Important, but futile
Not at all
It depends on what you *know* about the set of potential voters with respect to the probability distributions of them voting and who they vote for.
IMO, there are many systems (e.g. weighted sum) which could be used to minimize the damage done by the "not-so-bright" voters. Pure democracy, where every vote counts equally, is rarely ideal.
"With me everything turns into mathematics."
"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
"It is truth very certain that, when it is not in one's power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is more probable." -- Rene Descartes
When I was growing up in Moscow, USSR, a Lithuanian, Catholic teenager who lived on our street chopped off two fingers on his hand, to avoid that excellent Afghan adventure. No one among my peers thought he was a coward or a freak. He was a hero. (The Soviet prison he was heading to for doing what he did was not any less dangerous than Kandahar)
We all assumed that we are voiceless, helpless slaves; I was fervently plotting my escape - but I did not resist (discounting a few illegally copied "bad books" and other such minor acts of dissent). He did. He refused to be property of the State.
His standards were higher than ours.
Why should I think that an American Mennonite opposed to all and any military service is different? Because I hated that political regime, and mostly like this one? Doesn't sound very convincing.
I find this troubling.. what do you define as good and bad?I understand the sentiment, but still: the State of a free country does not own its population. It's function is to prevent people from doing harm to each other, but beyond that - they are just people who happen to reside within a given jurisdiction - most of them by the accident of birth. They cannot be forced to be good citizens, or good anything. "Good" cannot be forced, by definition. It is "bad" that we use force to deal with, no?
I am not saying democracy is perfect, and I do believe sometimes politicians have to do the right thing and not the popular thing.. but not voting will never change anything and only empower the power hungry to do bad things.
Let me put it this way.. had American's actually come out and voted by Danish turnout standards in 2000.. then we would not have had Bush. But because almost 50% of American's choose not to get off their fat asses, then the world was stuck with a mini dictator and his party of henchmen that has pushed the world into war. I know you probably see Bush as a savior or something but my point is that there are far more democrats than republicans in the US, so it is in your vested interest to keep the turn out low because that is how you maintain your power. Now it does not have to be the US we are talking about, because in low turnout countries across the planet.. you have the same problems. In fact in Denmark it is the reverse almost.. low turnout means the Social Democrats often gain power/win an election.. but we are talking about mid 75% turnout then heh...
Point is, that people should feel obligated to go vote.. sure work, sickness, being abroad and so on.. might prevent you from voting (although there is absentee voting in some countries.. cough), but you should do your damnest to vote.. even blank if need be.. but VOTE!
Secondly, "I" don't have any power to maintain. I voted for Gary Johnson in the last election. One of the reasons that I did, despite the obvious futility of such gesture? - because he would never consider compulsory voting - or compulsory military service - as anything - well, "considerable"....
Last edited by Cyrylek; 04-15-13 at 05:55 AM.