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How to Vote Smart

The Greens may damn me to hell for blaslphemy but this has to be written.
Until fair and democratic elections (instant run-off and proportional representation like real democratic countries) become a reality in the United States, we are stuck with our "winner-take-all" system. It means that voting for the party we like, whether it's the Green Party, the Socialist Worker's Party, the Communist Party, the Working Family's Party, the Labor Party, or the Wild Party only makes us accomplices in the crime of siphoning votes away from the left and ensuring a far-right victory.

To this end, I suggest the following:

- If the Democratic candidate is a progressive (a la McKinney, Lee, Wellstone, etc.), vote Democratic.

- If the Democrat is a corrupt, gentrifying, neoliberal, corporate ass-kissing facist imperialist, vote Green.

- If the Democrat is wishy-washy, but the Republican is a megafacist pig and ahead in the polls, vote for the lesser of the two evils-- the Democrat.

- If the Green is running a very, very, very close third in the previous scenario, vote Green.

- If both the Democrat and Republican candidates are moderates, vote Green.

- If both the Democrat and Republican candidates are neoliberal facist war-mongering pigs, vote Green.

- Think twice about straight-ticket voting, regardless of party affiliation.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=31180&group=webcast

homepage: homepage: http://portland.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=31180&group=webcast

well, yeah, but let's change all that! 03.Nov.2002 22:24

duuuuuude

So, how do we get runoff voting on the ballot? Or do our "representatives" have to take care of that one?

IRV in Oregon 04.Nov.2002 00:11

The One True b!X


i agree but 04.Nov.2002 05:03

average voter

i think your analysis kind of makes sense

but how does a voter know which scenario is in play ?

What you call comman sense, I call giving up! 04.Nov.2002 10:55

StevetheGreen

Every year the so-called "realists" sing the same ol tired song when election time comes around.

They try to educate us to the "political realities" and what constitutes "comman sense" from what they believe is the only valid perspective concerning what constitutes a wasted vote.
LOL

Then they vote for someone who does not represent their views simply because they are not as bad as the opposition.
They speak of the evil that will be done if the GOP controls all facets of the legislative branch of government.

Let us take a few minutes to examine what this "comman sense logic" has brought us.

* The rewriting of our constitution that in effect eliminates or weakens many of our basic fundamental freedoms. (The Dems overwhelminly supported the Patriot act)

* Imperialistic first strike wars for the purposes of greed, power and control. (The Dems overwhelmingly supported Bush's fake war on terrorism)

* Free trade agreements that rape and pillage our environment and workers across the globe. (The Dems overwhelmingly supported giving the people's power away to the corporations one more time)

* Huge out of control "defense" budgets that feed the military industrial complex at the expense of our childrens education and health care for our grandparents.
(The obscenity of the Democratic military budget is only surpassed slightly by the obscenity of the GOP's)

* Corporate welfare doled out to US based multi-nationals who ship jobs overseas and then fake energy crisis's and cook the books resulting in the robbery of thousands retirement funds. (The Enron's of the world have greased the palms of both parties to the point of nauseum)

What?
It could be worse?

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with that logic.
Things can always be worse, but there has to be a point in which "smart" comman sense people realize that voting for the lesser of two evils is only delaying the "inevitible revolution" that will ultimately be necessary if we want to cleanse the corruption from a system to entrencnced in power and every facet of our lives to change from within.

What? There are progressives fighting the good fight in our bought and sold government?

Yeah, like Cynthia McKinney? (Who the DLC chased out because she kept shouting the emperor has no clothes, making their corporate contributors a little to nervous!)

Or Paul Wellstone?
Look where he is.

So go ahead and speak of political realities and "rational" comman sense voting.
I'm done with this bullshit system and I'll be dammed if I'll let any of you so called "rational comman sense political reality" people get me to sell out to the the Republican lite Democratic party ever again.

You want some poltical reality? Here's a taste for ya!

The Democrats are nothing more than a false pacifier of choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum with very minor differences that exist only in rhetoric and not in deed.
They feed off of logic whose record is abismal.

The people who continue to vote for the Democrats as a "NO" vote to the GOP are ultimately to blame for slowing down the ride to revolution that will ultimately set us free.

Figure it out people.

from the ground up 04.Nov.2002 11:40

common sense voter

There is more than one way to challenge the two-party system. Ballot initiatives are effective and require lots of education and organizing at the grassroots level. See

"What Would Democratic Elections Look Like?"  http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/pdf/primers/democratic_elections.pdf

"COMBATTING THIRD-PARTY CONSTRAINTS"  http://www.mattg.org/multiparty/5.html

Progressive grassroots organizations that are working to raise awareness about real election reform-

 http://www.fairvote.org/links.htm
 http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/

Opinion polls are a fairly accurate way of determining which candidate is in the lead and by how much.

