More Nihilism on Politics

Today it struck me that my political power amounts to a vote.

The vote is something very precious to Americans.  We like to believe that this is a very powerful thing.  We get an equal say in what goes on in our country, daggummit!

But let's think about this.  My power to vote at the national level amounts to 1/125,000,000th of a decision (based roughly on 2004 presidential votes, I could be off).  ...And that's in practice.  If everyone voted, (which they should in Democratic theory, right?), I should really have 1/221,285,099th of a vote (source).

...Which is not to claim that voting is ridiculous.  It's just to point out that it seems my vote is not as powerful as the government would like to have us believe.  The power isn't in voting, the power is in influencing votes.  The next logical question should then be, what influences votes?

I'm not sure what this means... but it seems that my vote isn't a matter of who I believe fit to serve, but by whom I was more strongly influenced to support.

The more I think about it, the more democracy strikes me as flawed.

And, no, I don't have a better idea.  : )


Promytius said...

um, we don't actually elect the president, remember; the electorial college does, and the popular vote be damned. So you DO have a vote but NOT for president.
It doesn't matter; we haven't had a leagally elected president since Clinton, and we certainly haven't had a competant one since him either.

Jeremy Rice said...

[nod] I was trying to be careful not to specifically imply presidential elections, but I guess I blew it in citing presidential statistics.

Presidential elections piss me off for a multitude of reasons... I just wanted to speak about democracy as a whole. ...which, it turns out, is starting to piss me off. ; )