Vote on Principle or Compromise?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by mattskramer, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    It is generally believed that the Libertarian Party pulls votes from Republicans and that the Green Party pulls votes from Democrats. Once upon a time I was more of a Libertarian than I was a Republican but I certainly did not want a Democrat to win. If I had voted from my heart I would have voted Libertarian, but the Libertarian party has practically no chance of winning. It would have been a wasted vote and give the Democrats that much more of an edge. I could have compromised and voted Republican. The Republican had a greater chance of winning. Therefore, my vote would not be as wasted. What are your thoughts? Is it best to vote with your heart for the party that most closely mirrors your philosophy (even if that might be a wasted vote as your party would not come close to winning the election) or is it better to vote for the party that, to a degree mirrors your philosophy and stands a better chance of winning against a party that you dislike?
     
  2. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    IMO, it's a double-edged sword. I think "if" an independent party can get enough votes and attention, it might inspire others. Most people have the same attitude you do. Why waste my vote? Go with the lesser of two evils.

    In reality, neither the Republicans nor Democrats represent US. They represent themselves.

    Look at the upcoming election. Almost all of the candidates are liberals. At least the Dem ones are honest about it.
     
  3. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    George Bush I made a promise in his campaign: "Read my lips: no new taxes". Shortly after, he caved in. Then Ross Perot ran in 1992, and drew enough votes to tip things in Clinton's favor. Whoops, wasted vote! Not really. It was a wakeup call to the GOP, who actually started making some noise about cutting government with their contract with america. In 1994, they swept democrats out after 40 years of rule.

    So no, I don't think voting for a 3rd party is a wasted vote. The mediocre candidate who is ever so slightly closer to your views than the other (in rhetoric) may lose, yes. But if the 3rd party candidate just wins 5% of the vote, it's a huge slap in the face to one or both of the mainstream parties. The problem is that if you like 3/10 issues of the republican, and only 2/10 for the democrat, your vote for the republican will be interpreted as being a mandate for 10/10 of the republican's issues. Likewise, your vote may be interpreted as being against the 2/10 issues of the democrat, which you are for. It's better to vote for the long-shot guy who you agree with on 8/10 issues, if he exists that is.

    Of course you have to weight some issues more than others. I can overlook some issues, but others are absolutely central to what I'm looking for, and if both candidates are wrong on the core issues, then I see no reason to support one guy just because he agrees with me on one or two minor issues more than the other guy. I will choose to eat a ham sandwich that's a bit bland over a ham sandwich with wilted lettuce. But I will not choose to eat Shit Sandwich A over Shit Sandwich B, regardless of whatever garnishes it comes with.
     

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