Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'll vote for that...

I imagine just about everybody who has children and grandchildren has spent a fair amount of time answering "Why?". Sometimes, for varied reasons, the answer ends up being "Because". Sometimes that seems to be a suitable answer, and sometimes it isn't.

I read several stories and editorials this last week about the poor voter turnout during the recent election. Some of the editorials sternly chastised those who didn't take the time to vote. I'm not sure why.

One of our local cities had about a 27% turnout. The implication is that the outcome would somehow have been different if there had been a 54% turnout, or an 81% turnout. I have read studies that a higher voter turnout sometimes favors one party over another. I suppose that might be the case. While working the polls, I did see both Republicans and Democrats hauling voters in. I assumed Republicans were hauling in Republicans and Democrats were hauling Democrats. I would also assume that whichever party hauled the most would benefit the most from the resulting higher turnout.

I also suppose that a different amount of votes might occasionally produce a different outcome, giving the victory to one party over another, at least when the candidate doesn't depend on a politically gerry-mandered district for all of his or her votes. But most of the time that's about it.

If people are choosing between a Republican or a Democrat, the policies after the election won't be significantly different. One tax might be replaced with another, or raised or lowered a percent or two. It might be lowered on on group of people and raised on another. Some government office might be consolidated or expanded, and a government program or two might be expanded or contracted. You might get to choose between Obamacare or Medicare, but in the end result, you're really only choosing whether Republicans or Democrats control your life.

That's not to say that I don't vote. I vote in every election when I find a candidate that doesn't want to control my life. It just so happens that most of the time that candidate is a Libertarian.

That's why I vote.

Not just because.


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