Jump to content

Voting for the lesser evil


Recommended Posts

This issue has been coming up a number of times in various topics recently: When faced with an election where you disagree with all the parties that have a realistic chance of winning, should you vote for the "lesser evil"? That is to say, should you vote for the least bad of the parties with a realistic chance of winning? Or should you vote for a small party that you actually agree with - even if they couldn't possibly win?

I think that, as a general rule, you should always vote for the party that best matches your views, no matter how small or insignificant. In fact, the smaller the party, the more they need your vote. Every party starts out small - who knows, maybe today's insignificant little faction will be a serious contender in 10 or 20 years.

But the best reason not to vote for the "lesser evil" is that it usually doesn't need your vote. The "lesser evil" is usually a big mainstream party that is going to win (or lose) anyway, no matter what you do. If the election is predicted to be close, then - and only then - should you vote for the "lesser evil." In a first-past-the-post system you should only vote for the "lesser evil" if you live in a marginal constituency. For example, in the United States you should only vote for the "lesser evil" if you live in a swing state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Canada the best part about voting for parties that have minimal chance of winning, is that every vote they get means they get funding from elections Canada (same for big parties). This can also mean eliminating the registration expense that a candidate/party have to pay to get on the ballot (depends on provincial election laws).

Reading through Bill C-24 gives you basic info you need on federal Canada political party financing.

The part where it talks about $ per vote is

The bill provides for an annual allowance to registered parties in the amount of $1.75 per vote received by the party in the previous general election, provided the party has received in the last election either 2% of the valid votes cast nationally or 5% of the votes in the ridings where the party ran candidates (proposed section 435).  The figure of $1.75 was raised by the House of Commons at Report Stage from $1.50 and is now also to be adjusted for inflation.  This $1.75 per vote amount is apparently based on the calculations of potentially lost income to parties as a result of the changes in the eligibility of donors, and is designed to be revenue-neutral.  It appears that several provinces in Canada provide allowances to registered parties based on their electoral results.

This has helped 5 parties. Liberals, Conservatives, Bloq, NDP, and Green. Most notably helping the NDP and Green party (Green especially since they came out of nowhere recently). The Green Party has had major growth in the past decade in both federal and provincial. They do not hold any seats that I know of, but are getting a lot of votes, sometimes even (rarely) beating out the NDP, which is basically the 3rd party of choice historically.

Green party got 4.48% of total votes in 2006, 2004 got 4.3% and in 2000 got 0.81%.

So in 2006 Green party got 664,068 votes, times $1.75 = $1.162 million dollars.

I wonder if the television networks will ignore the Green Party in televised debates in the next election. I'd like to see them in, since the "environment" should be a good thing to debate (gas prices could be 40% higher than previous election (February 2006 $1.005 per litre; Today $1.245 per litre, 25% increase in 2 years).

And unlike in the USA election, where they have a democrat and a republican debating (I've watched some of those and they are kinda boring since no real debating is brought up, but this upcoming election should be epic). Watching Liberals, Conservatives, Bloq and NDP fight it out all at once is great, and watching some tag team action against certain parties/topics is awesome. :)

I would think adding a Green to the mix would force the other parties to talk more/better about environment topics.

And so I got way off topic and spent too much time researching and typing this... (and probably repeated what I said in other threads)

Do I vote for the lesser evil? I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I have voted for the party I want to be in power, and lately have justified doing so because they are the lesser evil (this of course being that their views line up more with mine).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are ways how to handle the problem without a need to face the lesser evil dilemma. One can be a stoic and cease to give any moral evaluation for political things. You can vote for an inefficient government, but the election itself can't reflect the moral character of your representant. Or you can exile and not face such problem any more. I prefer to vote smaller, but trusted parties, and disagree with an idea, that such vote would support the "greater evil". There are always attempts to steer the opinions into simple dualism, but an individual has to be able to overcome it, if we are to speak about a pluralism. Or...

