• Yohan
    672
    No! It's much much simpler than that. A living, eligible to vote, person has the option to vote or not. A dead person has no option at all.Alkis Piskas
    So even if I don't vote for either candidate, I never the less support one of the candidates by choosing not to vote?

    You could also say that that if I choose to vote for a third candidate, that I am indirectly supporting the most popular candidate by not supporting his closer competition. Right?

    What about all my free time that I didn't use to support the close candidate? By not using it on the close candidate, did I indirectly use it to support the more popular candidate? How about my spare money. Since I didn't donate it to the close candidate, did I somehow support the popular candidate by not making a donation?
  • praxis
    5.4k
    I can't see why this is at all controversial. One need not participate in everything one values. That seems pretty straightforward.Isaac

    One need not participate in their childs upbringing, particularly if there are no laws restricking irresponsible neglect of that kind.

    If a libertarian truely values freedom they will take responsibility themselves, otherwise they prove themselves to be paracites.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    One need not participate in their childs upbringing, particularly if there are no laws restricking irresponsible neglect of that kind.praxis

    So your argument is that because some things require involvement, democracy does?

    Please, please never consider the raising of your children and the instructions on an oven-ready chicken at the same time. "Hang on, chicken needs baking in the oven for 2 hours, so that means..."
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.3k

    You are chasing your tail.
  • baker
    4.9k
    So the question remains, is refusing to vote a viable political position?NOS4A2

    Depends on the electoral system. Some countries have a quorum requirement even for parliamentary and presidential elections where it is the general population that votes. I couldn't find an English reference as to which, though. IIRC, it is, for example, some former Yugoslav republics that have this system. If not enough people show up for the elections, the elections are repeated until enough do. In such a system, not voting does make some difference (provided enough people don't vote).

    Yes, refusing to participate would be opting out of the system, in a way. But it’s more like refusing to play baseball but having to remain in the dugout.NOS4A2

    In that case, you need to start a civil initiative, start your own party, start collecting signatures for a referendum for a change of constitution etc.

    Democracies generally do have legal means of action for those people who are not content with the current system. Many people who are in one way or another critical of the system don't seem to be aware of those means. Or they think making use of those means is too tedious, expensive, or ineffective. In that case, it's those people who are at fault, though, for having unrealistic expectations.
  • baker
    4.9k
    In the UN general assembly and security council, abstention is a valid stance to adopt. What am I missing?Agent Smith

    Different deliberative assemblies or electoral bodies operate by different rules. They have diffferent rules as to what constitutes a quorum, the exact role of abstention, the value of the vote against the proposition, etc.

    Some deliberative assemblies require, for example, a simple majority of votes to be in favor of a proposition in order for the proposition to pass. Others require absolute unanimity for passing. Etc.

    Because of this, it's difficult to make generalizations about voting.
  • baker
    4.9k
    Voting is not a 'table' in any sense whatsoever. There's no discussion, no interaction. We're presented with choices and we decide which one we least hate. that's it.
    /.../
    Voting is not a fight. Not even in the slightest bit. It's an exercise in statistical bureaucracy to find out who people want to hold that office. There's not even the tiniest element of 'fight' in it. It's like filling in a census.
    Isaac

    Unlike professional politicians, you underestimate your role as a citizen of a democratic country and you're not willing to put in anywhere near the effort they did.


    Maybe, but the question was about it's being a political position, not a protest. IF voting Labour is a political position (despite the fact that it might be only strategic, or habit, or defeatist), then so is not voting (despite the fact that it might be apathy, laziness or stupidity).Isaac

    If you don't like the current parties available, start your own. Of you don't like the constitutional system, take action. Nobody is stopping you from that.
  • praxis
    5.4k
    So your argument is that because some things require involvement, democracy does?Isaac

    Not at all. My argument is essentially that we generally don’t neglect what we value. Of course we may take things for granted, not consciously realizing how much we value something until neglect reaches a point of crises. If we don’t value something, like democracy or the fruitcake that you were gifted five years ago but remains in your pantry, then it’s hardly neglectful to let it rot.
  • baker
    4.9k
    I question how much democracy is valued by someone who argues against participation in democracy
    — praxis

    I value the national health service, but I don't think unqualified people ought to participate in it.

    To get closer to the OP, I might value education, but not participate in any teaching establishment because I disagree with their methods.

    I can't see why this is at all controversial. One need not participate in everything one values. That seems pretty straightforward.
    Isaac

    You can escape teaching, practicing medicine, a hundred things. But you cannot escape being a citizen.

    Being a citizen brings with it rights and responsibilities.
  • baker
    4.9k
    If vote (in a situation where I know I'm in a minority) I haven't done some small amount of good. I've done no good at all. The opposition party have won and get to enact their policies in exactly the same way they would have if I hadn't voted. Exactly the same. Not a small but insignificant difference (such as with reducing one's carbon footprint), absolutely no difference at all.Isaac

    Such is democracy.

    Voting gives a slightly more accurate impression of how people feel politically than would be given if you didn't vote.

    A well constructed survey would do a considerably better job of the same task.

    Neither change the way things actually are, which is what determines who gets into power.
    Isaac

    Which is what happens when people don't believe in democracy, even though they nominally live in one.

    In some cases non-voters are a large enough constituency to make moves outside of elections and with other means than the vote, so it’s not a complete waste. The problem is probably organizing other non-voters.NOS4A2

    And whose problem and fault is that?


    This whole topic is about people who don't understand their role, their rights and their responsibilities as citizens of democractic countries. They are citizens of democractic countries, but they have the mentality of people living in a monarchy (or a cynical dystopia).
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    My argument is essentially that we generally don’t neglect what we value.praxis

    Do you value your fire service?

