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Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 02:33   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

Ok, now before you guys start yelling at me(and I know some still will) let me clarify what I meant by "don't vote." That excludes all those who suddenly get sick, are unable to gain an absentee ballot, those who cannot vote(IE underage, immigrants, ext.) and people like that.

This popped in my head when I was talking to a friend of mine who could have voted(but didn't) in the past Presidential Election, and Senatorial. He kept complaining on and on about how Bush and the Congress and what not are screwing things up. I asked him if he voted, he said no, and I responded "Then you have no right to an opinion on this matter, you, unlike me, could have voted, but did not use this privilege." He got mad and stormed off.

Now, what do you guys think. Should you be allowed and opinion on politics if you did not participate by voting?
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 02:39   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

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Originally Posted by Icer, The Holy Influence
Now, what do you guys think. Should you be allowed and opinion on politics if you did not participate by voting?
let me ask you one thing: how do you plan on stopping these people from having an opinion?

now, the fact of the matter is you're expressing an opinion yourself here. and you're trying to say its valid over someone else's opinion. and, when you get right down to it, its harder to not have an opinion about current politics than it is to not have an opinion about the issue you've expressed...

realistically, its easier for you to simply dismiss his opinion on whatever grounds your opinion dictates than to actually restrict someone else's opinion
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 02:43   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

Well, there are two sides to the matter.

The first, and more obvious, is that if one does not participate in the democratic process, they have no right what so ever to complain.

However, there are a lot of acceptable situations that do make sence. First, many people are disgusted with the system, especially in the way democracy has evolved into party politics. If you do not believe in either side, should you vote anyway? Also, the electoral college does ruin things. We live in Texas, and my mom is a liberal. Even though she votes, the conservative laws and congress seats are elected, and the electoral votes always go to the republican candidate, all by a large marjain. Its very hard to get motivated to vote when you already know the outcome. Finally, there are often conflicting situations when it comes time to vote. Say you are a conservative, but you are also homosexual. You dont want to vote for the republican candidate, as he treats you kind like dirt, but you dont want to vote democrat, as their candidate has the opposite views. So, instead of giving either sides your vote, you dont give them the advantage.
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 03:47   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

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Originally Posted by Mavfreak
Well, there are two sides to the matter.

The first, and more obvious, is that if one does not participate in the democratic process, they have no right what so ever to complain.

However, there are a lot of acceptable situations that do make sence. First, many people are disgusted with the system, especially in the way democracy has evolved into party politics. If you do not believe in either side, should you vote anyway? Also, the electoral college does ruin things. We live in Texas, and my mom is a liberal. Even though she votes, the conservative laws and congress seats are elected, and the electoral votes always go to the republican candidate, all by a large marjain. Its very hard to get motivated to vote when you already know the outcome. Finally, there are often conflicting situations when it comes time to vote. Say you are a conservative, but you are also homosexual. You dont want to vote for the republican candidate, as he treats you kind like dirt, but you dont want to vote democrat, as their candidate has the opposite views. So, instead of giving either sides your vote, you dont give them the advantage.
Ditto.

Wow. I want those words you stole from my mouth back eventually. :P

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Old 13 Apr 2007, 10:11   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

Mavfreak explained the problem very well

I didn't vote in the last elections here in Italy, because I didn't like the two options. In my opinion the two candidates were disgusting. >
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 10:19   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

The very reason I don't vote is no matter what party I support nothing will change. Well, I could vote BNP I guess... but that would involve having a Nazi Government. Still, I suppose having Nazis who get things done is better than what we have now.

If we still had honest politicians, this problem wouldn't exist.
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 10:49   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

No, if you don't vote, you shouldn't complain. You chose not to take part in a democratic process and so you are not allowed to moan when it doesn't work out like you wanted it.
The thing about Britain over America is our wealth of parties (Vote SWP!) were as America really has a two party system, which due to my political beliefs, I'd be left out in the cold(A liberal party and a conservative party. Where do the left-wingers vote?). Mind you, in Britain these days, the three major parties just occupy a murky middle ground. (You know soomething's wrong when the Labour party starts talking about keeping private and Grammar schools.)
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 11:01   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

As noted, "Not voting" is as acceptable as "voting". People can have reasons for it. And frankly: people are allowed to be lazy.

I don't think lazy folks should have their opinions stripped of them, that's just...insane.

Similarly, what the original poster (and now XV18) suggest is to entitle all those who object to not have opinions. Which is similarly insane.

If someone, like the OP suggests, says "I didn't vote because I couldn't be arsed!" the valid response is not "WELL YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN!", it is something more akin to "Well why not do something about it, voting helps?!"

But if there's no honest or viable politicians? Do something about it (become a viable and honest politician) or find another solution.

Self-defeating opinions (such as those expressed by the guy the OP was speaking to) don't need censoring or revoking. Rather: just engage them on the topic rather than telling them to STFUN00B!

Regarding the Politics

I'm not sure I'd be content in US voting either. I'd likely end up voting for an Independent, even if they don't have chance of success. The statement (IMO) is more viable than 'not voting because you don't like the two likely ones'.

In British Politics (and more specifically: Scottish Politics), there is plenty of room for variance. We have 'hard liners' such as the BNP. The Conservatives are still somewhat more of a right wing party, but Westminster-Labour has shifted almost all the way across. (In Scottish Politics, at least, Labour and the Conservatives are still quite distinguishable).

In terms of a 'left wing' party, the Lib Dems seem to be the closest to it. Their no socialists, but at present they are the only ones who cater to my vaguely moderate-liberal disposition. Certainly in Westminster. In Holyrood (Scotland) it is somewhat of a larger divide between positions, and since we've plenty of likelyhood of Green MSPs and Socialist MSPs (if not actually plenty of them), we don't need to worry about being left out of the system. I feel the Proportional Respresentation system used here is somewhat more endearing, democratically speaking, than any of the other systems I know of.

Not only that, bu we also have the SNP. Which are a whole nother kettle of fish!
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 12:42   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

Nono. If you vote and the party you vote for doesn't get in, then you can moan. You took part and are therefore entitled to an opinion. If you don't even other to get up that day then you voluntarily revoke all right to express your opinion, so why do you want it when it's futile?
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Old 13 Apr 2007, 12:51   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should those who do not vote be allowed an opion on the way things are run?

I reckon there are two kinds of not voting.

1) I just can't be bothered: Just too damn lazy to go to the polls. These are the ones who should keep their mouth shut

2) Conscious political decision: Everybody sucks, so they're not going to vote as a protest. These people have a reason, especially in two party systems like in the states where your choice is much more limited. These folks should feel free to shout "THEY'RE ALL IDIOTS!" from rooftops and whatnot
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