Politics

Sarah - posted on 08/26/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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With all the political debates on here lately....i thought i'd add my thoughts!
I don't follow politics AT ALL. I don't even vote.

So, the debate is.......am i wrong for not voting?
Am i throwing away a valuable right?
The way i see it, all the parties are as each other.....i don't trust any of them.....and i think they will all do an equally good/bad job.....so i don't vote.
Your thoughts??
:)

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Jaime - posted on 09/05/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

Oh, and i don't think freedom of speech should be based on whether you vote or not......freedom of speech is for EVERYONE......not just those whose vote.
If it's just for the voters......then it's not free is it?
:)


lol...good point there Sarah.  As frustrating as it might be for people that are passionate about voting, free speech is for everyone.  Just because a person doesn't vote, doesn't mean that they don't have the right to "bitch" about what's going on.  On the other hand, if you are resistant to learning about politics because you are being "lazy", then your lack of voting is not necessarily because you don't agree with the campaigns (how could you disagree if you don't know much about them?), it is more likely to do with your lack of motivation for being up-to-date and informed about what is going on in your community and your country.  That is not to say that you are wrong, it probably has more to do with how exhausting the political race has become for one party to impress its power upon society with promise after promise ad nauseum... I think that today we are so used to being let down by the government, that we have lost sight of how important it is to be involved and be an active member of the political world...even if it's just reading the news paper everyday and following the local agendas.   Don't give up on politics, and don't give in to it either.

[deleted account]

I think voting is one of our most valuable rights. However, if I'm reading the original post correctly, I think Sarah was asking if she should vote even though she doesn't follow politics? If that's the case, then I'd actually say no - I don't think people should vote if they don't know much about the candidates. I think that is throwing away a valuable right just as much as not voting at all. Why vote if you're not sure what you're voting for or if you even agree with it? Ideally though, I think everyone should take on the responsibility of learning as much as they can about the candidates and voting.

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34 Comments

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Evelyn - posted on 08/31/2009

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I can see your point of view Esther, it makes me think of how Barbara Walters always refuses to give her personal opinion of politics or really any news because of her status as a journalist. (Although she has gotten pretty opinionated on The View). But like you said, it is because is IS so opinionated that this excuse makes no sense to me. He is in NO way impartial (which is also why I like him, because I agree w/90% of what he says lol), so not voting just seems like shirking his responsibility. Which is an horrible trait in anyone....

Dana - posted on 08/31/2009

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Yeah, I've got to agree with you Evelyn. I used to love him and then lost a whole lot of respect for him. His excuse was LAME. It's one thing not to vote it's another to not vote and make your living off it.

Esther - posted on 08/31/2009

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I think there are other journalists who don't vote because they feel that it somehow preserves their impartiality. Not sure how Keith Olberman can claim to be impartial (which is probably why I like him) so I don't really get the point with him, but maybe that's part of his thinking too.

Evelyn - posted on 08/31/2009

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How do you ladies feel about Keith Olberman after he admitted to not voting? I loved (and still watch from time to time) his show during the campaign, but I gotta be honest, once he said to the ladies on The View that he didn't vote...a lot of what he said on his show after that sort of fell flat to me. I too agree that if you don't vote, then your opinion doesn't hold as much weight as someone who does. He seems to care A LOT about politics...so it's even more baffling to me that he doesn't vote!

Mary - posted on 08/31/2009

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I'm not what anyone would call overly political. I follow the big issues, like health care reform, the US bank bailouts, etc. I do a LITTLE research on the 'bigger' candidates in every election, but am clueless about some of the smaller ones, like circut court judges, or local zoning issues. I DO vote in every election, and have since I was legally able to do so. I have to credit my parents with this...I turned 18 in the fall of my freshman year in college, and the presidential election was that November. My mother obtained an absentee ballot and mailed it to me (I was out of state). She made a huge deal out of how voting was a privilege, and responsibility of becoming an "adult"...and told me that if I wanted to be treated as one, I needed to act like one! Somehow, this made a lasting impression on me, and I have never failed to exercise my right to vote. I doubt that I will ever be all that passionate about politics (with a few exceptions, like health care, and animal issues), but I believe I will ALWAYS exercise my right to vote...I think it is my responsibility as a a citizen of my country.

