Protest Voting (1 Viewer)

Optimus Prime

Subscribing Member
VIP Subscribing Member
VIP Contributor
Joined
Jul 18, 1998
Messages
7,773
Reaction score
8,120
Online
Good article about the concept of protest voting
========================================================

We’re in the season of protest vote advocacy, with writers of all political stripes making arguments for third-party candidates (Jill Stein, Gary Johnson), write-in votes (Bernie Sanders, Rod Silva), or refusing to vote altogether (#NeverTrump, #BernieOrBust.)

For all the eloquence and passion and rage in these arguments, however, they suffer from a common flaw: there is no such thing as a protest vote.

The authors of these pieces rarely line up their preferred Presidential voting strategies — third-party, write-in, refusal — with the electoral system as it actually exists.

In 2016, that system will offer 130 million or so voters just three options:

A. I prefer Donald Trump be President, rather than Hillary Clinton.

B. I prefer Hillary Clinton be President, rather than Donald Trump.

C. Whatever everybody else decides is OK with me.

That’s it. Those are the choices. All strategies other than a preference for Trump over Clinton or vice-versa reduce to Option C...............

Throwing away your vote on a message no one will hear, and which will change no outcome, is sometimes presented as ‘voting your conscience’, but that’s got it exactly backwards; your conscience is what keeps you from doing things that feel good to you but hurt other people.

Citizens who vote for third-party candidates, write-in candidates, or nobody aren’t voting their conscience, they are voting their ego, unable to accept that a system they find personally disheartening actually applies to them.................

https://medium.com/@cshirky/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-protest-vote-c2fdacabd704#.twp24xd9q
 

JimEverett

More than 15K posts served!
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Messages
24,979
Reaction score
7,834
Offline
Good article about the concept of protest voting
========================================================

We’re in the season of protest vote advocacy, with writers of all political stripes making arguments for third-party candidates (Jill Stein, Gary Johnson), write-in votes (Bernie Sanders, Rod Silva), or refusing to vote altogether (#NeverTrump, #BernieOrBust.)

For all the eloquence and passion and rage in these arguments, however, they suffer from a common flaw: there is no such thing as a protest vote.

The authors of these pieces rarely line up their preferred Presidential voting strategies — third-party, write-in, refusal — with the electoral system as it actually exists.

In 2016, that system will offer 130 million or so voters just three options:

A. I prefer Donald Trump be President, rather than Hillary Clinton.

B. I prefer Hillary Clinton be President, rather than Donald Trump.

C. Whatever everybody else decides is OK with me.

That’s it. Those are the choices. All strategies other than a preference for Trump over Clinton or vice-versa reduce to Option C...............

Throwing away your vote on a message no one will hear, and which will change no outcome, is sometimes presented as ‘voting your conscience’, but that’s got it exactly backwards; your conscience is what keeps you from doing things that feel good to you but hurt other people.

Citizens who vote for third-party candidates, write-in candidates, or nobody aren’t voting their conscience, they are voting their ego, unable to accept that a system they find personally disheartening actually applies to them.................

https://medium.com/@cshirky/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-protest-vote-c2fdacabd704#.twp24xd9q

Except that unless you are in a handful of states the likelihood of your vote mattering at all is virtually nil. I mean does your voting for Clinton instead of Gary Johnson make any difference whatsoever in the outcome of the election if you are voting in Alabama? Yet, if enough people vote for johnson it presumably would make some difference, at least in a way that voting for Clinton would not.
 

brockmeaux

I'm Batman
Staff member
Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
9,734
Reaction score
6,925
Age
37
Location
Abbeville, LA
Offline
Except that unless you are in a handful of states the likelihood of your vote mattering at all is virtually nil. I mean does your voting for Clinton instead of Gary Johnson make any difference whatsoever in the outcome of the election if you are voting in Alabama? Yet, if enough people vote for johnson it presumably would make some difference, at least in a way that voting for Clinton would not.
Trump is itching for an angle to sue and contest the results over in the event he loses; he's been on that train since declaring the only way he loses Pennsylvania is if the voting is rigged. If, by some chance, we have a Gore/Bush situation where Clinton wins the delegates but Trump is at or close to winning the popular vote because 3rd party votes siphon enough away to make an impact on the tally, it'll be part of his campaign. Through the media if not the courts. At the very least, finishing within a couple percentage points of the Oval Office will embolden him and he'll come back in 4 years touting this result, and the base that got him to this point will still be there because they'll be united in opposition of Clinton as they have been against Obama for the last 8 years.

