to vote in the next election for a full scholarship. Some would be satisfied with an ipod. A few would be willing to give up the right for the rest of their lives for one million dollars."

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857 comments

Frankly... (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362425)

How Much is Your Right to Vote Worth?

Theoretically, if we had candidates that represented us instead of the interests of corporations and special interest groups, our right to vote would be worth a great deal.

However, since our choices are limited to list A of sycophants or list B of sycophants, I'm thinking the college kids have over-valued the vote.

We can't elect anyone worth much to the general population, we can't get them impeached when they break the laws, violate the constitution, torture, engage in warmaking, arrest without probable cause, hold people incommunicado without hearings for extended periods of time, make a huge industry out of imprisoning the population for personal choices about what intoxicants they prefer...

Yes, I'd say an ipod is worth considerably more than a vote is today. It shouldn't be; but here we are.

Re:Frankly... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362503)

Yes, I'd say an ipod is worth considerably more than a vote is today. It shouldn't be; but here we are.
Well it costs about $100 million to run for President which makes each vote (considering turnout and a roughly even split) worth about $1-$2. You can't just start giving away iPods for votes with only a $100 million budget. Well, except in Ohio.

Re:Frankly... (5, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362519)

According to our forefathers, the right to vote is worth your life. My how times have slipped. But I do agree. I can't blame the voter when you have the choices you have today.

Re:Frankly... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362593)

According to our forefathers, the right to vote is worth your life.

Your forefathers had no such view, preferring that only landowners vote since managing to own land made them better people than the rest of the mob.

Re:Frankly... (4, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362821)

Logically, you're not capable of voting if you're dead - your statement is patriotic but makes no sense.

Obviously this whole topic is to be hyperbolic, the point is we're supposed to ignore that $1 million dollars will make a much larger differences to our lives than whether or not we vote, or that the American Revolution was economic more than philosophical - these are *seriously* inconvenient historical facts. Instead the point is to to praise "our forefathers," Mom, Apple Pie, and baseball. Perhaps we can erupt with a few spontaneous rounds of "I'm Proud to Be An American" or "God Bless America" while we're at it.

Re:Frankly... (1)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362845)

According to our forefathers, the right to vote is worth your life. My how times have slipped. But I do agree. I can't blame the voter when you have the choices you have today.

If you don't vote you don't have the right to complain, no matter how bad your choices are.

Re:Frankly... (2, Insightful)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362859)

Our forefathers had the same options we have: accept the system, or force it to change. They just chose differently.

Times have not slipped, but maybe we have.

Re:Frankly... (3, Insightful)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362539)

About the scholarship part, well, since you'll have to serve as a slave for half your life just to repay it, there's no WONDER they'd give up their right to vote.

The other half of the life as a slave is to pay for house mortgage, cars, and maybe lawyers as needed. Oh, and health, too, because your insurance will find a way not to pay, when you'll need it.

Re:Frankly... (3, Insightful)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362585)

True. Our right to vote is a dog and pony show -- an illusion that We The People(TM) are still in control. The corporate lobbies have already purchased the vote from Congress and the administration. Our votes are worthless, our voices are heard by our "elected" officials as muffled shouting behind soundproof glass.

Re:Frankly... (5, Insightful)

Noonian Soong (1016626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362603)

The article didn't surprise me much either. I think many people feel the same way you do. Many people don't use their right to vote, so they actually give it up for free, so why not give it up for an iPod?

But I think giving up your right to vote is disgusting. Living in a democracy is a privlege. I think it's part of our duty as citizens to be informed, be active and also vote. I know it's hard sometimes to find the right party to vote for but even when you cannot agree with anyone, there's always the possibility to take a more active role yourself. This might be becoming a politician yourself or joining an organization that influences politics. Even if you think the system itself is deficient, you could always try to change the system.

But many people are not interested anymore. They are uninformed, inactive and don't vote. This way, politicians who do not care about the public good, get away with bad decisions. But I often notice that those people who complain the most, are the ones that don't vote.

