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A rootin' tootin' separate thread about voting, collective action problems and game theory

spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filledRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
Splitting this off from the election thread. The topic of this thread is whether "every vote counts" is a literally true statement or just a useful lie to motivate behavior of groups, when actually, and one individual may have very little reason to vote.

Here is the last quote tree from the election thread on this topic:
Quid wrote: »
Quid wrote: »
Quid wrote: »
Kipling217 wrote: »
Voting, even voting for the losing side is always useful. Your vote will probably never have the deciding effect either way, but your vote is important in deciding the margin of victory. A politician elected with 58% is going to act differently from a politician elected with 51%.

The Margin of Victory, like I have said before, sets the tone and the standard for not just that term but for future elections. It decides how secure a candidate is in his seat, it decides how the narrative of the election goes and it decides how the political parties behave in the future.

Remember Election night is the one day of the year where the first priority of politicians isn't the opinion polls, because they got a cast iron poll that is much more important.

Your vote, on its own; is never important though.

This and the following hypothetical are irrelevant.

My vote and the millions of other people's votes are extremely relevant. And people like you who keep espousing "your vote doesn't matter" do nothing but hurt the process when people should be encouraged to participate.

It is true that telling people not to vote hurts the process. Actually not voting yourself? Not so much. Like I said before, the idea that every vote matters is an important fiction.

That every vote matters is not a fiction. Voting is not a game theory hypothetical in a vacuum. Voting doesn't influence who wins and nothing else. How much a person wins or loses by, the success of initiatives, etc all have an effect on society and policies going forward. Every vote demonstrably matters. That each single individual vote doesn't matter very much on its own is irrelevant to that fact.

I don't really follow the last sentence. You need lots of individuals to vote to get enough to influence anything, but to a single person deciding whether to take the time to go, wait on line and vote on Election Day, what is the argument that this one individual's vote makes a difference?

No you don't. Every vote influences matters. That some people are to selfish or lazy to exercise that influence is how we keep getting terrible politicians in power.

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Posts

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    To reiterate my position, I contend that large numbers of votes are all that matter and while it matters that many people vote to generate those large numbers, any one individual can choose not to vote comfortable in the knowledge that he or she has not actually done damage to the system. I would argue that someone could even coherently engage in higher value individual activity like writing to politicians, making campaign donations, working as part of a campaign, etc. and still not feel bad if they don't show up and actually vote.

  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    You can do all of those things and still vote. And since every vote does matter, unless your cure for cancer is literally stopped by you personally casting a ballot it is safe to say you can vote without any detriment.

    In fact if you have time to argue over this on the internet you have time to vote.

    Quid on
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    When looking at this, and any other collective action problem, a helpful thought experiment is to imagine a hypothetical scenario where everyone (literally everyone) acted the way you say is in their individual best interest.

    In this case: everyone decides that their own vote doesn't matter, so they don't vote.

    Result: no one votes. No one gets elected.

    Now if you happen to be a doomsday prepper digging your apocalypse bunker that might be a pretty good outcome but I'm guessing you'd say that this outcome is in fact quite far from ideal.

    Thus, if it doesn't make sense for everyone to act that way, you shouldn't act that way either. If you do, you're just selfishly putting the burden on other people to carry you to a desired outcome you can't be bothered to work towards. It's no different than refusing a vaccination (for ideological reasons) and relying on herd immunity to keep you from getting infected.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quid wrote: »
    You can do all of those things and still vote. And since every vote does matter, unless your cure for cancer is literally stopped by you personally casting a ballot it is safe to say you can vote without any detriment.

    In fact if you have time to argue over this on the internet you have time to vote.

    You just keep stating that every vote matters as a fact, but that is not self evident.

    Person X is considering whether to vote in the election. There are 1 million other people who may vote. Unless the election is literally 500,000 on each side and Person X's vote will determine the winner, Person X's vote does not actually influence the outcome of the election. Let's say instead that it is a close race and Candidiate A wins for 1,000 votes more than Candidate B. That is a very small margin indeed, but a victory by 1,000 votes or 1,001 votes is effectively identical in both outcome and mandate.

    If many people follow the same line of thinking as Person X and do not vote, outcomes will be depressed, BUT if many people are following that model then Person X's vote still does not matter because the large number of voters who could swing the election have decided not to show up. Either way, with a large voting pool, one person's vote does not really matter in any sense that I can see.

  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    You can do all of those things and still vote. And since every vote does matter, unless your cure for cancer is literally stopped by you personally casting a ballot it is safe to say you can vote without any detriment.

