Wasted Votes

We’re going to take a vote on what we’ll have for dinner.

Your first choice is a giant, steaming plate of dog turds.

Your second choice is a different giant steaming plate of dog turds.

As Americans, you are encouraged to debate before voting. You can point out that one stack leans a bit more to the left while the other leans a bit more to the right.  You can argue about the origin and history of each plate. You can debate which one has a better consistency. You can offer points and counter points about which steaming stack is the least disgusting. Your debate can be polite or nasty or anywhere in between.

There is also a third plate you can vote for. It contains a thick juicy steak, nicely grilled, a perfectly baked potato and some vegetables you can push around the plate a bit.

But know for a fact that no matter how you vote, you’re going to get one of the turd plates, because that’s how most voters will cast their ballot. The steak dinner has no chance of winning the election. None. After the election you will be served a plate of turds.

Most people will insist that voting for the steak is a wasted vote. They will even complain that voting for the steak will lead to everyone being served the wrong turd plate.

But if enough people vote for the steak, that steak, or a similar one, will be available for the next round of voting, and maybe it will win that election. If not, maybe it will be chosen the next time, or the time after that and eventually, finally, you’ll get that steak dinner.


Choose carefully, and know that the only wasted vote is one cast for a plate you don’t like. Picking one pile of turds over the other won’t change anything, ever. Picking the steak won’t change anything today, but it will help the steak stay on the ballot for the next vote.

Or you can hold your nose and vote for one of the turd plates. Your choice.


1 Comment(s)

  1. Well, then there’s the problem of which juicy steak dinner to vote for? The well done, the medium rare, the rare, does it come with gravy, peppercorn sauce or aoli… et cetera. Since people rarely agree in large enough numbers on which is better the steak vote is split fifty different ways. The real problem is America’s archaic first past the post voting system, which inherently favours just two, very large, centrist parties with absolutely no imagination.

    GJ203 | May 31, 2012 | Reply

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