Positive Implications: Casting a blank ballot.

Discussion in 'Projects' started by aeesopwat, Aug 31, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. aeesopwat Member

    I am considering the positive implications of casting a blank ballot in the US 2012 presidential elections. After some thought, I am convinced that this could be an incredibly empowering form of "protest" for those that know none of the political candidates have our best interest in heart. If carried out on a large enough scale, I could see 10 to 30% of popular vote, such an act would demonstrate the widespread discontent inherent in our current sociopolitical paradigm; furthering the growing awareness within the many progressive movements we see today.

    This would be sure to get mainstream news attention, plant awareness, and generate further progress on our path for authentic liberty.

    I am interested in OWS's opinion of this idea, and hopeful that you would endorse it within your many avenues of communications.

    Final note: To do this either leave the ballot blank or write in "none of the above" when at the polls. Interesting website pertaining to the issue

    I have been leaving brief youtube comments on varying types of "enlightening" videos and songs, and it would be helpful for people to either leave similar comments or thumbs up existing comments so that they stay towards the top of the comments page.

    Comment reads as following,

    Vote BLANK,
    If you can't support any of the candidates.
    Voting BLANK says you want better democracy and a higher quality of politics. Leave the ballot paper completely blank or write in "none of the above."
    • Dumb Dumb x 2
  2. Anonymous Member

  3. Anonymous Member

    I can't even see 0.1% purposely spoiling their ballot.

    I think that indicating displeasure with all available choices is valid if you think all choices are equally bad. But I think almost every voter has a preference, and would rather see their preferred candidate in office than any other, even if they're not satisfied with the preferred candidate.

    Politics is all about compromising with people you strongly disagree with.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Anonymous Member

    It's difficult to distinguish between purposeful spoiled ballots and accidental spoiled ballots.

    Total as high as 7% for this Scottish election:

    So an option for 'None of the above' or 'Re-Open Nominations' (aka RON) is a better choice for election designers who want electors to be able to show their dissatisfaction with all the available candidates.

    There is in some places a distinction between 'blank votes' and 'spoiled votes':
  5. anon walker Moderator

    All well and good, but if you were a woman you'd be feeling incredibly threatened by the GOP at the moment. A vote for Obama is a vote for women's rights. I don't wanna Obama, but I haz no choice. Do nothing, or vote. Imma have to vote for women and women's rights to their own bodies. FFS, this shouldn't even be an issue in this millenium. Vote Bronze Age or vote Progress.

    Or be an ass hat and do nothing. Women won't thank you for that.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    Also: A blank vote is the same as not voting at all. The only difference is you wasted time doing something retarded.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Anonymous Member

    No, not entirely.

    Depends on your jurisdiction and the electoral rules. Where I am, they're counted.

    I agree that in jurisdictions where they're not counted, it's pointless.

    The reason to cast a blank vote, rather than no vote at all, is that non-voters are often explained away by politicians as apathetic - i.e. the presumption is often that non-voters don't care who's in charge, rather than that they don't want any of the current candidates in charge.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    You are correct.

    The only problem I see and why I said what I said (not the video) is because elections are done by majority rule...well in theory anyways.

    So, regardless of whether the jurisdictions count blanks or not, the person who got the most votes would win. Even if 95% of voters did this, 3% voted X, and 2% voted Y, then X would win. That is the issue I foresee, provided I am correct. Granted, I'd like to see if I am wrong or if there was a case where the Blank Voters got what they wanted.

    The video was because what the OP said reminded me of the song.
  9. Anonymous Member

    yeah, that's true.

    but blanks 'count' for more politically than stay-at-home voters.

    here in the UK we have a greater stay-at-home vote than for our winning party, in most elections.

    'political mandate' and all that.
  10. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    Here in the US - Most people don't vote. It is not unusual to only see a voter turnout rate of 30%. Of course, I live in the middle of nowhere so that number and percentage is adjustable depending on the state and population.

    Some issues with the OP's idea relates to the 2000 clusterfuck election. The gov we have doesn't have to listen to the Popular vote and can always win the Electoral vote. The Electoral vote doesn't have to go with the Popular vote (which was done in the 2000 election according to some).

