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Vote for sale - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Nov. 3rd, 2008

11:38 pm - Vote for sale

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Inspired by patrissimo, I will also make the following offer:

I am not planning to vote. However, I will sell my vote to the highest bidder of any amount above $49.00. Place your bid in the comments below. It will have to be on the honor system, I’m afraid, but I would like to point out that I have 100% positive feedback on ebay.

If you want to know why you probably shouldn’t waste your money in any case, watch this interview with Gordon Tullock, in which he explains why he’s not voting.

[EDIT: On the legality of vote selling. Sigh. Yet another example of regulatory capture–you can only buy votes wholesale. Since even offering to sell your vote is a felony, consider this post for amusement purposes only.]

Original: craschworks - comments

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From:girlvinyl
Date:November 4th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
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Hahaha. I like that guy!

What state are you in? Is it legal to see your vote?
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From:crasch
Date:November 4th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
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I'm in California. Is it legal to sell my vote? No, it's not legal.
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From:girlvinyl
Date:November 4th, 2008 06:56 am (UTC)
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Yes, I meant "sell". I'm on EDT, it's late for me!

Re: voting.
I enjoy the dichotomy of "get out and vote!!!" rhetoric and "you're wasting your vote" when I want to vote for a third party.

I hope someone buys your vote for lots of dollars. I'm not sure if I'm even going to use mine tomorrow, so - we'll see. I still don't even have a POTUS preference.
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From:crasch
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
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I hope someone buys your vote for lots of dollars.

Me too! :>
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From:ladykalana
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC)
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Sooo... if people could sell their votes, wouldn't that necessarily lead to wealthier people having access to more votes than poor people? Undermining the entire purpose of "one person, one vote"?
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From:crasch
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
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if people could sell their votes, wouldn't that necessarily lead to wealthier people having access to more votes than poor people

Even wealthy people would only have one vote. You don't have to sell your vote, after all.

Undermining the entire purpose of "one person, one vote"?

Wealthier people are always going to have a bigger influence on the outcome of political elections. Wealthy people can make higher campaign donations, host better parties, and pay for more political ads. Buying votes would only make the process more direct.

(BTW, if a politician promises to transfer tax money from rich people to poor people in order to get elected, do you think he's engaged in vote buying? )
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From:ladykalana
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
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I think there's a big difference between spending money on advertising, and offering money to (perhaps poor and desperate) people to cast additional votes by proxy. The difference being both legally definted and, in my opinion, ethically justified.

If you're referring to various tax cuts and social programs as "transferring money," I disagree with your premise so I can't really address the question... but that doesn't surprise you, does it? After all, I'm admittedly to the socialist end of the spectrum :)
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From:nasu_dengaku
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
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I think your justification for not voting is like saying "hey, the system's already broken... why not make it even more broken"?

Granted, you are exploring an alternative to the current system by working on seasteading, but so long as you continue to be in the US, you should help work on making it better.
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From:crasch
Date:November 4th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC)
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I am making it better! By destroying the illusion that voting matters (in all but the most exceptional of cases), I'm (hopefully) making people more receptive to real alternatives, such as seasteading.
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From:nasu_dengaku
Date:November 4th, 2008 08:20 am (UTC)
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It's going to be a long time before you have enough seasteading space to accommodate even 0.01% of the US population, so we do have to fix things here at home.

I will admit that there are things I can do (and have done) that will have a significantly bigger impact on the election than voting. These include donating money, sharing my views with others, and volunteering. However, these things don't work if people don't vote. Thus, doing these other things without voting is tantamount to hypocrisy and undermines my case.
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From:crasch
Date:November 4th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
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It's going to be a long time before you have enough seasteading space to accommodate even 0.01% of the US population, so we do have to fix things here at home.

Yes, it will take a while before seasteads will have a large population. But even at that slow pace, I think seasteading is the shortest path to the kind of society I want. I'd love to hear your ideas about how to make it happen faster.

These include donating money, sharing my views with others, and volunteering. However, these things don't work if people don't vote.

Odds are, they won't work if they _do_ vote.

Thus, doing these other things without voting is tantamount to hypocrisy and undermines my case.

It's only hypocrisy if you encourage them to vote if you don't believe in voting. You wouldn't even necessarily be a hypocrite if you didn't personally vote. A lot of other people derive pleasure from voting as an expressive act. I don't think it's hypocritical to encourage such people to vote your way, even if you don't think it's worth the cost to vote yourself.

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From:pbrane
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)
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can I, for amusement purposes only, of course, offer to pay you more than the $50 min to get you to forget about voting for president, but since you're in CA, you can VOTE NO on Prop 8 at least?
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From:crasch
Date:November 4th, 2008 07:39 am (UTC)
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Why certainly! BTW, for amusement purposes only, my paypal address is crasch@gmail.com.
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From:pjammer
Date:November 4th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC)
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Just to be spiteful, I, who wasn't going to vote before, will now trudge to the ballotbox and punch the ballot to say Yes on 8.

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From:pbrane
Date:November 4th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
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Just to be spiteful, I'll make sure that I use my weight when the Supreme Court orders mandatory gay marriages for all, you'll have to marry *me*.
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From:_luaineach
Date:November 4th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
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This made me snort my coffee up my nose. Thanks for a great laugh on an otherwise kind of humorless morning! :)
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From:amoken
Date:November 4th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
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Bear in mind that an "I Voted" sticker can garner you discounts all over the place, often beyond the voting day.
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From:kenshi
Date:November 4th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
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By making this offer, you are committing a crime.

Just so you're clear on that.
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From:pbrane
Date:November 4th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Didn't you see how this was "just for amusement purposes only", i.e. it's just a joke?
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From:kenshi
Date:November 4th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
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missed that part.
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From:madkiwi
Date:November 4th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
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I know you, and have a fair idea how you might vote. Having said that, I can see why you would be willing to sell your vote, as your choices are probably "swimming against the tide" in CA.
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