Off the topic of hockey for one post, but boy, I’m getting a lot of flak today. Not because the Ducks still refuse to lose, or because Niedermayer and Pronger are atop the NHL’s defenseman scoring race, or even because of Emilio Estevez.
No, faithful readers, today is the day that Sleek gets rebuffed for not voting. Now, to be honest, I don’t really follow the news or anything; I can’t even tell you what the big issues are for this year’s election. In that way, I’m a very representative ignorant American, except probably even more indifferent than most.
At any rate, here’s a little formula to help understand why I don’t vote. Basically, I weigh the benefits to voting against the cost of voting and then no matter what it tells me, I don’t vote.
To expand on each of the formula bubbles:
a) There is practically zero chance that my vote will “count” (that is, the chance that the vote will be exactly split by the time I enter the booth, and I play the role of the tie-breaking vote). That is doubly true in California, which pretty much nullifies any “practical” benefit to me voting.
b) Even if I were a tie-breaking vote, I am blissfully unaware of any real “issues” that I know enough about to care strongly about. Being the tie-breaking voter still doesn’t solve my cynical indifference.
c) I am immune to national pride, especially when it comes to saying things like “I voted”. No fringe benefits for me.
d) I am a lazy guy who doesn’t like doing things that involve “registration”, “a shot at jury duty”, or “responsibility as a citizen”. I can find hidden costs to voting anywhere.
So, in a nutshell, there it is. Zero benefits are outweighed by whatever costs suits my fancy. Barring some sort of jarring shift to this inequality (if everyone stopped voting, perhaps?), I presume that I won’t vote once over my lifetime.
But then again, isn’t my abstaining from the ballots just a “vote for America”? I certainly abide by whatever outcome results from every election, and I trust that voters are looking out for their own best interests, which shouldn’t be that far-removed from my own. Even if I disagree with the masses, they'd outvote me anyway.
This post is not meant to dissuade actual voters*, who must (a) care a lot about issues, (b) get a lot of satisfaction from the smug act of voting, or (c) consider voting a costless act, so congratulations on getting in your voting fix. But don’t feed me nonsense lines like “The only way the system fails is if you don’t vote” or “Do you really want more of the same?”
Go do your voting and do me proud out there, but leave me the fuck alone. Trust me, the result will be the same tomorrow.
Flame away, patriots. I imagine my response will be something along these lines: “Don’t blame me; I voted for Kronos.”
* Warning: I have convinced my roommate to stop voting.