The Problem With Public Voting

Monday, February 25, 2008

One thing that has always bothered me in the world of sports is the fan voting process for all star games. The fan vote always turns into a popularity contest rather than a merit for a solid yearly performance. Sure in some cases a player having a terrific season will become a media darling and see his popularity rise. But in the end there many cases where a player gets in solely on the past thus robbing a truly deserving individual.

Does this problem really lie with having fans in general vote? No not really. The problem is letting everyone vote no matter how ill-informed they are on the current times. If you haven't watched more than 2 NBA games this season should you really be given the opportunity to help decide who gets rewarded. In my opinion of course not. Eventually the more often a non deserving player gets in the less credible the meaningful the game becomes, and thus inspires less voting from the knowledgeable.

Much is the same problem with the world of politics. I stumbled across a piece on Page 2 by Jeff Pearlman where he chronicles the Texas Rangers clubhouse non interest in the presidential race. While it is disappointing that seemingly only one person on the Rangers roster is following the presidential race, to me, it is both non surprising and closer to the norm. The piece goes on to paint baseball players as being rich mostly uneducated snobs who have so much money that they need not care what is taking place politically in the United States land scape.I partially understand Pearlman's reasoning for the general disinterest of MLB players, however I feel that most people in the US are at best only casually following the presidential race.

This casual following population includes myself. I have a 40+ hour a week job + and hour commute both ways. I spend 10+ hours a week on my MBA program. I try to spend 6 or 7 hours a week at the gym to stay healthy. The rest of my time I'd rather spend on things I enjoy, the sporting world and time with friends, family and the girlfriend. I'm not going to spend and ample amount of time figuring out the exact political differences between Obama and Hillary. And this is where the problem comes in.

Come November I will be able to vote and contribute to the determination of whom will be the most powerful human on the planet. If I turn off my tv sets, internet and all other media outlets and know nothing about the candidates, I will still be able to vote. I don't even have to know who is running for the presidency or who wins the Democratic nomination. I can still show up and vote for whomever I want based on whatever I want. I could vote for Barack cause I liked the Mortal Kombat character. I could vote against Barack cause of his last name closely resembles Osama. I could vote for Barack cause he looked cool posing with the Heisman. My reasoning does not matter, I have the right to make my own decision based on whatever.

For myself, currently I have a poor opinion Hillary Clinton the person. She comes off negatively every time I see her. This weekend she was screaming and yelling about Obama, and it bolstered my opinion. Do I know her policy? Absolutely not. If the election was tomorrow would I vote against her? Absolutely. Is that really how America should be electing its president?

People say the problem lies with all the people who do not vote on election day. Or the problem lies with all the disinterest of politics in the United States. Surely in an ideal world these would be solved. All citizens would care about the direction of the nation. All citizens would follow the election process and be able to identify the exact differences in policy in all candidates. But this is certainly not an ideal world. And there will never be a time when everyone both cares and votes. And thus I believe the problem lies in handing the voting keys over to people without a license.

Come November there will be millions upon millions of people who vote on basis set completely separate from policy. Completely separate from reasoning of how the candidate will effect their lives. For all I know I may be one of them, I may never follow the election with the depth I should. And if I don't? I should be told thanks but no thanks. We are glad you were interested in voting but it's apparent that you have put no thought other than simple bias into your decision. Thus we appreciate your intent but we are going to have to refuse your right.

Theoretically this process could be done the same way your evaluations were done when you grew up. A simple quiz based off the policies of the officials. The questions need not be difficult. They should simply make sure that every voter knows at least a given amount of policy. If a voter can not identify whether Obama or McCain is for or against removing the troops, or Pro Life/Pro Choice, they haven't been paying attention.

Will this problem ever be addressed? Of Course not. We will never again revoke the right to vote for any US Citizen. But next time a US President becomes a fuck up, do not be surprised if he was again elected on the basis of "more likely to have a beer with".

Sorry for the Off Topic Stuff Today but It's February

Posted by Simon at 2:23 PM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


Well said. However, the disinterested could avail themselves of more information today if they choose to do so. The problem as you pointed out, is the lack of interest generated by a political process that most Americans have become inured to.

Very well done.

MoonDog said...
9:16 AM  
Anonymous said...
6:47 PM  

Another problem is the media outlets that portray each candidate. If you watch the "experts" on NBC and at the same debate watch the "experts" on Fox they have different views and opinions on each candidate. Similar to watching a yankees/Sox game on either NESN or YES, same game is shown but each station portrays the teams in different lights

Frank the Tank said...
8:29 PM  

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