Election Day

It’s election day and I’m going to stop by the polls this morning and vote.

It would be easy for me to skip the polls as there is not much at stake in NYC this year.

Mayor de Blasio is going to get re-elected fairly easily as he has no strong challengers.

The same is true of the other citywide officials and most city council members, including mine.

But I am going to vote in spite of all of that.

I think one of our biggest problems in our country is voter apathy.

So I am going to demonstrate against that by showing up and voting in an election with little to nothing at stake.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Mike Zamansky

    Well, there are the three ballot measures to vote on..

    1. Rob Underwood

      And 3 interesting ones at that, especially the one about whether NYS should have a constitutional convention.

    2. fredwilson

      Do you have a view on any of them Mike?

      1. Mike Zamansky

        1 – ConCon – voted no.In theory I would support it but I’ve got too many concerns and I’ve got some skin in the game. I think Cuomo initially supported this to go after public sector pensions but when he saw that would be a tough fight he backed off.It’s still a big concern for me. I paid in to my pension for 25 years and don’t want to give the politicians any opportunity to gut it. Section 5 Article 7 provides protections and those could be removed opening the door to all sorts of abuses then the govt crying poverty and leaving the working people out in the cold – possibly literally. A lot of people say it would never happen but how many times have we said that only to see “it” happen as everyone looked away.I’m also not convinced that the process won’t be controlled by moneyed interest similar to how we’ve seen boatloads of money pouring into local school board races across the country.Too much for the working class to lose on this one.2. Reducing pensions of convicted felons – voted yesI’m concerned here as well. We’ve seen time and time again the powerful beat the rap while the poor schlub takes the rap (Skalos? Silver?). Locally I’ve seen far too many low level DOE people railroaded while those who were connected and favored get slaps on the wrist or in some cases are allowed to blatantly abuse their position for personal gain.The saving grace here is that it’s tied to a felony conviction so while I do think our justice system is rather skewed, at least it’s better than our political one.3. Preserving land — easy yes.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          The pension benefit system is an albatross on the public sector. It has allowed politicians to defer and divert tons of money they have “spent” on todays public employees onto tomorrow’s citizens. Meanwhile pension “reform” means that 11% of my salary goes to covering my pension costs, and that money is not portable. It only vests after ten years (or I can request it back with a pittance of interest). It encourages employees to stay even if they’d be happier (and maybe even better off) trying new positions. While it is a generous benefit, I would much prefer that this relic of the old economy be eliminated and for the savings to be pushed back into something more portable.

          1. Mike Zamansky

            I’ve got mixed feelings on the whole pension thing and obviously when the govt underfunds or raid the funds there are problems but nothing stops NY from changing things moving forward without changing the state constitution.Just a couple of years ago the state introduced a new tier (which I think is absolutely horrible) so in theory if the negotiating parties agreed they could move away from a pension system for future employees.

          2. pointsnfigures

            Pension reform is a massive problem. Indiana switched from defined benefit to defined contribution several years ago-giving employees more control over their money and it has had good results for employees and taxpayers. Illinois, Cook County, city of Chicago are totally bankrupt because of pensions. No way to tax, cut budgets or even grow your way out. If Illinois would have put all its money into Bitcoin it still would be in a hole. Wirepoints.com is a website that will tell people the real deal.

        2. Toby Bryce

          Agree on the above – and that they are nontrivial questions. Also if I were in Manhattan I would write in Marc Fliedner for DA vs Vance.

        3. fredwilson

          I voted No, Yes, No

          1. Mike Zamansky

            3 seemed pretty benign to me – did I miss something or just a difference of opinion?

          2. JamesHRH

            No on 3?

  2. jason wright

    not standing in this one? i think it’s your next career.

  3. awaldstein

    You are a better man (and New Yorker) today than I am.Somewhere dedication needs to meet relevancy and it is freakin crazy that with so much crap everywhere casting a vote is not really relevant to any outcome.(After revisiting this thread, I went and voted. Good kind of pressure.)

    1. pointsnfigures

      Get where you are coming from. Gerrymandering has eliminated a lot of competition from politics. As we know, competition is key to getting the best. I still vote even though I know the Chicago Machine has pre-ordained everything.

      1. awaldstein

        I read the thread and went and voted.

