Election 2012

Reason Scoops The Onion: Your Vote Doesn't Count


Last month at Reason: Your Vote Doesn't Count.

Today at The Onion: America's Roommates Launch 'One Vote Doesn't Matter' Campaign.

Listen: The nation's roommates are clearly jerks, especially that guy who keeps all his food in his room. But like the Onion correspondent said:

"The roommates do make some interesting points."

UPDATE: The amazing C Harwick bought the joke domain OneVoteDoesntMatter.com from the Onion video and set up a redirect to our cover story. Awesome.

NEXT: 12-Year-Old Girl Punished for Hugging Classmate

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  1. You’re ahead of the curve, KMW.

  2. “Zeke. The guy who technically doesn’t live there but he’s always around and always has weed.”

    Hey now! I resemble that remark!

    1. You have really got to start differentiating yourself from my brother more, sarc.

  3. I agree that we’re all fucked by this system, but I’m not real thrilled with Reason being so anti-vote. It might just barely be a bad idea to discourage libertarians from voting, especially when you believe, as two editors have written a book to state, that there is a significant libertarian minority in this country.

    I leave aside for the moment the opinion of our Official Anarchy? Mascot, Episiarch, who, of course, thinks people who vote should be executed.

    1. I’m perfectly happy to start with you, Mr. Borg.

      Seriously, your vote doesn’t matter. I find the futile denial of this fact from so many people to be dismaying.

      1. Sure, it’s a statistical anomaly at best, but it’s also true that if every person with the slightest anti-government feeling just opted out, we’d get elected offalicials (or is that orificials?) even worse than Obama in office. Hard to conceive of, I’ll grant, but still true.

        1. Look, ProL, if me being right is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


            1. Quickly, BakedPenguin! Help me get Warty to the transporter room.

              1. Don’t we have to shoot a tachyon field through the deflector dish first?

                1. Where you shoot your tachyon field is between you and your gimp. I’m not one to judge.

          2. Well, I’m told that voting for the right is wrong and that voting for the left is right. Therefore, voting for the left is wrong.

            I stole that from someone, but I can’t remember who.

            1. Why vote? Mr. Carlin covered all of this for us before he died.

            2. Two rights make a u-turn, ProL. Don’t ever forget that.

              1. Not in the United States they don’t.

        2. The statistical argument is totally beside the point. The true point is that this system is no longer worth supporting in any fashion. If everybody would realize this then maybe we could tear it down and try again with something new. I’m pretty sure there’s an important document around somewhere that even allows for this.

          1. If no one voted how would that tear down the systme? As I said someone would vote. Do you think that if only say a few hundred voted in any election, the candidates would feel restrained or feel guilty in some way? I don’t.

            1. Do you think that if only a couple hundred voted a couple hundred million would abide by the results?

              1. Yes. They wouldn’t have much of a choice. And even if they didn’t what then? A revolution? Okay, a revolution for what? And how do you determine that? By voting? Oh no one does that.

                Most people didn’t vote for or support the Bolsheviks. The same is true of the Nazis and the Mullahs running Iran. But that didn’t make any difference. Usually when you tear down a system the people who are the most ruthless are the ones who take over.

                1. 1) Don’t vote


                  3) System is magically torn down

                  Anarcho-baby logic 101

                  1. Anarcho-baby logic 101

                    Oh please. Do you expect me to sit here crying because you’ve suddenly, in one swift strike, smashed my dreams? I know you’re a retard that would have trouble escaping a sodden paper bag, I fully understand why you needed to put the ???.

                    1. Do you expect me to sit here crying

                      If the whiny bitchy tone of your posts is any indication, yes.

                  2. Anarcho-baby logic 101

                    Like “libertardians” and “Bushpigs”, that’s not even meaningful enough to take offense at.

                2. A revolution? Okay, a revolution for what? And how do you determine that? By voting? Oh no one does that.

                  Perhaps if there were a revolution and a new government was being formed, some of us would then have a reason to vote. Seriously, do you try to be this thick or does it come naturally? Is it the fact that you’re so married to our current system that you can’t even imagine something different? Does the future scare you? You, and others like you, are so SET in your lame habits that you can’t fathom breaking out of them.

