View Poll Results: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

Voters
49. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, it's a bad thing. Everybody should vote.

    20 40.82%
  • It's not bad, but we should still encourage everybody to vote.

    9 18.37%
  • No, it's not a bad thing. Leave people alone.

    13 26.53%
  • Other.

    7 14.29%
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Thread: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

  1. #1
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    Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    To hear so many people tell it, you'd think it is. Some have even used words like "disgrace" to describe American low percentages of participation.

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I simply don't see it that way.

    Some countries mandate voting. There seems to be an increasing sentiment in this country to do the same, to mandate voting. One of the claims is that people would be more inclined to research if they knew that had to. I don't buy that. I would be vehemently against that, for two reasons...

    1) I don't want the results skewed by people who don't care enough to research, or at least pay attention.

    2) The freedom to not do something is just as important, if not more so, than the freedom to have the ability to do something.

    IMHO, #2 stands quite well on it's own. And I detest "get out the vote" campaigns due to #1.

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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    Actually it would be better if only informed people voted, and I don't mean that in a mandatory way.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    First of all, I wish we lived in a society where people voted on their own accord. I'm only going to tackle point #1 of the OP as I'm still collecting my thoughts on #2.

    In my opinion, in order to mandate voting you would have to somehow mandate that people research into the vote. Otherwise people come out of reluctance, scribble whatever on a bit of paper and leave. It actually increases apathy towards the system as people see it as a chore.

    I know this sounds ridiculous but just off the top of my head: perhaps there is a way to socially engineer voters to get more information? For example, mandating voting and decreasing the number of voting machines could increase lines and wait times at the voting stations. Put up tv's near the line which have a brief summary of the candidates positions on loop. When people are waiting in line they'll watch anything (case in point: commercials at the dmv).

    Of course, the other option to increase the vote is just to make voting easier by increasing access time to stations to a longer period (say a fortnight like in India) or even move it online. However I don't think this solves #1 in the slightest.
    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK

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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    I think that to abstain from voting is unintelligent, irresponsible and immoral. I understand why some people feel that their vote is powerless. However, I believe that there are more intelligent, responsible and ethical ways to deal with that sentiment than abstention.

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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    To hear so many people tell it, you'd think it is. Some have even used words like "disgrace" to describe American low percentages of participation.

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I simply don't see it that way.

    Some countries mandate voting. There seems to be an increasing sentiment in this country to do the same, to mandate voting. One of the claims is that people would be more inclined to research if they knew that had to. I don't buy that. I would be vehemently against that, for two reasons...

    1) I don't want the results skewed by people who don't care enough to research, or at least pay attention.

    2) The freedom to not do something is just as important, if not more so, than the freedom to have the ability to do something.

    IMHO, #2 stands quite well on it's own. And I detest "get out the vote" campaigns due to #1.

    What say you?



    I agree with you entirely.


    Those who don't care, or can't be bothered with it, don't need to vote. We're probably better off if they don't.

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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    I believe that every citizen should vote, but I respect the right of those who choose not to.
    I fight against the ignorant, irresponsible, and/or closed-minded.
    This group is the worst enemy of America and its freedoms. It includes, but is not limited to, all Trump supporters.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    I think the causes of low voter turnout in most Western countries are bad. People tend not to vote because they don't see any connection between what elected officials do and their own day-to-day lives, indeed, they don't tend to see what elected officials do at all. In a related issue, they mostly only see the low politics, spin and misinformation which might work for a short while but eventually end up putting most people off.

    Getting more people to vote without solving the problems of the general public ignorance of what government actually does (including all it does wrong) and cleaning up the mess that is the political system (as distinct from the governmental one) is pointless. Improve those things though, and more people would naturally want to vote in the first place.

    How to do that is a much more complex question.

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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    To hear so many people tell it, you'd think it is. Some have even used words like "disgrace" to describe American low percentages of participation.

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I simply don't see it that way.

    Some countries mandate voting. There seems to be an increasing sentiment in this country to do the same, to mandate voting. One of the claims is that people would be more inclined to research if they knew that had to. I don't buy that. I would be vehemently against that, for two reasons...

    1) I don't want the results skewed by people who don't care enough to research, or at least pay attention.

    2) The freedom to not do something is just as important, if not more so, than the freedom to have the ability to do something.

    IMHO, #2 stands quite well on it's own. And I detest "get out the vote" campaigns due to #1.

    What say you?
    I'm not for mandatory voting at all for the two reasons mentioned so I do agree with you there. And I definitely don't think that people should vote if they do not care enough to at least attempt to become informed. Still, I do think its a bad thing that more of our country does not attempt to inform themselves and vote, and that its a bad thing that so few people here are politically active and aware.
    There should be Instant Runoff Voting

  9. #9
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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    In Sweden we have an election rate of around 80 % during the national election but less then 50 % vote in the election to the EU parliament. So how many people that vote can be based on the trust and knowledge in the politcal system. That you can maybee see it as a vicious circle. That people distrust EU and EU politics and doesn't care about it, therefor it's not profitable for news media to run segments on EU politics, leading to voters get more uninformed and also it can be more easy for EU politicans and lobbyist to get a way with bad things, leading to more distrust and apathy towards EU. Even if EU politician can have a lot of influence on our daily life just like national politics.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Is not voting... aka "low voter turnout"... a bad thing?

    To hear so many people tell it, you'd think it is. Some have even used words like "disgrace" to describe American low percentages of participation.

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I simply don't see it that way.

    Some countries mandate voting. There seems to be an increasing sentiment in this country to do the same, to mandate voting. One of the claims is that people would be more inclined to research if they knew that had to. I don't buy that. I would be vehemently against that, for two reasons...

    1) I don't want the results skewed by people who don't care enough to research, or at least pay attention.

    2) The freedom to not do something is just as important, if not more so, than the freedom to have the ability to do something.

    IMHO, #2 stands quite well on it's own. And I detest "get out the vote" campaigns due to #1.

    What say you?
    It is not a bad thing if people who could care less are not voting. I agree with you.If people do not care enough to research and pay attention to what our elected officials are doing then they should not vote nor should they be forced to vote.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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