Shelley - posted on 08/29/2009

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I find it VERY interesting that it is compulsory to vote in Australia once you've registered. I've looked at the positives and negatives of implementing such a system in the US with the final verdict coming in on the side of the negatives. It's really hard to force people to do anything in America. We're all about our personal freedom. Adding the 'once you've registered' part makes it a little more interesting and in my opinion, more likely to work. We don't want uninformed and uninterested people like Sarah voting, now do we? Just kidding. =)



Democracies do not run properly when some people don't vote. I'm not interested in letting other people make decisions for me, though I admit Sarah's example displays how this happens even when you do vote. I like to think I have a say in it some way somehow. It is supposed to be majority rule, not the minority rule. IDK how much of the voting-age population turns out to vote in UK, but in America, it's been steadily about 50%, jumping up to 63% in 2008. Yay. It dropped down to less than 50 in the 1990s.. When this is the amount of people who show up to cast a ballot and so many people are unrepresented, how can the country truly pursue the interests of its people? It can't.



Voting is a responsibility as an engaged citizen. I recently read Bowling Alone, which is a study about the rise and fall of community in America. It states that today's youth chooses to be involved as citizens in ways other than voting, like volunteering, church, etc. I'm wondering, Sarah, if you don't vote, are you active in your community? It is possible to be an active citizen w/o voting, though I hope you make the decision to become a voter at some point. Maybe it will take one issue that you feel really strongly about to get you to the polls.. Who knows what the future holds?

Sarah - posted on 08/28/2009

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That's cool, good idea! Like i said, it's not that i don't care enough to vote. If that gets the point across, i shall do that next time :)

[deleted account]

Quoting Sarah:


If there was a box on the ballot sheet saying 'none of the above' i'd go tick it. It's not because i don't care, or don't understand.....it's because i don't want to vote just for the sake of it.




You can always tick off all the names on the ballot--many people do this who feel the same way as yourself. Your still doing your "duty" by getting out and making a point on voting day. Just a suggestion..

Sarah - posted on 08/28/2009

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Oh, and i don't think freedom of speech should be based on whether you vote or not......freedom of speech is for EVERYONE......not just those whose vote.
If it's just for the voters......then it's not free is it?
:)

Sarah - posted on 08/28/2009

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Well, i knew i'd be in for some telling off! lol

I guess it's the system as a whole i have a problem with. Voting for the 'lesser of two evils' just annoys me.....why should i vote for any 'evil'?
If we actually got a say in real issues......say for example, 'should the Lockerbie bomber have been freed' i would have been first one down to the polling station...voting! (NO, of course!)
That's not how it works tho, we vote in one of two men, both as useless as each other, power hungry, money hungry, not REALLY caring about the country, just looking to line their own pockets......looking to butter us up with policies that make them look good and never delivering.
At least that's how i see it here in the UK.

If there was a box on the ballot sheet saying 'none of the above' i'd go tick it. It's not because i don't care, or don't understand.....it's because i don't want to vote just for the sake of it.

Hope that makes sense! It's pretty late! lol :)

Jocelyn - posted on 08/27/2009

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i'm also a big believer in if" you don't vote, you can't bitch" lol
im in canada, and i have voted at every national election we have had (and we have another one coming up in sept) i will have voted three times, in 4 years (too many times in my opinion but w/e) i believe that any vote i can give the underdog (ndp or green party depending lol) might become one more chair that they have in parliament. and that's one chair that the liberals/conservative don't have!
my hubby on the other hand has never voted and probably never will. he doesn't follow politics in the least, and doesn't believe that he should just vote for the hell of it. i won't force him to vote either.

Jeannette - posted on 08/27/2009

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No, you are not wrong for not voting if you are not willing to gather information to make a decently informed decision. I know, we all have varying degrees of decency. My sister-in-law doesn't vote because she is not willing to gather information, listen to debates, tune in to speeches, she is not willing to learn about any person's position on any issue. So, she doesn't go in to the "booth" and pick random names.
You are probably right...they all will do an equally good/bad job.
However, I personally believe that all people should make an effort in the process, because I believe that all people should feel represented. Even if the person you voted for doesn't get elected, you at least had a say in the matter.

Amie - posted on 08/26/2009

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Sara it is your right to vote if you so choose too. No one can tell you you are throwing away a valuable right if you don't feel that you are. To them it may be valuable, to you it may not be. It's all in perception.

I do happen to vote in my country and keep as up to date as possible on politics. =)

Charlie - posted on 08/26/2009

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Exactly Lindsay , those who don't vote have no right to say anything in regard's to how our country is run .

Lindsay - posted on 08/26/2009

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If you have the right to vote, it's your choice whether or not to vote. My biggest thing, though, is if you don't vote, don't bitch!

[deleted account]

Quoting Joy :



Quoting Alison:

Sarah it is as much your right not to vote as it is to use it. I can't vote in the US because I am not a citizen. Even if I was, I don't like either of these two main parties at all. I might use my vote as a protest if there is an alternative to the main two (there usually is). If not then I would not use my vote even if I had it.