                3. Do you think that if only a couple hundred voted a couple hundred million would abide by the results?

                  John| 11.1.12 @ 4:14PM |#

                  Yes. They wouldn’t have much of a choice. And even if they didn’t what then? A revolution?

                  Suppose a small group of statists somewhere declared themselves to be your ruler, and then they held an election to decide which among them got to lord it over the rest of us and steal about half our income and take away our rights.

                  And in that election only one out of every million people “eligible” to vote did so.

                  And then the winner of that election tried to steal half of the money and many of the rights of the other 99.9999% of the populace.

                  Would the rest of the populace accept the results? Or would they consider these “rulers” to be a criminal gang, to be met with shotguns and rifles at the first imposition?

                  1. Too late.

                  2. Prote, that describes human history until maybe a couple of centuries ago. Hell, it still describes a good portion of the world today.

                    Such systems are incredibly stable — and where they aren’t, it isn’t to the advantage of libertarians.

                  3. prote, as long as the statists have the firepower, people will go along unless they’re willing to risk their lives in revolt. And if they care that much, why not just vote in the first place to prevent the whole situation?

              2. That worked for a while in Bell.

          2. What “system”? The series of uncoordinated, grasping attempts from various groups affiliated with government? Or is it the government — which would continue to exist with or without your support and certainly doesn’t need it?

            Was there a point at which it was acceptable to support the “system” (whatever that is), and what point was that exactly?

            1. Or is it the government — which would continue to exist with or without your support and certainly doesn’t need it?

              My non-vote counts exactly as much as your vote for whichever candidate you support. In both cases, we are forced to rely on others to realize the outcome we prefer. I understand perfectly that my thoughts of a smaller government that allows more freedom is not the same as yours and won’t come into being until more people agree with me than agree with you. Such is life.

      2. It makes me feel good to vote sometimes, even though it won’t have any effect and no one but me will notice. Kind of like when I assbang your mom, Epi.

        1. Yeah, she’s said you don’t really satisfy her with that choad of yours. I don’t know why she continues to go to your mobile home to see you.

        2. There is the lottery effect. I sometimes get a lottery ticket (maybe four times a year) knowing full well that I will not win, that, in fact, I have a better chance of being killed by a meteor.

          But I do it anyway, just for the fun of calculating my winnings and deciding what I’d do with a lump sum of $31.5 million.

          1. The lottery effect of assbanging Epi’s mom?

            1. Sort of, except that the prize is AIDS.

              1. MEGA-AIDS

                1. Just a teaspoon can kill you dead.

          2. But I do it anyway, just for the fun of calculating my winnings

            Just divide the full jackpot value by 3. That’s usually a close enough estimate.

      3. Epi, my vote doesn’t matter to you. But it matters to me.

        So there.

        1. Word, RC.

          I realize that the national vote, mathematically and statistically speaking, doesn’t matter. It sure seems to matter in local elections, however. Also, state questions are important to me, as there have been state questions that have hinged on a very small percentage of votes. Did “one measly insignificant vote” make the difference. No, but the margin was small enough that a small difference of votes did show a voting group did prevent a bad law or initiative from passing.

          These bozos have to get into office somehow. Initiatives and bond issues don’t just happen out of thin air.

          Also, in UKR, I cannot vote for Parliament as a non-citizen, so I did appreciate my non-vote for either Flopney or The Zero. I did vote for Stategov and Fedgov reps, however, as tax policy and other crap, as an American citizen, will still affect me.

          1. Why keep your citizenship?

            1. 1) American medical license. I really, REALLY need that.

              2) US Consulate representation.

              3) Renuncation tax. That would financially destroy me. I don’t have multi-multi millions at my disposal.

              1. I’m gonna miss you, Doc.

                1. Meh. I’ll still post after getting settled. I’m not dying, and REASON is but a few clicks away.

              2. If you’ve gotten all your assets out of the U.S., and renounced your U.S. citizenship, and the federal government sends you a bill for taxes due, what exactly can they do to you when you round file that bill, if you don’t set foot in the country again?

                1. See reason 1).

                  Also, I have family here, and I do wish to see them again.

                  1. In a way, professional licensing is akin to slavery. Our local Suk will be up a creek if his license gets suspended because the IRS is after him or something equally specious.