      2. JaredMermey

        Gerrymandering is the root of many of our problems, compounded by the money in politics

    2. JLM

      .How can one offer an opinion on matters in which one does not participate? I am surprised at you, Arnold.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        I think a large amount of people who show up and vote are not making informed decisions. And if they are making decision they might very well be relying on inaccurate information. As such I am not sure there is any real benefit to people voting and just pulling leavers. Look at the interaction between you and Jim on this blog today. If you told me to vote for someone I would because I sort of have this idea that you know a bit more about things in this area than I do. So I would follow your lead. But most people are not you and most people aren’t listening to anyone like you (and that of course assumes that you are correct). They are not listening to subject matter experts either. They are listening to newspaper editorials (with a bias and a slant; well just like you have ok) or a friend who knows more than they do (but might be wrong). If this were not the case then spending money on ads wouldn’t matter as much as it did.Then you have people who vote on a single issue. You know guns, abortion, Israel. Remember my Dad growing up. ‘Nixon? He was good for Israel they all cheat he just got caught!”

        1. JLM

          .I am convinced the world would be a better place if everyone voted the way I do.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. JaredMermey

            That reminds me of the fact that I am the only person who is fair and balanced

  4. Daniel Clough

    I don’t vote, so I guess I have voter apathyI think I don’t vote for 2 reasons.I’m annoyed with the whole system of politics, so prefer to detach myself from it.I do not understand properly what each person stands for. And am sceptical of any data and promises that are made.I am from the UK btw.I know I probably should vote, but the above reasons stop me.Sometimes I wonder if campaigning should have stricter rules. I.e your promises and any data to support should be approved by an independant body. And it can’t be more than 2 pages so its easy to understand.it’s why I place little confidence in referendums and don’t get involved in them. I suspect 90% of people dot’ know what they are voting for really. Brexit is a great example.

    1. fredwilson

      You might try it. Hard to dislike something you haven’t tried.

    2. Frank W. Miller

      Thus you are a sheep, and sheep get slaughtered. 😉

      1. Daniel Clough

        Of course, I don’t agree. I am a very ambitious and organised person and tend to make the most out of life. And like to think I have had some reasonable successes. I just think the whole system is broken and I prefer to focus on what I can directly control.Btw, I’m not saying I think it’s a good thing I don’t vote. I’m just acknowledging that I don’t – something to think about.

  5. Tom Labus

    In NJ for Gov and a library referendum, a big issue for me.

  6. JimHirshfield

    One person, one vote. Have you seen Lessing’s latest project to challenge, in court, the states’ winner-take-all electoral college practices?https://www.thedailybeast.c

    1. DJL

      It always gets challenged when the other side wins. (But I agree that the electoral college is a total mess.)

      1. JimHirshfield

        Not like this, it hasn’t.

        1. DJL

          Agreed. It will be interesting. (In the meantime, a bunch of lawyers are going to make a bunch of money.)

          1. DJL

            Interesting group. Trump is living proof that the best-financed candidate does not always win. But at the Congressional level, it is all about the money.

          2. Ryan Frew

            Not to make this an anti-Trump/pro-Trump thing, because that’s not my intention, but if these Russia allegations go as deep as some believe, Trump will cease to be proof as an “underdog”…whether he knew it or not.

          3. DJL

            I don’t think he is worried. That is going nowhere.Just curious. Have you heard any of the latest news? First, the entire investigation of Trump is based on a fake “dossier” that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton. ($12M USD) It was 100% paid for fiction. The FBI (under James Comey) and the Justice Department knew that this was “fake” but still used it to unmask US citizens and spy on Trump people. After one year of investigation, there has not been one single shred of evidence trying Trump to Russians and collusion. (But in fact, Hillary may come under investigation for using the Clinton Foundation to launder money from the Russian government in the Uranium One deal.)If you watch mainstream news, my guess is that all this would not have been reported. It is astounding.

          4. Ryan Frew

            I didn’t say anything about how the investigation came about, nor that Trump necessarily colluded. There is strong evidence, however, that the Russians did meddle with the election in Trump’s favor.

          5. DJL

            That’s why I asked. There actually is no evidence at all. Where did you get the facts that the Russians meddled in Trump’s favor?And did you hear anything about the facts I just mentioned? I am genuinely curious.