I get wanting to go 3rd party, especially in a state where my vote won't decide the delegates, but the stakes are, frankly, too high. In a normal year I'd be with you, but I want to do everything I can to keep that man away from the office. Every vote counts.
 

mt15

Subscribing Member
Staff member
Super Moderator
VIP Subscribing Member
Platinum VIP Contributor
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
13,342
Reaction score
18,184
Offline
Agreed. Trump is not a normal candidate, he's the most grossly unqualified person to ever run for the POTUS. I used to qualify that with "major party" but I'm not sure that's necessary now. When we faced a choice between Romney and Obama, I had none of the reservations I have today. I definitely favored Obama, but I wouldn't have lost any sleep over Romney. He's a decent man. This isn't the year to vote third party. That's a luxury we just don't have this year. The stakes are too high. They've never been higher, actually.
 

mjcouvi

Hi
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Messages
5,199
Reaction score
4,520
Offline
Well, I don't prefer Hillary and I don't prefer Trump and if those are the choices then I won't be OK with what others choose, so for me the idea that there are only the above three options is pretty flawed.

How about a choice D. "I hate both candidates more than the other. I'm not OK with what others choose either. I'd really just prefer not to waste an hour of my time going to vote because it really won't have any impact upon stuff I really care about. There are more valuable uses of my time."

When you hate both more than the other then well, ya got a paradox and so then abstaining from the decision makes most logical sense.

And the article says that this is throwing away my message because no one will hear it? HA! I bet at least 10 people will read this.
 

Three Monkeys

ALL-MADDEN TEAM
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,181
Reaction score
937
Age
57
Offline
Trump is itching for an angle to sue and contest the results over in the event he loses; he's been on that train since declaring the only way he loses Pennsylvania is if the voting is rigged. If, by some chance, we have a Gore/Bush situation where Clinton wins the delegates but Trump is at or close to winning the popular vote because 3rd party votes siphon enough away to make an impact on the tally, it'll be part of his campaign. Through the media if not the courts. At the very least, finishing within a couple percentage points of the Oval Office will embolden him and he'll come back in 4 years touting this result, and the base that got him to this point will still be there because they'll be united in opposition of Clinton as they have been against Obama for the last 8 years.

I get wanting to go 3rd party, especially in a state where my vote won't decide the delegates, but the stakes are, frankly, too high. In a normal year I'd be with you, but I want to do everything I can to keep that man away from the office. Every vote counts.
Yeah, while my vote (in Louisiana) won't count toward the electoral college, it will send the message.

Trump has already backtracked on his pledge to accept the results of the election if he loses. I think he'll challenge each state where the difference in popular vote is less than 2 points. I also think he'll challenge if Clinton gets less than 50% of the national popular vote.

Greater separation in the popular MIGHT dissuade him.
 

RetroMcBananaFace

AKA: retrobanana
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
10,061
Reaction score
20,842
Location
Henderson, Kentucky
Offline
I've never bought into the 3rd party vote is a wasted vote idea. Being locked into a two-party system is to a large extent how we ended up with these undesirable candidates to begin with. All that stance does is promote the status quo.

If 15% of people vote 3rd party, you can bet your butt it will start some conversation about how and why such a large number of people turned their backs on the two major parties. Might even embolden the smaller parties to really get to work and put together a viable candidate for next cycle.
 

not2rich

NO State of Mind
Joined
Jul 23, 2001
Messages
7,591
Reaction score
15,303
Location
Denver
Offline
I've never bought into the 3rd party vote is a wasted vote idea. Being locked into a two-party system is to a large extent how we ended up with these undesirable candidates to begin with. All that stance does is promote the status quo.

If 15% of people vote 3rd party, you can bet your butt it will start some conversation about how and why such a large number of people turned their backs on the two major parties. Might even embolden the smaller parties to really get to work and put together a viable candidate for next cycle.
If you're informed about what your party or your candidate stands for, and you really believe in the cause, I'm cool with that.

The people I know who are voting third party, though, seem to know less about their candidate/party than I do, which isn't much. They're motivated purely by a desire not to pick either Clinton or Trump. I don't really respect that.
 

RetroMcBananaFace

AKA: retrobanana
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
10,061
Reaction score
20,842
Location
Henderson, Kentucky
Offline
The people I know who are voting third party, though, seem to know less about their candidate/party than I do, which isn't much. They're motivated purely by a desire not to pick either Clinton or Trump. I don't really respect that.
This is not exclusively the realm of 3rd party voters, especially not this cycle. You have plenty of people voting for the two major party candidates for the exact same reason. I don't really see the difference, except the 3rd party voters are actually angling for change to the political status quo.