    In fact if you have time to argue over this on the internet you have time to vote.

    You just keep stating that every vote matters as a fact, but that is not self evident.

    Person X is considering whether to vote in the election. There are 1 million other people who may vote. Unless the election is literally 500,000 on each side and Person X's vote will determine the winner, Person X's vote does not actually influence the outcome of the election.

    I have already pointed out that this is wrong. It's even in the OP.
    Voting doesn't influence who wins and nothing else. How much a person wins or loses by, the success of initiatives, etc all have an effect on society and policies going forward.

    Again, voting in the election isn't a game theory hypothetical. It's a real thing going on with real people and real externalities. Which means every vote cast in the real world does in fact matter.

  • jmcdonaldjmcdonald I voted, did you? DC(ish)Registered User regular
    When looking at this, and any other collective action problem, a helpful thought experiment is to imagine a hypothetical scenario where everyone (literally everyone) acted the way you say is in their individual best interest.

    In this case: everyone decides that their own vote doesn't matter, so they don't vote.

    Result: no one votes. No one gets elected.

    Now if you happen to be a doomsday prepper digging your apocalypse bunker that might be a pretty good outcome but I'm guessing you'd say that this outcome is in fact quite far from ideal.

    Thus, if it doesn't make sense for everyone to act that way, you shouldn't act that way either. If you do, you're just selfishly putting the burden on other people to carry you to a desired outcome you can't be bothered to work towards. It's no different than refusing a vaccination (for ideological reasons) and relying on herd immunity to keep you from getting infected.

    Robot Nixon

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    You can do all of those things and still vote. And since every vote does matter, unless your cure for cancer is literally stopped by you personally casting a ballot it is safe to say you can vote without any detriment.

    In fact if you have time to argue over this on the internet you have time to vote.

    He's doing something better.

    He is convincing a large group of people, who he largely disagrees with, not to vote, when his vote really is pretty pointless he's from NY.


    1 vote, it doesn't really matter much. Certainly not as much as convincing a hundred or a thousand or a hundred thousand people their vote doesn't matter.

    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    When looking at this, and any other collective action problem, a helpful thought experiment is to imagine a hypothetical scenario where everyone (literally everyone) acted the way you say is in their individual best interest.

    In this case: everyone decides that their own vote doesn't matter, so they don't vote.

    Result: no one votes. No one gets elected.

    Now if you happen to be a doomsday prepper digging your apocalypse bunker that might be a pretty good outcome but I'm guessing you'd say that this outcome is in fact quite far from ideal.

    Thus, if it doesn't make sense for everyone to act that way, you shouldn't act that way either. If you do, you're just selfishly putting the burden on other people to carry you to a desired outcome you can't be bothered to work towards. It's no different than refusing a vaccination (for ideological reasons) and relying on herd immunity to keep you from getting infected.

    I'm not certain that boiling down collective action problems to "Kant was right" is actually tenable.

    I ate an engineer
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    You can do all of those things and still vote. And since every vote does matter, unless your cure for cancer is literally stopped by you personally casting a ballot it is safe to say you can vote without any detriment.

    In fact if you have time to argue over this on the internet you have time to vote.

    You just keep stating that every vote matters as a fact, but that is not self evident.

    Person X is considering whether to vote in the election. There are 1 million other people who may vote. Unless the election is literally 500,000 on each side and Person X's vote will determine the winner, Person X's vote does not actually influence the outcome of the election.

    I have already pointed out that this is wrong. It's even in the OP.
    Voting doesn't influence who wins and nothing else. How much a person wins or loses by, the success of initiatives, etc all have an effect on society and policies going forward.

    Again, voting in the election isn't a game theory hypothetical. It's a real thing going on with real people and real externalities. Which means every vote cast in the real world does in fact matter.

    I'm sorry but I don't see an argument. Just a statement. Could you elaborate?

  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Voting influences more than just who wins the election. How much they win by is also an important factor. Same with policies that are passed or voted down by the populace and how much effort people will put in to changing those policies.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    The final numbers in a vote determine the future behavior of politicians. The closer the vote is to a tie, the more likely that politics will shift toward the middle or try to disenfranchise voters away from that tie.

    Even when you're dealing with margins of error, individual votes can be what tilts that error toward one or the other result.

    Like a grain of sand in the hour glass, it may be really goddamn hard to see and nigh-impossible for a human to view, but removing it absolutely does have an effect.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    When looking at this, and any other collective action problem, a helpful thought experiment is to imagine a hypothetical scenario where everyone (literally everyone) acted the way you say is in their individual best interest.

