January 20, 2022

Two Choices in an Election is only One More Than Totalitarianism

It?s election time again, so let me give you some advice.

The smartest thing you could possibly do is to not vote, but only if you?re an American.

If you haven?t heard of the voting paradox, I?ll explain it briefly. It won a nobel prize when it was first published, but I?ll try to do it justice.

In a democratic system, it is not possible for a 3rd party to get the majority of the vote.

Suppose we have the left wingers and the right wingers. Enter a 3rd candidate. If we put him in the middle, he takes marginal votes away from the left and the right, yet still doesn?t win. If we put him on the far right, he just takes votes away from the right and the left wins, and the converse is true if we put him on the far left.

If we give him the same political agenda as either the left or the right, then he just takes votes away and the other side wins.

What?s worse than only getting to chose between 2 candidates? We the voters don?t even get to pick the candidates! It?s what Penn Jillet of the magic group Penn and Teller likes to call ?Penn Jillette?s Curly Howard Theory?. Remember the three stooges where Moe holds his fingers out to Curly and says ?pick two?. Curly then selects 2 fingers and Moe pokes him in the eyes with those two. The same is true with voting, either way we lose.

Ok what does this have to do with not voting? I?ll get to that. First, let?s have another history lesson.

In America, we have an electoral college. Under this ?ingenious? system, representatives cast electoral votes for a candidate based on how their state votes. These however work much like the trigger on a gun. It either fires or it doesn?t.

Under this system, if Michigan votes 53%-49% in favor of John Kerry, then he gets all 17 electoral votes, and Bush doesn?t get any. Also, there is no stipulation that a representative must give his electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular election. He is free to go against popular vote if he so desires. This is truly not a reflection of the public?s interest. It also tells us one important thing: your vote is insignificant.

Let?s look at it in mathematical terms. The ?return? on voting is measured by the expected gain from voting ?correctly?. By correctly, I mean voting for the party that will provide you with the highest utility of income. Interpret income however you like, it doesn?t matter.

So, unless it?s your vote that actually decides the election, it doesn?t cause the ?correct? party to be elected. So unless the election is so close that your vote decides it, your vote doesn?t cause the right party to win, so it doesn?t give you any return whatsoever.

It’s like playing poker and calling a bet when you don’t even have a pair in your hand. 99 times out of 100, you’re just throwing your money away; the same is true of your vote

Since in our discussion of the electoral college we?ve already established your vote doesn?t decide the election, you can expect no mathematical return whatsoever on your vote. In other words, your vote doesn?t make one lick of a difference whatsoever.

Why then do we vote? Perhaps it gives us a sense of false control over the election.

The media keeps reporting that election turnouts are dropping, rightly so. The true patriots are staying home on election day.

Just look at people?s rationale. Sayings like: ?Anybody but Bush? or ?I don?t like Bush but Kerry is worse.? That?s the most cynical point of view ever possible. It?s like saying ?I?m voting for XXX because the election doesn?t mean anything to me?

So do yourself and your country a huge favor: stay home on election day. Besides, what kind of scum sucking, piss poor pathetic excuse for a human being are you if you can go in there and actually pull a lever or punch a card for either one of these buffoons?

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com