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Voting Incentives

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posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 10:41 PM
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America has consistently experienced a low voter turnout over many election cycles. Clearly, a true democracy cannot exist if millions are declining their right to be heard. Simple interest in the good of the nation alone is obviously not a sufficient incentive to get people to vote.

Should the government be doing more to increase voter turnout? Isn't it the duty of the government, sworn to uphold American ideals, to increase voter turnout?

What are some good incentives to get people out to vote?

The government could issue tax breaks for those who have voted, or impose additional taxes for those who didn't. Perhaps those funds collected could go into further increasing turnout.

I wonder what this nation would be like if every election had a full voter turnout.




posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 12:41 AM
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It would be nice to think that we could have a larger, more representative voter turn out but....incentives? There is something about the idea that we would, somehow, reward people for performing an act that is an inherent right of American Citizenship that bothers me. No one "rewards" me for using my rights to free speech, bearing arms, assembling, etc.

One would think that voting was incentive enough -- period.


Of course, there is nothing that would prevent the government from making voting easier. Why, for example, do we limit voting to one day? Why not make voting spread out over, say, a full weekend and the following Monday. Wouldn't it be more convenient to be able to vote from Friday, Saturday, Sunday (yes Sunday) and Monday? Let's make voting easy! After all, nobody wants to stand in a line at a polling site.

I'd suggest going to internet voting but, frankly, in my mind, internet voting is fraught with too many possibilities (real or imagined) for voter fraud. But if a guaranteed system -- one that is 100% fool proof -- I might go for the internet system. However, I'm simply too paranoid.

Yes, I know, there are plenty of opportunities for voting fraud with the current voting system but, still, it's what we know and are comfortable with. And, it would seem that voter fraud is still more likely to be discovered using the traditional voting systems. I think it would be too easy to cover-up wide scale voting fraud on the internet. Anyway, this is my two cents on the subject.



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 09:20 PM
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The government should do no more than to make polling places available to the voting public.

Anythng that could be considered as incentive could also be construed as coersion.

That's a slippery slope.



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 11:34 PM
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I think the only real incentives that we could successfully do are laws on campaigning.


For instance, attack adds are a favourite of many politicians, especially on the right,
if we passed a law that prevented candidates from doing things like that and preventing
known libel & slander, both in the campaign and in the private sector during the elections.

Or we could encourage more Youtube style debates and in general non-scripted
debates with questions that the candidates don't know they're going to be asked.
I say the Youtube ones because it has encouraged a great deal of the younger
generation to vote, since they feel that the politicians are more human, because they
answer the peoples questions, rather than what some group wants or the most
popular issue of the week.



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 07:01 PM
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I say ban all television and radio political ads.

That would keep the airwaves cleaner and force politicians to actually address issues rather than depending on flooding the airwaves with drivel.

We'd all be better off, if they depended on YouTube, print media and broadcast debates to get their messages across.

Radio and television ads have demeaned politics to a level unfit for even politics.

Of course, radio and television corporations would have a fit, because they'd lose billions of dollars in advertising.

Still, politics would be the better.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by The CyfreClearly, a true democracy cannot exist if millions are declining their right to be heard. Simple interest in the good of the nation alone is obviously not a sufficient incentive to get people to vote.


While I'm not speaking for every non-voter, I know that quite a number of non-voters have valid reasons.

In fact, I was taught that to *not* vote is a sign of protest. Just like *not* paying your taxes.

There's no amount of money that could be offered, nor prizes or other rewards, that could buy my vote.

So, what 'incentive' could be offered for me to get out and vote?

Doing away with the electoral system for one. (Sorry, but individual votes don't matter if they're over-ruled by the state reps. If the people go out and vote, their votes should be counted and should decide the election, period.)

I hate choosing between two evils, and I refuse to do it. Me getting out there to vote is not going to change the fact that the politicians do not represent me or my interests, do not care about me, and are going to lie, cheat, and swindle us out of what little integrity we've got left.

The good of the nation is not decided by choosing between political scumbags!


I choose not to vote as a form of protest.

And my protest cannot be bought out.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
I choose not to vote as a form of protest.



That's like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

I hope you're a liberal.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
While I'm not speaking for every non-voter, I know that quite a number of non-voters have valid reasons.


Unfortunately, there are no valid reasons for not voting. Somebody lied to you. Probably a politician!


Originally posted by Diseria
In fact, I was taught that to *not* vote is a sign of protest. Just like *not* paying your taxes. There's no amount of money that could be offered, nor prizes or other rewards, that could buy my vote.


That's very noble of you. So, you don't vote as a sign of protest. Since you didn't vote in the first place, your non-vote is thrown into a pool of tens of millions of non-voters who have a million reasons for not voting. So your sign of protest is completely lost in the shuffle. Who was your teacher?


