[Politics] Political Questions and a Massive Angry Rant

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Note: There won't be a TL;DR on this. If the post length intimidates you, then you don't need to be that curious. I'm honestly just venting/bitching cause a political discussion put me in a really bad mood, and I wanted to put it out to anyone that cared to listen or add their feelings. That's all this is. I am not looking to turn this into a big mess of "X people who align with X political party are bad!" or "I hate X politician, it's all his fault!" If that's what you wanna turn this into, then you don't need to be here, and I kindly ask you turn around and go elsewhere. If you do try to turn this into one of the above examples, I will probably vent back at you, and you won't be changing my mind. There's also a ton of F-bombs, but it's something I felt like using a lot.

Sound fun? Then enjoy the madness.

-------------------------------------------------------

I got into a political discussion with a co-worker that I wasn't exactly planned for, so my points ended up being kinda crap and not well worded. But one thing I made extremely clear is that I do not vote for anyone at this point. And by the end, he said "You said it yourself you don't even vote, so I don't care to listen to your thoughts." and it kinda pissed me off.

He made a point earlier in the discussion that voting is what makes the changes in the government I dislike. I get that. But I have no faith or belief in the government, politicians, or anyone that makes the decisions from on high. And yet I still stated I wish they'd stop being fuck ups and to just run things better. But because everyone has a varying level of what's "better," that means my idea of what's better might not be that for everyone else, so vote for those we feel are "right." But I used some examples, real and exaggerated, that these decisions affect people's rights (Like the abortion ban) and that is abhorrent. And he agreed with the fact this stuff is abhorrent, but further reinforced that this is why you vote. But why the hell would I vote for a system that I have no reason to believe in? I never ended up asking him that question, but I wish I did.

I'm one person. My vote doesn't matter, and I'm sick of the "yes it does" argument. Of course if everyone thought that way then the things we believe in would never come to pass. But that's not how reality works. I'm not a major force of people. I'm not someone driving enough people to make a difference. I have no backing, I have no reach, and my political stances are so half baked you'd swear I got them out of fucking Applebee's. My vote isn't worth jack shit, and it will not change anything.

I can't help but wonder... Surely there's other ways to make my stance clear without having to vote, right? I can't imagine vocal outcry and protests are the only way to do it. That to this somewhat old guy, voting seems to be the only way my distaste towards things can have any merit or strength behind it, and that he "doesn't care to listen" to me just because I don't vote. I find that extremely arrogant, but that might be because I'm just pissed off. Can't even imagine how it's like for anyone outside of Canada, the world is huge and full of this crap.

I'm pissed off by this god awful political world that's so incredibly fucked in the head that even in my own province people keep dancing back and forth between major issues and keep wasting time, money and energy on bullshit we shouldn't even need to be worrying about. But of course, everyone who's rich has to keep getting richer, everyone's gotta push their own agenda, everyone's gotta twist and turn people in their favour, everyone's gotta fuck over everyone else so they stay ahead... while people like me get sat right in the thick of it, with a future that I have no sight on due to how murky the world, with barely any hope of getting to the level of comfort my parents ever reached.

Even though I know I have to work hard to achieve it, my life has been a fucking shit show of a mess lately and I know my limits, and my limits push me so far down that I can't envision myself ever reaching a point where I can say "I finally worked the system in my favour enough to be happy with this." That even when I feel like I'm getting a leg up I know the system is built around keeping me down as hard as possible. That my worth is absolutely nothing to anyone else above me, and that I'm an expendable piece to the machine that can crunch me apart to pieces and not even give a shit if I disappeared tomorrow. That the only part of my world I can ever feel like I matter in is the world directly around me, with family, friends, and the few that matter to me most. Take that away and there's nothing left.

Fuck the system. Fuck the world that's been twisted around us. Fuck the people that run all of it from behind the scenes. Fuck that even schooling barely means anything anymore, wrecked to the point I can put myself into insurmountable debt and come out of it with nothing. Fuck all the scummy people that ruin what should be a wonderful world for everyone down below.

Fuck all of it.

[End rant. Yes I feel a bit better]

You should vote. It's your civic duty, and many votes could have been turned by absent eligible voters.