Just out of curiosity, would you not vote even if you were informed?  I just want to clarify your statement about using your vote as a protest.  Because in not voting, you're "protest" has no effect at all.  One of the two "evils" always wins.  Again, I'm just asking out of curiosity and to clear up my interpretation of what you said :)






Yes that is correct. I will not vote for either party. If everyone takes the "less of two evils" attitude then things will never change. There needs to be more choice in America. I know the two main parties will dominate the presidential elections, but it would be nice if districts and individual states started to change and elect from smaller parties. People in those areas would be better represented and it would eventually start to take power away from the dominant two in the House.   



I'm originally from the UK and our local MP has been an independant for nealy 10 years. It's also more fun at election time because there are all sorts of candidates who dress up in silly clothes like the Monster Raving Looney Party. Why can't America do the same? It'd be a lot more fun. I had to take it down this road because my above paragraph was starting to sound too inteligent for me.   

Dana - posted on 08/26/2009

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I think you should always inform yourself and vote. It's your world, it's your childs world and it's our world. Each countries leader affects us all, humanity counts on themselves and others to make intelligent decisions. We need more intelligent people out there!!!!!! HELP US SARAH!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

[deleted account]

Quoting Alison:

Sarah it is as much your right not to vote as it is to use it. I can't vote in the US because I am not a citizen. Even if I was, I don't like either of these two main parties at all. I might use my vote as a protest if there is an alternative to the main two (there usually is). If not then I would not use my vote even if I had it.



Just out of curiosity, would you not vote even if you were informed?  I just want to clarify your statement about using your vote as a protest.  Because in not voting, you're "protest" has no effect at all.  One of the two "evils" always wins.  Again, I'm just asking out of curiosity and to clear up my interpretation of what you said :)

Esther - posted on 08/26/2009

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Quoting Joy :

[ ] Sorry if I sound harsh in any way girl! I'm not trying to make you feel bad or anything. [ ]


I am trying to make you feel bad - hehe ;) Just vote already.

[deleted account]

Sarah it is as much your right not to vote as it is to use it. I can't vote in the US because I am not a citizen. Even if I was, I don't like either of these two main parties at all. I might use my vote as a protest if there is an alternative to the main two (there usually is). If not then I would not use my vote even if I had it.

[deleted account]

When I turned 18, I did two things: 1) bought my first pack of cigarettes legally (I know) and 2) I registered to vote. I've voted in every presidential election since then, except for one and it was only because I was away from my home state and didn't know I could use an "absentee vote". I've always been aware of the main issues surrounding presidential elections but I really never followed the local stuff until about 5 years ago when a nice young lady knocked on my door and asked me if I would sign a petition. The county I live in has the longest stretch of untouched beaches in the country....no hotels, no buildings whatsoever....completely natural and totally preserved and protected. The town I live in is along that stretch of beach and it is soooo nice to go and not see high rises, condos, bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors, strip clubs. Instead, you see sea turtles laying eggs at certain times of the year. You see flocks of seagulls plucking fish from the ocean. You see dunes covered with sea grape trees, untouched. I listened to the girl explain how my town wanted to increase property taxes in order to allow some big company to buy rights to build high rise condos on one of our beaches. Even though I don't own property, I signed her petition against this. The bill didn't pass. But over the years it has evolved. The company built their high tower condos just before the recession, not directly on the beach but they built three huge, ugly buildings that block the view we used to get when driving over the bridge to cross the intercoastal river on the WAY to the beach. John Travolta bought a penthouse suite in one of the buildings and I lost a small amount of respect for him for doing it. What's sad is that they now sit relatively empty because no one can afford to spend $200,000 on a condo. Sad. There was an election on that too and I voted. We obviously lost. The reason I mention those two elections is because it shows how voting can be effective. I personally got satisfaction in the first vote. I did not get the outcome I wanted in the second. But I voted. And now, I feel like every time I see those God awful condos, I have every right to complain about them blocking my view because at least I put my two cents into the pot by voting. My best friend doesn't vote for anything, ever. And she is always the first one to complain.