          6. JLM

            .Other than less than $100K of untargeted FB ads out of $10,000,000,000 of total 2016 election cycle ads what EVIDENCE are you referring to? [Of the $100K, only $8K were favorable to Candidate Trump as scored by FB.]DJT was nominated at the end of Jul 2016.He was elected in early Nov 2016.He was the Republican nominee for slightly more than 3 months.The FBI has now been investigating this 3 month campaign for more than 12 months.Do you know of any EVIDENCE that the Russians did anything to assist Candidate Trump?JLMwww. themusingsofthebigredcar.com

          7. Ryan Frew

            The ads aren’t that big of a deal. It’s the fake divisive accounts that are scary, and they’re littered all over Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. It also appears to be less about getting Trump elected and more about ensuring that Hillary wasn’t elected. I like this article on it (https://www.nytimes.com/201…. If it bothers you that that article was written after the election, here is one from 2015, which investigates Russian “troll factories” (https://www.nytimes.com/201…. I just don’t get why people on either side of the aisle are getting so defensive about this. I haven’t accused Trump of anything, but your tone jumps at my throat. The discussion is essentially that one of the most powerful countries in the world meddled in our election, and there’s loads of evidence of it. Why would anyone be okay with that?So, for further evidence, let’s make it real. Here is a Twitter user named Jenna Abrams who reached 70,000 followers and whose Tweets were quoted by mainstream media, from Breitbart to HuffPo. Her account was prolific enough to receive 10 separate responses from the former Ambassador to Russia, even. Turns out that the account was being operated out of St. Petersburg and Jenna Abrams doesn’t exist. Go figure. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

          8. PhilipSugar

            I think here is the issue.People think that those accounts affected the election. Did the Russians try? I’m sure, but why wouldn’t they? Do you think we had anything to do with Gorbachev.But the heart of it is this….take it from somebody that:Has sold three software companies and has two great robotics onesOwns the nicest house in the countyFlew 250k miles last year and was in 25 countriesGoes Bowling every Friday nightDrives an old 2001 faded pickup truck with cracked windshieldGoes to the shooting range every SaturdayPicked up a ton of wood pellets todayWorked on my boat next to an electrician with few teeth afterGets down in the sewer trench with the plumbersIs wearing Carthartts right now you might have to look that upSpread my own 25 yards of topsoil and 120k lbs of clamshellsPicked up the equipment to do that at the local hardware storeRenting a chipper and buying parts for my awesome chainsawGoes to church on Sunday, a day where you can’t hunt or crab.My county??? 80% Trump. You think that was because of the Russians???Saying that insults people. They didn’t vote because of Facebook or Twitter….you are in an echo chamber.They were pissed as hell at the establishment that didn’t literally give a shit about them. That’s not just Hillary btw. How do you account for Trump kicking Jeb’s ass? Did the Russians do that too???NO.People think I am supporting or voted for Trump.NO.What I am telling you is the more CNN bashed Trump, the more support he got because people realized because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”Damn, I just can’t get why people don’t get this.You think that electrician likes the fact he has to work on my boat in the cold to make ends meet?You think that plumber loves being in the sewer ditch?You think they look at their parents and think about the factory jobs that have left?You think the crabber likes seeing people with EBT buying his crabs that he catches on his day off so he can give his wife something nice from his own labor?You think that pellet forklift driver who has to work because her husband doesn’t make enough money cares about awful behavior?What do you think it makes them think when they see coddled snowflakes at college crying about being “triggered” and “needing a safe zone”You think the guy that is under a JLG lift putting in a two ton A/C unit has a safe zone? You think that forklift driver out today in 20 degree weather gets “triggered” when somebody says something?I was going to send this earlier but I dropped everything for my neighbor several doors down who is a single school teacher when she got the Home Depot Truck stuck in her yard bringing back supplies to build a fence for a rescued dog. Who helped her unload? Who towed her out? Who probably smelled bad because he hadn’t showered, had been up early, and went out late last night. Think she cared? Or knocked on a door begged a daughter for help and wanted to pay afterwords and was refused.I’ll give you a hint look at the picture. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          9. JLM