Drathnoxis:
You should vote. It's your civic duty, and many votes could have been turned by absent eligible voters.

The trick is to convince only those who would vote the way you vote to move from absent voters to genuine voters.

They're right, their vote doesn't mean jack shit on an individual level.

Drathnoxis:
You should vote. It's your civic duty, and many votes could have been turned by absent eligible voters.

1. It's not mandatory here as far as I'm aware of. And if it ever is, I'm filling the "none of the above" box.
2. No. Lemme elaborate:

Abomination:
The trick is to convince only those who would vote the way you vote to move from absent voters to genuine voters.

They're right, their vote doesn't mean jack shit on an individual level.

Abomination:

Drathnoxis:
You should vote. It's your civic duty, and many votes could have been turned by absent eligible voters.

The trick is to convince only those who would vote the way you vote to move from absent voters to genuine voters.

They're right, their vote doesn't mean jack shit on an individual level.

Nothing has ever mattered on an individual level. We're all meaningless. That's why we form groups. One dude with a gun is annoying. 30,000 of them is an Army. One dude with a God complex is crazy. 100,000,000 people believing him is a religion. One boat is a boat. 500 of them is a Fleet.
One vote is less than a rounding error. But if every disillusioned voter actually voted, it'd swing everything. Last election 60% voted. That means 130,800,000 eligible votes were not cast. Trump won by less than 50,000 votes.

All this 'I'm too meaningless to vote' bs is just that, bs. I guess you're too meaningless to have an voice then. Have all the opinions you want, but unless you're willing to put a vote behind it, its just that, an opinion. A meaningless opinion.

Elvis Starburst:

I can't help but wonder... Surely there's other ways to make my stance clear without having to vote, right?

Marches, protests, piqueting, terrorism... The thing is, if you(not only you) can't be arsed to go to the polls and throw in a blank card, why would you even bother with ways that take more effort?

And, look at it this way: a grain of sand means nothing, but a handful thrown into gears, can stop the machinery. I don't know if it's some old proverb that i just recalled, or something i came up with right now... Point being, if you wanna stay apolitical, that's your decision, but voting is the most basic, easiest way of political engagement one can have in a democracy.

The real least you could do is stop being so critical of people who do actually want to fix the system.

Its hard to see the effect on the system but its there. Even voting for the losing side has an effect. People in politics look at demographics and voting data and decide what to do in response.

If they did something controversial and noticed a spike in voting against them say, they might ease off the edges of their next policy.

Plus they want you to not vote, they want only the most fanatical to vote so that they don't actually have to do anything to please them.

And plus its only a few hours out of your day so it can't hurt not to so just do it to try and make the world a little better. Even if it doesn't work at least you tried.

Saelune:

The least you could do is stop being so critical of people who do actually want to fix the system.

If everyone else is eager to fight the system, and they believe they'll make a difference (And they very well might), more power to them.

Silentpony:

All this 'I'm too special to vote' bs is just that, bs. I guess you're too special to have an voice then. Have all the opinions you want, but unless you're willing to put a vote behind it, its just that, an opinion. A meaningless opinion

See, that's a part of all of this that I firmly disagree with. The idea that an opinion holds no power as a "voice" unless a vote is put behind it. If I were to organize a protest, ended up with hundreds of people following the cause, and many people agree with me... does that suddenly invalidate itself if I, a few others, or all of those people, don't vote? If not, then why is that held in such low regard just because no vote goes behind it? If it's the whole "You don't back it up" thing, then see my response to MrCalavera below.

MrCalavera:

And, look at it this way: a grain of sand means nothing, but a handful thrown into gears, can stop the machinery. If you wanna stay apolitical, that's your decision, but voting is the most basic, easiest way of political engagement one can have in a democracy.

That's the thing though. I am not a handful. I don't believe anyone would listen to my limited political beliefs enough to actually take my side in any of this. Voting may be the most basic form of political engagement, but that's the problem. It's engaging with a system I have no faith in. Democracy, or any other form of system, in my opinion, does not have the answer to solving any level of community or people's problems. Not to mention the people who twist the system to their favour as well.