Cthulhu-elections.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I'm voting for the "lesser evil" each time I vote. Sorry but politicians just ain't my cup of tea!

By "lesser evil" I mean a politician or party with whom you generally disagree, but which is less bad in your view than the other main contender(s).

So you're saying that you always vote for such "lesser evil" politicians, as opposed to voting for politicians that you actually agree with but have no chance of winning? Or are you saying that there are no politicians you actually agree with?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I live in a PR parliamentary democracy, so I can vote for pretty much anyone I like.

If I were to live in the USA, I think I'd generally vote strategicly. I'd register at one of the parties though so that I can influence the intra-party elections. If need be I could still go traitor and vote for the other party in the real election, anyway.

If I lived in the UK...I dislike the two main parties, and while both have individuals I could like doesn't mean voting for them is a good idea because of the strictly enforced party lines. Were I a UK citizen, I'd vote for Liberal Democrats even if they're pretty pathetic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you lived in the UK would you're voting depend on the constituency in which you lived? I generally vote labour  as the other candidates in my area are either weak or rely on the fact that they aren't Labour or Conservative. I don't particularly vote strategically (I don't research previous voting patterns from previous years) I go for the strongest candidates who I think will support ideals which I support. It rarely happens though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only other guy standing was a Lib Dem? There wasn't even a Labour candidate, let alone a minor party one? That must be very strange...

If I absolutely had to choose between a conservative and a liberal, it would be a very difficult choice. Ideologically I abhor liberalism and its derivatives more than any other kind of political thought, but in practice conservative policies tend to be worse than liberal policies. So I would probably grudgingly vote liberal, or more likely spoil the ballot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well personally my political standing is socialism. However given the fact that the Socialist party has never managed to get any significant number of votes (although they broke 10,000 votes in 04 for the first time since 1980) the democratic party may not match my ideals, however. When it comes to Center leftish, or center rightish to far rightish. I'm going to take the center leftish over the right. Because while it may not be what I want, it's better sometimes to compromise than to vote and lose horribly and allow the far right to win.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well personally my political standing is socialism. However given the fact that the Socialist party has never managed to get any significant number of votes (although they broke 10,000 votes in 04 for the first time since 1980) the democratic party may not match my ideals, however. When it comes to Center leftish, or center rightish to far rightish. I'm going to take the center leftish over the right. Because while it may not be what I want, it's better sometimes to compromise than to vote and lose horribly and allow the far right to win.

That makes sense... but only if you live in an area where the Democrats and Republicans are so close that your vote is actually needed to make a difference. It would be possible for the Socialists to win enormous numbers of votes in safe blue states without actually endangering the Democrats in the presidential election at all.

Well, I live in a PR parliamentary democracy, so I can vote for pretty much anyone I like.

Me too, actually. Still, the candidates I vote for are always obscure communists with no real chance of winning. But they need every vote they can get.

The UK parliamentary system seems a bit of an aberration in that you have very strictly enforced party lines in a first-past-the-post environment. The whole point of FPTP is supposedly to weaken central party control and make politicians more accountable to the local people. It doesn't work out like that in the UK at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Voting for the lesser evil is something I've done lots of times, simply because I believe that if you don't vote, you don't have as much right to complain after the election. Around here it's called "holding your nose and voting."

I fully agree with giving the vote to smaller parties that are just starting out, if their platforms are your cup of tea. That's why I've supported the Greens several times -- they need the money and numbers. And it's reprehensible that they're shut out of the televised debates when the Bloc is allowed in. The BQ only runs in one province, whereas the Greens are in every province and territory.

By the way, deliberately spoiling your ballot doesn't really help. The only people who see those are the election workers, who have to count them, record the numbers of spoiled ballots, and do a lot of other fiddly things with the recordkeeping. It's an irritant to the Deputy Returning Officers and Poll Clerks, but the candidates themselves usually neither know of them, nor care. I speak from experience, having been an election worker in several elections.

