Monday, October 13, 2008

ABC.COM: Too stupid to vote?

Nina Wieczorek

The bad news first. Should Sarah Palin win, Tina Fey - the governor's most famous impersonator - will leave earth. We don't know if she only refers to her comical interpretation...

Why do we vote?

With this quote the comedian addresses an important and interesting question:
On what do voters base their decision for whom they're going to vote? Sympathy? Issues and contents? Gender? Class? Friends talking? Family traditions? Personal ties to the candidates? Who leads in the polls?
Is there a criteria that should be more important than the others and criteria that should be ignored (so called 'non-issues')? In general contents and issues should be the main reason to vote for or against a candidate - or not at all. But, as we're humans, can we really ask to ignore the rest? The president is a human being, a person as well, so shouldn't we know who this person is, if we can identify with him or her? So, are there 'non-issues'?

Are uninformed voters dangerous?
Allegedly three-fourth of Americans don't completely understand scientific issues. But, they're the voters. So would it be better if only people who have knowledge about different topics went to the polls? If the majority doesn't really have a clue on what they actually vote and base their decision on other things like which candidate they like more or whom friends and family vote for, should they better not vote and leave this decision to the few who seem to know what effect which candidate will have for the country?

A democracy of a knowledgeable elite doesn't really sound democratic. Does that mean we need more discussion and a more understandable discussion about the contents of such complicated issues as the financial and economic global crisis, the global warming or stem cell research?

Double digit lead

With a 10 point lead in some polls, Obama has history on his side: A candidate with this lead has never lost an election since 1936, the beginning of modern polling. The reason for this huge gap might be that economy is now the main issue in this election, but also, that McCain is negatively campaigning: He doesn't address the issues but focuses on attacking the other camp.

In only two days the candidates will meet for their last tv-debate - let's see if issues or attacks, the search for sympathy or the presenting of facts will dominate the duel.

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