I have no faith my vote will go to someone who will benefit the world, or even just the community. And even if the person or party I voted for was all sunshine and rainbows, I have no faith that the system they have to uphold won't bury all of the good will the person/group I vote for has at all. Or that they won't just turn on the people that voted them in and make me regret my vote. Cause then my vote went to someone who proved my worries right.

What is someone like me to do when this is the world we live in, and this is the opinion that has come from it? Am I supposed to believe that simply casting a vote quells all of that? That I'm supposed to have some sort of faith or believe that my vote will go to the right person or people?

Fieldy409:
Its hard to see the effect on the system but its there. Even voting for the losing side has an effect. People in politics look at demographics and voting data and decide what to do in response.

If they did something controversial and noticed a spike in voting against them say, they might ease off the edges of their next policy.

Plus they want you to not vote, they want only the most fanatical to vote so that they don't actually have to do anything to please them.

I don't disagree with this. But...

And plus its only a few hours out of your day so it can't hurt not to so just do it to try and make the world a little better. Even if it doesn't work at least you tried.

See my response to MrCalavera above, and you'll see why this is such a point of contention on my side

Its fun to pretend voting doesn't matter. That we will have no impact. But the thing is, we can and its actually easier then you think, voting is just the least you can do to make your voice heard. If you want to have a much bigger impact, then contact your representative, like, a lot. Make sure they know your name and your stance on an issue. Pretty much each person who calls them or personally sends them a letter is representing themselves to be more then just one person. Because the thinking is that for each one person that contacts them, there are hundreds that don't.

Elvis Starburst:
SNIP

Because you have two kinds of power in this Democracy, voting and assassination. You want a candidate who is pro-LGBTQ+XYZ rights? Either vote for one, or kill the anti-candidates.
We're humans. We have no power as individuals to do much of anything. And voting, at least as Americans, is one of few actual reoccurring powers we have.
Do you want Roy Moore in power? No, of course not, he's an accused child molester. Are you going to vote against him? No, why would I bother, all votes are meaningless. Then how does any politician have power? If votes are meaningless, and politicians are voted into power, then shouldn't that power be equally meaningless? After all no meaning went into it...

Silentpony:
Do you want Roy Moore in power? No, of course not, he's an accused child molester. Are you going to vote against him? No, why would I bother, all votes are meaningless. Then how does any politician have power? If votes are meaningless, and politicians are voted into power, then shouldn't that power be equally meaningless? After all no meaning went into it...

I never said all votes are meaningless, and that it's pointless to vote. I'm saying mine alone, on a personal and individual level, is. It's a power that I as a Canadian have, as does many other people from my country and several others. It is a power that I, however, don't find to be worth much (If anything) when applied to myself on an individual level. There's a big difference here. I'm not telling everyone else to not vote cause it's worthless, and if that's the message you're getting, then either I'm fucking up my wording, or there's some mis-communication on your part.

But as others have stated here, there's more to a vote than just a number slap on a metric. Worgen's example is a good one

Elvis Starburst:

Silentpony:
Do you want Roy Moore in power? No, of course not, he's an accused child molester. Are you going to vote against him? No, why would I bother, all votes are meaningless. Then how does any politician have power? If votes are meaningless, and politicians are voted into power, then shouldn't that power be equally meaningless? After all no meaning went into it...

I never said all votes are meaningless, and that it's pointless to vote. I'm saying mine alone, on a personal and individual level, is. It's a power that I as a Canadian have, as does many other people from my country and several others. It is a power that I, however, don't find to be worth much (If anything) when applied to myself on an individual level. There's a big difference here. I'm not telling everyone else to not vote cause it's worthless, and if that's the message you're getting, then either I'm fucking up my wording, or there's some mis-communication on your part.

But as others have stated here, there's more to a vote than just a number slap on a metric. Worgen's example is a good one

A vote is a vote is a vote is a vote is a vote. Its the same across the board, everyone gets one. Your singular vote is just as meaningless as mine. Yet you would never tell someone else to not vote, because "I never said all votes are meaningless, and that it's pointless to vote".

Then why would you tell yourself to not vote?

