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Election Season is Here - Sell Your Vote Wisely

By maxwell edison ·
Who would possibly condone such a practice as buying and selling votes? Who would actually admit to buying votes? And who on earth would acknowledge that his or her vote is actually for sale? No one, that I can imagine, would concede such a thing. In fact, everyone I know (including my friends hanging around the TR water cooler) would probably express disdain at such a practice. But it happens all the time.

Lobbyists, for example, are constantly accused of trying to buy votes from various members of Congress. Of course, it's usually lobbyists from big oil, or the finance sector, or something along those lines who are the ones being accused of trying to buy votes; while the lobbyists for the public school teachers unions, or environmental causes, or for labor unions, etc. aren't held to the same standards - even though they all do the same thing, which is attempting to influence members of Congress to introduce or vote, one way or the other, for some particular bill. (Which isn't a bad thing, in and of itself; in fact, it's even mentioned in our Constitution as something the government cannot prohibit - some nagging little provision about the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.)

Some Lobbyists have even gone to prison for attempting to buy votes. In fact, some members of Congress have also gone to prison for selling their vote. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff comes to mind, as does Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. (Disclaimer: Democrats and Republicans alike both buy and sell their votes with impunity and regularity.)

Members of Congress buy and sell votes amongst themselves every day. Vote for my bill, one Congressman might say, and I'll include that pork-barrel spending ..... I mean that targeted appropriation amendment for your district.

Greenpeace has, in the past, accused Japan of buying votes within the International Whaling Commission. Greenpeace further claims that Japan is disguising their vote-buying as some sort of overseas development aid money. I wonder if any other nations buy and sell their UN votes in exchange for some sort of aid money. No, that would never happen, would it? I also wonder if Greenpeace is concerned about nations selling their global warming vote? For some reason, I doubt it.

If a candidate running for office in your district approached you and offered you a crisp one hundred dollar bill in exchange for your vote, what would you do? Would you take the C-Note, or would you turn him/her in for attempted bribery? What if that same candidate promised you, in exchange for your vote, a $100 tax credit for something or other? Vote for me, a candidate might say, and I'll give you a child tax credit, or an education tax credit, or an energy tax credit, or some other tax credit to go on top of the tax credit you already get; it doesn't matter that you pay no taxes on which a credit can be applied, they'll give you one anyway. (What's that joke about having already determined what you are, but we're only dickering over the price - or in this case, the method of payment?)

Vote for me, a candidate might say, and I'll give your free health care. (The dirty little secret, however, is that the people accepting the bribe ..... I mean the promise, are the same ones paying for it!) Vote for me, and I'll give you this, or that, or the other thing. Heck, tell me what you want to be bribed with, and consider it done!

For a practice that so frowned upon, there sure is a lot of buying and selling of votes going on. Do you know anyone who's ever bought a vote? Do you know anyone who's ever sold their vote? Come on, be honest. Is YOUR vote for sale? If so, here are some rules for buying and selling votes:

On buying votes. There are only two rules for buying votes: The first rule is to never use your own money. Use other people's money to buy votes - no exceptions. If you use your own money to buy a vote, you probably bought yourself a stay in the iron-bar hotel (albeit a low security facility with a fully-equipped health club, a 5-star sushi bar, and an 18-hole golf course). Heck, you can even use the money that belongs to the person who's selling their vote! Just make sure you can baffle them well enough so they don't realize what you're really doing. The second rule is that you have to call it something else. Whatever you do, don't call it buying votes. Call it an entitlement. Call it aid. Call it security. Call it health care. Call it school lunches. Call it anything you want, but don't call it buying votes. Moreover, do it in the name of compassion. That will mask what you're really doing.

On selling votes: Be smart and hold-out for the best offer. This might be a difficult thing to decide, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, you might want to sell your vote to the person who offers you the most. On the other hand, however, you might want to sell your vote to the person who promises to take the least from you so he/she can pay for all those other votes being purchased from other people. It all depends on whether you're on the receiving end or the paying end of the promise. Work it right, and you might receive more than you are forced to pay. To **** with all those other poor saps who don't know how to finagle the best deal.

So there ya' go. You have only one vote. Make sure you sell it wisely.

