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Patriotic Voting?

September 19, 2001 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Patriotic Voting?
Granted, this is in Seattle, not New York, but here's the bit I found interesting: Voter participation is expected to jump all the way up to almost 35% because of what this article calls "patriotic fervor." Call me a cynic, but I can't help but think that when it comes to citizenship, most of us would still rather just chant 'USA! USA!' at a ball game. Comments?
posted by Gilbert (25 comments total)

 
i think this is great. far better than flying a flag, or other symbolic displays of patriotism. more people need to believe in voting.

the largest reason i hear from friends who don't vote is : "it doesn't make a difference."
posted by fishfucker at 9:43 AM on September 19, 2001


It’s shameful, but not surprising, that it would be going up to 35%. American voter turnout is embarassingly low compared to other industrialized countries. And I wouldn’t be surprised if voter participation didn’t go up in November.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:49 AM on September 19, 2001


U! S! A!
U! S! A!
U! S! A!
posted by howa2396 at 10:02 AM on September 19, 2001


It's shameful, but not surprising, that it would be going up to 35%.

There's something to be said about turnout vs. the quality of candidates. Disenfranchisement has many causes and I'm willing to bet that their next mayor election will not enjoy the same turnout.

Sounds like more mindless USA cheerleading to me. Do not expect it to last without an accompanying reform in politics.
posted by skallas at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2001


when it comes to citizenship, most of us would still rather just chant 'USA! USA!' at a ball game

Well said, Gilbert. Americans squawk more and vote less. And the jingoistic chants of USA USA by the folks less likely to be voters do nothing but momentarily raise spirits. Anyone who thinks his vote doesn't count should just look back to the last presidential election--the one that put an inarticulate bumbler into the White House. Now we are stuck with him during these tense times.
posted by caraig at 10:12 AM on September 19, 2001


Do not expect it to last without an accompanying reform in politics.

Amen to that. Another thing. If you don't vote, you don't have any right to bitch about who's in office.
posted by themikeb at 10:17 AM on September 19, 2001


Next person who says jingoism or jingoistic gets slapped. Could we find a similie or something? Geez.
posted by owillis at 10:25 AM on September 19, 2001


It turns out the actual turnout was less than 30%! Schell lost maybe in part because his people did not show up to vote. Moreover, this was a democratic primary. Turnout is generally smaller in primaries, anyway.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 10:29 AM on September 19, 2001


make voting a legal obligation.

that's my 2 cents worth

oh, or make people vote for every little policy thingy by electronic means. no politicians that way. ok, so there's details to sort, but it may work. can't seem to find the required link at the moment, but i am not the only one to think that we could make the politicians redundant.

the first problem might be getting them to vote in the required referendum.
posted by asok at 10:39 AM on September 19, 2001


asok, good ideas, but i think that due to recent circumstances, we need to first make sure that people are able to vote (see palm county) and that one vote equals one vote in this country (see al gore winning popular vote)
posted by grainne at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2001


"make voting a legal obligation."

Its seems to me that making voting a legal obliagtion would be a violation of some kind of rights.


"If you don't vote, you don't have any right to bitch about who's in office."

But you do have the right to bitch about the policies and decisions of those in office. In turn, however, if you find yourself bitching about such things, you better be dragging your ass to the voting booths the next opportunity you get.
posted by howa2396 at 10:48 AM on September 19, 2001


oh, or make people vote for every little policy thingy by electronic means. no politicians that way. ok, so there's details to sort, but it may work.

Great, tyranny from the majority, no checks and balances, and minority opinions are crushed under the majority. Those are the reasons why we don't have a "pure" democracy.

Its seems to me that making voting a legal obliagtion would be a violation of some kind of rights.

I don't think it would be unconstitutional, though I'd be pretty pissed if there wasn't a "none of the above" option.
posted by skallas at 11:06 AM on September 19, 2001


I think it's ironic that while voting participation could reach new heights it's also likely that people would vote for the status quo as a "gesture of support".

Of course since the next round of voting (nationally) is still over a year away there's some question as to what this poll means, if anything.
posted by clevershark at 11:09 AM on September 19, 2001


if voting was made a legal obligation, i'd probably refuse to vote just because they're telling me i *must* vote.

do we really want to have all those don't-care-enough-to-be-informed people voting anyway?
posted by tolkhan at 11:32 AM on September 19, 2001


What tolkan said. Sadly voting without education is as harmful, if not more so, than not voting.
posted by fooljay at 11:37 AM on September 19, 2001


Interestingly, Seattle voters have a right to feel that there vote doesn't count. We voted for the monorail years ago, but there's no extended monorail service. We voted against building more sports stadiums, and look! Now we have TWO brand new snazzy stadiums. Seattleites are justified in being incredulous.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2001


do we really want to have all those don't-care-enough-to-be-informed people voting anyway?