None of us have a real meaningful impact from out vote. Even Saelune, trans as she is, could just choose to never vote and move from New York to California and never have to worry again. Cali aint never gonna roll back trans rights, so just live peacefully there.
That's my point. We can all find reasons to not care anymore, but then the people who do care get more of a say, and those people generally suck horse balls. Why let some old wrinkled baby boomer fuck who still thinks the Beatles are radical have more of a say in trans rights, internet privacy and war than you?

to quote Dylan thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night"

Elvis Starburst:

I got into a political discussion with a co-worker that I wasn't exactly planned for, so my points ended up being kinda crap and not well worded. But one thing I made extremely clear is that I do not vote for anyone at this point. And by the end, he said "You said it yourself you don't even vote, so I don't care to listen to your thoughts." and it kinda pissed me off.

It might piss you off, but it's little more than the logical conclusion of your own position. It's not even the extreme conclusion.

By choosing not to vote you are in effect keeping your political opinions to yourself, refusing to even let them be enumerated as a statistic for polls and politicians to reference. It sounds callous, but really, if you don't care enough to even voice them in a vote, why should anyone else feel obliged to take the time out of their day to listen to an opinion you're otherwise content to leave in your head? For that matter, why do you even care? By your own metric, their votes matter no more or less than yours, so it's not like you believe that them hearing or not hearing your views will have any qualitative impact.

When you devalue your own opinions as functionally worthless, you kinda lose the right to be offended when people agree with you and decide that they aren't worth hearing.

Silentpony:
A vote is a vote is a vote is a vote is a vote. Its the same across the board, everyone gets one. Your singular vote is just as meaningless as mine. Yet you would never tell someone else to not vote, because "I never said all votes are meaningless, and that it's pointless to vote".

Then why would you tell yourself to not vote?

None of us have a real meaningful impact from out vote. Even Saelune, trans as she is, could just choose to never vote and move from New York to California and never have to worry again. Cali aint never gonna roll back trans rights, so just live peacefully there.
That's my point. We can all find reasons to not care anymore, but then the people who do care get more of a say, and those people generally suck horse balls. Why let some old wrinkled baby boomer fuck who still thinks the Beatles are radical have more of a say in trans rights, internet privacy and war than you?

to quote Dylan thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night"

Then I guess that's the big problem. I've probably just stopped caring on a personal and individual level. Stopped caring about this screwed up political and world climate. Stopped caring about how no matter how hard I try, no matter how much emotional investment I put forward, that none of it ever seems to come to fruition. And that even if I get invested, there's still gonna be thousands of other politicians, aspects of the system, and rich people that run everything, that are all determined to run everything I believe in into the ground. And that by disassociating with all of it, I can at least believe that I am still capable of making a difference, however small, in my own little world, rather than trying to change the world itself. At least that way I can feel like I matter.

The slowly building sense of what may be depression I've been having over the years probably isn't helping this. I care, but then I don't. I want things to change, but I don't believe I have the ability to make it happen. It's a whirlwind of crap

Asita:

It might piss you off, but it's little more than the logical conclusion of your own position. It's not even the extreme conclusion.

By choosing not to vote you are in effect keeping your political opinions to yourself, refusing to even let them be enumerated as a statistic for polls and politicians to reference. It sounds callous, but really, if you don't care enough to even voice them in a vote, why should anyone else feel obliged to take the time out of their day to listen to an opinion you're otherwise content to leave in your head? For that matter, why do you even care? By your own metric, their votes matter no more or less than yours, so it's not like you believe that them hearing or not hearing your views will have any qualitative impact.

When you devalue your own opinions as functionally worthless, you kinda lose the right to be offended when people agree with you and decide that they aren't worth hearing.

That actually made me smile.

I kinda get his side when you put it that way. It's not that I don't want to see change happen in general, I have opinions and I want things to be better for others. But it's hard to have any follow up when everything is such a mess. It makes me not care about a lot of it. The way for change to happen is a method that I don't have faith will change anything. So it's agitating when my opinions are suddenly invalidated to people just because I don't choose to act in a system that I do not feel content using (For many reasons as stated in my previous comments). The whole "You don't choose to act in our system? Then your words are meaningless, fuck off" vibe it gives rubs me entirely the wrong way

Elvis Starburst:

That's the thing though. I am not a handful. I don't believe anyone would listen to my limited political beliefs enough to actually take my side in any of this. Voting may be the most basic form of political engagement, but that's the problem. It's engaging with a system I have no faith in. Democracy, or any other form of system, in my opinion, does not have the answer to solving any level of community or people's problems. Not to mention the people who twist the system to their favour as well.