Sometimes I also think it might be a good idea to send people who don't vote on a vacation into a dictatorship. Just for a few weeks or so. But that is of course illegal and I don't really want it to become legal. Still, sometimes I think that sending people away for some time might help them realize what chances they actually have and how they have wasted them so far.

Re:Frankly... (3, Interesting)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362723)

Living in a democracy isn't a privilege; it's illegal to deport me to Cuba [I am not a Cuban citizen nor have I ever been to Cuba].

Unless you're saying that I could easily be deported to Cuba against my will, in which case I would claim that that's an indication that we're in a police state rather than a democracy.

Re:Frankly... (2, Interesting)

Noonian Soong (1016626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362797)

It is a privilege in comparison to people not living in democracies. It is also a privilege considering democracy could always be abolished. Of course that would be as illegal as deporting you to Cuba, but my whole point is that we have to take an active part in democracy or we will lose it.

Re:Frankly... (4, Interesting)

Cruise_WD (410599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362837)

"If voting could change things, it would be illegal." - anonymous (AFAIK).

Anyone with power will seek to keep it. The more power they have, the more they will want to keep it, and the more easily they'll be able to ensure they can keep it.

This process has been iterating for a long time now. It's somewhat quaint that people think what they do makes the slightest difference to those in power :P

Re:Frankly... (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362605)

Theoretically, if we had candidates that represented us instead of the interests of corporations and special interest groups, our right to vote would be worth a great deal.
Ah, but there's the real key: if someone gives you enough money to join the ranks of corporations and special interest groups then you won't need to worry about voting anymore. I have to say that $1 million is rather low balling it -- I expect several hundred million would be better minimum in this day and age. Of course if you don't live in a country where politicians consistently support rich corporations and wealthy individuals you might want to keep your right to vote...

The politicians will not remain the same... (2, Insightful)

r6144 (544027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362621)

If the candidates are equally good (or bad) to someone, it doesn't matter whom he votes. However, if a significant portion of people gives up their right to vote, one cannot reasonably expect the behavior of all the candidates to remain the same.

Re:The politicians will not remain the same... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362809)

Agreed - I suspect those more likely to vote for third parties would be more likely *not* to sell their votes; them and a few hard-liners on either side. They don't care that the vote doesn't seem to matter, they go for it anyway.

That option would be a major boon for thrid parties everywhere.

Re:Frankly... (1)

galorin (837773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362625)

Well, just give me a few billion dollars for my right to vote. I'll wisely invest it, and in a few years, I won't NEED to vote, and my opinion will be worth more than the votes of an entire State.

Re:Frankly... (1)

Darth_Vito (693141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362637)

Due to the lack of desirable choices I intend to abstain from voting anyway. Anything I get in exchange for a vote I had no intention of using is a plus. There were several ideas for new election systems discussed on Slashdot and elsewhere during the last presidential election cycle. If we can implement a voting system that allows deservig candidates to actually have a chance of being elected, our votes will be much more valuable. Until then, I would exchange my vote for a free song download or movie rental in a heartbeat.

Re:Frankly... (4, Insightful)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362653)

Frankly...that's a load of horse. People bitch and complain about how there are no choices except "sycophant A or sycophant B", but that is literally untrue. Even in the major parties--yeah, that's right, both parties--there are candidates of forthright honesty and ideological integrity (or at least consistancy) whose concerns seem to tend more toward their constituents than toward the powers-that-be.

It is depressingly cynical to look at a field of candidates that include men like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich and then turn around and say "yep, all the candidates are the same old thing, not worth a damn, believe in nothing but power for its own sake, care only about themselves, etc.". The right to vote is important and useful to use, and if there are men like that in the field, to use that vote to support them. Unelectability is a buzzword to convince people to not use their vote to matter; Abraham Lincoln was an "unelectable" nobody from the boondocks, and look how that turned out.

Re:Frankly... (1, Insightful)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362669)

If we had candidates that represented us, then we would have some 300 million candidates running for president. We are a diverse country with diverse ideas. Thats a good thing. But the reason you don't agree 100% with either party isn't because both parties cater too much to special interest groups, its because most people don't agree with you 100% of the time.

