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Old 10-06-2008, 11:42 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Free Will: In Defense of Not Voting

Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Always worth keeping in mind the rest of the "down-ticket" votes you have to cast on Election Day. Do you like or dislike your Congressperson, for example?

The way I have done this in the past when I found both candidates equal to first approximation was to consider which issues mattered most to me, and then look to see which one had a better (less bad) agreement with me on those issues. It's easy to do this in the case of Obama and McCain, it seems to me -- they are quite different in their views on a number of important issues. For example, if pro-choice/pro-life considerations matter to you, there's an obvious one. Consider the president's authority to appoint federal judges.

If that doesn't matter so much to you, consider health care. One candidate wants to implement health care for all, the other wants to move away from it so radically that he's now talking about dismantling Medicare and Medicaid.

What about energy and the environment? One candidate prioritizes alternative sources of energy, the other prioritizes increased drilling for oil and gas.

What about tax policy? One candidate wants to do away with the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the other wants to make them permanent.

Want more?
Good post, and a good series of questions. It definitely does seem that by thinking things through as you suggest, Laurel should be able to pick one candidate over the other. And if he can't, I would be interested to hear elaboration on the reasons why she feels both are "terrible" choices.

Since I have started studying more about the American political system, one of the things about it I find most disturbing is its regional nature. It's bad enough, I think, that we have a two party system, but when you add on top of that the historical fact that each party tends to dominate politics within its region, the actual input of any given voter into the final outcome is extremely limited. (Nonexistent?) I do understand the frustration a Democrat might feel living in Utah, or a Republican living in New York. My own feeling is that we'd be much better off with a multi-party system with proportional representation, so that a vote in Mississippi for a Democrat would still actually count.
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