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  #41  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:37
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Luckily, logistics, voting groups, etc also come into play. If more SVP supporters vote than CVP or SP, they logically win the vote. And that's why my vote counts.
Sorry, I don't follow you.

I've been sticking to binary races because it's simpler, but the same thing applies in a race with five seats, 27 candidates, various party lists, people who vote the lists straight, people who cross out some names and vote double for other names, doesn't matter.

Any way you slice it, your single vote for So-and-so only makes a difference to the final result if So-and-so is otherwise in a dead heat with someone else.

Voting for someone who's going to win anyway - or equally, someone who's going to lose anyway - is rationally a waste of effort, you might as well stay home and let him win/lose without you. Like I said, there are several non-rational reasons for voting and I'm not trying to denigrate those... but the presence of political parties, voting blocks etc makes absolutely no difference to this analysis.
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  #42  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:43
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Voting for someone who's going to win anyway - or equally, someone who's going to lose anyway - is rationally a waste of effort, you might as well stay home and let him win/lose without you.
Thing is, the extremists tend to have less apathy, so while the mainstream supporters are all at home feeling smug/loathed then the nutters are picking up the ball and running for the touchline.
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  #43  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:50
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Thing is, the extremists tend to have less apathy, so while the mainstream supporters are all at home feeling smug/loathed then the nutters are picking up the ball and running for the touchline.
It's a commonly heard story that if more people went out to vote, then the extremist positions would be sidelined more.

But do the facts confirm this?

Schaffhausen, for example, has compulsory voting. Are the extremeists more sidelined there? I haven't yet seen any facts to support that interpretation.

It's just that everybody seems to think "if all those who don't vote did vote, they'd all vote the same as me". But do they?
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  #44  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:55
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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It's a commonly heard story that if more people went out to vote, then the extremist positions would be sidelined more.

But do the facts confirm this?
I don't know. Certainly, that was the excuse given for the gains that BNP made in the UK elections in the past few years.
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  #45  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:00
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Thing is, the extremists tend to have less apathy, so while the mainstream supporters are all at home feeling smug/loathed then the nutters are picking up the ball and running for the touchline.
Yes, yes, but it doesn't matter why you or anyone else is voting or staying home. Unless the other votes would be split exactly 50-50 without yours, yours doesn't change the outcome. Fact. Whether the other people voting were nutters or mainstream makes no difference. A vote is a vote, the rest is psychology.

Of course you can't ever know in advance that this won't be the once-in-a-lifetime election which is decided by a single vote. You can know in advance that it's bloody unlikely though. That's what I said: you are betting your time and trouble on the vanishingly small probability that it will actually make a difference.
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  #46  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:04
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Yes, yes, but it doesn't matter why you or anyone else is voting or staying home. Unless the other votes would be split exactly 50-50 without yours, yours doesn't change the outcome.
Or your vote, forces a second round...

i'm confused by your stats. are you seying that the Set of Votes can exist independently of the element Vote?
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  #47  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:04
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

Some people believe in God despite the "rational" way of thinking of others.
Some people believe in feeling active in a life of a community, despite other people's "rational" reasons to not have opinion/or not share one. Discussions and debates can prepare one quite well for whatever happens in the future, ie actually being able to vote, etc.

I can sit on my ass thinking my voice is irrelevant, even sharing mere benign sentiments here, but then, I think I would have to give up my job if I had this kind of mindset. We influence and are influenced every single minute.

I think all this is about communication and sharing ideas, not thinking we are about to change some country's voting system, that would be pretty arrogant. But, everything that is written here influences, we get influenced, get prepared, get motivated to ask around, search for more info, teach our kids, share our worries...it all makes a difference.

Fatalism is old.
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  #48  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:05
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Of course you can't ever know in advance that this won't be the once-in-a-lifetime election which is decided by a single vote. You can know in advance that it's bloody unlikely though. That's what I said: you are betting your time and trouble on the vanishingly small probability that it will actually make a difference.
And even if it was truly 50-50, the odds are that some counting error would offset your one vote. Recounts never ever produce exactly the same number as the first count. It's you against randomness and you only have one puny vote.
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  #49  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:08
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Some people believe in God despite the "rational" way of thinking of others.
Some people believe in feeling active in a life of a community, despite other people's "rational" reasons to not have opinion/or not share one. Discussions and debates can prepare one quite well for whatever happens in the future, ie actually being able to vote, etc.

I can sit on my ass thinking my voice is irrelevant, even sharing mere benign sentiments here, but then, I think I would have to give up my job if I had this kind of mindset. We influence and are influenced every single minute.

I think all this is about communication and sharing ideas, not thinking we are about to change some country's voting system, that would be pretty arrogant. But, everything that is written here influences, we get influenced, get prepared, get motivated to ask around, search for more info, teach our kids, share our worries...it all makes a difference.

Fatalism is old.
It's not about fatalism. It's about mathematics and the mathematics are heavily and overwhelmingly biased against you.

I do believe I can make a difference, and I can make that diference by going on the campaign trail and engaging others in debate and convincing them, or spreading my values through my good example. But casting my own vote is still a waste of time.

Politicians who go to the booths do so for the publicity value of being photographed casting their vote. It they were rational they would be casting a blank vote and so helping the environemnt by saving some ink because the value of their own vote is totally insignificant compared to the publicity value. Anything else verges on superstition and really I wouldn't want to vote for somebody like that.
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  #50  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:13
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Yes, yes, but it doesn't matter why you or anyone else is voting or staying home. Unless the other votes would be split exactly 50-50 without yours, yours doesn't change the outcome.
But what when 100 people stay at home? Or ten thousand?

