Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't Vote; It Makes More Sense to Play Lottery

We might be headed for another close election, which means your vote could really matter this time, right? Wrong. Your vote didn't matter in 2000, it never mattered before 2000, and it's very unlikely to start mattering now.

~Economist Steven E. Landsburg, in, before the 2004 presidential election


At 10/30/2008 6:23 PM, Blogger Vijay said...

Amen. Read this and this

At 10/30/2008 6:30 PM, Blogger Andy said...

But voting is fun...

At 10/30/2008 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can get more people to vote for you than there are adults in the state, dead or alive, then voting is so fraudulent as to be a joke.

At 10/30/2008 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, you give up the field because you can't personally decide the outcome.

Pardon me but the words "cop out" come to mind. One can either choose to contribute and shape the process or ney-sey like most of my female siblings. Oh, yes, complaining is definitely a lifestyle choice here.

"Nothing will come of nothing" - King Lear

At 10/30/2008 10:07 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

In no race is your vote less important than President. With winner-take-all state Electoral College votes, in all but a handful of states, there is ZERO chance your vote will change the outcome. In my state of California, the only question is -- how many million votes extra will Obama get?

qt thinks not voting is a "cop out." Not at all. It's a quiet statement that you don't concede authority to the winner. Low voter turnouts undermine the legitimacy of the government, and that can be a good thing!

BTW, most people who vote for President vote "lesser evil." They usually don't vote FOR someone. Sadly, the press and the public will view your vote for the lesser evil is a vote FOR that evil. Bad idea to vote lesser evil.

At 10/30/2008 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


In life there are several strategies for managing conflict. Of these, the least assertive and the least effective is compliance. The basis for compliance is that one merely accommodates the wishes of others without regard to any of one's own needs or aspirations.

It looks very much like Obama will win but that does not mean that one has to make it easy or lie down and let the Democratic steamroller roll over you.

Think of the man who challenged the tank in Tianamen square what we face is nothing by comparison. I will always choose to fight for something even when I know that my team is going down to defeat. To do otherwise is to just give up to just devolve into an integer.

I choose hope, vision, engagement, the future. If you just give up when you hit a bump in the road or only support the side if it's winning, it's time to pull the sod over your head.

At 10/30/2008 11:18 PM, Blogger Arman said...

>Low voter turnouts undermine the legitimacy of the government, and that can be a good thing!<
You libertarians think you can exist without any authoritarian construct. Power vacuum will ALWAYS be filled. You guys seem to be buying into the Marxist lies about power to the people. Real power to the people would really be a democracy, but revolutions against 'illegitimate' government very rarely produce anything that is anything like a democracy, almost always ending in totalitarianism completely at odds with the lying pre-revolutionary propaganda.

At 10/31/2008 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shun you, qt. You are an enabler of corruption.

At 10/31/2008 4:16 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Your vote didn't matter in 2000, it never mattered before 2000, and it's very unlikely to start mattering now.

An Obama supporter!


At 10/31/2008 4:26 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...


> In no race is your vote less important than President. With winner-take-all state Electoral College votes, in all but a handful of states, there is ZERO chance your vote will change the outcome.

Funny, I live in Florida. A couple thousand either way mattered juuuuust a bit in 2000, didn't it?

In Ohio in 2004, a couple tens of thousands either way mattered.

The only reason you have no chance of mattering in Cali is because you're all idiot Democrats who vote like zombies every election. "Muuuuussst Puuuuuullll Demmmmmmocrat Leeeeever. Neeeeeed Braaaaains".

If you plan to vote for the antiAmerican Socialist with No Experience candidate this year, you're showing why you need brains.

Chances are, there will be a state in the union where a close call and the turnout will matter.

Which will it be?

You're right. Probably not Cali, one of the zombie states. So stay home.

But anyone in PA, OH, FL, VA? Your vote will matter. Even if you're an Obamazombie.

And if you're whining about how the Electoral College makes your vote "irrelevant", then you're a complete idiot. The electoral college makes the cities less relevant, and means the candidates CAN'T just focus on them.