Originally posted by Diseria
I hate choosing between two evils, and I refuse to do it. Me getting out there to vote is not going to change the fact that the politicians do not represent me or my interests, do not care about me, and are going to lie, cheat, and swindle us out of what little integrity we've got left.


I refuse to choose between two evils as well. The only election cycle where i voted, i voted for Dennis Miller. That shows i went to the polls and showed my contempt for the current state of affairs. That's more of a statement than not voting at all, because it shows my willingness to participate. Go write in "Barney" next year. At least it'll be on record.


Originally posted by Diseria
I choose not to vote as a form of protest.

And my protest cannot be bought out.


And your protest will never end because your statement is confusing to begin with. Do you prefer to "protest" by not voting so you can continue to feel like a rebel of some kind? Get involved in the process, vote for ANYONE you please. Show your opposition that way.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott

That's like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

I hope you're a liberal.


Why would you hope I'm a liberal?



Honestly, I don't know which party I might align myself with (in the event I chose to vote). Every time that I think I might align myself this way or that, the party spouts an opinion that I don't agree with.

I suppose I could always go and write in 'Eeyore for president!', but frankly that seems pointless. Why waste the ink and paper and gas?



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by The CyfreSo, you don't vote as a sign of protest. Since you didn't vote in the first place, your non-vote is thrown into a pool of tens of millions of non-voters who have a million reasons for not voting. So your sign of protest is completely lost in the shuffle.


True, and touche.

Intelligent votes are, indeed, "lost in the shuffle" with bandwagon-voters.

How many votes were "lost in the shuffle" (or was it 'mis-counted'? ...I forget) in the last presidential election?

I'm not against the idea of voting, or the idea of democracy. I just think this version has become the a pitiful (nevermind hypocritical) imitation of the true ideas.



Who was your teacher?


Mr. Burgher, actually. 8th grade teacher. He told us about not voting and not paying taxes the same day he taught us that we have rights, and with each and every right comes a responsibility. The only history teacher to ever spend a class period speaking about rights and responsibilities... but not the only teacher to speak about not voting and not paying taxes.



Do you prefer to "protest" by not voting so you can continue to feel like a rebel of some kind?


Honestly, I hope that every citizen is a rebel.

Band-wagons are only meaningful if you have an instrument.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
Intelligent votes are, indeed, "lost in the shuffle" with bandwagon-voters.

How many votes were "lost in the shuffle" (or was it 'mis-counted'? ...I forget) in the last presidential election?


I understand what you're saying, definitely. The last presidential election was a debacle in a string of disheartening elections. I would have voted for Ralph Nader. My wife wanted Nader as well, but felt like she would be throwing her vote away if she didn't vote for someone who at least had a shot.

Can you imagine if people voted for who they WANTED rather than who they thought could win? In my opinion, voting for Kerry because he is the worst of two evils is far worse than not voting at all.


Originally posted by Diseria
I'm not against the idea of voting, or the idea of democracy. I just think this version has become the a pitiful (nevermind hypocritical) imitation of the true ideas.


Again, total agreement, and this is part of the reason why i'm going to support Ron Paul. I believe he is the kind of person we need to start weening ourselves off of the bloated government. I know it's a huge uphill battle and extremely unlikely, but i can't respect myself if i vote for the lesser of two evils, or not at all. I have to at least try.


Originally posted by Diseria
Honestly, I hope that every citizen is a rebel.


Arm chair rebels like you and me are what this nation is filled with, accompanied by a smattering of ill-prepared revolutionaries who ultimately make the movement bad to begin with.

At least the television's good.

[edit on 8/7/2007 by The Cyfre]



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 11:26 AM
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Cyfre,

We agree on many things, including that the system must change by the people.

Frankly, your signature is perfect: "The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates" - Tacitus

I'm not out to change the government via the system, because it was the people who pushed for the legislation of morality. I don't know exactly when it happened, or why, or even how. But looking around, watching people's reactions to current affairs... :shk:

I do not believe that we can affect change in a system this corrupt.
I do believe that we can affect change within the people, outside of the system.

Arm-chair rebels and ill-prepared revolutionaries... *that* is where the change will happen -- within the people. But we don't know where to start... We rage against ideas, against individual events, but there's no one neck to strangle, there's no one avenue that will lead to true change. And we know that.

So we join the masses in arm-chair races to the television. :shk:

And the idiot box isn't helping. But, you're right... it's good for the masses because it keeps us occupied, it keeps us from thinking, it keeps us from getting angry and doing something. Oh, and it keeps us wanting the latest and greatest doo-dads...