            2. Don’t listen to the doc. The fact is that Eastern European women love American men, especially American men they can call “Doctor” during orgasm.

              1. Well, that hasn’t happened yet, Pro’L Dib. If it does, perhaps she will be the future Mrs. Groovus.

                Actually, it’s “Vrach” that they would be screaming. -)))

          2. Sometimes state initiatives can add greatly to one’s appreciation of and happiness with election results. Watching California’s recent initiative to hike tobacco taxes get defeated was awesome. And the vote was pretty close too, so I had at least somewhat of a sense of having done some good in chucking in one more ballot against it.

      4. What is the end game? So millions of people sit out and refuse to vote. Okay. I guarentee you someone will vote even if it is only the candidates’ families and those people they have promised a job. And the winning politician won’t give a flying fuck that he won with 20 votes. He will act exactly the same way he would if he had won with a million votes. So what have the non voters accomplished?

        1. What is the end game?

          I wonder about this as well. What is the point in telling people not to vote? Shouldn’t you instead be trying to get everyone to vote for the libertarian candidate?

        2. They got to stay home and masturbate instead of waiting in line to masturbate. That’s something.

          1. Fair enough. But if they honestly believe that, they should stop pimping Gary Johnson and other candidates they like. Since there is no point in voting for any of them, what does it matter how good they are?

            1. I’m not pimping anyone, John. A vote for GayJay is as meaningless as a vote for Robama.

              1. I don’t mean you. I mean Reason. Reason seemed to think your vote mattered back in the primaries when they were talking up Ron Paul. But now it doesn’t?

                1. When will John realize that Reason consists of many different people who have different views on politics?

              2. I don’t actually agree with this, and I imagine that Reason’s reason for playing down the value of a vote is to counter the “voting for a third party is wasting your vote” argument. If the only real value of a vote is how it makes you feel in terms of self-expression, it should free you up to vote your conscience instead of for the “lesser of two evils,” since your vote can’t do much to prevent the evil anyway. And a vote for a third party has more expressive power, if you’re just trying to nudge someone above 1% of the popular vote or something.

                Note that Reason does not have a “smash the state” reason for not voting, as some of us do.

                1. That presumes Reason has a formalized agenda for playing down the value of the vote. I am not sure I buy into that as the case.

                  1. Well, there’s been a good number of posts about the vote being a waste and cross-references to those posts. Not necessarily some agenda of the publication, but it’s certainly something we’re hearing fairly consistently.

                    I think it’s a mistake.

        3. He will act exactly the same way he would wants if he had won with a million votes regardless. So what have the non voters accomplished?

          1. He will act exactly the same way he wants if he had won regardless. So what have the voters accomplished?

            It determines the “He” I think.

            1. Voting essentially puts a new “face” on America. The country is going to keep rolling right along the way it’s been regardless of who sits in the big chair. The sense of self-importance that every member of Congress feels is directly due to the fact that someone chose them to be there. Regardless of who you pick, things aren’t going to change for the better. But that’s the story that’s sold to every American every couple of years.

    2. I leave aside for the moment the opinion of our Official Anarchy? Mascot, Episiarch, who, of course, thinks people who vote should be executed.

      We’ve all seen how he treats you, and he gets to be the official mascot? WHAT IS EVEN LEFT TO LIVE FOR?!?

      1. nicole, let me mansplain this to you:

        (grunts, waves hands, makes fist, grabs crotch)

        Do you understand now?

        1. You forgot the pelvic thrust. You’re so bad with languages.

          1. I don’t have a southern accent like you, idiot. Redneck pelvic thrusts are so gauche. I mansplain like Thurston Howell III.

            1. That’s so weird. For a second, you sounded exactly like shrike.

              1. Shriek would never use the word “gauche.” He would use “Fucktarded Christfag.”

                1. I agree, but that’s what I heard.

                2. I wouldn’t bother responding to ProL’s jejune mansplanations, doc.

                  1. [Crushes Bud can on forehead, grunts, then jumps into car with Confederate flag painted on it.]

                  2. I know, but I just can’t help myself. He’s an attorney. The professional world’s equivalent of an invalid requiring a softy safety helmet.