I think it is our right, but more importantly, our responsibility to vote. But not to just go in and do "eenie, meenie, miney, mo" about it. It's not that hard really, to inform yourself, at least on the major issues. Every year I get a sample ballot that explains each issue, each bill, each act trying to get passed. Some things are above my head so I look them up on line or I talk to someone who knows more than I do about politics. Last year there was a really confusing issue on the ballot that had to do with taxes and police and fire fighters. The way it was worded, I was lost. And no one seemed to be able to clear it up for me. So I called the Clerk of Courts in my town, and spoke with someone at the "general information" desk about the issue and got a satisfactory explaination that helped me make my vote intelligently. It's a hard thing to do, with so much other stuff going on in our lives. Kids, work, school, grocery shopping, walking the dog, laundry, the list goes on. But it's only once a year and it takes just a little bit of time to inform yourself. I think you should vote Sarah. You're a smart lady and I know you would be able to make some smart decisions if you took the time to research a little. But if you aren't going to find out what the issues are about, or what each politician stands for, then I say no. Don't vote. Sorry if I sound harsh in any way girl! I'm not trying to make you feel bad or anything. It's just that I think a lot of people don't vote because they don't care and that is something I don't understand. You, on the other hand, probably care a lot, and I'd like to see your opinion counted. ((HUGE HUG))

JL - posted on 08/26/2009

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Educate yourself about the people running and the agendas and then PLEASE VOTE! Do you have the ability to write in a candidate?

ME - posted on 08/26/2009

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Sara...I totally agree with you. I think that as women, we especially ought to educate ourselves and utilize our right to vote! My Grandma was born just before women got the right to vote...she was about 8 years old when that right was granted to women. She ALWAYS voted, and she always educated herself on the issues and the candidates. My great aunt was about 16 when women got the right to vote, and she was a tireless advocate for the rights of women and children. I appreciate what they taught me as well as all of the hard work, and dedication of the women who fought for me to have this right, and I think we do them all a disservice by neglecting our responsibility!

Sara - posted on 08/26/2009

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I see voting as your responsibility as a citizen...also, voting gives you the right to bitch about what's going on! But here in the US, I think about all the people that struggled in order to give ME the right to vote. I not only owe it to myself to vote, but to all those who came before me as well. When my grandmother was born, women didn't have the right to vote in this country...that means a lot to me, to have a voice no matter how small. I think everyone should take advantage of their right to vote...think about how many people, especially women, are repressed in so many places in the world and have no vote.

ME - posted on 08/26/2009

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I agree with Esther...Voting is not only a privilege, it's our duty! However...I think it is far more responsible of folks who are unwilling to fully educate themselves on the issues and the people running for office to neglect that duty, than it would be to make an uneducated guess. I wish that the people who don't know anything about who they are voting for or the constitution of our country would just stay home during elections. They are doing NO ONE any favors!

Esther - posted on 08/26/2009

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Sarah - you have to vote. Honestly. I think it's not only our right, I think it's our duty. So many people have died for the right to vote. Many are still dying for that right. I don't think it's anything to be taken for granted. There is a reason some groups are catered to and others are not. It's called voting. It's called political clout. Here in the US for example, the elderly are usually looked after. Why? Because they all show up to vote. Minorities on the other hand ... not so much. You may not always get what you want. As a matter of fact, you probably usually won't, but it's the only time where you can exert SOME direct influence.

Tracy - posted on 08/26/2009

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I agree with Loureen. I think its priviliage to vote and believe its important.

In Australia it is compulsory to vote once you have registered and if you don't then you will receive a fine. We vote by a ranking system, which forces voters to rank candidates in order of preference. When tallied this will give a result of the least hated, rather than most liked, that represents the people. In the 1990s, this system kept the extremist like Pauline Hanson (one nation) out of parliament even though she won the most votes in her electorate. I believe our system works and the person who is elected is choosen by the majority of Australians.

Additionally, I think its a wonderful that no matter if you are poor or rich that your votes are just as important!

Sarah - posted on 08/26/2009

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Makes perfect sense. We have a party like that here, and if i thought my vote was going to help keep them out of power, i would definitely vote. Luckily they have no where near enough votes to come close.
I guess my reasoning is that unless i fully read each and every parties agendas etc.....(which i don't do, lazy me?lol) then i'm not really making a very educated vote.....and i'd rather stay out of it.
Like on here....i steer clear of the political US debates, because i don't have anything of any worth to add.
Hope that makes sense! haha! :)

Charlie - posted on 08/26/2009

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i just see it as , one WILL be picked at least you can keep the worst of them out by voting for the one you " like the most " .
There are some completely insane parties eg , we had an intolerant , racist One nation party .
Even if i didn't like any of them there is no way in HELL i would want them in any sort of power and the only way for me to do that is to vote .

lol Sorry does that make sense i am sooo tired .

Sarah - posted on 08/26/2009

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What if you look at all the parties....and don't really agree with any of them....should you vote just for the sake of voting? :)

Charlie - posted on 08/26/2009

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I vote and think it is a privilege to be able to have some sort of say in what happens in our country , at least we can pick the lesser of two evils right ?

Anyway if i dont vote then you have no right whatsoever in any matter concerning the way this country has run .

If people care they will vote !

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