Nader not backing down
October 22, 2000 11:01 PM   Subscribe

Nader not backing down
posted by Dean_Paxton (15 comments total)
They do have a point, however.

Were Gore not enjoying a comfortable lead here in Illinois, I don't think I'd be voting for him.
posted by aladfar at 7:27 AM on October 23, 2000

I'm in a 'battleground' state, and I'm voting for Nader anyway. If Gore wanted my vote, he would be willing to debate Nader face to face on the issues.
posted by snakey at 8:32 AM on October 23, 2000

No aladfar... They have no point.
There message is: "Be radical, vote for the rebel, but not if it will affect anything."
Either you support Nader or you don't. If you support Nader, then why on earth should you vote for someone else, hoping beyond hope that your one vote will elect someone you don't even support. Most of the things people find troubling about Bush will happen even if Gore is in office, and with no viable 3rd party alternative, that will never change. Ralph's right, the Democratic party has been overtaken by conservatives who believe that liberals will vote for them regardless, just because they're wearing liberal colours. F 'em...
posted by Niccola Six at 9:15 AM on October 23, 2000

I still think it's hilarious watching people worry about who to vote for as if their vote is going to make a difference. It doesn't matter who you vote for. What matters is how thousands of other people vote.

Stay home. Vote for Nader. Vote for Mickey Mouse. Whatever makes you feel good. The election results will not change no matter who you vote for! You will not be the deciding vote that inches Nader over the 5% mark the Greens need for getting federal funding. You will not hand the election to Bush by voting for Nader.

I'm sorry, I know how awful that sounds, how much people don't want to believe this. But it's true.
posted by straight at 10:41 AM on October 23, 2000

Sorry straight, but your vote for Nader DOES make a difference. Those 'thousands of other people' aren't getting up off the couch at all. THEY are the ones that don't matter.

Democracy only works when you exercise your right to vote. The only way to make a difference is to stand up and vote for Nader, and the other green candidates in state and local elections. When enough of us wake up to this simple fact, we can see some real changes in this country.
posted by snakey at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2000

This belief is only true if all people subscribe to it - it is unfortunate that this sentiment is so widespread. The more people who vote, the better our democracy operates.

Niccola: I firmly believe in what Nader represents. I also firmly believe in keeping GWB out of office. The two viewpoints aren't mutually exclusive. Given that Illinois is more or less a lock for Gore, I feel comfortable voting for Nader, and I encourage others to do the same.

Were I in a 'swing' state, I'd likely be devoting my efforts toward helping Gore win. This doesn't meant that I lack conviction, only that my overriding concern lies in keeping a know nothing hack out of office.

posted by aladfar at 11:34 AM on October 23, 2000

Sure, if lots of people vote for Nader, then it'll make a difference. But if lots of people do it, my one extra vote won't change anything; and if nobody does it, my one vote won't change anything.

It's not like giving money to help the poor or a political cause, where giving a little bit helps a little bit. That one extra vote really makes no difference unless the vote is literally tied. And if an election were ever really that close, they'd probably call for a recount anyway.

I'm not cynical. There are lots of things a single person can do to make a difference, but anyone who bothers to think about the math and the statistics for a minute can see that voting isn't one of them.

And I don't think it's irresponsible to say so, because in all likelihood, even if every person reading this refrained from voting, it wouldn't change the results of any election anywhere (unless 95% of MetaFilter readers are in a single school district or something).
posted by straight at 11:43 AM on October 23, 2000

That's not even the point straight, I agree your personal vote doesn't matter. But when the mass media engages in propaganda fear tactics and now suddenly more than a few thousand people are feeling guilty about their vote for Nader its the community's job to show why this is a fear tactic and you should be voting with your conscience.
posted by skallas at 12:09 PM on October 23, 2000

There is something vastly more important than your vote however, and that's what you tell people about who you're voting for.

Example: Say there's two people, Allison and Bob. Allison tells everyone to vote for Nader, explains why they should and just generally promotes him. Then she (quietly, worriedly) votes for Gore. Bob doesn't talk to anybody about who he's voting for, and then votes for Nader. Who has done more for the cause? Allison, ultimately. One vote won't change the election, but spreading the word that there is an alternative will. Naderites who spread the "wasted ballot" notion are stabbing that idea in the back.

