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Dennis Eric Stout
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I'm against it, but now that I have your attention, there is an issue with voting and voter intelligence that I'd like to discuss.

A person can claim to be of one party, and in general, stand with that party on a number of issues. Not all candidates agree, however, and that is why we have primary elections. Primary elections are held to figure out who most closely represents the party as a whole. This implies that a candidate can also stand in opposition of their party on some issues.

If the issues that are important to you are not the issues that are important to the party you've chosen as a whole, but the other party's candidate does hold a stand on that issue and their stand is in line with what you think, you have a choice. You can, heaven forbid, pick up a phone and call your parties candidate and ask them for clarification on their stand.

If they agree with your view also, great. Vote for them. If they don't, perhaps you should vote for the other parties candidate.

If you can't talk to them for any reason, skip that last step and just vote for the other guy. You already know his stand and you're happy with it, so why vote for someone else who might not agree with you?

Now for the issue with voting a straight party ticket. What if the congressional candidate for your party agrees with your views, but your gubernatorial candidate does not? What if the other parties gubernatorial candidate's views are better than your own parties candidate's views? In this case, you're better served voting for your own parties congressman and the other parties governor.

Anyone hwo declares they're just going to vote a straight party ticket obviously hasn't taken the time to think about any of the issues that are important to them, and if they're not willing to be involved in stuff that's important to themselves, they shouldn't be injecting themselves into and screwing up things for the people who do know and care about issues important to them.

In short, if you're choosing to vote a straight party ticket because you like the party, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

If your choice candidates that you're voting for all happen to belong to the same party, fantastic.
Is voting because you want your team to win really invalid in a way that voting because you want to exercise power over others isn't valid? :)
To reduce confusion, I'm going to rewrite your statement.

"Is voting because you want your team to win really invalid in a way that voting because you want to exercise power over others is invalid?"

I can't answer that question because I didn't assert the last half of that.
Well, I meant "isn't invalid", but I clearly didn't take the time to write in a clear manner. :(

I meant only to suggest this: considering the two major reasons to vote, that you want your side to win, and that you want to impose your rules on other people, I'm not sure that it's necessarily a bad thing that most people apparently vote for the former reason, that they just want their team to win. People who vote straight ticket are voting for "one of us" instead of "one of them", rather than because they want to see specific policies enacted or avoided. I would feel less bad about a person who voted for Democrats because his pappy and grandpappy before him was a Democrat than I would about a person who had considered the options on the field and made a conscious decision to support even more looting of my paycheck.
Because polyticks isn't supposed to be a team sport?

Caucus voting is really anti-constitutional and works to counter Democracy. You are supposed to vote your own self-interest and your own beliefs, not those of someone else. It is one of the weaknesses of the US system, the fact that the first-past-the-post system can be gamed by Caucus voting tactics. It really makes the US system vulnerable to minority-tyranny by an elite.

What really needs to happen (it never will) is that each candidate should be required to get a 51% majority of the vote in their contituency. In France they take the top candidates and re-run their elections until that happens. It works better than having primaries and avoids spoiler candidates that allow the winner to only have 40% of the vote and still win.

I agree. I didn't know that about France, but I can see that as being advantageous.

More specifically, I can see how detrimental it would be to have the 40%'er in office since I've actually seen the 40%'er in office :P By implication then, I know it can be better.

I do understand why the U.S. has a party system, it was to ensure that we had _at least_ two candidates to choose from. In theory, we could vote out the bad guy and get the better one. In practice, we just trade off one bad asshole for another bad asshole.

I think I'm one of the only people around here to grasp the concept of voting based on actually thinking about what I want rather than "Oh, I'm feeling republicanish today....".

I'll admit, I typically vote mostly Republican and Libertarian. I never made hte choice to vote a straight ticket, mind you. I didn't nkow what those words meant when I first started voting.

Since I didn't know what "republican" or "democrat" meant, I did the next best (which I now see is the first best) thing. I looked at the issues I had with society, I looked at hte candidates who I thought had the same ideas I did for fixing them, and I voted accordingly. Viola, I voted mostly libertarian and republican.

One in a while, I do vote for a democrat.

The way I see it, if 60% of my views are Republicanish, then I bare the label "Republican" despite the fact that almost half of my views are then, by implication, not Republican (we'll say they're Democratianish).

Let's say another person also has 60% of their views in line with Republican views. Potentially, only 20% of our views may actually overlap. That means I disagree entirely with that person even though we're both in the same party! And if there's another Demcorat who only shares 60% of their views with the Democrat party, it's possible that 80% of our views overlap!

So, there we have it, a mathematical model of how a Republican may feel better served by a Democrat candidate than the Republican candidate, and shows exactly why those single word things can't possibly represent an entire political belief system.

We should just have "The Party".... We'd have to call it something else though, the Soviets kind of ruined that particular term :)
"Because polyticks isn't supposed to be a team sport?"

I think for most voters (at least in the US) it certainly is a team sport. It's not clear to me that "supposed to be" has any meaning or force in this context. If you're talking about the Founders, then I'd say I expect they'd want to throw out what we have and start over. We long ago passed the point where they revolted against the King (and, of course, some subgroups of Americans never even *got* that free), but we're all so rich now that it's hard for most people to care. Even in a 20% unemployment recession.