Results for voting

The Danger of Strategic Voting

Dave Killion — November 2, 2014

With U.S. federal midterm elections rapidly approaching, Reason magazine has been posting articles on its blog that make the arguments for why libertarians should vote for Libertariansvote for Democrats, and vote for Republicans. I don’t care to focus too much on U.S. politics, but given that libertarians face similar dilemmas during elections in their home countries, I think many of you will find these articles illuminating. Of them all, I found Grover Norquist’s defense of voting for Republicans the most compelling:

You only have one vote. How best to use it to advance liberty?…

….In 2006, Montana’s Republican Senator Conrad Burns lost to his Democrat opponent Tester by 3,562 votes. The Libertarian Candidate Stan Jones captured 10,377 votes. Tester’s win meant that Obama had 60 votes in December 2009 and could pass Obamacare. That one vote passed a bill designed to fail into single-payer over time. Did the “too cool for school” libertarians advance liberty when they voted that day?”

Well, maybe they did, Grover… just not in the short term. Because what you’re suggesting is that the ‘too cool for school” libertarians would have advanced liberty further by voting into power a party that had full control of government for six years of the George W. Bush administration, and had every opportunity to deregulate the health care field so thoroughly that Obamacare would have been no more than a dream within a dream for decades to come, but instead chose to increase federal involvement. So, in the long run, it just might be that libertarians advance liberty more by voting for someone that actually reflects their values, instead of endorsing the lesser-of-two evils.

Voting with their feet

Dave Killion — October 14, 2011

Just in case you need directions.

Carpe Diem brings to our attention this article from the Globe and Mail. Here’s a sample –

Canada’s stronger economy is becoming a magnet for Americans hunting for work.

In a reversal of historical flows, immigration lawyers report a surge of calls from Americans who want to move north. Statistics bear out their observations: A record number of Americans applied for temporary work visas last year, Immigration Canada statistics show, spurred largely by the contrasting health of the two countries’ labour markets.

The last time I looked at the stats, Canadians migrated to the US at ten times the rate Yankees moved to Canada. Adjust for the population, and the ration was more like 100 to 1. So although I’m sure there are more Americans than ever coming north, I doubt very seriously the historical flows have reversed.

Also, I cannot help but notice that although a tremendous amount of media attention was given to Americans who swore after the re-election of George W. Bush that they were going to come pouring over the border, it wasn’t until Democrats controlled the White House that it actually happened.

On the Importance of Voting

Dave Killion — May 6, 2011

From the invaluable Ludwig von Mises Institute comes this very enjoyable article on Canada’s recent federal election, and the incredible rise of the New Democratic Party at the expense of the Liberals –

“In the post-election haze, the storyline of the NDP’s Québec victory has turned to the strange collection of new Members of Parliament swept into office. Chief among them is Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, the MP-elect for a French-speaking district outside Montreal. Brosseau doesn’t speak French. She doesn’t even live in Québec. Nor did she make any effort to actually campaign in support of her own election. Apparently, she never even set foot in the district or made a single public statement during the six-week election campaign. Nevertheless, she defeated the incumbent Bloc MP by more than 10 percentage points.

Miss Brosseau hasn’t appeared in public or spoken since her victory. The only confirmation of her existencecomes from her father — who spoke to a reporter before he was quietly hushed by NDP officials — and her boss at the Ottawa college bar where she works as an assistant manager. The boss said he didn’t even know she was a candidate in the election.

This is the certainly the most comical indictment of democracy I’ve seen in quite some time.”

I’m not sure if Miss Brosseau is going to be any good at her new job, seeing as how she didn’t appear to be seriously interested in winning it, but I promise you she will not refuse a dime of the $628, 000 she will receive over her expected four-year-term.

 

Most Club Members Would Elect Not To Vote

Dave Killion — November 5, 2012

The U.S. presidential election is upon us, and a few media organizations have been good enough to let us know how their staff intend to vote. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you can get the gruesome details over at The American Conservative, Slate, and Reason. Inspired by these articles, I have taken it upon myself to ask my fellow Libertarian Book Club members to respond to the following –

If you were eligible to vote in the US presidential election, for whom would you vote?

Barack Obama
Mitt Romney
Gary Johnson
Other/Write In (Please specify)
Prefer Not to Say
Would Not Vote

The response was underwhelming, which I take as a revealed preference by most members for “Prefer Not to Say.” Of the 6 who did respond, 4 have declared they would not vote –

“I would not vote. The primary reason is that I think its a waste of time, since it makes no difference. I also think it harmful psychologically, and undignified”…. “On the other hand, if someone else feels like voting, I have no problem with it. I just choose not to myself.”

One respondent declared not only his preference, but his ACTUAL vote –

“I voted in the Colorado election, and I voted libertarian (Johnson) across the board. I truly believe Obama is the lesser of two evils, but not even the prospect of a Romney win in CO by one vote would stop me from voting for Johnson.”

And the last repondent?

“I would select my candidates, presidential and congressional, in such a manner as to contribute to the greatest likelihood of division of the branches between the parties, in the hopes of generating as much gridlock as possible. The less they can do the better.”

Who that might be was not made clear, but since I suspect Republicans will maintain or increase control of the House, and will strengthen their position in the Senate, I will chalk that up to a libertarian vote for Obama.

As for myself, I would have liked to say that I would vote for Johnson. However, the fact is that, as a U.S. citizen, I actually COULD have voted for Johnson, but I didn’t. It seems that going through the steps necessary to vote as a U.S. citizens living abroad was so tedious that I procrastinated myself right out of the election. What that says about me, I’m not sure, but I must confess that I don’t feel very good about myself.

