Why should I vote in the election if I'm uninformed?
April 23, 2004 10:56 AM Subscribe
In the gray, Mathowie wrote, "it's my hope that all Americans take part in the democratic process ... I'm kinda pissed that American Idol logs half as many votes as the entire last presidential election every wednesday night. Get out there and vote, people!" I admit that I haven't voted in ten years. Why should I? [More inside.]
posted by grumblebee to Law & Government (95 answers total)
Here's why I don't vote: I don't know enough about the candidates to make an informed decision. Is it REALLY better (for society) if I vote -- even if I randomly push buttons -- than if I leave the field and let more knowledgeable people do it? I try not to make other decisions based on ignorance, so why should I do this with politics?
I suppose many people would respond by saying that I should study the candidates and then vote. I don't do this because it is extremely painful for me. I HATE politics. There's nothing fun about it for me at all. If I watch CNN (which I try to every now and then), I want to scream. This is probably because I grew up in a highly-charged, politicized household, in which political "discussion" became associated in my mind with anger and fighting.
So is it my duty to endure something I hate for months before every election? People keep making me feel like I'm a bad person for not-doing-my part. And I would admit that I WOULD be a bad person if I failed to help a dying person because I didn't want to get blood on my tie. But that (hopefully), would be a rare event. Elections (when you count state & local ones) go on all the time. How much unhappiness need one endure?
Many people tell me that if I don't vote, I lose the right to complain about the result of the election. I'm not sure I buy that, but it's fine with me. I never complain about election results.
I've been told that I'm a bad person because people died securing my right to live in a democracy. But how does my not-voting hurt those dead people?
If simply going to the voting booth and making random decisions would make a less of a bad person, I'd do it. But in my eyes it would make me MORE of a bad person.
I realize this question MAY not belong on AskMe. It might lead to opinion-based, round-table discussion. If so, please delete it. But I'm assuming many feel there's a practical, tangible reason why I MUST vote. If so, please explain.