I'm getting sick of this "candidates don't represent me" shit. You are not the center of the universe, get used to it.

Re:Frankly... (3, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362671)

Well at least if we sell our votes directly, the special interests would vie for our attention.

As it stands now, the voters have largely been sidelined, and to pursue their interests companies only have to buy the attention of a few politicians, which makes bribery a prudent and cheap business option. For instance, RIAA campaign donations of $2000-5000 seem to be sufficient to have their way. If they needed to buy the unconditional support of the general population, it wouldn't be nearly as inexpensive.

Re:Frankly... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362685)

I would say our vote would be worth more if we as independents or anyone could vote in primaries. What we have now is a bunch of Democrats showing to other Democrats how much of a Democrat they are. There is a also a bunch of Republicans trying to show off to Republicans how Republican they are. So after the primaries we have a Very Republican Republican and a Very Democrat Democrat. Both who are ruthless enough to fight thew their own party to get win the primaries. In the mean time spending millions of dollars which donators could spend toward better use by giving it to the local Food Pantry, or for Unions they could actually use the money from dues to pay employees during strikes, business could spend the money donating to these candidates or the cost of the kickbacks to make more energy efficient cars. But they put it to these candidates so they can give their minority views presidents.

But what really gets me about voters is they only vote Every 4 years for presidents or every 2 years for some congressmen. Rarely do the vote on the odd years for the local officials who will do more to effect your life, also your vote counts so much more except for 1 vote in many million. For your local election you get one vote in a few thousand (or less depending on your area) And the positions have less big supporters, are willing to listen to you and effect your life.

Re:Frankly... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362791)

> However, since our choices are limited to list A of sycophants or list B of sycophants, I'm thinking the college kids have over-valued the vote.

Hey, you say another bad word about TweedleDee and you're looking at a smack in the mouth!

Re:Frankly... (1)

sam0vi (985269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362843)

Imagine a world where that happened: Give away your right to vote in exchange for education Give away your right to a fair trial for electric power Give away your right to free speech for water .. ... .... For every line on the Human Rights Declaration there's something you could get. If this were allowed we'd see how little people value our hardly earned rights. Who doesnt want a 42" HDTV plasma screen, right?

How much? (5, Insightful)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362431)

How much is my vote worth? I can answer that pretty easily...

Give me enough cash to live on comfortably, buy an island of my own [privateislandsonline.com] where I won't be bothered, enough to bring people I want to visit there, and of course protect against pirates [youtube.com] . Anyone know how much an army of ninjas costs?

Everyone has their price - that's mine.

Re:How much? (5, Funny)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362465)

Protect against pirates? But what about global warming?

Re:How much? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362529)

Global Warming is due to a sharp decline of Pirates. Form your own secret island base to stop rogue pirates and perfect pirate evolution. Then flood the Pirate Market with your advanced pirate models.

Or just stop being a ninny.

Re:How much? (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362549)

You know, I tried to work His Noodly Appendage into my comment somewhere, but I just couldn't find a way for it to come naturally... You have a good point though. Perhaps instead of a ninja army I need some pirates of my own...

Re:How much? (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362641)

$1 000 000 could probably buy more influence than a lifetime's voting.

If you can still stand for election, you've probably got yourself a good deal.

Re:How much? (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362871)

what about 100 virgin 18yr old women for your entertainment. Of course assuming your a guy. Or if you like... I'll stop right there its getting weird.

I would take a million dollars... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362439)

convert them to a more trustworthy currency and get the fuck out of here.

Re:I would take a million dollars... (2, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362489)

We have a saying in Poland:

Q: What's the height of insolence?
A: Vote for PiS and leave the country.

(PiS is a major party, extreme right-wing when it comes to religion, nationalism and authoritarism, strong left economically). And no wonders, there's a mass emigration going out of Poland...

Re:I would take a million dollars... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362535)

Like Donald Duck is much better. Now you won't even sort out the communist past and deal with the officials that were part of making that system, because it would hurt some feelings...

