[EM] Lesser-of-2-evils voting

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Tue Jan 27 18:11:01 PST 2004

Remember that Time Magazine website unofficial poll during the 2000
election year?  Nader was way out ahead of both Gore and Bush after more
than an hundred thousand responses.  If either Bush or Gore had that kind
of lead in a Time Magazine poll, no matter how unofficial or unscientific,
it would have been big news.

So what did they do when Nader was the obvious people's choice?  They
quitely discontinued the poll.


On Mon, 26 Jan 2004, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:

> There's only a tiny probability that your vote will
> chqnge the outcome. But we vote anyway, out
> of principle. But if it's being done out of principle,
> then why vote for less than what we most want? Why vote for someone whom we
> know to not even be honest? What kind of principle is that?
> How much sense does it make to vote because of principle (and there's no
> other reason to vote), and vote for some sleaze as a "pragmatic" effort to
> make him win instead of someone even worse?
> Everyone is saying that we've got to vote for the Democrat so that the
> Republican won't win.
> Does that sound familiar? People have been saying that, and doing it, for
> many decades. Where has it gotten us?
> Yes, the Democrats talk very differently from the Republicans, in the
> campaign. An author in _The Progressive_ pointed out that the Democrats are
> progressives in the campaign, but they're Republicans in office. Why?
> Because they get their votes from one part of the population, and they get
> their money & instructions from another part of the population.
> So now we hear the Democrats, from Kucinich to Kerry to Clark, all trying to
> sound like peace candidates. They do that because they know that that is
> what people want to hear.  And most voters forget these candidates' record
> in regards to peace & war.
> That forgetfulness is the reason why we never get anything different.
> If we keep on voting for the same thing (and the "2 parties" are pretty much
> the same thing), that   just isn't going to get us anything different.
> Isn't there a saying about when we keep doing the same thing and expecting
> something different?
> There was a sketch on _Saturday Night Live_, in which two people in a
> home-workshop were having a discussion in which one would say something like
> "Don't you hate the way it feels when you hammer a nail through your thumb,
> and keep on hammering till the nail won't go any farther into the table?".
> And the other guy says, "Oh yeah, man, I hate that every time I do it".
> They must be Democrat voters.
> "It's better to vote for
> what you want and not get it than to vote for what you
> don't want and get it."
> We're being had when we keep voting Democrat. Don't
> keep being had.
> The honest candidates won't win? Maybe, but that won't
> be because I didn't vote for them.
> As I said earlier, it's as Richard said: Our elections are 0-info elections.
> Sure, maybe not literally, in the very strictest sense: If your Uncle Fred
> decides to register as a write-in, and no one has heard of Fred, then you
> know that he won't win or be in a tie or near-tie. But, if we're talking
> about candidates that people have heard of at all, then the election is
> 0-info.
> As I said, that's because our polls in the media are completelly
> untrustworthy and worthless. Our commentators on tv and in the other mass
> media are of no use for getting valid information about candidate
> winnability. And Plurality's voting results don''t tell us anything either,
> because, as I said before, Plurality does a magnificently efficient job of
> concealing what people actually want.
> ...but only if we believe what the tv tells and vote accordingly.
> In 0-info elections the best strategy is: Vote for your favorite.
> Strictlly speaking, vote for your favorite among the candidates that people
> have heard of.
> People have heard of Nader and Sharpton, for instance. And if the Greens run
> Camejo, or someone like him, then people will hear of him too.
> If you try to vote pragmatically, you're basing your strategy on unreliable
> information. Maybe on intentionally false information.
> How will we know who can win and who can't unless we
> vote for what we want?
> We let the corrupt media tell us who is winnable and
> who isn't. Who's a serious candidate and who isn't.
> What "the 2 choices" are. Ignore that.
> As I asked Bill, doesn't it seem a little odd that the "winnable" or
> "viable" or "serious" candidates are always the most dishones ones?
> You know that it's obvious that the media go to
> great lengths to try to make people believe that
> anyone other than the corporate-bought candidates is
> unwinnable. So don't believe it. What if the honest
> candidates aren't winnable precisely because the media
> tells us that they aren't winnable and because we
> believe it and for that reason don't vote for them?
> Nader, Sharpton or Camejo for president.
> Mike Ossipoff
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