    In this case: everyone decides that their own vote doesn't matter, so they don't vote.

    Result: no one votes. No one gets elected.

    Now if you happen to be a doomsday prepper digging your apocalypse bunker that might be a pretty good outcome but I'm guessing you'd say that this outcome is in fact quite far from ideal.

    Thus, if it doesn't make sense for everyone to act that way, you shouldn't act that way either. If you do, you're just selfishly putting the burden on other people to carry you to a desired outcome you can't be bothered to work towards. It's no different than refusing a vaccination (for ideological reasons) and relying on herd immunity to keep you from getting infected.

    This is addressed by the post immediately following yours. If everyone pursues their own rational self interest anyway then you can't make a difference by acting against your own self interest. If it takes x people to accomplish a thing, then unless exactly x-1 people act, your action cannot change the outcome. In the voting context, one more vote doesn't change the mandate either. It's too insignificant relative to the large number of voters. Even when it's very close, a margin of 4 or 5 is effectively identical, both for determine the election outcome and for the mandate size.

    If we are being honest, even if the outcome is decided by literally one vote, it is extremely likely that many votes were lost or discarded or otherwise not counted, so even in that situation your vote probably didn't actually matter. When the margins are that small. We are effectively in a failure state because our election process is so imprecise.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Voting influences more than just who wins the election. How much they win by is also an important factor. Same with policies that are passed or voted down by the populace and how much effort people will put in to changing those policies.

    I agree with that, but one vote is still not enough to move the needle there, as I have said several times.

  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Quid wrote: »
    Voting influences more than just who wins the election. How much they win by is also an important factor. Same with policies that are passed or voted down by the populace and how much effort people will put in to changing those policies.

    I agree with that, but one vote is still not enough to move the needle there, as I have said several times.

    It doesn't have to on its own, it's when many people vote that has bigger consequences. That doesn't mean you still shouldn't vote, if you want Chris Christie to win an election he's not going to get there by having one less vote. It's your duty as a citizen to elect your representatives, people have literally died over this privilege.

    edit: How do you think you'd know if that was the case if you vote? The press don't tell the public which votes do that in elections. There's no glory in that. You're not going to get interviews by the press about your vote tipping the scales. You're not going to get there by taking yourself out of the equation. All that does is show whichever candidate your back has one less vote.

    Harry Dresden on
  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    The problem with collective action problems is that people in large groups don't have a proper incentive to vote, or even to do the research to know how they should vote. Take for example laws that regulate pollutants. There are a variety of particularly toxic pollutants that lead to increase incidence of asthma, cancer, and a variety of other health issues. In this hypothetical scenario, it's estimated that the benefit in decreased health problems to the average individual is something like ten dollars per year to pass a specific piece of legislation that would encourage companies to emit less of this pollutant. The combined benefit to the whole society is far in excess of the financial benefit to the few companies that stand to make money off of continuing to release large amounts of this pollutant. However, that benefit is shared by the whole society, whereas the benefit to the few corporations if the legislation doesn't pass is much larger, even millions of dollars per high level executive per year.


    So we have two groups, a small highly motivated group that is willing to pay money to keep legislation from passing. Then we have a second group, where virtually any amount of effort they put into combating the problem will be far in excess of the benefit they stand to gain. Assuming the side against the legislation spends money on an ad campaign that confuses people, even spending the time to educate yourself as to how you should vote will have costs in excess of that benefit. We as a society are poorer for the fact that this legislation will probably fail. The motivated group, though small can easily create a situation where it is irrational for people to educate themselves about the issue to the extent that they would make an informed vote.


    It's been awhile since I read this book, so I can't recall the name, but an economists published a book in the 1970's describing this problem in detail. He theorized, that societies were prone to collapse over time almost regardless of what political system is used because over successive generations, small groups of people with similar interests continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of society. That together we will all make rational decisions that will lead to bad outcomes, because the natural incentives that exist for everyone are such that rich people band together as a group and everyone else does not do that. That they have a really strong incentive to band together to bring about outcomes that are bad for everyone, while the benefit to the average person to do anything about this is so low that it's really not worthy of discussing. Over time, powerful families create untenable situations that make societal collapse necessary, and that for all of the "progress" our society has made, this model still holds and our society is on the way to collapse.

    Cantelope on
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    Because outside that rare situation, it is only the behavior of other people that matters. If 1000 people decided the outcome, it makes no difference if I vote and it is 1,001 instead. This seems to be true on its face.