Re:I would take a million dollars... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362799)

But Polish women are so hot though! Seriously, I have been living in Europe for the past 2 and a half years, and most European women are pretty nasty, but Polish women are just amazing! How do I take the place of these people that are leaving?

Evil (0, Redundant)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362453)

Those that give up their right to vote, give it up to evil persons. Those who do such a thing deserve not the right to vote.

What if a supermaniacal, evil genius bent on ruling this country decided to take the billions of dollars he or she just happens to have, and buys votes in key areas in order to become President. What then?

Re:Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362499)

And the difference would be...?

Re:Evil (2, Funny)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362575)

What if a supermaniacal, evil genius bent on ruling this country decided to take the billions of dollars he or she just happens to have, and buys votes in key areas in order to become President. What then?


What would THAT change, pray tell?

Re:Evil (4, Insightful)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362753)

We'd get a President who could run a successful, large company -- a damn big step up, I'd say.

Re:Evil George W Bu$h (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362599)

Welcome to United States 2007!

Re:Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362725)

> What if a supermaniacal, evil genius bent on ruling this country decided to take the billions of dollars he or she just happens to have, and buys votes in key areas in order to become President. What then? Isn't this exactly whats happening in the USA for some years ?

Re:Evil (1)

JrOldPhart (1063610) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362741)

Vote. Vote for what? One of the two choices that the ruling power allows.

You have been totally taken in.

Enjoy your delusion.

Re:Evil (1)

ODD97 (645414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362823)

The only conclusion I can draw from your comment is that you're advocating that everyone in the US should move to Brazil and hang out on the beach all day. And have pet lobsters that we train to fetch us beach-vendor food.

I like the way you think, sir.

Re:Evil (0, Troll)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362855)

Wouldn't work, he would also have to start a war on some dumb pretext to keep the population subdued by clamp-down laws and remain in power long enough to strip all the assets of the country for his friends.
The Amercians would never fall for such a transparent ploy.

Who wouldn't (2, Insightful)

Zatacka (1136621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362461)

I'd almost say who wouldn't give up their vote for a big material gain? One vote makes a really small difference, and most votes are basically between a douche and a turd.

Re:Who wouldn't (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362607)

That's a pretty valid point. It's more surprising how much value is placed a single vote (80% wouldn't accept an iPod to not vote next election). Unless of course, the researchers gave them the idea it was a mass buy-out. Which would make sense. I sure as hell wouldn't support everyone getting an iPod instead of voting next election. However, if it only involved me - I'd jump at the opportunity for an ipod to save a trip to the ballot box.

Irrelevant Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362463)

Considering vote bribery or exchange schemes are illegal, this is just a dumb and irrelevant question.

This is like asking how much would I pay to murder somebody.

This question has no practical application in the real world.

In New York state (1)

mrwiggly (34597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362481)

I take a cup of coffee. It's probably not worth it.
Face facts, in New York, your vote doesn't count. All electors are going to vote for the Democrat candidate.

Worthless Texas (1)

chrispix (624431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362491)

Well that just stinks. I am pretty liberal, and I live in Texas. So my vote for president is pretty much worthless, dang conservatives! But I can be bought for a good deal of money, say 15 million after taxes? I like the idea of the poster w/ the island.

Re:Worthless Texas (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362709)

Your vote wasn't "worthless" when Texas came up with LBJ and voted dem primarily until the 80s. Keep it in a little bit of historical perspective. Heck, there's debate if anyone's vote counted back then, anyway.

If votes meant anything important... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362495)

...then this would be horrible. As it is, selling your vote makes perfect sense. The state of democracy, especially in the US, is disgusting.

Actually... (4, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362497)

I'll only give up voting when they pry the lever from my cold, dead hands!

Seriously, even though corporations have control of our government at the moment, voting is not a right that you can sell or give away.

Vote at the polls, vote by taking action, and vote for yourself as someone who can make our country better.

