Nikk’s on his usual “don’t vote” kick, and I can’t say I blame him. I won’t be voting for anyone, but I take a different stance on it. I know from careful research that none of the candidates I am capable of voting for represent me in the slightest, so I won’t vote for any of them. I imagine this is the case for most of you reading this, so maybe Nikk is just preaching to the choir.
However, there are a lot of people who do feel politicians represent them accurately, and they may be right. After all, we are a country of stupid assholes, and our politicians represent this quite admirably.
I’ve never been one for inactivity, however. Since voting is pretty much pointless for me, I spent some time thinking about how to make it more effective. Based on the notion that simple solutions are preferable to complex ones, I think I have come up with one possible answer to the dilemma we face.
The smartest people I know who vote all say the same thing: voting is not picking the politician who most represents you, it’s choosing the lesser of two evils. I wouldn’t call these people smart, but they’re the smartest people I know who vote (which is a skewed sample, kind of like being the smartest person in church).
The problem is, voting in this fashion is counter-productive. It does not ensure we have competent leaders, and it certainly does not put lawmakers in Washington who accurately represent those who voted for them.
The solution? I think we should count non-votes. If you register to vote and you choose not to go to the polls, or if you vote for just a few candidates (perhaps local ones), then your lack of a vote should count. If more people choose not to vote for an elected position than do vote for the “winner,” that office should remain vacant.
Think about it. Imagine you live in Nevada and have to “choose” between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle for Senator. This is tantamount to going to a restaurant, looking at the menu, and there are only two choices: raw cow balls and two-week old pizza salvaged from a dumpster. Wouldn’t you stand up and leave at that moment? Even if you were the 1 millionth customer at the place and you got a free meal, would you honestly stay?
Of course you wouldn’t. You would leave and tell all your friends what a shitty place that is. They would go out of business and someone would move in and open a new place.
This is the problem we face: no one is putting Democrats and Republicans out of business. They are the only game in town because we only care about the people who keep playing. As it stands, all you need is one person voting for someone and they would get elected, even if millions of others all organized to stay at home and abstain.
Those who oppose both parties have no voice, and what better way to empower those of us who are sick of the same old nonsense than by making it possible to demonstrate this by saying: “I would rather have no one represent me than have either of you do it.”
Sure, ideally I would like additional parties of candidates. I would like someone in Washington who represents me and my opinions. But if it’s a choice between two war-mongering fools who both aim to take away the liberties of my fellow Americans, I would rather be represented by a silent, empty seat.