    So in essence: Even if every American voted nothing, the Electoral Collage would vote somebody in. I am not 100% sure but the Electoral Collage cannot refuse to vote. If they can or do, then the Supreme Court will take control.
  11. Anonymous Member

    we're a little higher than that

    except for the elections that people don't care about

    yeah, but think of it more like a petition.

    no politician HAS to pay attention to a petition, but if they know that there's a load of voters who care enough about an issue to put their name on a petition, then sometimes they do. if it's a lot of voters then it gets their attention at least, and maybe gets them to look again at their policies in order to court the votes of that group.

    so you're right, no obligation to pay any attention to spoiled/blank ballots. but not all politics is about legal obligations.
  12. Anonymous Member

    - bear in mind that the UK is currently ruled by a coalition of the parties that came second and third at the most recent election, but that the electorate has just rejected (by referrendum) changing the voting system away from first-past-the-post.
  13. Anonymous Member

    I mean first and third.
  14. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    That is a lot better than us. You had ~60%. The US had ~37% for the 2010 Elections and ~57% for the Presidential Elections in 2008.

    I am sure that a bunch of people placing blank ballots would get noticed. I just have doubts it'd have the effect that the OP is aiming for.
  15. You want my opinion? None of the Above is utterly worthless in the United States. In most jurisdictions, if not all, it's treated as scrap paper, and in the highly unlikely event NOTA would "win", the person to win the seat would be the actual person with the most votes. It would take a constitutional amendment or a groundswell of changes to state laws to change this, and much like a NOTA win, I don't see that happening. My advice? Pick a party and try to change it from within, do your best to support a third party that matches your views (Green is my choice), form your own, or run as an independent.

    And RightOn, I made this post without a single "Fuck off", though I hope it was implied.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Anonymous Member

    Ah, I'd say about the same. UK General Election roughly equivalent to US Presidential Election in terms of importance, i.e. it's The One People Care About.

  17. Anonymous Member

    Fuck off!

    ^ that was a 'disbelieving' fuck off.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. That's pretty common in non-presidential years in my experience. I've seen primary elections with turnout well below that, even in the low teens or single digits.
  19. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    My ling here:

    ...was from the Census. Granted that can be subjective.

    Voter turn out does have an element of geographic location. Like where I live: Voter turn out is below the national average for non-presidential elections. Mostly it is because people around here just don't want to travel to their voting stations. It's too far away is what they say because it could be 5+ miles away from their home. (My voting station is 2 miles away from my house when originally it was just a few blocks away. Doesn't stop me though.) Although they will vote for a president.
  20. I've missed some primaries and some special elections, mainly when they were foregone conclusions or when I didn't give a shit about a ballot measure, but I have yet to miss a general election. I would have to be in a hospital on election day to miss a general election.
    • Like Like x 1
  21. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    I have done the same. Very rarely have I missed a general election. Only reason I missed one is because I moved and missed the registration deadline :(
  22. That would suck. Did your preferred candidate win? As an aside, at the local level, my only realistic hope is that, regardless who wins, he or she not be too much of a fuckup and embarrassment. Did I say "realistic"? I meant, "HAHAHA!!! I STILL HAVE HOPE?!?!?!"
  23. Paroxetine Samurai Moderator

    Yes and no. Although since this state is heavily Republican, it is unlikely my vote for any Dems would matter. (I vote for who's best, not party).

    On the plus side: Since this state is heavily Republican, it makes for excellent trollin' opportunities.

    Also: bugs the fuck out of my significant other and her family when I post up Akin bashes (LOLOLOL!). Beauty is: Since he shot his dick off with a nuke, there are no more negative ads. McCaskil has either been polite or realized it was pointless, but she has stopped running negative ads too. Can't make much a better case against somebody when they drop a foot nuke on themselves on FAUX News!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  24. I have a political idea. How about having a new set of assemblies that is non party, so people who do not like parties can vote for them, and these assemblies will rule with the party assemblies. The party assemblies and the nonparty assemblies will check on each other. I got the party less assembly idea from Sun Yat Sen's 5-power system. Both party assemblies and party less assemblies will have anti corruption bodies.
  25. Wow. That's both hopelessly naive and completely impractical. Thank you for sharing. We've had a President who did not like political parties, and in fact, never joined one while in office. We've had 43 Presidents since then, and even that one leaned in a very observable way.
  26. Just like Obama running ads that feature only Romney's words with Romney's voice, in the context in which they were said. Let's ignore Romney's views for a moment, although I find them and him abhorrent. He's been running for President, pretty much non-stop, for six years, and he can't stay on message, or, for that matter, craft a message? What the fuck?! What does it say that this is the best one of the two major parties has? He's defeated all comers in his party, and now he's negatively impacting the down-ticket races, such as the House and Senate. I've never seen a candidate this incompetent.
  27. Anonymous Member

    Parties form naturally in politics because they represent people who can agree on some basic principles. Those people are better off working together to achieve common political goals than they would be if they had no party alliances.

