April 03, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
Some of the writers of right-leaning blogs I read rail against the notion of folks on the left always "voting-against" issues, instead of offering solutions and voting for something. There is some truth to their claims, but I think it makes sense when you consider what the left represents, in terms of the natural disparity between the majority and the minority.

Liberalism, according to the good folks over at the wikipedia refers to:

a broad array of related doctrines, ideologies, philosophical views, and political traditions which hold that individual liberty is the primary political value.

That individual liberty bit is really the key, because as much as Conservative ideology pushes personal responsibility, there seems to be a neglect for protecting those individuals. The huge push for democracy by Republicans and Conservatives creates a bit of a problem for minority groups; the mob majority is able to vote in a policy, president, or any other fixture of the political system, and the minority is left marginalized.

The only way for the minority to use the democratic system to their advantage is to gather united opposition to the majority from among disparate groups. Because a majority vote simply needs to be the highest number of similar votes, it's easy for the various minority groups to outnumber the majority if they vote against it. It's like this:

You have 10 people who vote for a representative color. If four of those people vote for red, and each of the remaining six people vote for a different color, the red vote wins because they have the majority vote. None of the other individual colors can possibly win with a single vote. However, if those six losing voters voted to remove red as the representative color, they'll win with a 6-4 vote. This doesn't provide a solution (democracy can't, after all), but it certainly clarifies the position of the group voting. Red, in this instance, wasn't really the desired result, even though it won the initial vote.

Since folks on the left tend to think about marginalized minority groups, many of which are in opposition to the current ruling class of the Neo-Cons, the notion of voting against makes sense. The united opposition vote of the minority groups is the left leveraging the democratic system.
np category: politics


Kristen said:
Interesting, yeah.

I guess I read a lot of liberal sites because I thought that was part of the critique they had for conservatives: always voting against (tax increases, abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.) rather than voting FOR something/offering solutions. Guess it works from both angles.

April 05, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
Yeah, I guess you can spin it either way. It just seems silly to complain about why people are voting, since the idea is that people are simply free to vote however they wish.
April 05, 2007

Kristen said:
Ah, congratulations! Thanks for stopping by to tell me! If you do a mass picture e-mail, please send me one! :)
April 06, 2007

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