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Why does 40% of the population not vote?

-I don't have the time.
-My vote wont change the result in my District/State.
-It doesn't make a difference since all politicians are the same.
-What's the point?

Perfectly demonstrated that if the job approval of congress was applied not one of them should be in DC.

So on average; if you can get 30.1% of the electorate to turn out for you, then you have a very good chance of winning.

So basically all you have to do is motivate your base, and then discourage as many other people not to carry out their democratic duty by voting.

How do you go about this?

1] Electoral Suppression.

Make it as hard to vote as possible.

Voter ID laws have received plenty of attention recently, but they're not the only controversial changes to election rules this year. Some states have made changes that critics say could impact individuals' ability to vote. Here are four.
2] Electoral fraud.

Make it easier for your base to vote whilst at the same time making it harder for the opposition to vote.

It’s lucky that was the case, because the federal commission tasked with making elections function better has been stymied by partisan infighting that has left it with zero commissioners, with Republicans refusing to appoint new ones and blocking Democrats from doing the same.
3] Gerrymandering
gerrymandering, “Gerry-mander, The” [Credit: Bettmann/Corbis]in U.S. politics, drawing the boundaries of electoral districts in a way that gives one party an unfair advantage over its rivals. The term is derived from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, whose administration enacted a law in 1812 defining new state senatorial districts. The law consolidated the Federalist Party vote in a few districts and thus gave disproportionate representation to Democratic-Republicans.
4] Make it as near impossible for others to run a possible
Since those who contribute to campaigns have such disproportionate control over who can get elected, Congressional candidates spend 30 to 70 percent of their time fundraising for re-election, according to Lessig. This dynamic also allows for a Congressman’s views to be heavily influenced by financial contributors, and any reform that angers funders is highly unlikely to pass.

“(Funders are) driving public policy not in a way that aims at public interest but at their private interest,” Lessig said.

By the time the negative campaigning has drowned out all reason it really does take some effort to vote, then by making it harder with creative ballot design:
The complex ballot paper in Florida – which is some counties is up to six pages long – is also said to be creating delays as it takes much longer than usual for each paper to be counted and put into the computer system.
So once the two parties have managed to keep this system in place, it is a wonder that only 40% don't participate.

Mention a third party; and both sides of the aisle will savage you. Yet the two party system enables the burying of so many globally important issues.

Most candidates, as outsiders, came to the agreement that the two-party prominent system is guilty of keeping important issues out of the limelight.
A modified system of proportional representation might do the trick to get more people involved. The parties can choose who they would most like to represent them and voters would also get that choice.

Campaign finance reform is probably the most urgent need.

Making voter registration easy, a priority.

The object should to be to increase participation; rather than beating it over the head. If you feel your vote doesn't matter, then there is something wrong with the system.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. Make it easy, make it seem worthwhile (14+ / 0-)

    rather than insisting how it has been done in the past is the only way. The current system is shaky at best and thoroughly corrupt at worst.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:44:37 AM PST

  •  the problem with any system of (4+ / 0-)

    government is that it is populated by humans,  and generally humans who don't mind promising what they have no real intention of delivering.

    I am not opposed to campaign finance reform and even term limits.  I think parliamentary systems can allow for greater compromise as minority parties join to form coalitions.  But they certainly aren't a guarantee against corruption, bad policy or being bought off by the oligarchy.  Look at the parliamentary systems of Europe putting Goldman Sachs in charge of their entire banking system, austerity measures, the meltdowns in Greece and Spain.

    Some number of Humans will lie cheat and steal for money and power.   They take that into every endeavor.  Government just makes it more visible because there is some transparency in comparison to private enterprise or social clubs, etc.

    •  The system at present is gerrymandered, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, Words In Action, bumbi, JustGiaco

      and I agree with your points.

      Term limits is another thing people get wound up about. We have that for the Presidency.

      I find it hard to believe that in a population of 350 million there aren't at least 10% that could do a better job than the present incumbents.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:01:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  quite probably at least (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, isabelle hayes

        60% could do a better job, but the same things that make that 60% capable of doing a better job,  good sense, honesty, caring about other people, etc., guarantees they won't be elected in this system.  Why people of good sense don't seem to understand what they are doing wrong and change the way they vote seems to be tied closely to propaganda taking the place of information on the news channels.  That is going to be the bane of modern existence,  as we learn how humans work, brain science, there are those working harder to abuse it than those who have noble motives.

      •  The term limit for the Presidency should be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnieR, LWelsch

        rescinded.  It is a bad idea to reward good service with dismissal and keep a bad servant on because he'll soon be gone anyway,

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:16:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No thank you, an embalmed Reagan, no thank (0+ / 0-)

          you

          "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

          by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:22:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Reagan shouldn't have been elected in the first (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            isabelle hayes

            place and Dubya wasn't.
            You can't fix the system by putting limits on individual office holders. That's also true, btw, when it comes to limiting money spent on political campaigns. If the candidates for office are unsavory, they will not be improved by limiting how much citizens can spend.
            The Uncle Cons operate by indirection.  It is part of their pattern of deceit. So, for example, McCain's partnering with Feingold restricted law-abiding citizens while the money bags like Perry of Texas, Stephens of Arkansas and the AIG guy from Ohio bought influence by the barrel.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:59:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hey LF. Long time, no chat. Question: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    what do you think of taking the voting process completely out of the hands of elected officials and running it more like the Europeans do? If memory serves, they have their shit together and don't allow partisanship to spoil the registration/voting process.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:13:05 AM PST

  •  Three of the incumbents on my dufus list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Words In Action

    had no competitors for the position.
    The obligations of citizenship are:

    to vote
    to hold office
    to serve on juries
    to provide material support
    to propose laws
    to enforce the laws

    Voting is the least of it.
    The Democratic party, in my experience, is opposed to primaries. Party officials like to preselect candidates and always go with incumbents because that gives party leaders more power.
    Republicans like primaries.  Their candidates are like peas in a pod, but since Democrats don't even vie for "safe" seats, it makes no nevermind.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:14:44 AM PST

    •  Voting should be the easiest thing you have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, JustGiaco

      to do during the day, and also some respite from the "continual campaign mode" would be nice.

      Term limits would get rid of unopposed.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:18:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i know why some people don't vote (0+ / 0-)

      it's because once you register to vote, your name goes on "lists", such as the roster for jury duty;

      certainly it's better to have a variety of people on juries, as that way more justice will be done

      but too many working people cannot afford to take the time off, or if they're willing to do it, the boss doesn't have to pay them and may take it ill, and the piddling payment won't come near making up the loss of income

  •  Do Dems = Repubs? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LWelsch, LaFeminista

    Thank you for this article LaFeminista.  I agree with everything you say.

    I myself do not believe that democrats and republicans are the same.  But I do believe both democrats and republicans participate equally in what I consider the worst abuses of the electoral system: the effort to supress third-party candidates, and continuing an inherently corrupt system of campaign financing.

    Both mainstream political parties work to suppress campaigning by candidates who are not foursquare in the democratic or republican party.  Both mainstream political parties seek to avoid campaign financing limitations.

    I therefore agree with all your recommendations: yea to campaign finance reform, yea to broadening voter registration, and yea to proportional representation

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:10:13 AM PST

  •  Instant runoff elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    I must urge consideration of instant runoff elections.  It is not only the cure for the sort of thing that Lieberman did, it will make it possible for additional candidates to effectively compete, because a vote for the Green Party candidate is not necessarily essentially a half vote for the Republican.  Several local elections are run that way now.  I am familiar with Portland, Maine's recent experience in its mayoral election, which I think was entirely positive.  

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