    There is no law that requires parties, and anyone can run as an independent, so there is no need for another assembly that forbids parties. In any case even if such an assembly existed, people in it would still naturally cooperate with others who has similar political views, leading to essentially unofficial parties anyway.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  28. grebe Member

    Here is an idea: get rid of all the political polls. They mostly are marketing tricks anyway. They either create the appearance of popularity and so encourage a bandwagon effect or they provoke anxiety and motivate lazy people to go to the polls.

    Plus I can't stand getting all these robocalls.

    The whole insane marketing sloganeering black PR in-group/out-group pundit parade makes the parties seem like the problem. But maybe the parade is the problem. No polls might help tone things down.
  29. Anonymous Member

    I don't understand why polls pose any problem. More information is usually a good thing. Marketing on the other hand...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  30. Anonymous Member

    Hey OP, pick someone, anyone that mirrors your beliefs. IMO, that is better than a blank ballot- it says that you choose this person..knowing that they won't win, but you want more of the same.
    IMHO- Freedom of information and no new wars is the way to go. Obviously, I am voting third party.
    You-whatever you like:)
  31. grebe Member

    No, more information is not always a good thing.

    Let's say you want some estimates for repairs to your home. Three guys show up to look around and to come up with some figures. Is it better if each one knows what the other thinks, or not?
  32. Anonymous Member

    Not sure I see the connection between three people bidding on a contract and 300 million voting for a government.
  33. grebe Member

    You want independent bids. That means the bidders don't know what the others are thinking.

    You want independent votes. So polls kinda screw that up.
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Speaking of voting, in this video Sarah Silverman speaks on the issue of voters being required to have state-issued picture IDs:
    • Like Like x 2
  35. False analogy. What you're proposing is akin to going back to the days before satellites and weather forecasts. Polls, unless they're push polls, are a way to take the temperature of a populace. They're not "marketing". Besides, those polls you decry so much has saved the people of Pennsylvania from seeing Mitt Romney's goodhair in their television ads, because they conclusively proved PA was lost to him.
  36. Anonymous Member

    Voting for a government is not like bidding for a contract: it's a different game. In bidding for a contract when there are only 3 players the reason the bids are secret is so that the person awarding the contract can get the lowest price possible rather than simply a penny below the second-lowest.

    This has nothing to do with information about how 300 million people wish their government to behave. There may be issues with polls influencing the election in ways that are unhelpful (none I can think of), but there is no analogy with bidding for a contract.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  37. grebe Member

    Information from several independent sources is more reliable than information from non-independent sources.

    I have a jar full of beans. I ask persons A, B, and C to count them. They all tell me, "86."

    If the three report their answer after talking amongst themselves, I will have less confidence that there are actually 86 beans in the jar than if each had given me the same answer without input from the others.

    If people independently work out which candidate will likely do a better job, the aggregate of all those opinions should be more reliable than the aggregate of the opinions of people given poll results prior to election day.

    tl;dr: Fuck "Independent Voter Research" and 910-920-9815, 866-540-3140, etc.
  38. Thank you. You have described exactly how polls work. A bunch of independent people who are statistically unlikely to have influenced one another express their opinion. This is then aggregated to spot general trends in public opinion. The best pollsters are akin to the best meteorologists: they know what the numbers say, they know what they mean, and they use their experience from past observations to fill in blanks as needed, but sparingly.
  39. anonymous612 Member

    I am totally in favor of the OP's idea, for one very important reason.

    The more people who do that shitty brilliant idea, the fewer actual valid and meaningful votes there are. Which means my vote is a bigger percentage of the total that actually affect the election.

    Which means that the more the OP acts like a dumbass, the more important my opinion is.

    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  40. grebe Member

    Protest or "none of the above" votes and votes for 3rd parties will tend to favor the candidate least likely to win.

    - a vote for Ross Perot was effectively a vote for Clinton
    - a vote for Ralph Nader was effectively a vote for GW Bush
    - and a vote for Ron Paul will effectively be a vote for Mitt Romney

    Protest votes bleed a disproportionate number of votes away from the candidate who seems most likely to win.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Customize Theme Colors


Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!

Primary Color :

Secondary Color :
Predefined Skins