Actually, you make more of an impact by coming to the poll, signing in, and then refusing your ballot. That's what I did one time at a municipal election when I couldn't in good conscience vote for a single one of the candidates in one of the sections.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Well Edric right now for third parties theres...

http://www.votesocialist2008.org/

For Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander

who..

strives to establish a radical democracy that places people's lives under their own

control - a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society...where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically-controlled public agencies; where full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work; where workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions; and where the production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. We believe socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future - to a real radical democracy from below. The Socialist Party fights for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. We support militant working class struggles and electoral action, independent of the capitalist controlled two-party system, to present socialist alternatives. We strive for democratic revolutions - radical and fundamental changes in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations - to abolish the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. The Socialist Party is a democratic, multi-tendency organization, with structure and practices visible and accessible to all members.

Theres the Constitution party

http://baldwin2008.com/

From the wiki

The Constitution Party advocates a platform that purports to reflect the Founding Fathers' original intent of the U.S. Constitution, principles found in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and morals taken from the Bible.[2].

In 2006, Rick Jore of Montana became the first Constitution Party candidate elected to a state-level office[3][4], though the Constitution Party of Montana had disaffiliated itself from the national party a short time before the election.

On April 26, 2008, Chuck Baldwin was elected to be the Constitution Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.

http://www.runcynthiarun.org/

Green Party

he Green Party of the United States is a federation of state Green Parties.  Committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing, Greens are renewing democracy without the support of corporate donors.  Greens provide real solutions for real problems.  Whether the issue is universal health care, corporate globalization, alternative energy, election reform or decent, living wages for workers, Greens have the courage and independence necessary to take on the powerful corporate interests.  The Federal Elections Commission recognizes the Green Party of the United States as the official Green Party National Committee.  We are partners with the European Federation of Green Parties and the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas.

Ralph Nader

http://www.votenader.org/

The only third party candidate with any real name in the general population. AP polls have put him as high as 10% in some states, while this is change compared to Obama and Mccain, It's damn good for a third party candidate, with no major media coverage.

http://www.treacy2008.org/

Socialist Green running for 1st District Michigan

http://www.dreynolds2008.org/

Socialist Green running forstate board of education (with a snazzy website to)

http://www.erard2008.org/

Socialist Green,running for State representative 53rd Michigan district, won 3% of the vote. First Socialist on the ballot since 1984(har har har)

http://www.pslweb.org/site/PageServer?pagename=votepsl_aboutus

Party of Socialism and Liberation

(Seems kind of militant, but a little revolution is good for democracy eh?) But doesn't even look like there on the ballot in any states as of right now. Well they do seem to have a good hand full of candidates around the country.

The Libertarian party

http://www.bobbarr2008.com/splash/?s0609

his standing with the  issues http://www.bobbarr2008.com/issues/

Socialist Workers Party

http://www.themilitant.com/index.shtml

Nazi 08

http://bowlesforpresident.com/id50.html

Wow, just wow

Finally a reason why 6 million of my people died!

Contrary to popular belief, no program of genocide against European Jewry existed during World War II. Unfortunate but understandable deaths resulted from Allied-inflicted acts of war which crippled the German economy and infrastructure, leading to virtual cut-off of supplies to the concentration camps and the starvation or death by disease of tens of thousands of inmates.

Hmm, Oh so it was a bad thing my grandfather was a cook in the 748th railroad, in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany?

Why should I support something my grandfather died to destroy?

It is terribly painful to realize our grandparents' generation was used by the Roosevelt regime and the shadow string-pullers behind that cabal, but the facts demonstrate that indeed the American People were deceived -abused- by traitors, to compel them to fight their brothers and sisters in Germany during World War II.

But at least There green Nazi's!

Shouldn't we save the Earth first?