Low-Hanging Fruit

Dave Killion — August 16, 2012

Via Neatorama

Should Mentally Disabled People Hold Political Offices?

That’s the question that’s being put to the test in the city of Ghent, Belgium. Didier Peleman, a 41-year old man with mental disability, has sparked a controversy whether a mentally disabled person should hold political office…

…Didier’s party argues that mentally disabled people are part of the community, and should have the chance to be represented in political offices.”

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

But leaving aside the cheap shots about ethically/morally/intellectually challenged politicians, consider this matter seriously for a moment. The question isn’t really whether the mentally disabled should hold office, it’s whether the mentally disabled should be allowed to hold office. Or put more correctly, whether voters should be prevented from electing whomever they want. The law already sets age and nationality qualifications on political candidates, now some people want to create IQ barriers. And if the state decides who’s too dim to hold office, why couldn’t the state decide who’s too immoral to hold office? Wouldn’t a religiously motivated minority have fun with that campaign.

How about just leaving the voting to the voters? As Mencken says, they know what they want and they deserve to get it, good and hard. How else are we going to learn?

Libertarian Bill Still vs Republicans

Stu — December 6, 2011

Watch the whole thing, but look for Ron Paul @ 7:39
Still Report 32

Quoted from Nathan’s Economic Edge (http://economicedge.blogspot.com): Bill produced an excellent video where he hits directly on target, right on the root issue of WHO it is that produces our money! Way to go, Bill!

He does an excellent job of calling out the illegal “Fed,” along with the IMF, and to that I would add World Bank – all sham and highly undemocratic money from nothing, self-anointed central banking criminals who have never received proper authorization from the people of the planet and in fact are operating against our rule of law as spelled out in our own Constitution! Absolutely, they are literally taking over countries and Bill correctly points out what they have done to both Italy and Greece – their game is to enslave with debt (which they did nothing to create), and then to take over direct control. Money creation is all about power and control.

Donald Trump running a debate? Are you kidding me? Until our nation is conscious enough to start voting for people like Bill Still, we are going nowhere fast. Go Bill, way to get the proper word out!

Club Meeting

Dave Killion — November 19, 2011

The Victoria Libertarian Book Club had its bi-weekly meetup a couple nights ago, where we discussed not only our current readings from The Driver, but also voting in the upcoming municipal elections. I have expressed my views on the matter previously, and although some in our group have indicated they will be voting for the lesser of evils, I personally advocate a different tack.

As to the reading, although I have found the book so enjoyable that I finished the whole thing in just a few days, I find little that has much of an impact when quoted out of context. Here is what we have from the latest portion –

“Naïve trust in the power of words to command reality is found in all mass delusions.”

“It is easier to believe than to think.”

I have added these gems to my notebook, and look forward to using them in the future. Take my word for it, though. “The Driver” in its entirety is a very enjoyable read.

None of the Above

Dave Killion — May 1, 2011

 

Despite the federal election taking place in Canada today, I wasn’t going to touch on the issue of voting, having expressed my views in a previous post. However, over at BC Iconoclast local blogger Bernard Von Schulmann has brought to my attention The Great Canadian Blank Ballot Project. From the website-

Are you a disaffected and angry voter? Planning to pass on election day? Unwilling to play ‘party games’ again? Shouldn’t an election be about hope and renewal?

There is one alternative. Vote your ballot blank on election day! Send a message that it is time to reform our politics.

A Rejected Ballot is one that cannot be counted because it is improperly marked. The easiest way is to make no mark. Elections Canada reports the number of Rejected Ballots.”

I am so sorry I didn’t know about this earlier. There are lots of folks who like to think that those who aren’t voting must be perfectly content with the way things are run, and this is a good way to let them know we’re not. If you still have time to vote, I hope you will run out and hand in your blank.

Feeling Good About Accomplishing Nothing.

Dave Killion — February 12, 2011

A family member has taken a job in food service recently, and the store in which he works has a trash receptacle divided into multiple compartments, all labeled to permit separation of paper, plastic, trash, and so on. When I finished eating at this place the other day, I was dutifully sorting the waste and noted that all the containers looked as if an awful lot of people were simply stuffing everything into any old bin. The family member let me know that at the end of the business day, the bags are simply tied shut and placed outside for the shopping centre to remove. We both doubt anyone is sorting those bags out after picking them up.

That’s just fine by me. Devoting resources to recycling would, in this case, consume more resources than it salvages. Unfortunately, retailers have to satisfy those consumers who think recycling is always and everywhere a good thing, so this sort of ‘greenwashing’ is inevitable.

Electing Not To Vote

Dave Killion — November 20, 2010

Between the recent US elections and today’s City of Victoria by-election, we’ve all been subjected to an annoying amount of ‘get-out-the-vote’ exhortations.  It pleases me to imagine that all the new voters they recruit come at the cost of existing voters who get so annoyed at this constant hectoring that they refuse to cast any further ballots until these nagging busy-bodies shut the hell up.  This might not be a fantasy enjoyed by many other people, but I cannot express the satisfaction it gives me.

There is no consensus amongst libertarians concerning voting, although I have a sense that most are opposed either on the grounds that the act may be mistaken or misrepresented as approval for the outcome, or because your vote makes literally no difference to the outcome.  Even so, I don’t know of any non-voting libertarian who would insist that any voting libertarian turn in his secret decoder ring.

I’m not opposed to voting, but no one got my vote in today’s election.  If someone had been truly deserving of support, then I would have cast a ballot, even if he or she hadn’t any hope of winning.  Sadly, these candidates are the same spoiled authoritarian apples you find in every political barrel.