Re:Actually... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362803)

Vote all you want - it won't make the slightest bit of difference. Considering how much it costs to run for pretty much any public office in the US, it's already too late for voting to change anything. Politicians are in their own circles, flirting with rich folks, getting tea-bagged by lobbyists, only listening to those who can affect their next election. Policies are set by what those people want to hear - no-one's going to rock this boat, as it's far too lucrative for that to happen. Either the elected decent person gets perverted by the world they encounter, or someone else, scared of losing their cushy position, spends some of those ill-gotten funds in making the problem disappear. It's self-perpetuating, and we've been taken out of the loop. Politicians shouldn't be doing what they do for money - they should be doing it for the importance. It shouldn't cost anything to run for a public office, and there should be an honest, factual way of getting information about what each candidate stands for. Until you can guarantee that every voter knows exactly what each candidate stands for, and that each candidate isn't lying, democracy is democratic only in its image, not in its substance. Until then, it's a sham, and not voting is a great way to show that. No more of this "I now have a mandate to fuck shit up even more" bullshit because people hear the "you have to vote or you're a terrorist/a communist/french/King George" nonsense and sprint to the polling station in some ill-founded notion of patriotism or civic duty. Democracy is not the act of voting. In the west, the best we can hope for is the act of an educated people sincerely giving support to politicians who will do everything they can to truthfully represent those who have elected them. Thinking about that while looking at democracy as we see it is enough to make you laugh.

Big Difference Here... At Least I Hope So. (1, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362505)


Not sure if people are missing the message. It's not about buying someone's vote, but someone's RIGHT to vote. Not just now, but for all time.

Oh, well... in the past, people have sold not just thier vote (or their right to vote), but their very soul... for much less.

Re:Big Difference Here... At Least I Hope So. (1, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362737)

It's not about buying someone's vote, but someone's RIGHT to vote. Not just now, but for all time.
No, just for the next election. I can understand when people don't RTFA, but FFS, RTFS.

Re:Big Difference Here... At Least I Hope So. (2, Funny)

blcamp (211756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362815)


I *DID* RTFA... While most of the discussion (and the intro) was about the *next* election, some of it also referred to the right to vote, period... including the very last sentence/comment: "anyone who'd sell his lifelong right to vote should be deported."

To which I say: A-freaking-men.

Not thinking far enough (4, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362527)

I would happily and joyfully give up my right to vote in the next election for one million dollars.

A quarter of it would go to the Ron Paul campaign, since I really enjoy how he's fucking with the status quo. Half of it would go to the campaign of whatever final candidate I like the best. A quarter would go to me, since I'm greedy that way.

"But Zorba! How could you give up your vote!" Come on, do you honestly think that the various groups I like couldn't get far more than a single vote with that much cash spent on advertising? I'm not giving up my vote by taking this deal - I'm multiplying it enormously.

I don't know what the "break-even" point would be on this trade, I'd have to think about that seriously. But if you don't mind going into advertising a little bit, pretty much everyone should be willing to give up their next vote - or even all of their votes - for a sufficient amount of money. Unless the physical action of putting a piece of paper in a box is really that important to you, I suppose.

The practical approach (4, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362541)

Voting is a precious right but it exists, in a practical sense, to give people influence over their government. Viewed that way, swapping the right to vote for anything that gives someone a better ability to influence the government is a smart trade.

How does this work in practice? Large corps have great political influence even though they have no right to vote. What they do have is money. In the real world, then, money applied to the political process is the equivalent of voting.

Given enough money that I am enabled to influence politics via means other than voting, I would consider selling my right to vote a perfectly rational, even patriotic thing to do.

In my case, I'm eligible for early retirement and could be politically active in a variety of ways post-retirement, but my pension wouldn't be big enough to give me enough free time to labor toward political goals. With just enough money to augment my pension I'd be free to pursue tasks other than eking out an existence.

I figure USD$1M would do it, barely. I'd certainly sell my right to vote for USD$5M.

