Does voting matter?

Modok and I have been fighting about voting for decades.  Before the 1988 presidential elections his compelling arguments convinced me not to vote.  After the 1992 presidential elections, we had the following conversation in my little flat on the Ferdinand Bolstraat:

Modok:  Congratulations you voted for a winner!

Me: Very funny.

Modok: No seriously you voted for Clinton and he won.

Me:  Modok, I was here in Am*dam and did not do an absentee thing.  You convinced me last cycle it was the wrong thing to do.

Modok:  Yeah, things have gotten so bad, I forged your signature and voted for you in San Francisco.

At which he and I both broke up laughing.

A reasonable critique of liberals.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

4 responses to “Does voting matter?”

  1. Sapphyre says :

    so what’s the conclusion to the story?? 🙂

  2. paxus says :

    Perhaps that anarchists are a flighty lot.

  3. Vermin F. Cockwolf says :

    The system is totally rigged. I vote anyhow, always per my conscience, which means third-party. This year I’m writing in Stein and Honkala, Green Party. I do think we can have some impact at the polls in local elections but, even there, the politicians are often (maybe usually) bought and paid for by local developers and other interests.

    Case in point, in Asheville, there are a handful of downtown parking decks. All were built around the same time, and all were financed by loans. All of those loans were paid off last year. So, that 75 cents an hour people pay would go to the general transportation fund, meaning more bike lanes, wider sidewalks, increased bus service, etc.

    But wait. Local developers had a proposal: use that money to build another downtown garage that would serve the new high-rise hotel and shops that would go up. Buy the Hot Dog King property (owned by the man who colluded with the former sheriff in a video gaming scandal a few years back — both are now serving prison sentences), and create a multilevel deck that would create a handful of new parking spaces. Spend $75,000 per space, as opposed to the $18,000 each really costs.

    Only a tiny number of non-developer citizens supported this plan. More than 100 people turned out for the City Council meeting that had this on its agenda and, of those, only a handful supported the plan. Even the local mainstream newspaper came out against it.

    Guess what. The so-called liberal council voted, by a 5-2 margin. Only the two most lefty councilmembers opposed it.

    In another case, county and city officials sold off a public park to a developer, way below the going rate for that property. It was only because of a 100-year-old magnolia tree that the deal didn’t go through. Activists chained themselves to the tree night and day, and the whole city became aware of the battle. After a judge ruled that the land, donated to the people of Asheville in perpetuity (by George Willis Pack, an early resident who donated lots of land to the city) was indeed public land and that the sale was not proper, the park and tree were spared (only because the developer “graciously” backed off). But, as far as I know, the land is still owned by him, and there’s no guarantee he won’t develop in the future.

    These are only two of many examples here in Asheville that make me believe that, even on the local lever, voting is bullshit. I continue to vote, but only because I think it can’t hurt. I am supporting a completely corrupt system, but I also do that every time I fill up my gas tank, pay my taxes, use my cell phone, etc., etc.

    I spent the entire decade of the ’90s (and then some) as an activist, on the local level, and I have very little to show for it. I’ll leave the battle to those who still have some altruism left.

  4. Logan says :

    I never have understood not voting. I just assume it’s a matter of picking the lesser of 2 evils. That’s the nature of the beast, and as Winston Churchill said, democracy is a bad system, but way better than anything else. Is there not politicking and spin even in an intentional community? I think there is. My opinion, and feel free to disagree (I can take it.) is that not voting is surrender in the cultural war. Sure, voting will never change the grand picture, but to not vote is to leave coal miners in unsafe mines; women without reproductive freedom; church and state not separated; conservatives on judicial benches; etc. Don’t forget gun control, affirmative action, abolishing the death penalty, and environmental protection. All are heavily influenced by election outcomes. Lastly, Losing the cultural war is the most horrible prospect I can imagine. I know how the religious right and business will gloat if they prevail, and I know the misery poor people will encounter won’t guarantee someone’s glorious revolution. — my 2 cents. Once you vote a few times, it’s addictive.

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