(P.S. Many thanks to all the people who've sent me emails over the past 8-10 months.)

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My vote ain't for sale...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Election Season is Here - ...

in answer to your question.

Nice to see you, btw.

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Without divulging any personal information

by drowningnotwaving In reply to My vote ain't for sale...

... is it possible to ask for a brief precis of your decision criteria?

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Meaning...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Without divulging any per ...

how is it I say that my vote ain't for sale, or how will I vote this year, or how is it I am happy to see maxwell edison back on the boards?

edit to add: Or how do I determine for whom I will vote? That one depends. I won't vote for (and haven't since the first time a third party candidate made it to the ticket) either a Democrat or a Republican because each party is as corrupt as the day is long in those areas where it lasts for months. If there is more than 1 third party candidate on the ticket, I look for someone who has the health of the planet 200 years from now in mind, the small business person in mind, is hawkish within reason, appears to support things like personal responsibility, the notion that some speech is detrimental to the social fabric, smaller government, technological innovation, recognizes that life begins at conception, recognizes that being addicted to morphine while in the final stages of incurable cancer is not a big deal, that pot is only addictive to addictive personalities, has a horrifyingly 'classic' idea as to how to change the sad state of education in America, is willing to butt out of other nations affairs unless it really is something that can be detrimental to us, realizes that the US is not the world, is willing to control our borders and immigration, butt out of religious speech and practice, and avoid the lucre of the right and the left and the center. Anybody who thinks the US Constitution is a 'living document' is a no-no. To name but a few things. That being in reality a non-existent candidate I fall back on eenee, meenee, mynee, moe in the 3rd party choices.

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Meaning...

by drowningnotwaving In reply to Meaning...

LOL ! Very funny!!

Making the positive choice NOT to vote, as such.

But in reality, as with people who in our country CHOOSE to not vote - doesn't it actually make you irrelevant in the electoral scheme of things? Do you seriously think any of the mainstream policy makers look at the informal vote and care about it?

Not of course that that particularly matters, if you have such little faith in them in the first place.

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Actually...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Meaning...

my purpose in voting 3rd party is to ensure that we keep a third party. I also actively encourage my family, friends, and co-workers to vote 3rd party in an attempt to catch the attention of the established parties. If, in 10 or 20 years the 3rd party finally garners a large enough percentage of the vote, my theory is that this will help to bring about change. I may be wrong, I may be right. But there is no knowing without trying.

The attitude that choosing a 3rd party candidate for whom to vote is akin to not voting is half the problem in this country.

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Yes good point

by drowningnotwaving In reply to Actually...

Certainly the rise where I live of minority parties has been huge in the last 20 years.

From none in parliament, to one or two, to holding the balance of power in certain circumstances.

It does mean that in some cases, huge concessions are made to fringe minority parties in order to gain their vote on large issues.

In recent times in Australia it was to a very right-wing conservative religious person who singularly held the balance. In our newly elected parliament it will be to the Greens.

But that's democracy for ya!!

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Relevance

by NickNielsen In reply to Meaning...

...in reality, as with people who in our country CHOOSE to not vote - doesn't it actually make you irrelevant in the electoral scheme of things?

No. If I vote it's relevant because I cared enough to participate in the process. The non-voter is irrelevant and, at least in my hearing, has no right to complain about the results.

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"complain about the results."

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Relevance

The first question I ask when someone starts b*tching is whether or not they voted. If they say no, I tell them to shut up as I don't want to hear it. They haven't the right to gripe as they made no effort to change things. I get some interesting looks with that. Makes me wonder...

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It's that "i gotta right to" thing... <nt>

by NickNielsen In reply to "complain about the resul ...
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What does relevance have to do with anything?

by RFink In reply to Relevance

What effect does a losing vote have? NONE
What effect does a no vote have? NONE

If I'm conviced that my candidate doesn't have a chance, I can have the same effect on the outcome <NONE> and save the gas, the time standing in line, and the other crap that goes with voting by staying home. </Rant>

However, since the general election has more to vote on than the Presidental Electors, I will show up to vote on the other issues, candidates, etc.

I will vote for President when I can vote for President. </semi-rant>

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