            .At this stage of the “investigation” – more than 12 months investigating a 3 month campaign – if there are not serious indictments of somebody directly related to Pres Trump or Pres Trump himself for collusion (for which nobody has yet cited a Federal Statute which identifies that as a crime) then Pres Trump will be right yet again.It is difficult to imagine what remains uninvestigated. The FBI is seeming silly on a number of fronts.I am in favor of the rigorous prosecution of any charges against Manafort, Flynn, et al, for whatever the FBI/DOJ can prove. This is not, of course, why a Special Counsel was appointed for in the first place.I am skeptical as to collusion.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Matt Zagaja

      In Cambridge we have ranked choice voting. If it turns out your first vote was useless they use your second (or third, or fourth) one.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Define “useless” in this context.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          Useless meaning either your top choice candidate received too few votes to have any chance of being elected or alternatively the candidate you voted for in your first choice had lots of “over votes”.

          1. JimHirshfield

            This sounds like voting in Ireland.Are you in Cambridge, Massachusetts…or Cambridge, England?

          2. Matt Zagaja


          3. JimHirshfield

            Ah, the Commonwealth.

          4. JamesHRH

            This iwhole proportional representation / ranked voting stuff is eally dumb.Voting is a system of representation, not emotional gratification. Voting should be mandatory ( and digital ).First past the post works really well, as it’s key characteristic is replacement of politicians. Every other system runs the Clinton risk: dominate the party w graft, be in powder in some form for decades, see Merkel, Angela.Last CDN election had < 15% change in pop vote & swept out a majority government, while replacing it with another.British parliament system Is old, not broken.

      2. JaredMermey

        Primaries should go this way (and I think one state has already done so…maybe Maine)

    3. Frank W. Miller

      Wholeheartedly disagree. The electoral college was specifically designed to prevent places like NY and LA from controlling the national politics, and that is a VERY good thing.And if I may speculate, you’re interested in changing the system because you don’t like who won. That’s not a good enough reason.BTW, there’s nothing going on here in Colorado except a bunch of bond issues for Denver services. I voted for all of them since we have TABOR. Maybe those of you in NY should look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…Its an excellent way for the PEOPLE to prevent our politicians from spending our money without our permission. While I think it would benefit everyone everywhere, I doubt anything like this would pass in NY, too many people already at the govt. trough.

      1. JLM

        .I agree more with you than you do with yourself.The Founders were brilliant.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JimHirshfield

          Sorry, JLM. The founders did not state that electoral college votes ALL be given to the winner at the state level. The winner take all was adopted by states later.

          1. JLM

            .You are way off the reservation on this one. The original electors were the state legislators who granted their selection based on a simple majority. Do some reading on this.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. kidmercury

            def siding with JLM in this beef. maybe it’s suboptimal now, but the history and rationale are clear.

          3. PhilipSugar

            The only thing they left out was that if you take any money from the government other than Social Security which you paid into you should be excluded from elections, no different than rescuing yourself when you have an interest at stake.. Could you imagine the difference if you had this and term limits?

      2. JimHirshfield

        If you look into it, you will see that Lessing et al will be suing in both red states and blue states. And it is not a suit to abolish the electoral college or even challenge the constitutionality of the electoral college. It specifically addresses the practice at the state level where ALL delegates from that state go to the winner in that state. This practice, established by states, is not written in the constitution and is not a federal law. So, if 50% of the vote in CT goes to Trump, he should get 3 delegate votes and not all 6. This doesn’t favor one party over the other.

        1. Frank W. Miller

          Whups, I overlooked that point. Different states are different, thats why its not in the Constitution so they can do what they want. I personally have no opinion on that.As I mentioned tho, all this whining is coming from Democrats because they lost. The Repukes whined like little girls too when Obama won and they wanted to change things too. The system is fine. People just need to calm down and deal with the reality that the candidates you want are not always going to win.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Understood. There are always those sentiments.I’m just interested in this particular practice because, politics aside, it looks unconstitutional to me. One citizen, one vote is undermined by states taking it upon themselves to allocate 100% of their delegates to a candidate that may have only won 51% of the popular vote.

          2. kidmercury

            part of the original theory is that the united states is an agreement *amongst the states*, while states and their constituents is another set of social contracts. so the role of the people in the federal government was limited, and they were supposed to be more involved at hte state level, which in turn acts as an agency of sorts for the people in their federal/interstate dealings. as such hte constitution originally called for national senators to be elected by state legislatures.