National Socialists recognize that to survive, the Aryan Race must have a healthy environment, free of the Life-inhibiting poisons Capitalism has brought upon the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is impressive that today somebody has a courage to go as a nazi into politics. God bless the democratic land of USA, that haven of liberty. In Slovakia, for such jokes they would have to face wrath of the law. But seriously, will that mean a competition for the Chaos Party?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caid, I don't think "going into politics" is the proper term... "writing random crap on a website" is more accurate. I doubt that Nazi candidate is actually going to be on the ballot anywhere.

I find it really funny how they're not so much denying the Holocaust as denying the precise method of killing Jews. "Oh we didn't gas them, you see, we starved them to death." Yeah... that makes it so much better. ::) Another thing that Holocaust deniers don't seem to take into consideration is that even without the Holocaust, the Nazis were still guilty of immense crimes - death squads, ghettoes, stripping Jews of all civil rights, exterminating 25 million Russians and other Soviet citizens, starting the bloodiest war in human history for no good reason whatsoever... The Holocaust is just what makes them exceptionally evil, because it was so methodical and organized. Without it, they would have been a more ordinary, run-of-the-mill sort of evil.

Anyway, let's get back on topic, discussing serious third parties. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly, just like Mel Brooks said, "Don't be stupid be a smarty come and join the nazi party." har har

No seriously however. The constitution party is the largest party after the Democrats and Republicans, and I find that quite frightening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it really funny how they're not so much denying the Holocaust as denying the precise method of killing Jews. "Oh we didn't gas them, you see, we starved them to death." Yeah... that makes it so much better. ::) Another thing that Holocaust deniers don't seem to take into consideration is that even without the Holocaust, the Nazis were still guilty of immense crimes - death squads, ghettoes, stripping Jews of all civil rights, exterminating 25 million Russians and other Soviet citizens, starting the bloodiest war in human history for no good reason whatsoever... The Holocaust is just what makes them exceptionally evil, because it was so methodical and organized. Without it, they would have been a more ordinary, run-of-the-mill sort of evil.

See to me their specific argument against the holocaust read more like, "We had the Jews in all these lovely camps when the evil allies came in and cut off all of their supplies so 6 million starved to death". The contradictions in their arguments gave me and my friends quite a few laughs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How to catch a Holocaust denier lying in 5 easy steps:

Me: You're saying the Holocaust never happened?

Denier: Right.

Me: So you don't want to kill all the Jews, right?

Denier: Of course not. We want a peaceful resolution to the Jewish problem.

Me: But you think the Jews shouldn't live among non-Jews, because they are a bad influence?

Denier: Yes.

Me: Do you support the State of Israel?

Denier: What? No, of course not, I think it should be abolished. No people should have to give up their land to the Jews.

Me: Ok, so there shouldn't be a Jewish state, but Jews shouldn't live among non-Jews either. So where, exactly, should they live?

Denier: Erm... ummm... well... There's, uh...

Me: Yeah, sure. "Peaceful resolution" my ass.

(the above is the broad outline of the only conversation I ever had with a Holocaust denier, a few years back; he continued by trying to come up with ridiculous proposals for moving all the world's Jews to Antarctica, after I pointed out that all the other land on Earth is already taken)

No seriously however. The constitution party is the largest party after the Democrats and Republicans, and I find that quite frightening.

Are they really? I'm pretty sure it was the Greens in 2004, and before that the Libertarians around 2000. It used to be the Communists in the 1930s... so clearly, being the 3rd largest party in America isn't as impressive as it sounds. ;)

But I suppose it depends on how you measure the "size" of parties. Is it by number of votes at the last election, by number of members, by the amount of money in the party's coffers, or something else?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, many nazis are quite happy about shipping all the jews off to the middle east and are in favour of the state of Israel. Don't forget, they also hate the Arabs. When anti-semitism rearose in the Soviet union under Stalin, they did the same, only this was Stalin-style Zionism, so the Jewish Autonomous Oblast ended up somewhere near Mongolia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...