Well, then you have no problem. If no system is good enough for you, then the answer is to stay apolitical and brace yourself for whatever other people decide will come.

I have no faith my vote will go to someone who will benefit the world, or even just the community. And even if the person or party I voted for was all sunshine and rainbows, I have no faith that the system they have to uphold won't bury all of the good will the person/group I vote for has at all. Or that they won't just turn on the people that voted them in and make me regret my vote. Cause then my vote went to someone who proved my worries right.

Me neither.
I don't hold too high hopes and expectations for the political class(which, i admit, might be a problem).
My approach, from the lack of better word, is a bit "clientelistic": A politician, by default, should be the employee of the people. An enactor of their will, not their idol, not a hero, not even a friend. And the people, in democracy, have the chance to periodically review politicians, and "fire" them. Of course some politicians, rarely, may through their actions earn those epithets i mentioned before. In my book, that is usually verified by hindsight, though, after one's career has ended.

What is someone like me to do when this is the world we live in, and this is the opinion that has come from it? Am I supposed to believe that simply casting a vote quells all of that? That I'm supposed to have some sort of faith or believe that my vote will go to the right person or people?

Personal beliefs mean jack shit in politics, unless they're held by a big enough group. It's the act that matters.

My approach looks a bit like this:
Going to a polling station and casting a vote to a ballot costs me about 10 minutes of my time each 4/5 years. Obviously YMMV depending on where you live.
If you're right, and your vote never matters, then so doesn't whether you stay at home, or go vote. No difference here.
If you're wrong though, and it's one of the few hundred/thousands that did matter, then you flushed the chance for a change down the drain - isn't that embarassing? Wouldn't that haunt you for the rest of your days?... okay, ignore the part after the dash, that's how my angsty, neurotic brain exxagerates things. But it works for me.

Side note: elections are also the most important polls - A fringe party might not make a direct impact, but it will serve as a barometer for politicians that would otherwise like to stay in a comfort zone.
Low turnout, from my experience, doesn't really work that way.

First of all, causing conflicts at work is also why I I try to refrain from discussing such things at work because it can affect your work environment and rapport among those you have to work with daily and it is simply not worth the hassle involved. If something pertains to helping or hindering a person I might bring it up in an attempt to assist them, but outside of that I give more of a grin and nod regardless of if I agree or not, or simply change the subject or excuse myself from the discussion if it is that unbearable. How this impacts your work and living environment and my bedside manner score in my case is why I choose to discuss these things on forums rather than with people I have to deal with daily.

I, like others, also think you should vote, but I also understand circumstances of different electoral systems may also deter or devalue one's vote making it often seem like a futile effort. In the US, the winner takes all electoral college system makes it much more difficult for the individual to make a difference and that in combination with the extreme gerrymandering that takes place can really make it difficult for one to see the point of bothering when often ones vote does not matter when one's state is not a swing state or you are vastly outnumbered in your district. The only way to change that currently though is voting so that they can use the data to hopefully one day make the changes needed to correct that, until then we have to keep at least trying or it will only get worse.

I also understand how alienating it can feel when the only people you have to pick from as candidates all seem terrible. I honestly feel at times I could walk down just about any street and find better people for the job than what we have to choose from as candidates and it can be really disheartening. It sometimes feels like they actively look for the worst possible person for the job rather than someone we should all entrust our lives and futures to, and in the case of my state, Texas, they not only look for idiots but criminal idiots and tbh people should be afraid of them making decisions for them and their families as their intentions are often extremely malignant. Often times we have people who are only looking to increase their self interests and line their own pockets running for offices they should never hold rather than people genuinely trying to make the world a better place and it can be difficult at times to tell the difference between those that want to sell the people out and those who are genuinely trying to make a difference. I still have hope though there are people out there who do want to help, we just need many more of them and need to find and implement better means to hold accountable prevent and remove those who don't or are unfit for the job. Not voting at all though does not help change it, it only just enables it to continue to be screwed because voting is the only option we have to change it outside of war and war is never a good option, it is an act of desperation once people gave given up on voting all together.