The Electoral College does EXACTLY the job it's supposed to do, which is to meld in regional attitudes and interests to the PotUS selection process as well as straight-up numbers.

This ain't a democracy, and never was intended to be. That's true of the PotUS election, as well.


Clues will be distributed in the Lobby at the close of this thread. Please take one, and as many as you need for your friends.


At 10/31/2008 5:02 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> It looks very much like Obama will win

Actually, that's a lot more up in the air than the Media (whom 90% now grasp is in the tank for Obama) wants everyone to believe.

About Those Polls & Turnout Models

A Few Thoughts About the State Polls

Huge Democrat Turn Out In Florida Turns Into Huge McCain-Palin Gains

Pennsylvania Democrats voting for McCain will decide this election

My (Phone) Schlep to Florida

Poll Schocker - McCain and Obama Tied In Pennsylvania

Thoughts About the Early Voting

Noted -- a lot of that is via AJ Strata and DJ Drummon (Stolen Thunder). So it's potentially got as rosy an outlook for McCain as the media Obamazombies have. But they make compelling arguments and seem to have a good idea what they are talking about, and in fact there is external evidence to support their observations.

But what it very much DOES say is that this election is ANYTHING but over, and that, especially if you're in a "swing state" (particularly PA, FL, OH, VA, NV) you are an IDIOT not to assume your vote counts.

I suspect McCain is actually going to win it. PA is the likely tipping state -- if he wins PA, he's probably won right there. If he loses PA, it's going to be a 2000-type squeaker. But they aren't going to call this election early -- it's going to be a long night in the various camps.

At 10/31/2008 5:05 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> I shun you, qt. You are an enabler of corruption

"I punish thee." says Todd.

At 10/31/2008 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t think you can discount the demographic importance of voting. One reason why politicians will have problems substantially altering Social Security is the very high voting percentage and numbers of senior citizens. On the other hand, black males without high school diplomas vote at very low percentage rates even though they exist in high enough numbers to alter many elections.

Politicians’ main interest above anything else is getting re-elected. Who do you think will receive the most representation: senior citizens or young black males? No amount of saying “that’s not fair” will change the fact that a government designed to redistibute wealth will pander to get re-elected. So, yes, your vote does count.

At 10/31/2008 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Funny, I live in Florida. A couple thousand either way mattered juuuuust a bit in 2000, didn't it?

In Ohio in 2004, a couple tens of thousands either way mattered."

Funny that you just proved the point of the post.

a couple thousand >> 1

a couple tens of thousands >> 1

Your singular vote will never matter in any presidential election, ever. Thems the breaks.

At 10/31/2008 8:01 AM, Blogger thomasblair said...


Funny, I live in Florida. A couple thousand either way mattered juuuuust a bit in 2000, didn't it?

Funny, in the closest election in modern history (and arguably, in all of American history, perhaps save for Hayes 1876 election) the final margin was 537. So even then, your vote didn't matter. And my vote (TN) certainly didn't matter.

Voting doesn't matter because the sampling error is fat greater than one. In fact, 537 being 0.00009% of the total votes cast, I'd say FL was a statistical tie.

At 10/31/2008 8:06 AM, Blogger Matt said...

The illusion that your singular vote is important and relevant to the outcome is simply that, an illusion.

Vote 3rd party.

At 10/31/2008 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt g,

Nice to see you back. Missed your sound logic and good humor.


Sorry you feel that way.

I was a conservative in Canada for 10 years and watched as our party go down to defeat with good candidates. Liberal attack ads labelled us "scary" and even suggested that Stephen Harper would occupy Canadian cities with troops.

It was very difficult to be a conservative because one would be personally reviled. Your sentiments are nothing I have not seen or heard before but then, I have been called a nazi for putting up a lawn sign.

I am talking about fighting for what you believe (whatever that is) and not merely giving up if your party doesn't win. If you are truly concerned about corruption, get off your bottom and do something about it.

At 10/31/2008 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt there's a significant difference between your position of not relevant to the outcome and the topic of the original post of "never mattered."