                    1. That’s why we’ve written a law enslaving your profession.

          1. I’m proud of you, nicole. You’re pretty smart for a girl.

            1. I’m proud of you, nicole. You’re pretty smart for a girllibrarian.

      2. For the record, nicole, he’s not my mascot. He’s the Reason Foundation’s. They bought his rights on eBay.

    3. We should be focusing on getting non-libertarians to not vote first, even if you are against voting in general.

    4. The one and only reason I still make it out to the polls is the glimmer of hope of the LP breaking into the majors. If the LP were already a major party, or had guaranteed ballot access, I would stop voting altogether. Basically, I only vote because I know I will lose, as masochistic as that sounds.

      1. It’s better than the kind of masochist who votes for the dominant parties.

  4. Funny stuff from The Onion, but that has got to be the most annoying video embed since the autostart fiasco of a month ago.

  5. It really is a sad commentary on the state of Journalism in this country when some of the best journalism being done can be found at Satire web sites. I swear that one of these days either the Onion or Cracked will win a Pulitzer.

    1. Agree on Cracked. Pure guilty pleasure, but occasionally some informative stuff; funny and well researched. Too bad it’s blocked at work. Category: “tasteless”. WTF, do i need my employer monitoring my tastes?

      1. It’s gotten much better since it shed the dead-wood anchor that was holding it down for all those years.

  6. Hey, I didn’t vote in 2000 and I lived in Florida, I know one vote doesn’t make a difference.

  7. What’s the infatuation with the “vote doesn’t count” issue? Is it like declaring baseball doesn’t count because you can’t hit a curve?

    1. Baseball doesn’t count because it’s fucking boring.

      Come to think of it, so is voting.

      1. What’s boring about fucking? I’ve long wondered about what people mean with that phrase.

        1. No, he means using your penis as a bore. You know, to drill.

          1. Ohhhhhh. I’m a little red at my lack of understanding.

        2. If you ever met my ex wife you’d know exactly what was boring about fucking

          1. This is sad. We should start a charitable foundation to get rich off of people in such dire straits.

            1. Bender: Wait. You mean people will pay good money for romance? Hmm. I think I have a scheme so deviously clever that I –
              [cut to a judge banging his gavel]
              Judge: $500 and time served.
              Bender: [Bender all of a sudden has a gold tooth] Stupid anti-pimping laws. Well, pay the man!
              Fembot: Bender, honey, we love you.
              Bender: Shut up, baby, I know it!

  8. #whogivesafuck

    i just fixed my drying rack with a sick and electrical tape


  9. If you seriously think that ‘your vote doesn’t count’ then you should back to first grade because you don’t understand how numbers work. It is impossible for any vote to not count that is how ballotting works. Of course a vote in a swing state counts a hell of a lot more than a vote in Texas, and it depends who your’re voting for etc. But every vote counts. Politicians care about those numbers.

    1. If you seriously think that ‘removing one grain of sand from this desert doesn’t matter’ then you should back to first grade because you don’t understand how numbers work. It is impossible for any grain to not matter that is how deserts work. Of course a grain on a small desert counts a hell of a lot more than a grain in the Sahara, and it depends what kind of desert you’re talking about etc. But every grain counts. Deserts care about those numbers.

      -About as meaningful the ultra-pedantic crap Cytotoxic wrote.

      1. I laughed. But I’m still right. The right grain in the wrong dune can make all the difference in the dessert.

      2. Yes, and when a whole group of people decides to be petulant and not vote, it can be a big deal.

        Libertarians could be 1% of the vote. How many elections have been decided by that little? Quite a few.

        We all know that Reason isn’t serious about libertarianism, but going to cocktail parties, appearing on TV no matter how crooked (Russian Propaganda Channel? Sure, we’ll appear), and selling books.

        But for those of us, we need to convince the powers that be to court our vote. We won’t ever get what we want, but we might get some of what we want.

    2. Your vote doesn’t count more in a swing state. It’s one vote, regardless of where you live

      1. Now you’re being obtuse. Your one vote is more likely to swing it in a swing state, obviously.

  10. If you seriously think that ‘your vote doesn’t count’ then you should back to first grade because you don’t understand how numbers work.

    Weapons-grade facepalm.

    1. I know. “Don’t vote” is stupid.

  11. “There are some arenas so corrupt that the only clean acts possible are nihilistic.”

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