Saturday, June 07, 2008

Voting advice

"I did not vote for any presidential candidate in the last election. There is a limit to the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils."
- Ayn Rand, speaking at the Ford Hall Forum, April 26, 1981, explaining why she didn't vote for Ronald Reagan.  [Hat tip Joe M.]

Discuss.

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27 Comments:

Anonymous hanso said...

If New Zealanders had a candidate (oh that's right, we don't have a president) half as principled as Regan, I would vote for him.

6/07/2008 02:36:00 pm  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

I completely agree with the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils. Reading the link, this is a paragraph that I entirely disagree with

"The question of abortion involves much more than the termination of a pregnancy: it is a question of the entire life of the parents. As I have said before, parenthood is an enormous responsibility; it is an impossible responsibility for young people who are ambitious and struggling , but poor; particularly if they are intelligent and conscientious enough not to abandon their child on a doorstep nor to surrender it to adoption. For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence: parenthood would force them to give up their future, and condemn them to a life of hopeless drudgery, of slavery to a child's physical and financial needs. The situation of the unwed mother, abandonded by her lover, is even worse."

The fact that having a kid is a bad thing has absolutely nothing to do with whether abortion is right or wrong. It entirely rests on whether the foetus is considered human or not.

If you do consider the foetus human, then surely it is an individual's responsibility not to get pregnant if they don't want a kid, and if they do get pregnant, they should take the consequences of their own actions.

If you don't consider the foetus human, then it shouldn't really matter what the consequences of having a kid are, because there would be no problem getting rid of it anyway.

The argument that "pregnancy is a death sentence", really shouldn't affect either argument should it?

6/07/2008 03:37:00 pm  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

If libertarians only had 450 members, so couldnt register, and there were only two other parties, ACT, and a communist party, and these two parties had pretty much exactly 50:50 support according to polls, are you telling me that you wouldn't vote act, and encourage your fellow libz to do the same?

Sure this is an extreme example, but it demonstrates the principle of voting for the lesser of two evils.

6/07/2008 04:16:00 pm  
Blogger Phil (Pacific Empire) said...

"There is a limit to the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils."

Not "you should never vote for the lesser of two evils".

6/07/2008 05:38:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Well avoiding the abortion debate from the second comment, as I think the issue is far from as simple as made out there. The debate is not so relevant in the context of NZ, where MMP offers multiple options. The US Presidency, UK and Australia offer far less options from a practical standpoint.

So McCain or Obama? Is it that odious a choice? Bush was far from perfect, but preferable over Gore and Kerry both times, and by enough on the right issues for me to endorse him. I'd argue the same about Dole over Clinton, although Bush senior over Clinton was a more closely run race - Bush senior is far more odious than his son. Reagan was better than his opponents clearly.

However enough of that. In the UK the Tories have yet to prove they are better than Labour, in NZ if it were Nat vs Labour I have to resist the tendency to think "I want Labour out" and think "what do the Nats offer".

The answer is that the Nats offer Labour lite, without the conviction Labour has that what it is doing is right.

National is status quo on welfare state, more of the same on education and health, pretty much the same on the economy - the best that can be said is it wouldn't be worse than Labour.

Why for the life of anyone would you spend nine years in Opposition working hard to win government that is just "no worse than Labour".

That in itself is a damning indictment on the National front bench.

6/07/2008 05:48:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

What Libertyscott said. Exactly.

6/07/2008 06:12:00 pm  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

I agree with you Liberty scott about national and labour. ACT is a good choice because they will get in and they are against labour, They are equally against labour as national, only with better policies. You don't need to "pick a winner" but just not waste your vote, there is a difference.

I agree the abortion is complex, but I don't see that inconvenience to the mother influences whether it is right or wrong. Convenience doesn't dictate right and wrong.

"There is a limit to the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils."

Not "you should never vote for the lesser of two evils".
- I would say the only time to not go for that strategy is when it is not clear cut which evil is lesser.
The principle is always good, its only the ability to quantify evil that is the problem.

6/07/2008 07:29:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

Gosh, you guys seem to know all National's policies: you should pass them on to Hulun and the MSM to shut them up.

Seriously, why not influence the outcome: vote ACT to keep Nat honest.

6/08/2008 03:01:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

If you vote for evil, then you are supporting evil. It matters not whether you claim it is the lesser of evils you choose, you are still supporting evil.

None of you are in the position of having your choice restricted to evil of one sort or another. For example, you can vote on principle and vote Libz. You could also refuse to partake in the auction of stolen goods and not vote at all.

"If you vote,
You can't complain,
For you took part,
In the game."

LGM

6/08/2008 07:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Hanso said...

"If you vote for evil, then you are supporting evil. It matters not whether you claim it is the lesser of evils you choose, you are still supporting evil.

None of you are in the position of having your choice restricted to evil of one sort or another. For example, you can vote on principle and vote Libz. You could also refuse to partake in the auction of stolen goods and not vote at all."

If you are given the choice between loosing your head, or your hand, which would you choose? Would choosing the hand be an expression of supporting your mad assaulters right to chop off your body parts? Or perhaps should you remain silent, and let this psychopath make up his mind on his own?

In New Zealand, liberty lovers are not confronted with such a choice. Libetarainz as a politcal candidate is almost completly free of anti-libertarian policies. However in the United States there is no such candidate. Thus americans have to make do with the "least worst" candidate.

I support the Libertarianz. However if they were to disband, or fail to register, I would support ACT. If they to were to go, I would support National.

6/08/2008 09:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Sally O'Brien said...

