Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Participating in the Political Process

I early voted in the midterm elections. From an economist’s perspective, voting is irrational. An individual’s single vote is most likely not going to alter the outcome of an election. Thus, the benefits outweigh the costs of going to the polling place. This is particularly true if one lives in a solidly “red” or “blue” state, or a district that will invariably go to Republican or Democrat candidates. If one is inclined to support an independent or a third party candidate, one is really throwing away his or her vote. Nonetheless, I enjoy participating in the political process. I particularly enjoy voting for independent and third party candidates. Although Richard “Kinky” Friedman, running as an independent, won only 12.6% of the gubernatorial votes, my vote was among those. Quanah Parker, the son of the Native American leader of the same name, running as a Libertarian, garnered 24.1% of the vote in his attempt to win a seat on the Republican Court of Criminal Appeal. My vote was among that 24.1%. I am under the delusion that casting a ballot for an independent candidate counts for more than a vote for a major party candidate would, because my vote is not lost among the votes of the masses. Rather, my voice stands apart from the crowd. My expression of my dissatisfaction with the two major parties is more apparent.

If no one voted, why bother to have a democracy?

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