Want to Discuss Politics?

Before starting an argument, think carefully about what would change your mind, and then ask others what would change their mind.

Can't Decide Who to Vote For?

Step back and consider the office the candidates are competing for.
  • What are the routine duties?
  • What's the most important decision or action that might be required?
  • What's the worst that could happen following a bad decision or inaction?
  • How will decisions be made?
  • What knowledge or experience is important for making good decisions?
  • How will they distinguish good advice from bad advice?
  • Who else will be consulted?
  • Who else must approve decisions?
  • How will conflicts be resolved?
  • What distinguishes an outstanding officeholder from one who is merely competent?
  • If you could appoint anyone to this office, who would you select and why?

Afraid of "Wasting" Your Vote?

You may hear that a vote for an independent or "other-party" candidate, or a candidate who is way behind in the polls is "wasted". You may be told that your preferred candidate has no chance of winning so you should vote for a candidate who could win, even if you really want someone else.

Step back and think about your goals:

  • Were you consulted by those who declare which candidates are "front-runners"?
  • How many candidates discuss your concerns during the campaign?
  • What if everyone follows the examples set by the "front-runners"?
  • What message do people hear if many voters jump on the bandwagon of a "front-runner"?
  • What message do winners hear about their chance of re-election?
  • If someone you might really like is considering running, how much support might that potential candidate expect?
  • What message do you want your elected representatives to hear about your own needs and desires?

What Can One Voter Do?

Something has to change! Those politicians only care about corporations and rich people!
Mommy, how do politicians get elected?
They're elected by getting over half the votes.
How many votes do corporations have?
Corporations aren't allowed to vote.
How many votes do political parties and PACs have?
Political parties and PACs aren't allowed to vote.
How many votes do rich people have?
Rich people have about 1 percent of the votes.
Is 1 percent more than half?
No, half is way more than 1 percent.
Where do the politicians get the rest of the votes?
They get the rest of the votes from ... HUSH CHILD! You're too young to understand politics!

  • What makes candidates think they can win?
  • Who would you like to see in office and what might encourage that person to run?
  • What could you do to offer that encouragement?

What about the candidates who are running?

  1. Ask questions, and keep asking until you're satisfied with the answer.
  2. Encourage other voters and journalists to ask the same questions.
  3. If you're at a political event and don't get a satisfactory answer, remain standing. Perhaps others will stand with you. If you're blocking the view of those behind you, move to the side.