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    Because outside that rare situation, it is only the behavior of other people that matters. If 1000 people decided the outcome, it makes no difference if I vote and it is 1,001 instead. This seems to be true on its face.

    It means your participating in electing your representatives and casting one more vote for your favored candidate won't do any harm. You won't know how many people voted for candidates until after the voting has been counted. By the time you do lean it's too late to do anything about it.

    edit: It isn't your one vote, otherwise you'd be the only person voting in an election and democracies don't work like that.

    Harry Dresden on
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Oh I missed the actual creation of this thread so here's my post from the other one:

    I'll tell you when your vote doesn't matter. It's when you don't vote.

  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    Because outside that rare situation, it is only the behavior of other people that matters. If 1000 people decided the outcome, it makes no difference if I vote and it is 1,001 instead. This seems to be true on its face.

    But the more people think like you, the less of them will vote, thus making it more likely that your vote would swing the outcome.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    You are basically describing a Nash equilibrium where it doesn't make sense to change your play unless someone else changes theirs.

    So it's in the people who vote's best interest to keep voting unless you do vote then it switches.

    But of course it not like it is a huge deal to vote and heck, I like voting.

  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.


    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    Cantelope on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Voting influences more than just who wins the election. How much they win by is also an important factor. Same with policies that are passed or voted down by the populace and how much effort people will put in to changing those policies.

    I agree with that, but one vote is still not enough to move the needle there, as I have said several times.

    It does move it. Very slightly. Small =/= Zero.

  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    When looking at this, and any other collective action problem, a helpful thought experiment is to imagine a hypothetical scenario where everyone (literally everyone) acted the way you say is in their individual best interest.

    In this case: everyone decides that their own vote doesn't matter, so they don't vote.

    Result: no one votes. No one gets elected.

    Now if you happen to be a doomsday prepper digging your apocalypse bunker that might be a pretty good outcome but I'm guessing you'd say that this outcome is in fact quite far from ideal.

    Thus, if it doesn't make sense for everyone to act that way, you shouldn't act that way either. If you do, you're just selfishly putting the burden on other people to carry you to a desired outcome you can't be bothered to work towards. It's no different than refusing a vaccination (for ideological reasons) and relying on herd immunity to keep you from getting infected.

    I'm not certain that boiling down collective action problems to "Kant was right" is actually tenable.

    I'd argue boiling every collective action problem to "Kant was right" is accurate.

    SKFM is right in the hypothetical situation where person X can vote or not vote, and everyone else's actions are completely predetermined, it won't matter, but that's irrelevant. Collective action problems result from lots of people
    saying, "Well, me doing the wrong thing isn't individually a cataclysm!" and then we get problems. Choosing to be part of the problem makes you morally responsible for the group result.

    No one snowflake is responsible for the avalanche.

    Though, honestly, for voting specifically, I want to maximize the number of people who vote for my candidates, I actually don't see maximizing participation as the most valuable end it and of itself. Voting for the wrong candidates is worse than not voting at all.

  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Cantelope wrote: »
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.


    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    If you are posting on this forum right now to argue over this it is safe to say you have time to learn about party platforms or candidates as you're clearly not doing any of those other things either.

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Cantelope wrote: »
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.

    Voters don't need to spend hours getting to know candidates positions and who they are. In this age of technology its remarkably easy to find what they need on the internet or spending an hour on a news show that focuses on politics. They don't have to dedicate their lives to it, simply know the basics. The more information they have the easier it will be to vote for the politician they like. Their lives will be effected by who wins elections they'll just be ignoring the election process, not the results.
    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    The system also punishes those who get caught in the crossfire of political matters. For instance, unions get harsher response in Wisconsin when Scott Walker won his elections. Whoever becomes president has a larger impact on America.

    Harry Dresden on
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Cantelope wrote: »
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.


    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    Yes, medicare and stealing the sweat from the browes of genxers and millennials, because boomers can't budget for their retirement, is only a reward equalling 40% of the national budget. Not worth talking about.

    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
  • AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    You should vote because otherwise you won't get that cool little sticker. The only bad part about living in a state that has mail-in voting is that I'll never get an "I Voted" sticker.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    There is a legitimate problem wherein the cost to vote is often more than the benefit, if one can even be seen.

    But clearly there cannot be a pure Nash equilibrium where it makes sense for no one to vote because as people stop voting the value of a single vote goes up. Look at the situation where no one votes and we decide whether or not to cast a vote. In this case we get everything we want for a minor marginal cost (indeed we can even vote ourselves in implying very high marginal benefit).