Elvis Starburst:
fucking Applebee's

Well, for what it's worth, eleven years ago I made a bet with one of my best friends that if Obama carried our home state of Indiana, I'd kiss his bare, black ass in the parking lot of none other than a fucking Applebee's. That was the peak of my college liberal/SJW years, and I was so convinced of Indiana's backward, racist, dumpster fire politics, polling results be damned, there was no way, no how, the state would ever swing for a black man. Despite that, I was an avid Obama supporter, spent some time campaigning, and voted for him anyways.

Some times, things work out in ways you don't expect.

Lil devils x:
First of all, causing conflicts at work is also why I I try to refrain from discussing such things at work because it can affect your work environment and rapport among those you have to work with daily and it is simply not worth the hassle involved. If something pertains to helping or hindering a person I might bring it up in an attempt to assist them, but outside of that I give more of a grin and nod regardless of if I agree or not, or simply change the subject or excuse myself from the discussion if it is that unbearable. How this impacts your work and living environment and my bedside manner score in my case is why I choose to discuss these things on forums rather than with people I have to deal with daily.

Yeah, lesson learned I guess. I dunno why I even got into it, I usually refrain from bothering with political arguments. Thankfully I don't have to interact with the guy I was talking to much, but there were a few people around that overheard and I'm more worried about their opinions than this one old dude. I'm more pissed off at myself for even getting into the whole thing to begin with, and any opinion that comes with it from others.

Eacaraxe:

Well, for what it's worth, eleven years ago I made a bet with one of my best friends that if Obama carried our home state of Indiana, I'd kiss his bare, black ass in the parking lot of none other than a fucking Applebee's.

Well? Did you do it?

Elvis Starburst:
Well? Did you do it?

Well, yeah.

Eacaraxe:

Well, yeah.

Props for the follow through!

I understand that mindset, but at the same time it's that particular way of thinking that is holding back any kind of legitimate change from happening. I don't just mean "why should I vote?" either, but the whole defeatist attitude towards politics and political change in general. There was a poll put out not too long ago about how optimistic Democratic voters were for who they were supporting. At the moment, Biden is still the frontrunner. However despite having so much support, the optimism among his supporters was incredibly low. They don't want to vote for him, but they feel like they have to. After all, they're told so all the fucking time. That we all have to be "realistic". That change can't happen, not now at least. To wait for tomorrow. Only tomorrow never comes does it? The sun never sets. It just stays there and slowly burns us all to death.

The system and so many people that are in it want to beat the living shit out of your optimism. And it works. So many people settle for shit candidates because they can't imagine someone else winning. Because it's just carved into their minds at every opportunity. It wears people down, and they stop caring if they ever even did at all. It works to the benefit of the worst fucking people too. Combine that apathy with voter suppression and low information voters who vote on a fucking whim, and we are where we are today.

Like I said, I understand your mindset. However you're not just one vote. Understand when you say "I'm just one person, I don't fucking matter", that is being echoed by untold millions. You're not alone, there's so many like you all thinking the exact same thing. And understand that the system you hate so much, that honestly the vast majority of us hate, WANTS you to think that way. It wants millions of people to just let them have it, to not think about it, to not care. You can choose not to vote, choose not to protest, choose not to support strikes, choose not to support community efforts for change, etc. But understand that you're feeding the very thing you despise as you do so.

I do get it though, I can't stress that enough. I don't blame you for feeling how you feel. Everything is set up to make you feel that way, to make nearly everyone feel that way. Hell I feel that way at times, that it's all for nothing and hopeless. But if we don't do something, anything, we're all fucked. We're honestly running out of time. I get that the things I do, and how I get involved is incredibly small scale. But there's a whole lot of people out there doing the same thing, and it adds up. Actions that seem very small and trivial, can spark inspiration in others to do the same. Numbers grow, movements form. Change can happen. Sure we can't do it alone, but we're not alone and never have been.

