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S. Weasel’s handy guide to American voting

Here’s S. Weasel’s handy guide to American voting:

  1. If the race is dangerously close, and there’s a clear difference between candidates, vote the better candidate.

  2. If the race is not close, and there’s an interesting third-party candidate, vote the third party…just to rattle the bastards a little.

  3. If the race, close or not, is between two hopeless losers, stay home and cast a vote for apathy.

It’s an imperfect system, but it’s my own.

9 comments to S. Weasel’s handy guide to American voting

  • “It’s an imperfect system, but it’s my own.”

    It’s a good one, SW. It’s vitally important that the political class never, ever be allowed to take the voters for granted. Until the day we’re allowed “None Of The Above” on the ballot — with the all-important proviso that, if NOTA receives a plurality, the office shall go unoccupied and its powers unexercised until the next general election! — we must retain the power of not voting as a brake on the notion that the political elite has a “mandate to govern” — and we must be willing to use it!

  • Dave Wolfe

    There are plenty of Libertarian candidates running for office throughout the U.S. Why not vote for them, always. Your vote is not cast in support for the two major parties, and the more votes the Libs get, the stronger the message sent.

  • S. Weasel

    Dave: well, if you live and vote in one place (which is the only way to do it), there may not be plenty of Libertarian candidates running for office. Quite often, there are none at all.

    And if you do things like own guns or pay property taxes, actually getting a particular candidate into office can be very important. More important than sending a message. In New England in particular, differences between candidates can be pretty large, and elections often balance on a knife edge.

  • Bob

    Sometimes, one of those hopeless losers _IS_ the libertarian candidate.

    I remember one Libertarian out in Montana who turned himself purple with daily doses of collodial silver. -He went a little more crazy after he lost the election with only .000035% of the vote.

    If the race is between two hopeless losers, write yourself in.


  • Doug Sundseth

    I think that 3 is insufficiently Machiavellian. My formulation is:

    “3. If the race, close or not, is between two hopeless losers, vote for the one most likely to be influenced (convinced, blackmailed, or purchased) by the people you agree with, or least likely to be influenced by the people you disagree with, on the most important issues.”

    I might not be thrilled beyond belief to vote for a compliant non-entity, but I’ll do it if that’s the best available choice.

  • Tom


    I’d be happy with a weakened version of “None of the Above.” If NOTA wins a plurality, you have to have a new election, and the old candidates are barred from running. In my mind its good enough if the “office shall go unoccupied and its powers unexercised until the next general election” provision only comes into force when NOTA wins a majority.


  • David R Beatty

    Nice voting guide, it’s fairly close to how I try to vote.

  • I’d buy into that, Tom. My deepest desire is to 1) throw the bums out and 2) preclude a new assemblage of bums for all time. Classically, the supply of bums has been far too copious. Obviously, it’s time to “thin the herd.” Purely in the interests of the good of the species, of course!

    Some sort of provision that would bar defeated pols from ever again standing for election would sit very well with me. Maybe losing to “None Of The Above” is the ticket. Match that to a strong term-limits statute, and I’ll buy drinks for the house.

  • J S Allison

    Unfortunately a choice that leaves an elective office unoccupied leaves bureaucracy intact and with even less chance of adult supervision. Although I’d be all for forced NOTA elections with new slates of candidates. I’d also like a drastically curtailed campaign season, a piper cub in every garage, a spot as the lefty closer for the Texas Rangers and a brace of steerage class tickets to Moonbase 1…