I'm an NYU student (2, Interesting)

whogben (919335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362543)

It costs about $160,000 for us to go to NYU for 4 years. A bit more, actually. I'd trade my vote for $160k - imagine the political influence you can have with $160,000. In addition, I'd trade my vote for $160k and then buy votes with iPod touches. Every vote makes a difference, but that kind of money makes more difference.

No surprise (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362545)

Is it any surprise that people value the right to vote differently?

Obviously, since voter turnout is less than 50%, over half the people in the US value the right to vote less than the amount of effort and time required to actually vote.

Consider that, from a logical perspective, VALUE(right to vote) == SUM{[IMPACT(act of voting)]/[(COST(act of voting)]}.

Only when elected government commits truly heinous acts, or actions that directly affect the person in question, does the impact of the act of voting get large enough to make the value of the right to vote very high. This is magnified by the dilution of votes -- if you are in a state with 10 million people, ask yourself -- how much does your vote really count?

Re:No surprise (2, Interesting)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362847)

Your elected officials are committing heinous acts. What's to stop them from electioneering? Morality?

Democracy is an AK-47 in every home.

The last group are the smart ones. (5, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362547)

You could have far more influence over the government with that $1,000,000 than you ever will by voting.

My right to vote... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362561)

Would cost them everything they ever had and will have in the future. If they can't meet that price then they don't get it. The beauty of that price is I get my right to vote back and they get nothing for even thinking of something like that. I can only begin to imagine the number of people rolling over in their graves if they found out people were selling their right to vote which was paid for in lots of blood to begin with.

I think the million dollar folks have it right (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362565)

Assuming that we're talking about only giving up an /individual/ right to vote. So long as other people's votes are so cheap, the interest alone on a million dollars can buy more votes than I'll ever had. Even 1% of a million bucks buys a lot of iPods.

We have rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362577)

I'm confused. We have a right to vote? I thought that was a privilege for law-abiding citizens of a certain age only in most states, not a right. Last I checked, there is no right to vote in the Bill of Rights.

Cool, $2,000,000! (3, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362579)

Now all we need is to vote in candidates who are willing to enact a retroactive 200% tax on vote selling and we can pay off the national debt.
 

Since my vote is worthless... (1)

9Nails (634052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362581)

When I vote, I have to "fit in" with a majority of the voters in order to get my change made. If my drop in the bucket falls on the other side, say such as a vote for Al Gore, then I am stuck with the decision others had made for 4 years. It's a fair process, but the Electoral College is also a detracting factor. At the point when my vote counts is diminished, frustration sets in. All said, I'd take the money because it is tangible.

the right to vote (1)

ebolaZaireRules (987875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362597)

At least you guys have a choice. Voting is compulsory in Australia, and every time there is a local election we are requited to turn out.

I've had to fill in so many non attendance forms its not funny...

Re:the right to vote (4, Funny)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362697)


At least you guys have a choice. Voting is compulsory in Australia, and every time there is a local election we are requited to turn out.


Wow, you would think that everyone who was against compulsory voting would have voted against a law like that.

A million? (1)

pinguwin (807635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362617)

Many people give up their vote because they don't want to take the chance of jury duty and others give it up because they can't be bothered. I'm surprised that it took a million to get people to give up the vote. Considering how little value our votes have come to have, I'm really surprised it took that much.

one million dollars (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362619)

I think you could do a hell of a lot more with one million dollars than you could do with your right to vote in your lifetime.

Especially if you have my (liberal) political views, since there never going to get into power of any kind.

Re:one million dollars (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362743)

Your ideas already did. Think New Deal through JFK. Don't limit your political ideology to whatever happened in the last 30 years.

votes overvalued (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362627)

If you think about it, what we're really talking about is exchanging one rather rigid method of representation (voting) with other more flexible methods. Do you think you'd have more influence in our society with a single vote or with 1 million dollars? How much would a free college degree help?

Perhaps it's simply (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362633)

People today don't care about politics. They've got little to gain, and little to lose.

Perhaps asking the people of teheran/pyongyang/ryadh/... how many months of pay they would give to get a real vote like the americans have would give you another answer.