Elvis Starburst:
My vote isn't worth jack shit, and it will not change anything.

Ultimately, I think that's what a fair number of people (mostly the economic elites) want members of the general public to believe, because apathy in people likely to disagree with them increases the likelihood they get what they want done.

The only possible real solution is to become independently wealthy then travel the world as a vigilante assassin/serial killer taking out strategic targets. That's my dream.

That's the thing though. I am not a handful. I don't believe anyone would listen to my limited political beliefs enough to actually take my side in any of this. Voting may be the most basic form of political engagement, but that's the problem. It's engaging with a system I have no faith in. Democracy, or any other form of system, in my opinion, does not have the answer to solving any level of community or people's problems. Not to mention the people who twist the system to their favour as well.

But let me ask you this, if a problem has been solved by the government before you were even born, would you notice it? Because for the most part, governments get a bad rep but they are mostly sucessful. Without them we'd be in an anarchy where nobody puts out fires, schools and roads don't exist and we'd be literally be stabbing each other with spears and shooting bows to defend ourselves and our caves.

The problems left are often very difficult or complicated ones that maybe nobody will solve, but we can mitigate and manage.

I can tell you this. Until the U.S. election of 2016 I felt and did the same as you. My vote didn't matter, I was one of millions, all the candidates are garbage, I never even bothered to learn enough to make and informed decision so didn't it make more sense not to bother?

But I did vote in 2016, because at that point I realized it mattered too much to sit at home and do nothing. The stakes were too high, and really, they always have been too high to do nothing and I just didn't notice because I'm a middle class white guy. Of course I lost, my vote didn't individually matter because the racist clown who got fewer votes won anyway. But I've voted in every election since then and will continue to, even if there are no good options and I understand that my one vote doesn't change a thing.

I think it's because I've decided to do more to live my personal truth. It's like, how much do I really believe in what I say I believe in if I can't be troubled to go out and put my name on it? For me, it's a matter of personal honesty with myself. I know it's a broken system and I can't fix it, but... Like, if I can change my stance from "can't be bothered" to "have to make the effort," then anyone can make that change and if enough people do then it really will matter.

I still completely understand where you are coming from, and it's a place I need to assiduously resist falling back into. But I recommend trying it once. Even a jaded and angry cynic like me feels better after doing something to make myself heard, even if I'm the only one who really hears it.

You're right to be cynical, the system is dogshit. Real political change will require more than just voting. That is why we must put in the effort to change it. But it will probably require voting too, at least eventually. If you don't have a candidate you like, by all means don't vote. If you do, then do. Just remember that the choices we're given to vote on are a result of a complex process that isn't all that democratic, so if you want your voice heard you may have to do more.

Note: I'm definitely NOT saying to give up on making your voice heard.

Yeah, I get that. My vote isn't worth much either. But then, no votes are worth much, and yet the number of votes decide elections (at least in theory).

Mind you, I live in a country where voting (or rather getting your name marked off and getting ballot papers) is compulsory.

Elvis Starburst:

I kinda get his side when you put it that way. It's not that I don't want to see change happen in general, I have opinions and I want things to be better for others. But it's hard to have any follow up when everything is such a mess.

Everything is in such a mess in part because of people failing or refusing to vote. It has directly resulted in less representative government and less responsive politicians.

In truth, those who do not vote will still be counted and tallied up, but their decision will be interpreted as apathy. If you care about these issues, your decision to stay home will be taken as evidence that you don't care.

Nedoras:

However you're not just one vote. Understand when you say "I'm just one person, I don't fucking matter", that is being echoed by untold millions. You're not alone, there's so many like you all thinking the exact same thing.

But there's a whole lot of people out there doing the same thing, and it adds up. Actions that seem very small and trivial, can spark inspiration in others to do the same. Numbers grow, movements form. Change can happen. Sure we can't do it alone, but we're not alone and never have been.

I don't disagree with you, I get your point here as well. But it still falls under the problem of "I'm not the millions who feel this way, I'm just one person" and it becomes hard to push forward. In fact, it ends up making things feel worse. Cause even if I got motivated, did everything in my power to make my vote count... there's still a sea of millions who won't vote. And instead of my vote being lost to the politicians, it's also lost to them as well. I know there's nothing I can do about that, but it doesn't help the defeatist mindset that plagues me with this topic. Just gotta do what I can though, right?