Hear their pleas 04.Nov.2002 11:58

common sense voter

A plea from one of our friendly northern neighbors-

 http://www.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=214782&group=webcast

Voting: A Bad Idea 04.Nov.2002 12:44

marshall forloveoflife76@hotmail.com

voting makes me wanna barf; voting for anybody or anthing! While i don't want to be an absolutist about it, i do want to point out a few of the pitfalls of the "voting is how things are changed" rhetoric. it's just not true. there are so many other options that are so much more empowering that voting is just plain bad.

no time for a major treatise on the subject now (wish i would have before this election) but check out the story at this link below where Vine Deloria JR's favorite systems of indigenous governance are compared to the white western system of government. i don't know if Deloria would say that voting itself should not be done, and i don't mean to appropriate some one else's culture. i just want to share this with folks as a way to illuminate the status quo and show that there are other, and better options.

 http://www.airpi.org/fall97deloria.html


GRINGO STARS FOR MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF! 04.Nov.2002 13:30

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

I voted because I liked some of the referendums - 23 and 27 for example. I voted for more library funds as well. When there was only ONE CHOICE I wrote in the names of my friends. Most of them would do far better than the career-public-leeches with fake smiles in the voting pamphlets. I hope to one-up Hunter S Thompson one day and get elected Sheriff of Multnomah County. That's still an elected position, right? Can you imagine the next time the Portland Police line up in riot gear with pepper spray, the sheriff deputies line up opposing the police, in order to protect the protesting civilians 1st amendment rights? Hey, I can dream!

But it's true what the nay-sayers say: voting is a valve that lets you think that you've somehow contributed to the system. That way, people feel that, once they've voted, they're now DONE with their duties to others, politically. As Josef Stalin, who "won" many a closed-door party-only election said "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." Bu$h The Second is also well-aware of this fact. When voting for candidates, I feel like such a tool, because they are all protectors of the profit system.

Yet; rights such as legal abortion can be voted out of existance. That is REAL. And real rights such as universal health care CAN be voted into existance. Remember the anarchists of Spain - the CMT - counseled against all voting - to bash the heads of all candidates and ballot-collectors. And then the fascists were voted into power. Voting provides a sheen of legitimacy and respectability to the vast majority of those-who-don't-know-any-better. And it's them you have to watch out for.

how to vote smart 04.Nov.2002 14:46

.

This would make sense if the Greens could get their shit together to even have candidates on the ballot.

voting for democrats perpetuates the system 05.Nov.2002 02:44

dave dwbillings@yahoo.com

I apologize as I don't have too much time to support my argument here. I would like to pose the idea that we vote third party and force the Democrats to support the idea of instant runoff or proportional representation. We need to create incentive for them to change the system. We're allowing them to maintain the status quo of the two party system. If the Greens / Third Party Candidates can manage to get 10% or any significant percentage of the votes and cause the Democrats to recognize this, we may have a chance to change the system. Go out and vote your conscience. If you feel the Greens are the ones, vote for them. If you prefer the Democrats, that's your choice. Please email me with fair analysis if you will.

Your vote's your own! 05.Nov.2002 17:26

lynwillw

When you pull the lever to that booth, your vote is like your signature; it is YOUR OWN!
Here is the guideline I use, and it works very well, though it doesn't usually help elect the turd that finally gets into the office.
If I know a candidate's program of priorities, and it sounds like what I would want to do if I myself were running, or is even close, THAT is the candidate I vote for.
I have, from time to time, tried "playing the horses" with candidates that I thought "needed my vote" to help them win. I've been sorry I did it every time, and felt I'd betrayed myself by voting as I did.
If democracy means anything, it's got to mean that a person stands up for what he or she believes in, and doesn't mean standing for some half-measure that in the end is worse than useless for fulfilling one's practical political ideal.
That used to be called having the courage of one's conviction.
If a candidate has that courage, and stands for what I stand for, that's where my vote goes. If that candidate temporizes and beats around the bush, that's it brother; bring on the next one.
Sorry if that sounds impractical, but that's how I can live with myself.

Your vote's your own! 05.Nov.2002 17:31

lynwillw

When you pull the lever to that booth, your vote is like your signature; it is YOUR OWN!
Here is the guideline I use, and it works very well, though it doesn't usually help elect the turd that finally gets into the office.
If I know a candidate's program of priorities, and it sounds like what I would want to do if I myself were running, or is even close, THAT is the candidate I vote for.
I have, from time to time, tried "playing the horses" with candidates that I thought "needed my vote" to help them win. I've been sorry I did it every time, and felt I'd betrayed myself by voting as I did.
If democracy means anything, it's got to mean that a person stands up for what he or she believes in, and doesn't mean standing for some half-measure that in the end is worse than useless for fulfilling one's practical political ideal.
That used to be called having the courage of one's conviction.
If a candidate has that courage, and stands for what I stand for, that's where my vote goes. If that candidate temporizes and beats around the bush, that's it brother; bring on the next one.
Sorry if that sounds impractical, but that's how I can live with myself.

Uhm..proportional Representation is 05.Nov.2002 17:39

not a hallmark of democracy

Guys...proportional Representation..wherein if 30% of you guys vote green it means that Greens control 30% of the parliament/congress is not manditory for Democracy...but it seems to be manditory for Parliamentarian states where governments crumble every few months. I fact its largest practicioners, Europe, is notoriously undemocratic. Check out Schmitter for more on the EU and its undemocratic ideals.
We have direct elections...that means you vote for a person not a party. I ama conservative Libertarian....but do i vote Republican every single time? Nope. i vote for the ideals first, then the ideology.
But please, continue to vote third party in national elections, it insures our victory every time.
As soon as you guys want real freedom feel free to vote for it, in the meantime keep on complaining and providing Rush with Entertaining news of random left-wing idiocy.

ballot initiatives 06.Nov.2002 12:30

jon

is Oregon the only state where ballot initiatives are given a vote by the citizens?