Why Vote? What Does a Vote Mean?

Ranted at length on why it's okay to vote for a third party candidate after all: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.jp/2016/09/make-your-vote-meaningful-vote-for.html.

Also ranted a bit on what it means to vote: http://joel-for-president.blogspot.jp/2016/09/why-vote-what-does-vote-mean.html.

I'm thinking that I need to be more direct.

There is no way for a community or a country to be run by direct democracy.

Think what would happen if everyone in your city had to approve every item on the city's budget, every day. Or, if the entire city were the jury for every trial.

That's why we have elected officials. They make a lot of decisions and do a lot of other management stuff so that we can get along with our own lives. They also try to help us resolve problems when we disagree with each other.

But they need some idea about our opinions, so we cast our votes on candidates and on major, hopefully representative issues.

For example -- if you vote for Trump just because you don't want Mrs. Clinto to win, Trump thinks you voted for him. And if you vote for Hillary just because you don't want The Donald to win, Hillary does not know you really don't support her platform that much.

This is not a popularity contest. Even in a popularity contest, voting for a losing candidate doesn't mean you lose. And the losing candidates in a popularity contest don't really lose, either, unless they somehow have convinced themselves that losing means the end of the world.

If popularity is all that important to them, every vote they receive should be valuable, even if they lose.

So the best way to let the political parties know your opinions is to find out which candidates best match your political ideas and vote for them.

Say Hillary beats The Donald by two to one, but doesn't get 50% of the total vote. She will know she didn't really win, and she will tell her staff to pay more attention to letters from people like you.

Which, as I point out elsewhere, tells us what we have to do after we vote.

Whether the person you voted for gets elected or not, write to your elected officials. Tell them what you think they are doing right and what you think they should change. That's the second half of the vote, and it counts as much as the first half.

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