Or everybody except Havelock Vetinari?
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  #51  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:16
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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But what when 100 people stay at home? Or ten thousand?

Or everybody except Havelock Vetinari?
What if all the people who are clever enough to realise their vote doesn't count would all actually have voted along the same lines? And all the people too stupid to realise they're votes don't count, got up and voted for the other party?
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  #52  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:16
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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But what when 100 people stay at home? Or ten thousand?
Yes, but my decison is independent of their decions. If I vote, they still stay at home. My choosing to vote or not does not affect anybody or anything else, therefore it is useless.
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  #53  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:16
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Or your vote, forces a second round...
A what? We ain'got nunna them second rounds i'Merrca.
(and luckily for my analysis, neither do the Swiss.)

Still, throw multiple rounds in. You should still be able to say something similar: "unless your vote is the single deciding vote that elects a candidate OR the single vote that triggers another round, EITHER of which is exceedingly improbable [isn't it? Somebody familiar with the system help me out here], you might rationally as well stay home."

(Again, I mean "rationally" only in the economic sense, cost vs private benefit. Plenty of room in life for things that aren't rational in this sense.)
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  #54  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:18
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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What if all the people who are clever enough to realise their vote doesn't count would all actually have voted along the same lines? And all the people too stupid to realise they're votes don't count, got up and voted for the other party?
Did I just get called stupid?




If the hat fits....

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  #55  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:19
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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What if all the people who are clever enough to realise their vote doesn't count would all actually have voted along the same lines? And all the people too stupid to realise they're votes don't count, got up and voted for the other party?
Again, the only part of that that you can control is your vote. You have no influence on the others. So in the case you describe the other side have won the election. You may be able to change that by going on the campaign trail and convincing them otherwise, but you won't change anything with your own puny vote.
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  #56  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:20
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Did I just get called stupid?




If the hat fits....
Missed out on purpose for stupidity effect?
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  #57  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:24
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Missed out on purpose for stupidity effect?
Doh!
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  #58  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:30
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

Why would any one vote be singled out as the winning vote anyway? Isn't that kind of the wrong way of looking at it? Every vote of a winning election is a winning vote, there's no 1 single winner that could be identified, unless maybe you said it was the last one posted.
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  #59  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:30
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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It's not about fatalism. It's about mathematics and the mathematics are heavily and overwhelmingly biased against you.

I do believe I can make a difference, and I can make that diference by going on the campaign trail and engaging others in debate and convincing them, or spreading my values through my good example. But casting my own vote is still a waste of time.

Politicians who go to the booths do so for the publicity value of being photographed casting their vote. It they were rational they would be casting a blank vote and so helping the environemnt by saving some ink because the value of their own vote is totally insignificant compared to the publicity value. Anything else verges on superstition and really I wouldn't want to vote for somebody like that.
Hmmm....I think I would consider this alibistic, although I would rather think of it as zen, but can't, personally.

Math or not, the actual voting is kinda irrelevant. If my voice at the final countdown makes 0,00000000000000000000000001% of a difference, I can still value the process that leads up to it, with the act of voting being symbolic. Not just merely consume or be told what to do, believe in, how to live. The actual vote is just formally finalizing something that debates are part of, even here, I do consider it important. If the process that leads up to actual vote enriches me in some way, and it always will if I do my homework right, than the tiny percentage of actual difference it makes is irrelevant. It's my kid who sees me taking interest, my colleagues who appreciate newcomers getting involved for the sake of our future, me not fearing speaking up, teaching my classes in a democratic way that replicates a political system that we somewhat also have even though we aren't allowed to vote yet (by the way, loads of communities here allow foreigners with C permits, even B somewhere me thinks, to vote on local issues here).

To question the importance of debate on a pretext of us not making any difference could be applied to any issues, then..into the absurd level (and trust me, I was there. We had ballots of one person printed and all people were checked by secret police to check if they "vote").

Even if we do not vote, we also make a part of some community here. Just discussing things on a bus or in teacher's lounge makes a difference. Why not be passionate about campaigns...
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  #60  
Old 13.05.2011, 16:41
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Re: Disgusted by a political poster?

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Hmmm....I think I would consider this alibistic, although I would rather think of it as zen, but can't, personally.

Math or not, the actual voting is kinda irrelevant. If my voice at the final countdown makes 0,00000000000000000000000001% of a difference, I can still value the process that leads up to it, with the act of voting being symbolic. Not just merely consume or be told what to do, believe in, how to live. The actual vote is just formally finalizing something that debates are part of, even here, I do consider it important. If the process that leads up to actual vote enriches me in some way, and it always will if I do my homework right, than the tiny percentage of actual difference it makes is irrelevant. It's my kid who sees me taking interest, my colleagues who appreciate newcomers getting involved for the sake of our future, me not fearing speaking up, teaching my classes in a democratic way that replicates a political system that we somewhat also have even though we aren't allowed to vote yet (by the way, loads of communities here allow foreigners with C permits, even B somewhere me thinks, to vote on local issues here).

To question the importance of debate on a pretext of us not making any difference could be applied to any issues, then..into the absurd level (and trust me, I was there. We had ballots of one person printed and all were checked by secret police to check if they "vote").

Even if we do not vote, we also make a part of some community here. Just discussing things on a bus or in teacher's lounge makes a difference. Why not be passionate about campaigns...
I did say that it can make a difference to talk to people and convince them, or to act as an example. It has also been said by others that there may be a pyschological or feel-good value in actually casting a vote. All that is true, and can be a valid reason to vote. But it still doesn't change the fact that mathematically speaking, your one vote is of zero value.
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