          3. JLM


          4. PhilipSugar

            I really don’t see the point. If I vote for a Congressperson that loses by one vote then my candidate does not get a vote which is how we control lawmaking in this representative democracy.I agree with Frank, if you pull out NY or CA Hillary loses the popular vote. Now, people from those states really whine that their vote for Hillary didn’t count. But the fact is it did, unless I am mistaken those electoral votes went to Hillary.But what people fail to understand starting first and foremost with Hillary (that is not my opinion that is Obama, Biden, and Bill’s opinion) is that life, backgrounds, and viewpoints and needs outside of those places are very different.No this is not the map of the U.S., but many think it is, those people in the states you don’t see know that the only way to have influence over elections is winner take all, and you get your two senate electoral votes no matter the population. Our founders knew this (very wisely) While a majority of people in NY and CA might be angered and dismayed at the result of this election it should serve as a reminder that the United States is not just two states it is fifty.https://upload.wikimedia.or

          5. JimHirshfield

            I appreciate your comment, thanks. Somehow, I think we’re each having different conversations. Either that, or I’m not following the point you’re making. No worries though.

          6. PhilipSugar

            I’m not being negative here. You should know my posts, I provide viewpoint from both sides. That is my biggest strength understanding both sides. I stay at the London Waldorf and Toronto Shangri-La several times a year. I also stay at the Clanton, AL and Freemont, OH Holiday Inn Express and Oswego, NY Best Western several times a year (look those up)The only way a small less populated state has any power from getting run over by a larger state is to vote its electoral block 100% for one candidate including its two Senate electoral votes.The founders knew this.While it might suck to think my candidate didn’t win, I can tell people on this board that Clanton, AL, Freemont, OH and Oswego, NY have very different needs than London, Toronto, NY, and LA.The Civil War was not started over slavery (so thankfully it ended it) It was started because the Southern States had very different economies than the Northern States and resented the Northern States restricting their state rights: https://www.civilwar.org/le…State rights are a very, very important tenant to the United States and what you are proposing is completely against that.

          7. PhilipSugar

            And I can tell you from one of those states not shown all of this whining, bitching, kvetching is solidifying the anger at being ignored which is what got us this crazy result to begin with starting with the Republican Primary.

          8. Alex Murphy

            EC is fine. Voting fine. Things coming to light about foreign influence, not fine. But that will work itself out.

        2. PhilipSugar

          No they had a very specific reason for this. It is why our country is called the United States, Not One State. It is why my state DE has two Senators and only one Congressperson. Should a State like WY be dismissed??? Stripped of it’s resources for residents of CA and NY??? No. That is why the electoral college works.

          1. Alex Murphy

            Why Congressperson? Its not Woperson.

        3. PhilipSugar

          It favors big states over small states, and it specifically is unconstitutional because it splits up the senate delegate votes which were specifically setup to protect the small states from the big states.

      3. LE

        Agree. Also noting that Lessig says this:there is now a 1 in 5 chance that the electoral college will produce a minority-vote president — a President that loses the popular vote, yet wins the electoral college vote.And so what?Which of course is because of this (which he also says):Thus in 2016, two-thirds of campaign events happened in just 6 battleground states — Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Michigan. Four battleground states — Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania — saw 71% of campaign ad spending and 57% of candidate appearances. All together, the 14 battleground states saw 99% of ad spending and 95% of candidate visits for campaign purposes.So we don’t honestly even know what would happen if the system changed since candidates have always adjusted their media buys and campaign appearances to winning by the rules that are in place. Not what doesn’t matter. Which is why it annoys me so much to hear any argument about who won the popular vote which doesn’t recognize how campaigning would change if the rules changed.Also everyone can stop kidding themselves that the good way to know the right candidate is by listening to speaches and watching political advertisements.The best candidate for NYC is most likely not Deblasio but obviously nobody is able to raise the money to compete or be backed in order to run a credible campaign and even be considered by the media as a viable candidate which is generally how elections are won in almost all cases.

      4. PhilipSugar

        This is so spot on and I love TABOR see my comments

        1. Frank W. Miller

          A little tongue in cheek but. We have lots of revenue from pot and limits on spending from TABOR and we even have a GREAT democratic mayor. It is possible to be a blue state and still limit govt. and spending…

          1. PhilipSugar

            Of course. You can limit spending and be socially liberal.