    Such there must be some equilibrium level of voters which equalizes the cost and benefits of the marginal voter.

    This does not imply that the solution is efficient, only that the calculus on whether or not you personally should vote must be an individual decision and not a general structure absent externalities.

    Anywho lets describe the game. It has two phases. Phase one has two players and phase two has lots. The game is repeated indefinitely.

    In phase 1 players stake positions. Their goal is to win. In phase 2 players vote for player 1 or player 2 based on their individual preferences. The game then repeats.

    From this structure it's clear that voters in 2 even if they don't effect the winner still effect the policy positions of part 1. And so, knowing this, have marginal benefits to voting.

    Any person who has a difference from the median voter then has an incentive (and the same incentive since players 1 and 2 can only see votes) to vote and the only difference in whether they should is

    1)their value on the the issues in question

    2) the costs of voting


    It's worth noting that there is a special case for a game with three periods, where we allow people to argue before the votes. In that instance it always makes sense for people who are going to vote and have opinions far from the norm to argue that other people should not. Because that will increase the power of their vote.

    ----

    It's for this last reason that we should be very wary of "they're all the same rhetoric" because such rhetoric only benefits one side. It wouldn't if people were perfectly rational beings (they would be able to see through the lie) but people are not and so can be influenced.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    The only time not voting would make sense is if you know the outcome ahead of time. All these examples are looking at the results and extrapolating the "worth" of individual votes after the fact. In the moment, when there are no results yet? Every vote as just as much worth as any other, and even if it rarely results in one vote mattering everyone should vote just to make sure that situation doesn't happen.

    I wonder how many people in Florida in 2000 saw all that happening and wished they had gone to the polls after it was too late. Replace with any close race anywhere, at any level.

    Even if a person's vote ends up going for the candidate/party/referendum that doesn't win, at least they did what they could. "Oh well, I shouldn't have bothered" is a feeling that comes in hindsight, and the problem with that is it then starts getting extrapolated towards future elections even though it's a completely new instance that cannot be 100% predicted.

    Always vote. Disappointment in not winning is better than regret in not having participated and so losing by default.

  • JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    edited July 2015
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    silence1186 on
  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    The only time not voting would make sense is if you know the outcome ahead of time.

    This is probably the case for the majority of Americans, though I'm not entirely certain what the swing states look like at present.

    I ate an engineer
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.



    Also if you have any position at all on any issue, all you're accomplishing by not voting is making it more likely (even infinitesimally more likely) that the other party would win and advance the opposite position.

    So voting can only ever help you (even if it's only a tiny contribution to a greater good), and not voting can only ever hurt you (even if it's only a tiny non-contribution to preventing a greater harm).

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.



    Also if you have any position at all on any issue, all you're accomplishing by not voting is making it more likely (even infinitesimally more likely) that the other party would win and advance the opposite position.

    So voting can only ever help you (even if it's only a tiny contribution to a greater good), and not voting can only ever hurt you (even if it's only a tiny non-contribution to preventing a greater harm).

    This ignores that some people consider voting to have a small but nonzero cost (e.g. 15 minutes out of your day, extra gas).

    I ate an engineer
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    More like 15 minutes out of your year.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.



    Also if you have any position at all on any issue, all you're accomplishing by not voting is making it more likely (even infinitesimally more likely) that the other party would win and advance the opposite position.

    So voting can only ever help you (even if it's only a tiny contribution to a greater good), and not voting can only ever hurt you (even if it's only a tiny non-contribution to preventing a greater harm).

    This ignores that some people consider voting to have a small but nonzero cost (e.g. 15 minutes out of your day, extra gas).

    Depending on the state, the time cost is irrelevant - in MN you just get time off work for it.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    How about just do an absentee ballot?

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    This is only true if you ignore the existence of outside actors.

    Also it's highly disingenuous to say your vote doesn't matter. Every vote matters. Objectively, each individual vote does not matter much, but it does matter, and it all adds up.

    You vote in the hopes that, your vote will contribute to a cohesive group action which will effect society in a way which will benefit you, often in large and significant ways that you yourself could never have achieved on your own.

    Rationally, it seems like it's in everyone's best interest to vote, because it increases the chances no matter how small that society itself will bend in a way that is preferable to them, which can often affect them more meaningfully than anything they could have done with the relatively trivial amount of time it takes to find out which candidates support policies in their best interest, and then voting for them.

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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