Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Get Out The Vote?

One thing that always irks me is these Get Out The Vote campaigns and the similar sob stories in the newspapers about how shameful it is that so few people vote. Why would anyone want someone else, who may not have the slightest idea of what the issues are, to vote? I'm not talking about some Left or Right wing group trying to get people of like feeling on an issue to vote. That makes sense from a Left or Right perspective. But these people that keep trying to come up with a way to get "more voter participation" really don't have a clue, as I see it. They seem to think there's some communal wisdom of the masses that will bring us all a better world if everybody would just turn out to vote.

It appears that at least one study says that isn't the case. Caught this little gem in Dan Weintraub's 'California Insider' blog yesterday:

"A new study by a professor at the University of Missouri says increases in voter turnout do not change election results. The preferences of non-voters, his study shows, tend to break down pretty much the way voters do, with the caveat that in some cases they would increase the margin of the winning candidate. The study is not online but I can email you the 26-page pdf file if you are interested."

There, I wish everyone who keeps hollering for higher voter turnout would read that and maybe we'll hear less whining about poor voter turnout.

4 Comments:

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Higher turnout is a poor battle cry indeed. How about greater participation in the process? How about a basic test you have to pass in order to vote? There'd be less voters, but they'd be better informed.

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe people don't vote because they realize the candidates, and the entire system, doesn't give them a voice. It is designed to keep the two parties in control. Third parties never have a chance, unlike in other western countries.

I vote, but never for the two party candidates. I don't expect to ever be truly represented in government. I completely understand why people choose not to vote.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Fred said...

A voter test? I've discussed such things before with fellow libertarians. Main problem, as I see it, is who decides what's in the test? You can just imagine the powers that be trying to establish a testing system that only the politically correct, to them anyway, could pass.

One thing I'd support, at least without thinking about it too much, is not allowing people to vote on taxes that they don't have to pay themselves, property owners only voting on property taxes for instance. I know some would say that even renters pay property taxes, in the long run, but I think many renters don't think they do and thus vote for them thinking they won't be affected.

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Vote third party, Anon? Don't you realize your just wasting your vote?

But, seriously, I often vote for Libertarian Party candidates. More and more, though, I'll just leave the ballot blank if there's no candidate I feel worth voting for on it. For some reason I feel good about doing that. I guess getting away from always voting against someone is what makes me feel good.

 

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