• Every Vote Counts, Except Not Really… And Especially Not Yours


    Hey, are you still congratulating yourself for having spent eight hours in line on Election Day to cast your vote for Barack Obama and spread Hope, Change and a new era of post-racial politics across this great land of ours?

    Well, give it up, you narcissistic egomaniacal narcissist! Your measly little vote didn't accomplish shit.

    Don't believe me? Please allow David Runciman of the London Review of Books to explain it in the most boring terms possible

    Going to vote is not a costless exercise, since it takes time and effort that could be spent doing other things. You might not consider this much of an outlay, but if you reflect that the benefit you can expect to derive is precisely zero, since your contribution is literally worthless, then it starts to look like a serious waste of your precious resources. One possible way round this problem is to argue that although no election has ever been decided by a single vote, that doesn't mean it couldn't happen…

    The assumption is that the tighter an election, the nearer one gets to the holy grail of a contest that could be decided by your personal contribution; in fact, the tighter the election, the less likely it is that any one person’s vote is going to settle it…

    [T]hink about what happened in Florida in 2000. Does anyone know what the true count was in that election? Perhaps there really was a single vote in it. But the enduring image of squint-eyed counters peering forlornly at hanging chads is enough to confirm that if there was a single vote in it, no one was ever going to find it. When an election is as tight as the presidential contest in 2000, the individual votes that might decide it disappear in a miasma of political confrontation and confusion.

    Please don't tell David Plouffe that I wrote this post.

    He'll take my thumbs! My thumbs!


    Tags: Election Day

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