How involved are you in politics?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by CivCube, Jul 2, 2016.

?

How involved are you in politics?

  1. I don't vote.

    7.4%
  2. I vote occasionally.

    5.6%
  3. I vote in every major election.

    9.3%
  4. I vote in all elections and referendums.

    50.0%
  5. I do the above and have volunteered in campaigns.

    18.5%
  6. I do the above and have been on paid staff.

    5.6%
  7. I don't vote and discourage other people from voting.

    3.7%
  1. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    47,170
    Location:
    US of A


    Doesn't work. That was actually a libertarian talking point at one time. But don't work. And the reason is that there's no such thing as an absolute dictator. Every dictator is dependent for his rule on his supporters. And the supporters choose to support the dictator for what they get out of it. So the dictator allows his supporters to be ruthless so that he can stay in power.

    You aren't trying change the mind of one dictator. You are undermining the support structure which the dictator is dependent on for his survival.
     
  2. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    28,623
    Location:
    London, UK
    I vote in every election and am a member of the Labour party here. My membership doesn't extend to actually doing anything for the Labour party, other than give them money every month.
     
  3. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,818
    I very intentionally wrote the poll for what it is.
     
  4. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Éponine

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,214
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The Barricade
    How do you engage with the political process without voting?
     
  5. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,818
    Non-profit organizations, community organizing, contacting elected officials, testifying at legislative hearings, lobbying, education and outreach, studies on policies' impacts on specific populations, civil disobedience, protests, etc., all of which are useful and necessary in an active civic society.
     
  6. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Éponine

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,214
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The Barricade
    I don't quite see how you would do those things and then consciously decide that voting was bad though.
     
  7. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,839
    Location:
    Scotland
    It's possible, but I think it would tend to be limited to the more purist end of the anarchism. I can't see a huge number of people throwing themselves into extra-electoral activism, but refusing to so much as hold their nose and vote for the lesser evil.
     
  8. Robert Can't

    Robert Can't Éponine

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,214
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The Barricade
    Especially in countries with have a democracy (Which I presume the majority of us live in) it would seem that voting is a no effort form of political involvement that it doesn't make much sense not to do.
     
  9. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8,077
    Location:
    America
    What was that experience like?
     
  10. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    26,311
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Exactly. There are many political things people can do other than voting. I'm not shy about emailing a federal politician when I think they're doing something wrong (or even when I think they've done something exceptionally right). For example, I've recently sent letters to politicians for both reasons; the former on the issue of changing the anthem to gender-neutral language (my MP is a sexist Reformacon idiot), and the latter to one of the Liberal MPs who voted against his own party's assisted-dying bill because he felt that it's unconstitutional (he's right).

    And since I've worked for Elections Canada myself, there are things I know that the average voter doesn't - such as how votes are actually counted, and how to tell if the DRO/poll clerk are doing their jobs correctly. There are a lot of misconceptions people have about the process, and I spent a lot of time on the CBC.ca comment pages last fall, explaining how the process works and when a poll worker isn't doing things right or giving the voter all the information/options to which they're entitled.

    This past election was so incredibly messy, from the pre-writ advertising (months of an obnoxious TV ad complaining that Justin Trudeau has nice hair) and campaign workers phoning people, to the extremely inadequate training given to the DRO/poll clerk teams (you just don't show up late to work, order Canadian flags removed from polling stations; they're NOT Liberal campaign symbols, or give used ballots to people), to polling stations being advertised as "handicapped accessible" but located on the second floor of a building where the elevator isn't usable without a key that the EC workers don't have.

    Not sure how it is in your country, but here it's entirely possible for kids to participate in campaigning and helping out by distributing flyers, and many schools have "mock elections" where they discuss the issues and hold a mock election to teach the kids how the process works. My own junior high social studies teacher had us doing stuff like this and so much more... when there was a dam controversy going on back in the '70s, our class took a field trip to the sites where the dam could possibly be built and interviewed people living around there... people whose land would be flooded and go from productive land to underwater. Later on, we attended the public hearings and my teacher and even some of the students made presentations. The media spun it as "blue jeans and bubblegum day at the environmental hearings" and thought it was sooo cute that a bunch of 11-13-year-old kids would take an interest and that we were "obviously" influenced by our parents' opinions. Well, this was of course rebutted in the newspaper, as the fact was that most of our parents weren't really aware that this was even an issue. None of them were affected by the dam, so why bother about it?. It was quite a learning experience for me, and I know I'm not the only person in that class who continued with an interest in politics to this day.

