<< Where's your legal proof to support such an opinion? >>
You read WAY too much into my comment. In no way did I mean that one doesn't have the LEGAL right to complain, nothing could be further from the truth. My point was, if you don't vote, then don't come complaining when you don't like what's going on in Washington, you won't get any sympathy from me.
<< If you pay taxes, you have the right to complain about government, whether or not you vote, regardless of sympathies, or the lack thereof. >>
I didn't say that was false. I agree you have the LEGAL right to complain, as I clearly stated before. Also, those that don't pay taxes also have the right. Quit arguing over semantics, you misinterpreted my initial comment.
Anyways, I stick to my point that if you are too lazy to voice your opinion on voting day, don't expect any sympathy from anybody took the effort to participate in democracy when you're displeased. If you're not happy with the way things are going, the most effective way to change things is VOTE. Sitting on your ass and whining two years after the election won't get much done.
As unattractive as politics tends to be (liars, liars and more liars, all trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator), by not getting involved we are basically allowing a relatively small group of people to control our society. I sometimes participate in the threads, and I often learn a little something here and there too
Anyway, it will all be over in 3 or so weeks, and we can go back to talking about the usual shtuff
<< Since when does the presumption of extra-legal specialness by ability to give sympathy, or not, have any substantive meaning beyond one's personal philosophy?
Those who choose not to vote are still citizens no less deserving of all Constitutionally given and protected rights, the same rights which any other voting citizen enjoys. >>
I'm NOT TALKING about extra-legal specialness (whatever the hell that means). I NEVER SAID non-voters are not deserving of protected rights. I'M NOT TALKING about rights, legal issues, the First Amendment or anything else. C'mon UG, I know you're not this dense. I'll say it again, you read way too much into my first post and completely, utterly, and totally misinterpreted my point (I should know what my own point was, after all, I was the one who made it). You captured it well in your statement about my "personal philosophy", because that's what it was, a statement about my personal beliefs, NOT ABOUT ANYTHING LEGALLY RELATED. You seem to be having trouble with that last point, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
Do you honestly believe that NOT voting gets anything done? If everyone followed that philosphy, where would we be? Voting is the pretty much the only chance you get to really make a difference in what goes on politically.
How exactly is not voting effective? If you don't like either one and don't vote, the net result is still one of them gets elected (assuming two candidates). What kind of lame ass "message" is that?! If there was a "none of the above", it WOULD make a difference. But that's not an option in our system (whether or not it should be is an entirely different matter). But as it stands, not voting is about as ineffective as you can be. It has ZERO effect on the outcome of the election. Unless you can think of a way to have negative effectiveness, that's about as ineffective as it gets.
Let me attempt to explain it to you simply and directly, giving an example.
Let's say you intensely dislike both Bush and Gore and really feel neither would make a good president. You have no preference except to wish neither was not elected. By abstaining, the turnout is lower and the winner can not say he has a clear mandate from the people. By not voting you are sending a message to the political parties that their candidates suck.
I don't have a problem with that. In no way did I intend it to be any sort of legal opinion *AHEM*. As for people thinking it was fact...that's news to me. I give Anandtechers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to intelligence.
<...not voting is about as ineffective as you can be. It has ZERO effect on the outcome of the election...>
When an election is won by a majority of the minority component of the voting-eligible population (e.g.: Clinton), is says the the majority component has expressed its displeasure with the available options, and supports none of them.
Voters on strike for better options. Sounds like a message to me.
<< By abstaining, the turnout is lower and the winner can not say he has a clear mandate from the people. By not voting you are sending a message to the political parties that their candidates suck. >>
<< Voters on strike for better options. Sounds like a message to me. >>
Our electoral process doesn't care about "messages" or "mandates", all that matters is who gets the most electoral votes. Not voting CANNOT make a difference in who becomes president. Regardless of whether or not the winner has a mandate from the people, he's still the prez. He still gets to sign the laws. He's still Commander in Chief. You may be "sending a message", but you haven't made a damn difference in how your life will be run for the next four years. This idealistic nonsense about "sending a message" doesn't make a damn difference in the end.