According to the Population Resource Center the average voter turnout for presidential elections between 1960 and 2000 dropped from around 60% to somewhere in the 45-50% range while turnout for mid-term congressional elections seems to pretty consistently fall below 50%.
Here's my question: Why are we pretending that our "democracy" is a legitmate government? Our national officials represent the will of less than half of the eligible voters. The people in office right now are there because roughly 1/4 to 2/5ths of the voting population put a check next to their name on the ballot. That is hardly a majority. And this in a country with a "majority rules" motto. Choosing not to vote means something regardless of whether it represents apathy, disenfranchisement, or a statement against our political system. A no-vote should not be ignored as it is currently.
It's perturbing to think that our president felt he had some kind of mandate because he won with 51% of the vote in '04. The 2004 presidential election had only a 60% voter turnout, meaning that roughly only 30% of eligible voters actually voted for him. 30% gave Bush the thumbs up. This means that 70% of United States voters did not endorse him and yet he is still our representative.
It's fucked, I say. Totally fucked.
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A shout out to Sanity Clause. Something to try to keep in mind this election season (or year... or two-and-a-half years as it seems to have become):
The Bully's Pulpit - Divide and Conquer
First, a caveat: ALL generalizations are flawed.
Having said that, I can unequivocally state that there are two kinds of people: People who divide things into two groups and those who don't. Too many of us are too sure that there are only two sides to every debate, just as there are two sides to a coin. Heads/Tails; Right/Left; Liberal/Conservative; White/Black; Male/Female. Why, if my opinion is Right, must yours be Wrong? continue reading...