    There are a lot of immigrants in this country, not to mention the Syrian refugees we took in last winter. Some of these people are very interested in politics, as of course they want to help the party that's most likely to help them and the families left behind. They can't vote until they get their citizenship - a process that will take years - but they are quite willing and able to help candidates, and do whatever other things people do - write letters, sign petitions, attend public meetings, participate in rallies, and so on.

    Voting isn't the only thing people can do, and it's a misconception to assume that people don't vote because they don't want to. Sometimes they really do want to vote but don't meet the eligibility requirements.
     
  11. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    27,312
    Location:
    Sydney
    I don't think it really requires anarchism to consciously decide not to vote despite being keenly interested in politics. If a constitutional order supposedly rests upon popular sovereignty and the acquiescence of the people, as demonstrated through their participation, then one of the only ways in which to properly express disagreement with that constitutional order is through not voting.
     
  12. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,818
    I suspect the reason youth turnout could be better is not because they don't want to vote but because they don't know how, where, or when to register. MTV's Rock the Vote doesn't exactly do that for them. And that's before considering minority suppression.
     
  13. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    3,606
    or do a Farage and stand for election yourself
    not voting tells us nothing about why a person did not vote it can reflect the weather or the fact that your team was playing footy that day so can not 'express' disagreement
     
  14. west india man

    west india man Immortal

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    9,386
    Location:
    Brazil
    Voting for a write-in candidate or spoiling your ballot (in the case of Brazil, annulling your vote) indicates more of a contempt of the system than staying at home imo, though it's not really a choice for me or any Australians that are eligible to vote
     
  15. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    26,311
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Are you in the US? The registration system is different here. Anyone who submits a federal tax return here has the option to check a box that asks if they'd like to be added to the federal voters' list. That's all it takes, since the tax form already deals with issues of age, address, and citizenship.

    New voters, whether new via turning 18 or gaining citizenship, have to contact Elections Canada. I'm not sure if online registrations are allowed.

    There was a "Rock the Vote" movement here last election, done as a cooperative effort between various youth groups and the Council of Canadians. The goal was to get as many university students and aboriginal people registered as could be managed. These are two of the demographics the federal government's (Un)Fair Elections Act intended to disenfranchise by making it as aggravating as possible to come up with IDs that show one's photo, name, and current address. There really aren't that many that have all of these, at least that the typical university student or aboriginal person would have. And this doesn't even begin to touch on the issues of accessible polling stations.

    Exactly.

    Spoiling the ballot is something that tends to make the Deputy Returning Officer immediately wonder how someone could be so stupid that they weren't able to make an "X" in the space next to the candidate/party of their choice. That's ALL it means. It's not some telling thing that's going to make the parties sit up and immediately vow to pull up their socks and improve themselves.

    What I've done when I wanted to register dissatisfaction with the choices available has been to go to the polling station, get checked in, and then formally decline my ballot (I've done this on occasion for school board elections and even once for the mayoral election; not one person running was someone I'd vote for to clean my cats' litterbox, let alone be on the school board or run the city). It's mandatory for the election workers to write down that I formally declined my ballot, and it should be obvious then that I was not satisfied with any of the choices. I did accept the ballot for the councilors, but it's rare that I ever vote for a full slate. There just aren't enough people running who I consider would have my best interests in mind.
     
  16. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    9,492
    Gender:
    Male
    Exactly. I may be an anarchist now, though I practiced non-voting as a political tactic before that.

    Had I lived within a state which made voting compulsory, I would have opted to spoil ballots as well. Overall, I see non-voting as boycotting elections and by extent, all the special interests who are to endorse the elected.
     
  17. Arwon

    Arwon

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Messages:
    19,278
    Location:
    Canberra
    Vote all the time, would even if not compulsory. That included local councils and state level when I lived in a state, now it includes Territory level.

    I'm also a paying member of the Greens and usually at least hand out How To Vote cards on election day, even in the ACT election where it's very futile due to the system and regulations.
     
  18. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    19,541
    Location:
    Chicago
    There are parts of the job that are really fun. The adrenaline rush near the end of a campaign is amazing, and almost made the drudgery of everything else worth it. I'm still friends with a few people I met on that campaign as well...shared negative experiences help with bonding, after all.

    But it's not something I'd be in a hurry to do again. The pay is pretty crummy, the hours are outrageous, (I worked 100 hour weeks), living with strangers and without a real sense of privacy really wore on me, and the actual work varied between boring and crushing. I got called more racial slurs on that campaign than in the rest of my life, combined. There are some...less than ethical people in this business that wear on you.

    It's not for me.
     
  19. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,582
    Location:
    where mise
    Are these numbers available anywhere?
     
  20. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    22,036
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Here you can draw a dick and balls on the ballot and it'll still count as formal if you numbered all the boxes correctly.
     

Share This Page