The myth of the wasted vote

Obama won so now what do we do? If your answer is “not much,” then the election was peripheral to you and your vote did not really matter any way now did it?

A fellow in a comment section claimed that I was giving up my birthright and one of my last remaining “freedoms” by not voting. I was giving up any chance “we” had to make this nation better. This is codswallop of course but it did make me recall a bit of wisdom that I had recently chanced to read.

Ken Binmore:

…the pundits who denounce the large minority of people who fail to vote in presidential elections as irrational are talking through their hats.  …

If a wasted vote is one that doesn’t affect the outcome of an election, then the only time that your vote can count is when only one vote separates the winner and the runner-up. If they are separated by two or more votes, then a change in your vote would make no difference at all to who is elected. However, an election for a seat in a national assembly is almost never settled by a margin of only one vote….Naive folk imagine that to accept this argument is to precipitate the downfall of democracy. We are therefore told that you are wrong to count only the effect of your vote alone – you should instead count the total number of votes cast by all those people who think and feel as you think and feel, and hence will vote as you vote…This argument is faulty for the same reason that the twins fallacy fails in the Prisoner’s Dilemma . There may be large numbers of people who think and feel like you, but their decisions on whether to go out and vote won’t change if you stay home and watch the television.

For me there are two main issues on voting.

First, even if I thought I could vote without becoming part of the giant criminal gang called the US government — my one vote is meaningless and probably not even counted correctly here in Florida anyway.

But the biggest issue is that by voting I am adding legitimacy to the central government that is raw aggression in my view; and hence I would be aiding force, fraud, and violence by participating in the voting process. Government is raw aggression. I have long heard that “ideas have consequences” and I believe that and I believe that politics is destroying our world. It was politics that killed about 200 Million people in the 20th century. Think on that a moment!

My behaviour and my principles must be integrated into a coherent whole and that means I can not support the immoral, violent, destructive State. To participate in politics is to consciously devote one’s energies to the statist domination of the individual by the collective. That way is the path to hell on earth — what we have now. It is time to look for a new way for humans to live together; one that follows the non-aggression principle.


A friend has tweeted that I should say that the Non-Aggression Principle leads by its very nature to a laissez-faire free market and individual property rights as pointed out by Murray Rothbard many times. I agree with my friend I should have included that.


2 thoughts on “The myth of the wasted vote

  1. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  2. Pingback: Wasted Vote Bullies | Pigs and Sheep A Libertarian Blog

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