How informed are you? Really, who's to make these decisions. If mandatory voting was established you'd see a lot more political education type TV shows, a voting day national holiday, and more.

Secondly, most non-voters don't vote because they don't feel the need too. Now that everyone is voting you'll feel more obligated to vote your feelings to "cancel" out the vote of the guy who's your political opposite.
posted by skallas at 11:59 AM on September 19, 2001


e-voting would help (me, at least, and people i know). better media coverage would help (not, of course, the media's fault. they've got to sell advertising -- no-one really watches the city council meets around here, although they are all televised -- except only on cable, dammit.). easier registration (sure, it's already fairly easy, but most people -- me -- don't think past the weekend.)
posted by fishfucker at 12:14 PM on September 19, 2001


There are very few elections going on this fall anyway. We've still got well over a year until the next big elections, and anything can happen between now and then. Unless we're the target of continual attacks between now and then, I'm not going to get my hopes up about this.
posted by aaron at 12:45 PM on September 19, 2001


owillis: Next person who says jingoism or jingoistic gets slapped. Could we find a similie or something? Geez.

Facsism? :)
posted by vbfg at 1:53 PM on September 19, 2001


Next person who says jingoism or jingoistic gets slapped. Could we find a similie or something?

A simile? Too many words. How about pseudodemocratic or hyperpatriotic or meganationalistic or superfragilistic.
posted by caraig at 2:05 PM on September 19, 2001


Okay, next day and voter turnout didn't go up as expected (reported on our local NBC affiliate). What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. That's a shame.
posted by j.edwards at 10:04 PM on September 19, 2001


> Next person who says jingoism or jingoistic gets
> slapped. Could we find a similie or something?

chauvinism:

NOUN: 1. Militant devotion to and glorification of one's country; fanatical patriotism. 2. Prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind: “the chauvinism . . . of making extraterrestrial life in our own image” (Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr.).

ETYMOLOGY: French chauvinisme, after Nicolas Chauvin, a legendary French soldier famous for his devotion to Napoleon.
posted by pracowity at 5:33 AM on September 20, 2001


How informed are you?

more so than most, i'd say, but it is a judgement call.

next week, Oklahoma is voting on state question 695, Right to Work. it's a perennial topic of argument here, but this time, it's actually made it onto the ballot. until it did, i knew almost nothing about it. now that we're getting the chance to vote on it, i've studied up on it, read both sides of the argument, reviewed the relevant Bureau of Labor Statistics data that i could find, discussed with others, blah blah...

i don't pretend that i know everything i need to know about it, and there's a modicum of faith in my vote, but now, i feel that, when i cast my vote, it will be the right one. most of the people i've discussed this with know little or nothing more than the political ads on television tell them. a lot of them have only simple Pro-Union vs. Anti-Union distinction, and that's all that matters to them, whereas, in becoming informed on this issue, my stance on the matter has changed.

somewhere, i had a point to all that, but i've lost in the hypercaffienated-by-coffee haze. something about 'do we want the uniformed to vote?'

if mandatory voting was established you'd see a lot more political education type TV shows

doubtful, but even so, do you really think that the Joe Bobs, Cleetuses (Cleeti?), and Rebecca Luannes would be watching?

a voting day national holiday

a lost day of business? never, unless it's on a Monday or Friday so we can have a three day weekend.

most non-voters don't vote because they don't feel the need too

and why don't they feel the need to? because they don't care? because they don't think it'd matter? personally, i'd rather those people not vote. part of the reason we have a Congress (especially the Senate, originally) and an Electoral College is that they were supposed to be a buffer against the masses. the revered Founding Fathers were elitists, in the end, who wanted a way to blunt the sharp passions of the uneducated and uninformed masses. the idea works fine with me. the difference for the voter/non-voter is that each individual makes the decision themselves (instead of being elected to Voter status). if you can't be bothered to get past the slanted ads and soundbites, please stay home on election day.

really must stopping drinking so much coffee.
posted by tolkhan at 8:39 AM on September 20, 2001


i meant no offense to anyone named Joe Bob, Cleetus or Rebecca Luanne.
posted by tolkhan at 8:59 AM on September 20, 2001


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