Why do people place so much emphasis upon voting.?
All too often, people treat others who choose not to vote as though they no longer have a right to political opinions. How is that justified if someone should feel that none of the candidates represented what they stand for? Voting is supposed to be a process to deliver the voice of the people, not some secondhand attempt to pick the lesser evil from a handful of preselected politicians to rule over you. It feels like a slave-esque mentality to have.
I remember the massive queues of people going to vote for the first time in South Africa, when voting rights were extended to the great mass of people who had been denied the priviledge of casting their vote under apartheid.
I can also bring to mind the millions all over the world, even now, who are denied even the semblance of democracy, and I think of the hundreds of brave people in Syria, who have been massacred in the last few months for wanting to be able to exercise a free choice in who should rule them, and then I find myself wondering why you should ask that question.
If you want to know what a "slave-esque" mentality really is, or to live a slave like existence, I suggest you go to live in North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, or China. Then you could experience first hand the pleasure of not voting freely, because it would be denied to you.
The only people who still place emphasis on voting are the politicians, the media, institutions, and victims of propaganda. Politicians are afraid of people who don't vote or have lost faith in our political system. There is no point in voting--none. Despite what the conservatives and Obamaites say, Obama has proven to be just as conservative as Bush on foreign relations. The parties only differ on their domestic agendas, slightly. But an aggressive foreign policy aimed at intervention in the affairs of others and the stealing of resources affects us domestically.
This is really an interesting and intriguing question with quite a valid premise. Under a 2-party system like the U.S. you only have 2 choices and if you don't like either and for what they stand for, you end up choosing the lesser evil as Alouroua points out or you don't vote at all. Either way, the status quo is preserved for both parties and in a way they kind of end up monopolizing the system.
I think one of the main reasons why people place so much emphasis on voting is that because voting has become the defining feature of a free and just society, of a democracy. I agree that it is, but that isn't the only feature of a democracy and the problem is that people overlook the fact. Your vote is just the beginning, after the people you have voted are in charge, it is your duty as a citizen of a democratic society that you hold your elected representative accountable at all times. Leave the politicians to their own devices after you vote for them, and history will tell us that it's the electorate that gets left holding the bag.
First, of all, let me say that I live in Canada. We have a parlimentary system here and unless some scandal makes your party want you out, you can remain the head of your party for the whole of your political life-decades. It is not like the US where you are only allowed to be a two term president. These are the politicians who will be head of their party or representing their party in your district your elections and elections and elections to come. If I had to wait until there were only great options, I would never vote.
As a woman, I am keenly aware that there was a time when we were not given the right to vote. at one time, we were not persons under the law. It would never occur to me not to vote. Perhaps people who are white men living in democracies-and this is a perhaps here because I doubt it-who have always had the right to vote do not fully comprehend how wonderful and how precious the right to vote is.
To have a slave-like mentality, you have to understand what it is like to be a slave-one aspect of this is not having the right to vote. I am not nor has ever anyone I know been a slave and it would be offensive for me to suggest I had any clue what it felt like to be a slave when I never have been one.
I do notr undersnad why you suggest it feels like one-are you a former slave and no what it is like?
Thank you all for your thoughts, I really appreciate it. Don't get me wrong, I think that voting is a necessary part of a free society. It's the inflated sense of accomplishment attached to voting that worries me, not the act itself.
In my opinion voting is only an entry level display of sovereignty. Technically a murderer could offer his victim a choice in the way of departure. The huge voting emphasis makes it seem as though political awareness and a public voice beyond voting isn't necessary or accepted.
Just cast your ballot and roll with the punches if your leaders decide to turn the country on it's head. U.S. military operations are a good example of what I mean; our current wars are unpopular by a majority rule and yet we still fight them. I think people are selling themselves short if they believe that voting is the ultimate show of sovereignty.
Truly sovereign people have both; a duty and a privilege that goes beyond voting but it feels as though we're being taught complacency through the act.
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