Americans, especially young ones, don't care. They've got everything they want, why would you bother them with this politics thing ? Is something wrong ? Just cry until someone solves it and surely it will get solved ...

Re:Perhaps it's simply (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362833)

o get a real vote like the americans

I'd think that the reason some Americans would be willing to sell their vote is at least partly because they DON'T get a REAL vote. Unless you live in one of the half dozen swing states, your presidential vote counts for exactly nothing (or worse - it effectively counts for the majority party in your state, regardless of how you actually cast your vote).

America, with it's electoral college system, has probably the least democratic voting system anywhere in the world. Most voters are automatically disenranchised even in the absense of overt corruption.

vote with dollars and petitions (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362635)

A ballot means next to nothing, especially in the US where they have a one party system. "Should I vote for the republican party that doesn't care about people and isn't afraid to admit it, or the democrats, who don't care about people and are afraid to admit it" In Canada, it's a similar situation; "This party will ruin everything, this party will ruin our economy, and this party will do absolutely nothing" If you really want to make a difference, sell your write to vote for millions, buy a solid gold house and a rocket car, and use your free time to write Mayors, MPs, congressmen, etc. Boycott organizations or corporations you don't like. These days, money talks, votes do not.

All this reveals is priorities. (4, Insightful)

Altima(BoB) (602987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362657)

All this really reveals is priorities:

"Two thirds of the students at NYU would give up their right to vote in the next election for a full scholarship."

Okay, so how about they all vote for a candidate who will deliver a European-style Universal Third Level Education?

If you're willing to give up the right to vote... (2, Interesting)

ODD97 (645414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362661)

This is hard for me to draw a strong opinion on, because both sides can be argued in many ways. On one hand, those that would willingly give up their right to vote for *any* reason maybe should not be voting in the first place. The opportunity to vote is a privilege that should be seen as priceless. However, education is a path to freedom. Perhaps giving up the right to vote in one election, but having the opportunity to become educated and therefore possibly a more useful and better-informed citizen would be a tradeoff. Maybe they're trading something priceless (if they have no other opportunity for college) for a temporary drop of another priceless right.

Re:If you're willing to give up the right to vote. (1)

ODD97 (645414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362705)

Crap, I guess I need to remember to use paragraphs.

Sorry I marred Slashdot's reputation for stellar formatting and grammar.

My 2 cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362663)

I would sell my vote for a single election for a sixpack (of beer).

I would sell my lifetime RIGHT to vote for a... well if somebody offered me 10 000$ i would start thinking it... for 500 000$ no questions asked.

What's the scope? (2, Funny)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362689)

If it's just US elections, give me the million and I'll set myself up in British Columbia.

Re:What's the scope? (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362807)

If it's in the US then why bother, however I vote the wrong party gets in... if I want the third party to be elected?

The parties are so similar that they have to highlight their slight differences incessantly

Also...

    If the majority of people in my district vote one way and I don't then my vote is wasted

    If the majority of people in my state vote one way and I don't then my vote is wasted

Capitalism (1)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362693)

Well, considering there are so many people out there that like to buy votes, these people would just be supplying a product that is very much in demand.

I gave it up once (1)

squarefish (561836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362699)

I had a felony, but now that's taken care of and most of the time I was voting anyway.

It's strange how all the states have different laws on how your voting privilege can be taken away.

In... (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362713)

In dollars or in euros? It seems important to ask for the euro will buy you more than the dollar :)

Full Scholarships ! Right to Vote (1)

the Dragonweaver (460267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362719)

Giving up your right to vote for a full scholarship?

Huh. I managed to work my way to full tuition (still paying off the pesky amounts I had to borrow for living expenses.) I did that by working my butt off in high school.

It also means I'm smart enough to not sell my vote.

----

As a side note, did you know that the secret ballot wasn't introduced in the US until the middle of the nineteenth century? We take it for granted, yet it took them decades to realize it might be a good idea...

