As much as those of us who live and/or work in the inner city may like to think we're at the centre of the universe, we actually have little or nothing to do with the practicalities of the election. The seats of the inner cities and suburbs are almost exclusively safe Labor, and the leaders don't come here. It's the outer suburban shopping centres and country towns that become their stomping grounds in the elction campaign; for once, what's happening in the inner cities has no influence over things. For the pollies, campaigning here would be a waste of time, and they know it.
Follies to come later today, all going well.
Given that's the case, do you think then that there is any value in voting at all in such an electorate?ReplyDelete
Because at face value, your inner-city vote is inconsequential to in the grander scheme of things (i.e. who wins the election).
There are actually two reasons why it matters.ReplyDelete
First, no matter where you live, your vote for the Senate is even more important than the vote for the House of Reps.
Also, parties receive $2.10 for each first preference vote they receive. If you want to send a message to the big parties by not giving them your first preference vote, this is yet another incentive to do so (and since the Greens won't accept corporate donations...)
First of all I'm not trying to flame you, I've just studied stuff like this extensively in the past. It's fun to debate with other political junkies! My reply is as follows:ReplyDelete
I don't think the first reason is valid, since I was under the unassumption you were talking about the voting in the lower house, not the upper.
The lower house vote is more important than the upper house since whom ever wins the majority of seats in the first gets to form government. Yes, you might be able to hold up or block passing laws in the Senate, but the big decisions get made by those in the lower house. The Howard government was able to pass an awful lot of laws despite having a minority in the Senate for the first few terms.
In the case of parties receiving a small amount of money and sending a message to the bigger parties, well, is that really what voting is supposed to be about? I thought the primary incentive for voting was to get your favoured party to win the election.
I'm actually more pessimestic about the whole voting thing than you probably are. Rather than saying that some people shouldn't vote, I would say that it's pretty much useless to vote at all unless the size of an electorate was something like 10 or 20 people.
Voting is not actually an activity that's rational in any sense of utility or consequentialism. It makes bugger all difference whether I vote or not. Fact is, I'd have a better chance at winning Lotto than I would at determining the outcome of who wins this next election.
This problem is otherwise known as 'The Paradox of Voting', and it has a long and varied history of keeping political scientists, economists and philosophers continually employed by writting about new and interesting ways of being unable to solve it.
In the case of parties receiving a small amount of money and sending a message to the bigger parties, well, is that really what voting is supposed to be about?ReplyDelete
Maybe we need to look for new meaning where we could find none before. If voting as we currently understand it is meaningless, then perhaps this should be what voting is about.