Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Mar 7 17:33:28 PST 2010

Abd ul offers Gold Plated advice here!

It is properly our civic duty to vote, and thus our duty to first  
determine what candidates can be expected to best serve our needs.

However, if our determining is that voting for some candidates is more  
likely to hurt, rather than help, our interests, we must not vote for  
such.  Doing a write-in may be helpful if we must reject all nominated  

On Mar 6, 2010, at 9:15 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
[EM] Burlington Vermont repeals IRV 52% to 48%
> At 02:34 PM 3/6/2010, Raph Frank wrote:
>> In any case, you really should cast all 6 votes.
> Not necessarily. What if you only recognize the names of three? Or  
> what if you only support three and have no opinion on the rest,  
> sufficient to prefer one from another? The optimal vote is actually,  
> then, to vote just for three. Yes, you are wasting half your voting  
> power, but if you don't know what to do with it, using it just  
> introduces noise into the system, and might quite possibly be a vote  
> cast based on the worst kinds of media manipulation, creating vague  
> impressions about candidates not firmly based in fact.

"Wasting" is not the right word.  If you did not see any candidate to  
vote for, you had no power to waste - as Abd ul writes, odds are that  
voting here is as likely to be destructive as to be productive.
> That people consider it some kind of obligation to *vote*, per se,  
> regardless of how well the voter understands the situation, is part  
> of the problem with the system. There's lots of propaganda out that  
> that proposes voting as a civic duty, when the real duty would be to  
> investigate situations, become knowledgeable about them, and *then*  
> vote.
> Or, alternatively, decide whom to trust, based on the best  
> information available, and preferably, even, some level of personal  
> contact either with the potential advisor, or someone who knows the  
> advisor, and then follow that person's recommendations, assuming  
> that it's reasonable that this person knows more than you do.
> This is equivalent to putting all your eggs in one basket and then  
> watching that basket closely. It's a reasonable strategy, because  
> the capacity to watch all the eggs separately might not be there.  
> Most people have other things to do with their lives. Politics is  
> far from everything, important as it is.
> A variation on this, with partisan elections, is to adhere to a  
> political party. Probably more dangerous, in fact.

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