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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Politics, Religion & other Controversies » Does not voting in a Democracy forfeit your right to complain?

Default Does not voting in a Democracy forfeit your right to complain?

January 31st, 2013, 00:22
This discussion came up in a news thread here

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…post1061182120

I figured it was more appropriate to move that discussion as the the subject there is "voting with your wallet" and not voting proper.

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http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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January 31st, 2013, 00:25
No as I hate both candidates sometimes and cant stand either one. The best thing to do is not vote. Frankly one vote doesn't matter anyway with the whole voting process.

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January 31st, 2013, 00:27
When you vote for any politician, all you're really doing is encouraging them!! I could argue that when you actually DO vote for one of them you've lost your right to complain since you have made a real choice. My complaint would be about the actual choices in front of me!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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January 31st, 2013, 00:31
To the contrary.

Jürgen Habermas, a highly influential philosopher, have argued the value of a public debate as essential to a democracy. A society that begun to lose its public sphere have begun losing it's democracy. When elections become routine, when only media or elected politicians present the issues and represent the only debates that are heard, when forums for people communicating with eachother are closed down, democracy is dying.

The argument that a person forfeit their right to complain by not voting isn't democratic. It's in fact a directly anti-democratic sentiment.

The capacity to speak out, both in being free to speak and having the tools to speak, are the building blocks for a democratic society. Not adherence to social systems or bureaucracy.

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January 31st, 2013, 00:40
not voting in an election of for a particular office is a choice. not voting at all though is altogether different and more of a mindset rather than a flexing of any democratic right but more that apathetic response of someone who truly doesn't give enough of a shit, despite their probable eagerness to complain.

fight apathy…or don't

and its untrue that that are usually only 2 canditates, their maybe only 2 potential winners, or one for that matter but its called doing research, putting support behind canidates that have value and princeples that you care for. i voted green for president in 2012 for that very reason. i believe obama is good president even though hugely flawed, and his actions on a number of issues meant i would not vote for him twice. instead of bitching about it though i voted green. also if you can't find a canidate or small party that cares about some of the issues you do, well you might be a sociopath. people everywhere, especially in this country need to drop the emphasis on winning (and whining for that matter). strugles take years and just because your issues may not carry the day in a election or even a lifetime is no excuse to say one/your vote doesn't matter. in the end it all adds up and siting on the sidelines in elections, proves only that some people want to be neutered sheep.

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January 31st, 2013, 00:56
read this in Freakonomics

A statistician ran into another at a polling place just as his colleague came out of the booth. They were each highly embarrassed. The second statistician said, "My wife made me." The first responded, "Mine too." The laughed, smiled, shook hands and left after agreeing to both not mention it ever again.

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January 31st, 2013, 11:49
Ehm, no - why would it?

AFAIK, we don't need a right to complain.
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January 31st, 2013, 11:56
I rather agree to JemyM.

Discussion is the ground source of all democracy.

Because it helps people make up their minds.

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January 31st, 2013, 15:09
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The argument that a person forfeit their right to complain by not voting isn't democratic. It's in fact a directly anti-democratic sentiment.
Ummm, not participating in the democracy (by not voting) would have to be slightly MORE anti-democratic, wouldn't you say, perfesser? After all, the only guaranteed impact a citizen can have on government is via the ballot box since mere conversation is readily and regularly ignored by those in power.

You'll have to forgive me for not having a textbook full of impressive references, it's just lil old me getting the hamster running again.

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January 31st, 2013, 15:21
I think most countries have the option to vote blank? As in: Vote, but not on a particular candidate, to indicate that you are part of democracy, but you find the current candidates incompetent.
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January 31st, 2013, 15:30
Election law varies state-to-state over here so I can't really speak nationally, but Indiana does not have a "null" vote and Ohio didn't back in the day. We are allowed to "write in" a candidate that isn't on the ballot (thus, Mickey Mouse regularly getting votes for President), which could functionally serve as your null vote.

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January 31st, 2013, 15:39
Aaah, who to pick? Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse? Truth be told, that's a fairly tough call.

