Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why I Don't Vote (Bob Murphy)

Well, it's that Holy Day of Civic Obligation known as Election Day! This marks my eighth year of not voting, although I'll be rooting for the few pro-liberty candidates out there, most notably BJ Lawson. I'm not rooting for anyone in the presidential election because McCain and Obama are two of the worst presidential candidates in American history.

Why don't I vote? It's both useless and morally dubious (at best)! Bob Murphy wrote a nice article explaining why:

Today it's appropriate for me to summarize my reasons for not voting. To put it in a nutshell, democracy is a repugnant and ridiculous system, and so I have no ethical duty to vote. And then, my vote by itself will almost certainly have no effect on the election, and hence I have no pragmatic interest in voting. So why would I do something morally dubious if it won't even make a difference?

Even though I'm sure you've heard this before, let's review just why your individual vote does NOT count. In order for your vote to make a difference (in the presidential race), your state would have to be decided by a margin of exactly one. In other words, suppose you don't vote. So long as the candidate who wins your state does so by a margin of two or more people, then your decision to abstain meant absolutely nothing.

But it gets worse. Suppose against all odds that it works out that the popular vote in your state is a dead tie, considering everybody else who votes, and then you cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of your candidate. (We already know this would never ever happen.) Even so, your vote still only affects the identity of the next president, if the margin in the Electoral College is close enough such that your state decides the outcome.

OK, now I should dispose of some of the obligatory objections.

Read the rest

Also see the Strike-the-Root non-voting archive and the LewRockwell.com non-voting archive.

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