Seanchaidh:

You're right to be cynical, the system is dogshit. Real political change will require more than just voting. That is why we must put in the effort to change it.

I think that's what I believe in, true political change. When you've got systems like in the states that twist the votes, and people winning even when they lost through votes, it makes me believe there's change that can be made elsewhere without these means. Cause if an election is gonna just be "I lost the votes, but I win anyways" then changes need to be made in a different way.

Fieldy409:

But let me ask you this, if a problem has been solved by the government before you were even born, would you notice it? Because for the most part, governments get a bad rep but they are mostly sucessful. Without them we'd be in an anarchy where nobody puts out fires, schools and roads don't exist and we'd be literally be stabbing each other with spears and shooting bows to defend ourselves and our caves.

The problems left are often very difficult or complicated ones that maybe nobody will solve, but we can mitigate and manage.

I mean... fair enough. It probably doesn't help that the media likes to make everything sound worse than it is. It's also why I avoid the news, cause it's filled with so much horrible shit that if I were to pay attention to it, I know I'd become well and truly depressed. Life's hard enough, ya know? Taking on the world's burdens in my mind would bring me to the ground, and I need to do what I can to keep myself afloat. At least until I can keep my own self up without a struggle

The way I see it is that my vote might only be a drop in the ocean, but the ocean consists of nothing but drops.

Elvis Starburst:
He made a point earlier in the discussion that voting is what makes the changes in the government I dislike. I get that. But I have no faith or belief in the government, politicians, or anyone that makes the decisions from on high.

You got no faith in what? That any of them will be able to do any better (or less bad, if you prefer) at all than any other. That's just nonsense. That they'll do a good enough job for your standards? That doesn't matter. You pick things that are better, not things that are perfect.

Elvis Starburst:
And yet I still stated I wish they'd stop being fuck ups and to just run things better. But because everyone has a varying level of what's "better," that means my idea of what's better might not be that for everyone else, so vote for those we feel are "right." But I used some examples, real and exaggerated, that these decisions affect people's rights (Like the abortion ban) and that is abhorrent. And he agreed with the fact this stuff is abhorrent, but further reinforced that this is why you vote. But why the hell would I vote for a system that I have no reason to believe in? I never ended up asking him that question, but I wish I did.

So again, this is a bit ambiguous. You don't vote for the system as is, you vote within it. It's not a general vote of confidence it's a vote for this one group/person over the other options. If you mean, 'why would you vote for any system', again, some things are better than others.

Elvis Starburst:
I'm one person. My vote doesn't matter, and I'm sick of the "yes it does" argument. Of course if everyone thought that way then the things we believe in would never come to pass. But that's not how reality works. I'm not a major force of people. I'm not someone driving enough people to make a difference. I have no backing, I have no reach, and my political stances are so half baked you'd swear I got them out of fucking Applebee's. My vote isn't worth jack shit, and it will not change anything.

Its also not very hard at all, to take half an hour once every couple of years to vote. This is one of the core problems with your idea: what would be lost if you voted?

Elvis Starburst:
I can't help but wonder... Surely there's other ways to make my stance clear without having to vote, right? I can't imagine vocal outcry and protests are the only way to do it.

There are, but not without any effort whatsoever. And considering that you can't be bothered to vote, and only get angry in an entirely ineffective way, you won't spend the effort to do any of the more complicated things. If I'm wrong about that, there is a range of political and semi-political organisations of all kinds to join that do all kinds of activism.

Silvanus:
In truth, those who do not vote will still be counted and tallied up, but their decision will be interpreted as apathy. If you care about these issues, your decision to stay home will be taken as evidence that you don't care.

That's why I believe in the protest vote as the single most powerful statement one can make in a FPTP/SMDP system. Or any combination of representational model/voting system, really. I'm not saying you should start writing in Darth Vader or Cthulhu. But on the other hand, half the cast of Predator have been governors, and not completely terrible ones at that. You don't get there by playing it safe with your ballot.

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