Election Trolling, is it moral in a democracy?

Discussion in 'Congress' started by midcan5, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Is it moral to vote for a candidate in the primaries because you want them to lose in the general election?

    Is it moral to post negative information about a candidate of the other party you think would be more difficult to be beaten by your preferred candidate?
     
  2. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    First question, sure.

    Second question...there is no way of knowing the motives of the person doing this.
     
  3. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    First question: Absolutely not.

    Second question: As long as the negative information is true, or arguably so.
     
  4. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Why not on the first question?
     
  5. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    It's neither moral nor immoral, it's amoral.


    Immoral if it's slander, amoral if it's true.
     
  6. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    Democracy is based on the ability of people to freely decide upon their elected leaders. We have a two-party system where each party chooses their optimal candidate, and the entire population chooses between them (and perhaps an inconsequential third party candidate). If party A acts to bias or interfere with the choice of party B, optimal candidates aren't chosen and the spirit of a general election is warped.

    Best demonstrated by an example.

    Suppose Clinton was the only nominee for the Democratic party, and nearly all of the Democrats manage to get David Duke elected as the Republican party nominee. Then, in the general election, the people (and especially Republicans and independents) are prevented from choosing between two viable candidates with mainstream platforms. Clinton wins even though her views may not reflect the majority of the populace, solely because the alternative is repugnant.

    Of course, this is an extreme example. In truth, the degree of influence is much smaller and the alternative candidate is unlikely to be David Duke. However, I still think it interferes with the spirit of a Democratic process.

    This problem is not uncommon in Africa, where a dominant party more or less chooses a weak opposition figure (through pre-election repression, rigging and back room deals) that they know will be unable to garner the electoral support of the majority, regardless of whether the general election is free and fair.

    I guess it isn't immoral so much as anti-democratic.
     
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  7. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Every one has the right to use their vote as they so choose, no? If one is convinced that the best thing for the country is for one party to win the election, I have a hard time seeing using one's vote to accomplish that goal as un-Democratic.

    How would you apply your reply to people that live in a state where their party's results aren't going to count?
     
  8. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    Absolutely, it isn't illegal.

    There is a time to express your preference for one party or candidate. That is the general election. If you switch to vote for a primary candidate in order to prevent a more viable candidate from winning the nomination, it seems to me your using two opportunities to attempt to get your favored candidate elected. The point of an election is to vote for the candidate you favor, not to vote to prevent other people from selecting the candidate they favor.

    I assume you mean Pennsylvania for the Republicans? I disagree with anyone voting for someone for the purpose of mucking up the other party's primary, or in the hopes that the other party will get stuck with the least viable candidate. However, I have less qualms about someone who knows they will vote Republican in the general election voting for what they perceive to be the best candidate of the other party. Ideally, I think one should only vote for a candidate if they believe they could vote for them in the general election. So to recap, I disagree with position 1, am abivalent to position 2, and wholly endorse position 3.
     
  9. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    One vote, one person. We can use them as we choose.

    Dems will try this in the next election, but Republicans will be one step ahead of them. Again.
     
  10. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    One can use their vote in any way that they like. If you mean to suggest that Republicans are better situated to use this tactic in the future, I hope you are right. I wouldn't want Democrats to resort to this.
     

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