Voting. Representation



Today is election day, so we won't have many people at their computers. They will be busy trying to find time to vote. Maybe someday, it will be possible to vote from our cell phones. Walking from class to the library. That might get out the vote.


Of course people would have to know what they're voting for. Unfortunately, we only know after the candidates have taken office. Some can't tell us how they stand on various issues or they won't.


We no longer think that those who voted represent those who didn't vote. For at this election, we believe that one party is going to win over the other because of the inactivity of the would-be voters of the other party.


So if you don't vote, the other party wins. Perfect democracy requires that all people vote. That never happens.


So, we even try to get the other side not to vote. It is said that all is fair in love and war, so it is at election time. This unfairness is again expressed in the fact that both houses are organized on the basis of the party that gets the most votes.


It would be strange if we found that the surveys, the polls are more accurate in reflecting most people's political feelings than the actual elections themselves indicate.


Besides, neither party represents more than half of the people. So when one party succeeds in getting more of their members in government, it is because more of the voters voted for them, in many case less than 50% and with few exceptions more than 50% of the nation is then not represented in government. In a sense, we govern by minority.


At one time, women were not permitted to vote. That was 50% of the population. We've changed voting age from 21 to 18, which permits more people to vote. Black people we not allowed to vote but now we've overcome that injustice. So over time more and more people have been permitted to vote.


Theoretically we've been moving toward more fairness, if fairness can be considered to be more or less. So today, elections should be more representative than before. Perhaps.


But still the party that wins represents fewer than 50% of the people who are permitted to vote: however, not all who can are are registered to vote.


Some don't register. This means that usually less than 50% of the people who are actually permitted do vote for our “elected” officials. Therefore, it is seldom, unless a large number change over and vote for the other party that a party gets even 50% of the registered voters.


They usually do not get 50% of those permitted to vote. We seem to be a nation run by the minority.


So there you have it.

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