See, to me, voting is the same as wearing green on St. Patrick's day, or coloring eggs for Easter, or putting up endless strings of lights for Christmas -- it's pointless. It lacks meaning. It's a waste of energy.

I honestly and truthfully hope your plan of changing things via the voting system works. I'd be more than pleased to withstand the spittle from people
-ing in my face, saying "Na-na-na-boo-boo... We told you so!" (Not that I'm a huge fan of contempt and spit, but more so that the system was truly and _actually_ changed by the people's votes.)

See, to me, voting is the same as wearing green on St. Patrick's day, or coloring eggs for Easter, or putting up endless strings of lights for Christmas -- it's pointless. It lacks meaning. It's a waste of energy.

There are so many illusions in this country... The illusion of safety, of success, of almost everything. How can you be so sure that voting isn't simply an illusion, too? The illusion of making a difference...?



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
There are so many illusions in this country... The illusion of safety, of success, of almost everything. How can you be so sure that voting isn't simply an illusion, too? The illusion of making a difference...?


Nobody can say with 100% certainty whether or not the voting process is completely corrupt. Things haven't been looking good the last two presidential elections, but i think that says more about how close the race had to be in order to sway it to any one candidate.

You and I are talking about the same revolution, keep in mind. The candidate that really changes things will have to be one who appeals to voters and non-voters who want change. I'll continue to go to the polls and vote for real change rather than who i think is going to win, and you come out and vote when it matters. Honestly, that's probably the only way anything is going to change via an election.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posed by The Cyfre I'll continue to go to the polls and vote for real change rather than who i think is going to win, and you come out and vote when it matters. Honestly, that's probably the only way anything is going to change via an election.


Let's just hope that a good number of non-voters follow suit... (by getting out and voting when it matters, I mean.)


For the record: I'm double checking my information on not voting being a form of protest.

Above all else, I do not want to be unreasonable. I don't mind being wrong (and am, in fact, a fan of being wrong because then I learn stuff), but I detest being unreasonable. (I'd say I detest being a hypocrite, but I'm not there yet. Still workin' thru them vices...
)

So, setting aside the political party alignments and the b.s. hoo-rah of society's knee-jerk reactions, tell me:
Do you guys think I'm being unreasonable about not voting?



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by Diseria
Do you guys think I'm being unreasonable about not voting?


Believe it or not, I actually don't think you're being unreasonable. The government doesn't make it easy to vote, so much so that smooth elections are a news story when they should be the norm. They don't want you to vote because you're not voting because you're discouraged. They know you're discouraged, and it's them you're discouraged with!

So why would they ever make it easier, or make you want to vote? If everyone did come out to vote one year, i'm sure a lot of those same people would be out of power in a new york minute.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 12:35 PM
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So, I'm not being unreasonable, but I have inadvertently hopped on the Bandwagon of Discouraged Citizens...

I don't know how I feel about that.



After doing some research, I cannot find anything beyond the social stigma against not voting. Methinks that not voting as a sign of protest is more effective if the vast majority vote. As such, and especially now, (as you said Cyfre) the 'protest' aspect gets lost in the sheer number of non-votes.

Random kernel of information:
Back in Greece (I want to say Athens), it was functionally mandatory that every man voted (only property-owning males who were of age (18 I think) were allowed to vote). ((So much for a true democracy, eh?)) No written legislation on voting (that I found). But, if a man did not vote, he was shamed in public, called an idios (the root word for our 'idiot').



If everyone did come out to vote one year, i'm sure a lot of those same people would be out of power in a new york minute.


Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on who the competition is... and if the same hands are working those puppets, as they do the main party-line puppets. If the choice is between 2, 3 or 17 puppets... but if the same people are 'running' each and every puppet, does it really matter if the entire country came out to vote?
(It wouldn't have mattered who got in, Bush or Kerry. We'd be in the same world of #, just arrived here by a slightly different route. Two puppets, one set of hands.)

....wow, the discouragement runs strong with this one... :shk:



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 07:29 PM
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The Cyfre

Good thread.
It brings up a topic which is a pet peeve of mine. One would think that the very right to vote is incentive enough, but it doesn't seem that it is.

I have no answers except to say that the more corrupt a politician is, the happier he/she is if you stay at home and don't vote.



Originally posted by iori_komei
For instance, attack adds are a favourite of many politicians, especially on the right,

iori_komei

It's statements such as this that make it difficult to take you seriously sometimes.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by iori_komei
For instance, attack adds are a favourite of many politicians, especially on the right,

iori_komei

It's statements such as this that make it difficult to take you seriously sometimes.


I've seen both sides do it, but I've seen more Republicans do it than Democrats.






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