Frankly.. (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362731)

I don't feel like my vote is worth all that much, especially in the Presidential Elections. The Electoral College appears to pretty much trump it. What does it matter if my vote makes it Candidate x @ 1,000,000 to Candidate y @ 1,000,001 (yay for me!). If the Electoral College swings towards Candidate x, it made pretty much no difference. I just don't see the point in asking for my vote in that case.

So, what about the times that it would matter. Well, again, with the very real possibility that we'll get another "popular vote loss/College vote win" situation, I just don't feel the urge to care enough. Thanks for your vote! It just doesn't matter!

Re:Frankly.. (1, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362801)

The problem with your scenario - and the good thing behind the electoral college (which needs to be kept, but revamped so the popular vote in each state proportionally splits the electoral college vote) is that it gives a little more say in the election to the smaller, more rural states. If the electoral college were abolished, ALL the power would be vested and wasted and concentrated in large, concentrated urban areas. The rest of us would get screwed over.

Remember Ben Franklin? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362761)

He who would trade his liberty for an Ipod,deserves neither.
New Yorkers,go figure.
If we give New York to China,can we have the Panama Canal back?

Foreign students (1)

ghoul (157158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362779)

Do you realize that 1/3rd of the student body is not US citizens so they have already given up their right to vote in the next election by enrolling at NYU as very few countries have absentee voting for students studying abroad. Looked at from that perspective 2/3rd does not seem that big a deal. Moreover students have a whole separate level of politics called student union elections where they can make their voices and opinions heard. They probably feel their time is better spent on the level of politics where they can make a difference than just turning up and voting for the Repulicrats or the Democraticans (frankly there is more difference in the policies of 2 communist party candidates standing for internal elections in China than between a Repulicrat and a Democratican of today)

How much for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21362783)

How much for an all nighter, no holes barred?

Isn't getting an iPod (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362835)

a tacit endorsement of the Steve Jobs for Ultimate Ruler of the World campaign anyway?

They got my vote!

$1 Trillion Dollars (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362849)

is what I'd sell my right to vote for. That should be enough money to buy the government of my country back. I'd have far more ability to kick Washington's ass with that kind of resources than with one vote and sharply worded letters to Congressmen and newspaper editorials.

is this really a surprise? (1)

moracity (925736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362857)

Everyone knows that most college students don't care about politics and don't bother voting. I'm not surprised that so many woudl be willing to give up their right to vote for a shiny penny. Someone with this attitude doesn't deserve to vote.

Personally, I think that if you are a college student and still on your parents' insurance, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. I would support increasing the voting age to at least 21, maybe higher. I might even support paying off college students to keep them from voting. They're usually mindless, zombie liberals anyway.

Historically (5, Insightful)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362863)

The going rate for the year 2000 election was the $200-300 tax rebate Bush promised. I remember, quite explicitly, a colleague saying "I want $200, I'm voting for Bush."

People don't care about their country, their children's futures, or their own long-term well being. They say they do, but they don't. When it comes down to it, they sell out their souls, their childrens' souls, and their nations souls for a pittance.

The truth is that people get the government they deserve. A shit government elected by lazy, apathetic, and happily clueless citizens who simply don't deserve better.

If they did, they wouldn't elect the people they do. The shit politicians we elect are *obviously* shit politicians. Few try and say they're not going to do that, so they vote for the joke politicians: Ron Paul, Ross Perot, whoever. Instead of sitting there with the politician they actually like and voting for them, even when they know they'll fail. Admitting they voted for someone who lost. Instead, we disconnect and feign apathy, as we've spoiled ourselves in our fantasies about what kind of government we deserve. Why do we get so many shit politicians? The good leaders gave up on the US citizenry, for good reason.

Want proof? How many people pay attention in the primaries, where the good candidates actually show up once in a while?

Two thirds ? (2, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21362875)

What was the other third thinking ? Seriously I don't think they believe their vote matter or will possibly change anything.... My guess is that democracy represents some kind of religion for them, a cult of the state where each good citizen does his duty by casting his ballot, protecting his precious liberty... in this mindset, their right to vote holds some kind of mystical power. I am glad the two other third don't buy in this naive cult, freedom has always been destroyed through the ballot.
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