31 October 2020

Is it okay not to vote?

The purpose of voting is to make your view heard. If your view is not represented because the candidates on offer are all rotten or you don’t believe them, you have no reason to vote. 

Some friend or family member will try to convince you that because your own interests aren’t represented by a party, you should instead cast your vote for their preferred party, at least because that’s nice to them. Don’t. Democracy works on the assumption everyone will vote based on their own self-interest, not someone else’s.

If you vote because of someone else’s plight, you are amplifying the votes of others and disregarding your own right not to vote, making it less likely your interests will ever be taken into account. If your interests are not represented, it makes sense not to vote whatsoever, as the election is fake as far as you are concerned. Abstaining denies oxygen to parties that don’t take your interests into account. It forces them to try harder and offer a real spectrum of choices next time.

More Americans vote for no-one than vote for any party platform, so you are not alone. This suggests the US is an ineffective democracy that struggles to define or represent the interests of its citizens. If we consider the narrow two-party system and legalized bribery of candidates and lawmakers (“lobbying”), the US government can’t even be defined as a republic.

Forced to consider two horrible parties, it is illogical to vote for those who don’t represent your views. And, in such circumstances, it is logical to vote for nothing. In fact, that in itself is very often the radical gesture the state is scared of.

If you were going to vote for the “lesser of two evils”, just imagine for a moment someone uncorking their bottle of champagne to celebrate having tricked you – with no real regard for you or your interests. That is effectively what you are allowing by voting that way.

Not voting sends a message to a rotten regime that its election is fake, and your interests are not represented by anyone taking part.

Yes, it’s okay not to vote. More than that, it is often the right thing to do. – ClubOfInfo


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