    4. JLM

      .This has been tried in several states before. It is purely state law.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. JimHirshfield

        At the legislative level, right? But has it ever been tried in court as unconstitutional?

        1. PhilipSugar

          I am not going to debate who won, but how the election was won was absolutely how the constitution and founders envisioned.It could never be unconstitutional. It would be unconstitutional for the courts to ever overturn. The one good thing about this conversation is it made me do some history research.When the original thirteen colonies came together to sign the constitution it was all about checks and balances. You had the legislator and executive branches who then nominated and approved the judicial branch.The smallest states like DE and GA released that the biggest states like VA and PA each had 10 times their population and could therefore control the legislative and executive branches and make laws that would benefit the big states and hurt the small states, and control the judicial branch. The same is true today.So they came up with this solution: The Legislative Branch would be split into two houses: One the House of Representatives was based purely on population and set at 59 members. The Senate was based purely on States and set at 26. A ratio of 2 to 1. Today it set at 4 to 1 which gives a much bigger advantage to population over States than originally was envisioned.The Judicial Branch would be nominated by the Executive Branch and approved by the Senate.The Executive Branch would be determined by the number of Congress Members you have and that was originally based on the State Legislators, not popular vote. So of course your legislator would vote all its votes behind the executive candidate it wanted. Winner take all controlled by the States.If you did it by States only Trump won 30 versus Clinton 20. If the ratio of electoral votes was 1 to 2 States versus population versus 1 to 4 which we have today it would have been a complete runaway.I am not debating who was a better candidate, As you can see from the map Clinton certainly won the East and West Coasts. 2 to 1 in CA and 9 to 1 in DC (that’s kind of telling). Trump won many Southern and Middle States by 2 to 1 including Arkansas (that’s kind of telling)So how the election was won was exactly how the Constitution envisioned.The only way you could change it is to amend the Constitution….which is controlled by the same process but requires a 2/3rd majority.

    5. LE

      Thanks for posting that. I would have taken a few points off of Lessig’s grade for writing these sentences though:There is no good reason for this inequality. It is time for the Supreme Court to end it.I think anytime you say ‘no good reason’ to a practice that has been going on for hundreds of years you need to at least attempt to state the reasons why some might consider it a good practice. Otherwise you sound like an eight grader ‘there is no good reason!’ who ran out of steam trying to finish a paper at the last minute.I don’t think he would say anything like that in front of any court, let alone the Supreme Court.

  7. John Pepper

    Apparently voter turn out today is going to be less than 23% of population today in Boston. Seth Godin wrote a good post on this earlier this morning. “The solution is simple, fast and cheap. Show up and vote. Every time.” http://sethgodin.typepad.co

    1. fredwilson

      I agree with Seth

    2. JamesHRH

      Whoa – that’s scary.

  8. DJL

    Nicely done. In our community (200,000+ residents), some races for local officials are decided by a margin of 12 votes.Of course – this is the time to bring up electronic voting. If people could vote from their phone we could certainly raise participation dramatically. And people could more easily compare candidates and their records. And using blockchain we can certainly create tamper-proof voting records. To me it is truly sad that we are not making progress here.

  9. Joe Marchese

    Me too. Exercise the franchise. Don’t be a passhole.

  10. pointsnfigures

    I always vote in Chicago. Sometimes more than once unknowingly.

    1. JLM

      .Soon as you die, you will become a registered Democrat.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  11. Steven Kane

    For me there is no election with little or nothing at stake. Democracy is at stake. 🙂

    1. jason wright

      paradox?long ago there was the installation phase of democracy. the modern deployment of democracy has evolved to the point where its ‘fine tuning’ (by technocratic elites) produces elections with next to nothing at stake. why would they risk losing their privileges by exposing them to the whim of the masses?democracy has been staked out. people criticise Trump for how he is, but the strategy he used to win the election was a necessary one to disrupt the bipartisan monopoly of the process.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Democracy – The Majority is unlimited in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority,Republic – The Majority is limited in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority,Inalienable rights – Fall only under the purview of a republicNote I understand under a republic the remaining “alienable” laws can be decided by a democratic process. Also that a republic does not have process for constitutional amendment (because that makes things inherently “alienable”)So – a provocative question from outsideIn AVC readership opinion – which is it ?Are rights in America (more exactly the US) alienable or aren’t they ?

