Thursday, September 13, 2012

When is your vote not wasted?

Via Aretae, this is a very interesting state by state analysis that dovetails very closely with what I've been writing about for a year:
Of course, there are more than just the two candidates, but voting for someone with no realistic chance to win is tantamount to "wasting your vote", as the conventional thinking goes. But that ignores the reality of the Electoral College (among many, many other things), which renders all but the most competitive states basically meaningless. And a vote can only be "wasted" if it had value to begin with, so to help you determine if casting your vote for The Lesser of Two Evils might make a difference, I put together this handy map
If your state is not competitive (i.e. is safe R or D) then your vote may have the most impact by, say, voting Libertarian.  The bigger the numbers, the more it will make the Establishments stop and think.  They won't do anything about it, of course, but the data will empower those not entirely coopted, or who see the opportunity to make a name for themselves as reformers.

Also, if Gary Johnson (the Libertarian Party candidate) gets 5%of the popular vote, the party will qualify for Federal matching funds in the next election cycle.  That will be a force multiplier next time around.

This is a very interesting reflection on just how brilliant the Electoral College idea was.


Anonymous said...

Voting for third party candidates never works.

The only way to get party establishments to "stop and think" is to primary them ruthlessly at every election. That, and only that, gets their attention. And we've seen it work in 2010 and already this year, too.

Then you rinse and repeat that exercise, from now until forever. Gradually you push good people up the structure until it responds to what the people not the honchos want. But you never turn your back on them.

Politicians are not "fire and forget" missiles. They need constant guidance and course correction.

This is a long battle: it took progressives roughly a century to bring the country to this point. I don’t think it’ll take that long to fix it. (Fiscal events will likely force a faster pace.)

But conservatives need to approach this in the same spirit and with the same patient determination the lefties have used. For them, any election outcome is acceptable so long as it’s even a small step leftward.

We need to exert our pressure in all areas of society: economics, politics, entertainment, media — everything.

Google “long march through the institutions” and “Gramscian damage” and you’ll see what we’ve been dealing with all our lives.

And go read this:

Anonymous said...

And it's no wonder the Rs and Ds are struggling to have it removed, so only popular vote matters.
Can't have those less-than-liberal flyover States having a voice, now can we?
(from the same folks who changed how Senators were elected...)


Borepatch said...

Anon, if you google "long march through the institutions" you will find this:


Anonymous said...

Good post back then. We could quibble a little over details, but keep in mind that while it diminishes day by day, those institutions still carry a great deal of power.

But I have to say, it's been darkly funny in the last few days and weeks to watch the media gather so protectively around BHO. You'd think they'd be self-aware enough to realize how they appear.

But their obliviousness, frankly, is all to the good, as more and more people are waking up to their game.

I just hope the follow-through on November 6 and afterward keeps the pressure on. And that's where I think third parties are just a pathway to oblivion. If you want to squander the drive? the anger? the determination? that I sense is widespread in this election, the best way to do it is to send people off to into third-party no man's land.

So long as American politics keeps its two-party structure, which is now more two centuries old (i.e., it's baked-in), the best tactical approach is to work within the party that lies closest to your own views. Then primary it, tea-party it — do all the slow, grunty work of taking it over from inside.

That's how the lefties did it, and we can reclaim the country the same way. It took them a century to subvert it; I expect we can take it back in a shorter time.

One reason is that fiscal problems, as I noted above, will force conservative changes. Another is the fact that the country is basically conservative in its outlook — after all that's why it took the lefties so damn long to maneuver us to where we are.

Forget Gary Johnson. But remake the GOP with conservative ideas — that approach has a good chance of success. In this election, for once in a generation, events are moving our way. Don't dump the winds at our back by steering off on some tangent.

kx59 said...

Academic at best.
There will be no rebuilding or recovery if Obama gets re-elected.
This grand experiment we call the United States of America will be done.
Voting your conscience this time around will get no one's attention, and once January 2013 rolls around, we will have bought ourselves some time to attempt to sort this effing mess out or it's welcome to the People's Republic of Amerika.
Stack your firearms in the front yard for collection.

Anonymous said...

If you need reminding of why your vote is important even if the system is rigged or why you should care...

Anonymous said...

The united States of America IS over, Voting for ANYONE is meaningless. There is no peacful road to "change". But please ,wander down to the fairy land that is the one party system and "vote. You can have the banker owned and contoled socilist of your choice. National socilist , Marxist socilist, Who cares? Evil is Evil.

Chris said...

Third parties are useless. How's Ross Perot's party doing these days? The two party system is entrenched, as said before. The leftists have put the Democratic Party out of reach for now, so the Republican Party is the only one we can influence at the moment. Voting third party may assuage your conscience, but it doesn't do the country any good in the long run.

As said before, primary these fuckers until they turn blue. Make them earn their cushy jobs and then threaten to take them away. As many have pointed out, this mess took decades to get into, and it will take decades to get out of. Start now by taking the lesser of two evils. Next time work to get a better grade of evils to choose from.

If you think that Obama can destroy this country in eight years, you sound like my mother. That's not a compliment.

Does anyone else see the irony in the Libertarian Party taking federal funding?