    Do you take part in your fire service?

    If you don't like the current parties available, start your own. Of you don't like the constitutional system, take action.baker

    I could.

    Neither of which are voting.
  • baker
    4.9k
    I could.

    Neither of which are voting.
    Isaac

    But perhaps your point is that you don't actually want to live in a democracy?
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k


    Arigato gozaimus for the warning!

    Either you're with us or you're against us. — G.W. Bush

    The fallacy of the false dichotomy.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    But perhaps your point is that you don't actually want to live in a democracy?baker

    No. I'm fairly certain I'd rather live in a democracy than any of the other available options.
  • praxis
    5.4k
    Do you value your fire service?

    Do you take part in your fire service?
    Isaac

    If your point is that voters should require qualification in order to vote, that’s beside the point. Though if that’s at all a viable idea it expresses a concern for democracy in that there’s the intent to improve it.
  • Yohan
    672
    They are citizens of democractic countries, but they have the mentality of people living in a monarchy (or a cynical dystopia).baker
    If a leader makes decisions that the majority of people are against, which they do all the time, then by definition, their decisions are not democratic. Simply calling it "representative democracy" doesn't actually make it democracy.
  • baker
    4.9k
    I'm fairly certain I'd rather live in a democracy than any of the other available options.Isaac

    Then what exactly is your objection to the democratic system of political parties and the process of electing them via popular vote?
  • baker
    4.9k
    If a leader makes decisions that the majority of people are against, then by definition, their decisions were not democratic. Simply calling it "representative democracy" doesn't actually make it a democracy.Yohan

    Which is why a democracy has the legal means to remove such a political leader from office.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    And whose problem and fault is that?


    This whole topic is about people who don't understand their role, their rights and their responsibilities as citizens of democractic countries. They are citizens of democractic countries, but they have the mentality of people living in a monarchy (or a cynical dystopia).

    The power imbalance in so-called democratic countries is obscene. We’ve seen it in full action during the most recent pandemic, where most of these states seized the economy, ruled by dictate, and froze our precious human rights at their whim and fancy. I have no responsibility to any official in any of these states. I conceded no power and blended no knee.
  • baker
    4.9k
    The power imbalance in so-called democratic countries is obscene.NOS4A2

    Yet such is democracy.

    It seems that what you really want is that your political stance should prevail with ease.



    blended no knee.

    Heh. I blended no knee either, but I still have a limp.
  • Yohan
    672
    Which is why a democracy has the legal means to remove such a political leader from office.baker
    That doesn't answer the larger question. How does a president represent the will of millions of strangers? You can't represent someone's will unless you know their will. Just getting elected by the strangers doesn't grant you some magical ability to know their will once elected.

    Further, how likely is it that the majority poor (poor by comparison) actually want a rich lawyer (half the US presidents have been lawyers, and almost all of them rich) to represent them? And how likely is it that a rich lawyer isn't going to prefer to represent the will of the rich minority over the poor majority?
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    Yet such is democracy.

    It seems that what you really want is that your political stance should prevail with ease.

    When democracy is indistinguishable from tyranny we’ve lost the plot.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    If your point is that voters should require qualification in order to vote, that’s beside the point. Though if that’s at all a viable idea it expresses a concern for democracy in that there’s the intent to improve it.praxis

    Nope. The point is simply that you value your local fire service but you do not take part in it. You're glad it's there, but you don't feel the need to train as a fireman and join in.

    One can value the fact that democracy is there without needing to join in.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Then what exactly is your objection to the democratic system of political parties and the process of electing them via popular vote?baker

    Nothing.
  • praxis
    5.4k
    The point is simply that you value your local fire service but you do not take part in it. You're glad it's there, but you don't feel the need to train as a fireman and join in.Isaac

    I wanted to be a fireman when I was a kid, if that counts.

    But seriously, if fire service was structured more like democratic elections where there was an expectation of public participation, something like all able adults in a particular age range train and make themselves able to serve for brief periods or whatever, then the curtain of responsibility would fall over a wider swath of the community and not just career firefighters. If it were not compulsory or incentivized in some way, the decision to serve or not would express one’s values… though not necessarily the value of fire service in this particular case because an individual may actually want the town they live in to burn. On the other hand, if that were the case the fire station may also burn.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    But seriously, if fire service was structured more like democratic elections where there was an expectation of public participation, something like all able adults in a particular age range train and make themselves able to serve for brief periods or whatever, then the curtain of responsibility would fall over a wider swath of the community and not just career firefighterspraxis

    This just seems tautologous. You appear to be saying that because there's an expectation we take part, we have s responsibility to take part.

    The question the OP asks bid ought there be such an expectation in the first place.
  • praxis
    5.4k


    Again, my essential argument is that we generally don’t neglect what we value. If we value life, for instance, then we ought to not neglect it. If we are indifferent to life then there would be no basis or inclination for neglect or support. If we hate life then we ought to neglect or destroy it.

    If an individual doesn't value their society and feels that it doesn't benefit them in any way then they may justifiably feel no responsibility to support it. If they benefit but choose not to support then they're basically a freeloader, a parasite to some small or large degree.
  • Isaac
    8.5k


    What's any of that got to do with voting?
  • praxis
    5.4k


    Even though an individual is able and has the time they choose not to participate in a cooperative group effort that they value and benefit from.

    Definition of freeload
    intransitive verb
    : to impose upon another's generosity or hospitality without sharing in the cost or responsibility involved
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Even though an individual is able and has the time they choose not to participate in a cooperative group effort that they value and benefit from.praxis

    So you're assuming I value and benefit from voting? On what grounds?
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