        1. PhilipSugar

          Spot on see my posts.

        2. jason wright

          honestly, i think it’s a work in progress, that the deployment phase is not yet complete (it is far from complete), that technologies (horse and cart, to facebook, and beyond) and new economics will change the nature of the process, and that perhaps two hundred years from now people will be reading their history books (and AVC posts) and be scratching their heads about what is the now we call democracy.

  12. Shri Bhashyam

    Wouldn’t weekend voting yield substantially greater voter turnout? Why don’t we do that?

  13. JamesHRH

    Good for you.Sorry to hear about the lack of competition – always bad.Really sorry to hear DeBlasio going back in. He’s just a person I would never support.

  14. harris497

    Fred,The little things in your life generally add up to your life. Everything matters in some way, and the practice of doing what is needed (the right/appropriate thing), even when nothing is at stake or no one can see is included here. Good show on voting!

  15. JLM

    .It is pathetic that we applaud ourselves for exercising the most basic duty of a democracy that people break into and for which men died to give us and protect.I propose we deport those who fail to vote and impose a 10% tax surcharge.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. tpf

      How do you reconcile this position with the fact that your preferred party and favorite politician barely attempt to conceal that voter-suppression is core to their election strategy and tactics?Seems a bit hypocritical, anti-democratic, etc.

      1. JLM

        .I suppose one is forced to conclude I am super hypocritical and anti-democratic, etc.Have a great day.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. tpf

          /shrug – that’s too bad. I was hoping you’d help me understand how to square the circle.Take care!

          1. JLM

            .Yeah, cause your question was so deep and intellectual. Thoughtful.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Ryan Frew

            In fairness, “I propose we deport those who fail to vote and impose a 10% tax surcharge.” didn’t exactly come from your deepest intellectual side. Not taking a side here, just don’t think either party gave this conversation much of a chance.

          3. JLM

            .Thanks, Grandma.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. cavepainting

            His question is indeed a very valid one. You didn’t answer…Having been in Ohio at the time of last year’s election, I know this for true. Voter suppression for the poor in Republican governed states is very real. It is shameful and violates the basic democratic norm that everyone gets an equal chance to vote.

          5. Ryan

            What? I’ve lived in Ohio for forty years, and I’d say it’s no worse or better on either side of the aisle.Just an easy excuse depending on which party is in power.The party garbage has to stop, that’s what is dividing us all.

          6. cavepainting

            please check the # of voting booths per 1000 people, voting times, etc. for predominantly African American communities in Ohio vs. the rest. Also check the legislation passed in multiple states to make voting harder for people under the guise of voter fraud. We need to make it easier for people to vote, not harder. If 70%+ people vote, elections will be truly representative of the will of the people.

          7. Ryan

            I will do that. In Ohio, the polls open and close at the same time in each county (unless extended by a court order for irregularities”. You can vote absentee easily now (done it several times), Board of Elections are open weeks in advance for in person early voting, etc… This is no different in the large Urban areas (Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, etc…) I assume they have higher African American populations, but I have no data on hand to prove it. I personally don’t think this has anything to do with race, but that is my opinion. I understand why some want to make it that, but there are plenty of ethnicities choosing not to vote, I really don’t keep up on what other states are doing, I just know in Ohio the rules are pretty uniform as far as requirements to vote and places to vote… In fact, my polling place was closed and I had to drive a lot further to vote this time – I suppose one could argue it is to suppress the vote. I just don’t buy that theory – if I am not dead, I am voting – period. It’s a priority for me, excuses be damned.

    2. Ruth BT

      Agreed! Here is Australia, voting is compulsory. Except the stupid process we are currently undertaking – a non-compulsory, non-binding “postal vote” on marriage equality…still it gladdens my heart to see returned postal votes at just under 80%!

  16. Thomas Luk

    Voting not only as a privilege but a moral obligation

    1. jason wright

      there’s a moral obligation to question the nature of a democracy when its outcomes serve only the interests of the few and not the many. in choosing to express that questioning by not voting we are signalling to an alternative candidate that there is a voter constituency looking for an alternative agenda to vote for. in the firs instance not voting is not necessarily apathy.