At 10/31/2008 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks qt. I still pop in and read Carpe Diem, but I don't have much time to respond with 3 jobs and two grad classes.

At 10/31/2008 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


We may not agree on every subject but it is truly a pleasure to find someone with your wit, intelligence, insight, and civility.

Best wishes in all your endevours. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

At 10/31/2008 9:16 AM, Blogger Marko said...

Please don't vote - let ME decide!

At 10/31/2008 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How Obama got to the US Senate:

Threepeat: LA Times/Chicago Trib again help Obama make the close

Jill Stanek

The Los Angeles Times' refusal to cough up a damaging video of Barack Obama kabbitzing with PLO friend Rashid Khalidi should come as no surprise. The LAT/Chicago Tribune sisterhood has been aiding and abetting Obama for years.

Jack Ryan: In 2004 Republican Jack Ryan ran against Barack Obama for US Senate. Ryan was divorced from actress Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager and Boston Public fame. Their divorce records were sealed, as requested by both. They shared a young autistic son who they were trying to protect.

Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, interned for the Chicago Tribune in college and then worked there in "a high-profile job as the lead political reporter," according to the New York Times, from 1977-84.

axelrod.jpgDoes the following have anything to do with Axelrod's ties to the Trib? It sure smells.

The Chicago Tribune decided to go after Ryan's child custody papers. Its sister newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, went to court in CA, where the custody was finalized.

The LAT fought and won, violating the expressed wishes of the Ryans, making the LAT's current protest against showing the Khalidi video out of supposed respect for the informant's wishes laughable.

Obama's part in the Ryan drama? From Wiki:

People alleged to be backers of Barack Obama emailed reporters about the divorce controversy, but refrained from on-the-record commentary about the divorce files.....

On June 22, 2004, the Ryans' divorce papers were released. In them Jeri accused Jack of taking her to sex clubs and wanting her to engage in public sex. Ryan denied the allegations, telling me and the world he took Jeri to an "avante garde" club in Paris but left when she expressed discomfort.

I believed Ryan and was the only woman in a group of loyalists to express support of him at a press conference that night. Along with others, I chalked Jeri's allegations up as just that, never proven and made during a messy divorce. The fact that she didn't want them revealed to the world said something.

I knew Ryan before he ran for the Senate, spending a day with him where he taught at Hales Franciscan High School, for instance, to write a story for the online news org I worked for at the time, The Illinois Leader. Ryan was a multi-millionaire who left his cush job at Goldman Sachs to teach at this all boys Catholic school in Chicago's inner city. Ryan came from a large philanthropic family.

Ryan went down on June 25, was replaced by Alan Keyes, who alienated everyone, and Obama won in a landslide.

Before that?

blair hull 2.jpgBlair Hull

Obama's main primary contender for US Senate was Blair Hull, who was beating Obama in the polls. According to Wiki:

In early media polls leading up to the March 16, 2004, primary election Hull enjoyed a substantial lead and widespread name recognition resulting from a well-financed advertisement effort. He spent over $28 million of his personal wealth on the campaign...

A month before the primary elections a news story broke regarding his divorce from his ex-wife. The controversy ended up destroying the Hull campaign. Hull tried to keep the divorce records sealed, but pressure from journalists and his opposing candidates forced him to release them.

The papers claimed that his ex-wife alleged that during a physical fight between them he had threatened to kill her. This led to his arrest for battery, however no charges were ever filed.

From what newspaper did the news story break? The Chicago Tribune. Reported the New York Times:

About a month before the vote, the Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull's second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory.

The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had "worked aggressively behind the scenes" to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role - that he leaked the initial story.

Now the Tribune newspaper group is going for the trifecta, trying to help Obama - who wouldn't be where he is today if not for them - win the final victory.

At 10/31/2008 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're forgetting Alice Palmer and the other 4 candidates that Obama had knocked off the ballot so he could win without any competition.

At 10/31/2008 4:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"You guys seem to be buying into the Marxist lies about power to the people"...

So is this your announcement arman that you'll do the country a favor and stay home on Tuesday?

Votes always count but they count more, much more on the local level and state level...


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