06 November 2008

To Vote or not to Vote...

This week precipitated a running discussion on a couple of websites regarding voting. One position I've seen and struggled with is the one of non-participation. "I refuse to vote, because it's a corrupt system," etc. I've always held voting to be a privilege and even a responsibility. Even if you think your vote doesn't count for something like President, I believe it certainly does count for things at the local, county, state, and federal level. Don't believe that? Look at the results for local elections, bond votes, alcohol sales, etc. I saw a local ballot decided by 3 (yes, THREE) votes this week.

But the ones who actively refused to vote are adamant, even though I've argued that they're merely rationalizing their civic laziness.

The folks who've chosen not to vote have posited that it's their choice - it's a free country, after all. And they're right! We've got freedom of speech, the freedom to express ourselves as we see fit. My counter to that has always been that if you don't vote, you don't get the right to complain. Upon further consideration, I realized that's just not true. You can complain all you want - it's your inalienable right. Just don't expect someone like me to give your complaints any credence. My first question to you will likely be: what did you do about it? If you can't answer that question, I've no obligation to listen to you. If you were content to let others make decisions on your behalf, you got what you deserved.

What do you think? What does voting mean to you, and what's your take on not voting as a form of protest? Use the comments to discuss - I won't moderate unless it gets out of hand.
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