      1. Thomas Luk

        Show up and vote. 😉 There are better instruments in place to voice your view than with a simple no show. And yes, you can also vote and choose not to vote at the same time (which is still a stronger signal). Personal view here, can be wrong 😉

        1. jason wright

          i’m often wrong, but the debate sets me straight. helps me to work my way through the issue. to vote when there’s no candidate worth voting for is negative democracy. thumbs up.

  17. Jack Byrne

    What’s at stake is always the essence of our representative government. We’re always voting for that, whether there are hot contests or not.

  18. Elizabeth Spiers

    Down ballot stuff matters more than most people think, and it’s not always just about the outcome of a particular election. Marc Fliedner has an ice cube’s chance in hell of winning his write-in campaign against Cy Vance in the Manhattan DA race, but Vance’s corruption has been highlighted in the last few weeks via stories about his withdrawal of indictments against both Donald Trump Jr and Harvey Weinstein after donations were made to his campaign by both parties. Fliedner’s uphill battle to call attention to it has resulted in more public scrutiny of Vance’s record. So sometimes the process has value too.

  19. Mike Carson

    I don’t vote because nothing ever happens with politics – it takes wayyyyy too long for any change. I would rather try to create code that can change things a lot faster

    1. BillMcNeely

      Yes it takes a while to get things done for 230 million people. Checking out does not help. Please demonstrate the same courage as the Iraqis and Adghans have done under fire https://www.google.com/sear

      1. Mike Carson

        I didn’t say I was checking out – I will try to write code that can make beneficial change to the world. It seems it takes more courage not to vote these days in my country, there are a lot of people who judge you negatively if you do not vote

        1. BillMcNeely

          We agree to disagree. Welcome to AVC

  20. Guest

    Looks like taxes in NYC are too low and there is not enough feces in the streets. Enjoy four more years of De Blasio!

  21. ErikSchwartz

    All my cool Manhattan friends are writing in Jodi Kantor for DA

  22. Daniel Clough

    I feel that way too.I was thinking about this yesterday. I probably should at least cast a vote, if only as to help influence the result away from someone I definately don’t want to win.Thats easy for me when its a trump vs clinton type situation (I would vote hilary, if only to try and keep trump out- not that I liked hilary). But in the UK at the moment, I would have no clue who would be better out of the current candidates and don’t have strong feelings about either.

  23. PhilipSugar

    Nope. Look it up:In 1845, the United States was largely an agrarian society. Farmers often needed a full day to travel by horse-drawn vehicles to the county seat to vote. Tuesday was established as election day because it did not interfere with the Biblical Sabbath or with market day, which was on Wednesday in many towns.

  24. PhilipSugar

    In current times people like you make me think irrationally voting for Trump. He was elected because of attitudes like yours.Seriously. Reflect on that.

  25. PhilipSugar

    No, you don’t understand my point. This rhetoric has what got Trump elected. Seriously. I am from a county that voted 80% for Trump. I could not understand, not imagine, but just saying that somebody is an anti-American or a Deplorable means he will get elected again because that has what has gotten people so angry that they will vote purely against what you think you “stand” for.

  26. PhilipSugar

    Canadian Company bought mine, go there all the time.The U.S. is not Canada.Both Candidates had huge flaws picking which ones were worse is tough (we did have a third party candidate though, who had some flaws but not nearly as many)Clinton:Amassed a quarter of a Billion Dollars (that’s U.S.) from large corporations and foreign governments. Think that caused influence?Spent twenty years in Washington, total insider.Had a private email server and deleted 30k emails before turning it over.No matter what you say her husband famously said “I feel your pain” she said you are deplorable and your job is going away. Voted for bad trade agreements.Left her flyover State Arkansas (which she lost 2 to 1) to go the the Senate for NY and live in a Mansion that no government employee who had no wealth before going into government should be able to afford. $8mmTrump:Assaults women…….this is so bad it needs sub sections: Did it multiple times Did it to a married woman While he was married Bragged about it to somebody he didn’t know When he should have known he would be on tape Brushed it off as Locker Room TalkMakes Crazy statements and when confronted he doubles down confirming he is crazyCannot stay on point which is your whole job.Hires some good but some crazy peopleSpins and flails around as evidenced by Twitter. Says he doesn’t drink but seems worse than Rob Ford.

  27. PhilipSugar

    Met all of the above. If you follow see my picture of me and Biden on election day.See my post to Ryan Frew