FWIW I agree the 3rd party candidates aren't worth much this time around. As I said though, I do believe a significant amount of 3rd party votes could function as a wake-up call in themselves.
 

RussTKD

Hall-of-Famer
VIP Contributor
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Messages
4,875
Reaction score
5,514
Age
49
Offline
I was going to vote 3rd party again, but between the Democratic Convention and Gary Johnson revealing he's been drinking bong water, I've decided to vote Hillary.
 

Hedon James

the agitant f/k/a Jekylz Hyde
Joined
Sep 1, 1997
Messages
2,151
Reaction score
2,516
Location
Garden of Hedon...wherever I am, there I are...
Offline
This is not exclusively the realm of 3rd party voters, especially not this cycle. You have plenty of people voting for the two major party candidates for the exact same reason. I don't really see the difference, except the 3rd party voters are actually angling for change to the political status quo.

FWIW I agree the 3rd party candidates aren't worth much this time around. As I said though, I do believe a significant amount of 3rd party votes could function as a wake-up call in themselves.
Bingo! This is what I believe will happen, and why I will vote 3rd party. I can live with that very realistic outcome. And maybe....just MAYBE, there will be a ground-swell of support for a viable 3rd party option in the future; built from the bottom up, rather than the top down.

You folks who keep framing this argument as an imperial directive to ensure your most despised candidate does not ascend to the presidency, and suggesting that it will all be the fault of 3rd party voters are laughable. If there's one thing I've learned in the past 8 years, it's that a sufficiently "motivated" Congress can effectively "park" a much dis-liked president for as long as it takes. And make no mistake, both Clinton and Trump are each sufficiently dis-liked enough to suffer the same fate. It won't be the end of the world as we know it if Clinton wins, or if Trump wins; it'll just be 4 more years of the same old obstructionist ********.

I'll be the Little Red Hen voting to lay the groundwork for future political change. Y'all can thank me later, after the bread's been made...
 

mt15

Subscribing Member
Staff member
Super Moderator
VIP Subscribing Member
Platinum VIP Contributor
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
13,342
Reaction score
18,184
Offline
I could respect that view a lot more except for that pesky "commander in chief" of the armed forces deal. Trump would be dangerous and a destabilizing force in the world with that much power. And yes, he probably would be impeached within a year, but why risk it? Especially since the third party candidates aren't really capable in the foreign policy arena.
 

RetroMcBananaFace

AKA: retrobanana
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
10,061
Reaction score
20,842
Location
Henderson, Kentucky
Offline
the time to get involved in 3rd party politics is Jan 21st not Nov 2nd
Well,that's kind of the thing....that base has to be energized from somewhere. A 2% turnout right now doesn't exactly get anybody amped about the future of a third party, but 20% gets those people mobilized and taking their own chances seriously for the next cycle. Johnson + Stein only equal 10% right now, but every time Trump opens his mouth those numbers get a little bit bigger.
 

Hedon James

the agitant f/k/a Jekylz Hyde
Joined
Sep 1, 1997
Messages
2,151
Reaction score
2,516
Location
Garden of Hedon...wherever I am, there I are...
Offline
I'm thinking that a respectable showing in 2016 will go a long ways toward 2020. I'm under no delusions of grandeur. But if it's ever gonna happen, opportunities like 2016 don't come along very often.

Someone above said it very well. Ever since I can remember, I have had a preference for a presidential candidate. Sometimes my guy wins, sometimes not. But even when my guy doesn't win, I'm okay with the "other" candidate. A choice between "good" and "better."

This is the first election where I've considered either of the candidates to be completely unacceptable, and unfortunately, I feel that way about both. Here's the thing though...both candidates received their nomination fair & square. But when fair & square results in the 2 most dis-liked candidates in history, something is wrong with the process.

Couple that with the political gridlock and the gamesmanship being played by both parties, and I think both parties have forgotten their original raison d'etre. So I'm gonna seize the opportunity they've presented with 2 crappy candidates and I'm gonna cast my lot with a different party. Hopefully with a different result.

At the very least, I'm hoping 3rd party interest sends a message to the Republicrats to remember who they're supposed to work for, and to get their affairs in order. I'm ready for something different. I've gotta do something different...
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)



Headlines

Top Bottom