At any rate, it does sound like it could be used as a blank vote. Sort of. It's probably better than not voting at all - which will not be considered a protest by any politician, it will simply be considered lazy.
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January 31st, 2013, 16:27
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Election law varies state-to-state over here so I can't really speak nationally, but Indiana does not have a "null" vote and Ohio didn't back in the day. We are allowed to "write in" a candidate that isn't on the ballot (thus, Mickey Mouse regularly getting votes for President), which could functionally serve as your null vote.
I don't live in USA, but here we're also allowed to add another name to the voting paper in case we dislike all candidates.
Also, if you can't stand any option, you can always do like I did last time we had elections - writing on the voting paper your thoughts about them: thieves, criminals, mafia. Your vote won't count of course, but you have every right to express your thoughts and here it's legal, noone can sue you for writing those stuff on the voting paper.

Which would be my answer on the thread title. If you didn't vote for whatever reason, your future whining should be ignored.

In any case, I can't believe ppl just skip to vote. Usually with explanation - I just can't be arsed.
Did you choose to forget that in recent history not everyone had rights to vote? Also, did you forget or you're just ignorant that in some countries one of the major punishments is/was not just a death penalty but also denying voting rights to a person?

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January 31st, 2013, 16:45
Complaining is one of the most basic rights in a democracy, so of course: no. Telling complainers to shut up, grow up, and do something, is of course likewise covered!
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January 31st, 2013, 17:51
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Ummm, not participating in the democracy (by not voting) would have to be slightly MORE anti-democratic, wouldn't you say, perfesser?
Democracy means power to the people, not adherence to bureaucratic systems.

Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
After all, the only guaranteed impact a citizen can have on government is via the ballot box since mere conversation is readily and regularly ignored by those in power.
If the ballot box have no real impact, it's a reduction of power. By representing an illusion of power, it diminishes the demand for real power.

Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
You'll have to forgive me for not having a textbook full of impressive references, it's just lil old me getting the hamster running again.
It's you who make the naive "textbook" assumptions as you had no experience with the real world.

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January 31st, 2013, 18:30
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Complaining is one of the most basic rights in a democracy, so of course: no. Telling complainers to shut up, grow up, and do something, is of course likewise covered!
I didn't say this but am definetly joining the club and signing it.
That's nailing the topic, good job GBG!

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January 31st, 2013, 18:34
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Democracy means power to the people, not adherence to bureaucratic systems.
Ummm, actually, perfesser, that's not correct. Your definition could actually be correctly applied to an anarchic system, which has nothing to do with democracy. No juicy red apple for you. Democracy actually refers to "a government by the people" (Does a dictionary count as an impressive textbook?). Glad to be of service.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
If the ballot box have no real impact, it's a reduction of power. By representing an illusion of power, it diminishes the demand for real power.
If the ballot box has no real impact, then you don't have "a government by the people", which means you don't actually have a functional democracy. Thus, your initial limiting criteria voids the hypothesis before it draws its first breath. No juicy red apple for you.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
It's you who make the naive "textbook" assumptions as you had no experience with the real world.
Well, this kinda came out of left field and doesn't even have post history to support it. Hopefully, it made you feel better, though. Glad I could be of service, but I'm afraid the teacher doesn't get a juicy red apple for erroneous insults.

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January 31st, 2013, 18:43
(speaking of the US here). I get so tired of people complaining that there are only two choices (Democrat or Republican) and when I point out there are many choices they respond with "well, only two that can win". Gah! They've bought into what the two main parties are pushing. Others *can* win but only if people start voting for them (see Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota). Even when they don't win they can make a big difference in both the election and what comes afterward (see Ross Perot).
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January 31st, 2013, 18:44
I don't think not voting is forfeiting your right to complain. You have the right to vote in most countries, not the obligation to vote.
This means you are still allowed to complain afterwards as you have the right to speak and think too in most countries.


By most, I'm talking about Western-type democracies.
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January 31st, 2013, 18:46
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Aaah, who to pick? Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse? Truth be told, that's a fairly tough call.
Well, Donald usually achieves his goals by the end of the cartoon, in spite of tremendous frustrations getting there. Mickey tends not to accomplish much of anything, but he usually gets a hug from Minnie with a rainbow in the background so everyone feels good about it. Sounds like a fairly straight-forward Republican vs Democrat choice to me…

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