But of course, the real hero is the heretofore unknown Jane, who's never been politically active, but tells everyone she knows about Ralph Nader and why she (and everyone else) should vote for him too. And then she goes and does just that.

posted by Niccola Six at 1:19 PM on October 23, 2000

Your vote does matter. The corporate-run system is set up to make you feel like your vote does not matter, so you cannot use it against them, which is a tacit vote for them.

Almost nothing is not the same as exactly nothing. One penny is worth almost nothing as well, but if every MetaFilter reader got it in their head to mail me one penny, I would have $18 and I would head straight to Sizzler.

But if you and I were competing over who could get the most pennies, and you already had 600 friends who you knew would send you pennies, it would be a more effective strategy to convince 600+ readers that their pennies were insignificant and did not matter than it would be to convince 300 of my friends to send you their pennies instead.
posted by donkeymon at 1:48 PM on October 23, 2000

Straight, if voting to break a tie is what you base the importance of elections on, then you need to seriously re-think your apathetic logic.

me: The study that comic ...refers to is about the chances of someone’s vote breaking a tie in a national election.

you: This is false.

Straight, I’m afraid I’m still right. You didn’t actually refute the study’s claims, just reititerated your belief. The study you based your first apathetic statement on is about any one ballot breaking a tie. They made no leaps of faith about elections in general, which you’re all too willing to do.

Now, Gore and Bush will both recieve millions of votes, and I know that seems to minimize your voice in the election. Third Party candidates, on the other hand, literally need every vote they can get. The Green party want about 2.5m votes out of a possible ~250m. That’s a decidedly tiny and approachable number considering the front runners stand to get around 50m a piece. Thats a fraction of voters in one metropolitian area or two Midwestern states. It’s an acheivable number of the electorate if they vote. If they don’t, well. They’re making a stand against statistics. They’ll look like intellectual provactuers sitting out the election with a bag of gummie bears and a remote control.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 3:40 PM on October 23, 2000

Considering Nader is the only candidate that is seriously proposing adding a "none of the above" to every election and if none wins a new one starts up with different candidates, he'd make a killing on the disenfranchised. Though I think, "Vote Nader if you think he and everyone else sucks." Isn't much of a slogan
posted by skallas at 6:20 PM on October 23, 2000

Yes, donkeymon, I clearly remember reading about the contributions of AOL-Time-Warner to the drafting of the Constitution.
posted by dhartung at 10:06 PM on October 23, 2000

[Capt.Crackpipe] Thats a fraction of voters in one metropolitian area or two Midwestern states

Er, so are you saying that two Midwestern states equals one "metropolitan area." Isn't Illinois a Midwestern state? Isn't Missouri? Minnesota? Maybe you meant the Dakotas or something. :)
posted by daveadams at 9:29 AM on October 24, 2000

Straight, I’m afraid I’m still right. You didn’t actually refute the study’s claims, just reititerated your belief.

It doesn't take any kind of "study" to know that you were wrong when you said my vote is important. No matter who I vote for, the election results will not be affected unless there is a massively unlikely tie, or, equally unlikely, unless Nader gets within one vote of earning matching funds. Otherwise, my extra vote makes absolutely no difference.

One penny is worth almost nothing as well, but if every MetaFilter reader got it in their head to mail me one penny, I would have $18 and I would head straight to Sizzler.

But voting doesn't work like that. With money, an individual can make a small difference. If I send you a penny, you can buy a gumball. But if I vote for you, it gives you nothing, unless you're exactly tied with your opponent.

When I cast my vote (and I will, just for fun), I will have the opportunity to change election results from

Candidate A: 18,000, Candidate B: 11,000
Candidate A: 18,001, Candidate B: 11,000
Candidate A: 18,000, Candidate B: 11,001

which is totally pointless. I could cast my vote for all the people I hate the most, and it wouldn't do them a bit of good.

The only rational reasons I can think of for an individual to vote are if you think it's fun or if it gives you something to talk about. If you think you're actually having any effect on the elections, you're just deluding yourself.

posted by straight at 10:22 AM on October 24, 2000

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