In response to Hanso's question:
"If you are given the choice between loosing your head, or your hand, which would you choose?".
I would not be sitting around considering voting for the people who are planning to chop off my hand! Such vermin will probably chop off my head next week. Such discussions drift into rationalism when they dicuss just two options when in real life there are multiple options. Among the most appropriate response when threatened with such a dilema is not even considered. If there is a threat of any chopping looming, it is time to stop talking and start fighting for your very life! It is time to get off you butt and get your intellectual and/or physical amunition and get together with other rebels who can be trusted and go to it - it's time to fight or escape!

6/09/2008 09:16:00 am  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

Supporting the lesser evil is not supporting evil but reducing net evil.

I can undersand to some extent supporting what you beleive in even though your vote will be wasted, but not voting at all seems a bit silly. It isn't counted, and it makes no statement at all. Because even objectivist libertarians may disagree on some things(e.g. heavy arms, control, ie should RPGs,heavy machine guns nukes etc. be legal). no one would vote if people had to vote for a party that they agreed 100% with.

6/09/2008 11:13:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

"Supporting the lesser evil is not supporting evil but reducing net evil."

What utter bullshit.

If you support evil, whether it be lesser (according to you) or a little greater than lesser, you are not reducing evil one iota. What you ARE doing is supporting it. You are enabling it to continue and to flourish.

Get off your knees Mot and start sticking to principle.

LGM

6/09/2008 05:10:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

LGM, give in to pragmatism. A little.

6/09/2008 06:10:00 pm  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

You tell me how voting for nothing is in any way reducing evil, do you think helen clark would have less nanny state if fewer people had voted, but in the same proportions? Nobody knows whether you are lazy or dont care, or you wont vote cos there is know communist party. If you dont vote, no one knows and no one cares.

As I said, If it were between ACT or a communist party would you just not vote, and possibly let the commos in?

6/10/2008 09:32:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Mot

If, if, if,....

All these theoretical possibilities and scenarios you like to dream up.... Well, put it this way, none of them are real. Try considering the real world for a change.

LGM

6/10/2008 10:34:00 am  
Blogger Comrade MOT said...

OK then, a national led government with a large influence from ACT would be way better than labour.

No vote will have no influence at all. A vote for libz makes a statement but actually changes nothing.

My scenarios may be wild but they demonstrate the point. They show my point in principle.

6/10/2008 11:18:00 am  
Anonymous Amanda said...

LGM - Try considering the real world for a change.

And that change is not voting according to you. So, what the fuck change can bring in without being voting?

Your argument here at Not PC, LGM ranges from being excellent/superb to being a nutter.

So, if we don't vote then what happens next? So, you're just happy to leave Labour in power by default since no one is voting.

Don't you see that your argument is daft? Or perhaps you're so opinionated too much here, that you don't see the stupidity of your argument.

6/10/2008 11:21:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Amanda

How about reading what was actually written, moron. Go back and read it again. Try very hard to understand what you are reading this time.

You have options open to you, including non-voting. You could vote Libz (assuming you're not just another collectivist thief). Had you considered that?

Why are you dog turds so hard up to vote for National or ACT anyway?

LGM

6/10/2008 03:01:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Mot

You have no principle to show.

National is not going to change anything. ACT is not going to change anything either. Both outfits have had their opportunities and both have failed many times already. For both outfits it is about business as usual and that means they play and you pay. Voting for either one of them is a waste. If you want to piss your vote away so much, fine. If not, your choices are Libz or not voting... unless, of course, you are a supporter of evil doings!

LGM

6/10/2008 07:12:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

I could support the Libz.
Unfortunately they hanker after a utopia. Unlike the lefties, who are content to get there in stages, the Libz want all or nothing. So they'll get nothing.

Still, their Principles will be intact.

6/10/2008 08:58:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Fist

At last, some honesty from you. You're a socialist who supports more of the same and will vote for it. So much for your "pragmatism".

The point remains. If you vote for evil, then you are a supporter of evil.

LGM

6/11/2008 05:51:00 am  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

Riiight...

6/11/2008 05:59:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Hi CF .. no, we don't "hanker after a utopia" at all. 'Utopia', ironically, is what the likes of the Soviet Union tried to create via legislation - and lots of it. It failed miserably, of course.

That Libz promotes limited legislation should put that suggestion to rest.

It is true that our principles are philosophically backed. As a result we've been hearing calls for 'pragmatism' since day one. Pragmatism smells suspiciously like 'compromise' to me. And compromise leads to 'sell out'.

Which is what all the other guys do. Why would you succumb to that? Why would you cede the moral high ground?

6/11/2008 11:11:00 am  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

"Why would you cede the moral high ground?"

In order to effect some change for the best?
Otherwise it's pretty lonely on planet "no vote".

6/11/2008 12:51:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Seems some of you dogs seriously think, that in order for things to improve in this weird little country, all you need to do is make a mark on a piece of paper once every three years. What sort of wishful thinking is that? Nevertheless, to that glorius hope you'll tie yourselves up in knots of pragmatic range-of-the-moment rationalisations and fibs, compromising principle to support any evil- just so long as you can pretend it is "lesser" than some other evil. What munted thinking is that. You are seriously self-deluded. Give it up!

LGM

6/11/2008 01:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

Wishful thinking indeed, LG.

CF, your point is that some change is at least better than no change, yes? I'd almost accept that (and I do understand the allure) but for the following:

How can you trust politicians who can sell out in the name of being 'pragmatic' at any time?

Now who's wasting his vote?

6/11/2008 02:12:00 pm  

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