None of the Above: Why Non-Voters Are America's Political Majority

Author: John A. Pugsley
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by ChooseNeither   2018-11-10

I think people should definitely vote Democrat for Congress in November to provide a check on President Trump.

But generally speaking, if you don't vote, then you don't consent to anyone on the ballot. It's as simple as that. No vote, no consent. If non-consent for Candidate A (including votes for other candidates, and non-votes by registered voters) is greater than consent for Candidate A (votes for them), they shouldn't be in public office, because that's not what the public actually wants.

A "strike" among an electorate would also look like low voter turnout. Yet when only votes are counted (and non-votes are ignored), a "strike" among the electorate (where nobody shows up) would have no power if even 1 guy showed up and voted. The US election system is now configured so voters can't strike even if they wanted to. A single voter showing up to vote could nullify 245 million people not showing up to vote. That's not the will of the people, that's the will of a fringe minority, the will of registered voters who voted/consented.

A vote is a vote of consent, a vote of support. A non-vote is lack of consent, non-consent, lack of support. Silence is not consent (although in Congress, which has the power to impeach the President unlike the people, silence is complicity). If you don't actually consent to someone (or something), you shouldn't be forced to. Forced consent is an oxymoron, that's coercion. Consent must be voluntary; if it's compulsory it's not consensual. If it's non-consensual it's immoral, especially when it results in harm to people.

US elections currently count votes, but they should be counting support vs lack of support, consent vs non-consent. Since the Declaration of Independence says "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Without the consent of the governed, a government is illegitimate, ruling by force, tyranny. Only 20% of America voted for/consented to President Trump, 80% of America never consented to Trump.

The problem isn't non-voters (who don't consent to anyone on the ballot). The problem is not counting non-consenters and ignoring the ratio of consent vs non-consent that each candidate has.

Winners should be determined by votes for Candidate A / registered voters, vs votes for Candidate B / registered voters, etc. That compares support for each candidate among the entire electorate. What we have now, votes for Candidate A vs votes for Candidate B, only compares relative support between candidates, essentially a false choice, which doesn't count non-consent among the electorate, ignoring it.

And the idiotic system of winner-take-all electors (like most states have used since 1824), turns every actual voter who didn't vote with the majority into basically a non-voter, their votes are thrown away, as if they never even voted. So all a hostile nation (say, Russia) has to do is target swing districts in swing states. It was 22,748 votes in Wisconsin that gave Trump all 10 electors there. It was 44,292 votes in Pennsylvania that gave Trump all 20 electors there. It was 10,704 votes in Michigan that gave Trump all 16 electors there. Why should over 325 million Americans have to suffer because 77,000 people made a stupid decision one day in 2016?

That's also why there should be an Amendment to vote to impeach by nationwide popular vote. If voters can vote to hire someone, they should be able to vote to fire someone, including the President, or a corrupt House Speaker who refuses to impeach a corrupt President. But really, if a candidate has more lack of support (which includes non-voters) than support (voters), they shouldn't be holding public office in the first place.

Sy Leon wrote a book, None of the Above: Why Non-Voters are America's Political Majority . Since silence does not imply consent, then the silent majority do not consent to a President Trump. Why should be anyone be "hired" by taxpayers if 80% of people don't support them to begin with? Sy Leon wrote that that no US President since 1928 has gathered the votes of a majority of the eligible population. Meaning America has had tyranny of the minority for 90 years. Enough minority rule.

by ChooseNeither   2018-11-10

You can't blame those who didn't consent to Trump or Hillary for Trump's win. Non-voters consented to neither. Silence does not imply consent. You can't blame Trump's win on those who didn't vote Trump. Every minor is also a non-voter. Can we blame them for Trump? No.

It's immoral to be forced to consent to something you don't really consent to, or to be forced to consent to something you don't fully consent to but feel trapped into choosing a "lesser of two evils." Over 100 million eligible Americans didn't vote for Trump or Hillary, over 65 million voted Hillary, over 62 million voted Trump. Trump came in 3rd in terms of support yet Trump "won." It's crazy.

People mention turnout. Why should turnout matter? Because only votes are counted? If so, then I think elections are counting wrong. Low turnout represents lack of consent.

A vote is a vote of support. A vote for a different candidate is lack of support. A non-vote is lack of support. If a candidate's support is greater than their lack of support, & they have the most support, they should win. If a candidate's lack of support is greater than their support, they should never win. It's crazy if anyone ever wins with less than 50% of the vote (a majority of people don't support them).

A vote is a vote of consent. A vote for a different candidate is non-consent to everyone else. A non-vote is non-consent. If more people consent to a candidate than don't consent, & if they have the most consent, they should win. If more people don't consent to a candidate than consent, the candidate should never win.

When faced with 2 horrible options you don't consent to, the only rational choice is neither. If someone asks, "Would you rather I shoot you in the hand, or in the foot?" there's no reason to consent to either. That's a false choice. That's non-consensual.

The phrase "consent of the governed" is in the Declaration of Independence:

>We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Wikipedia says "consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is only justified and lawful when consented to by the people or society over which that political power is exercised."

If you don't have the consent of the governed, then your government is illegitimate. If people do not consent to a government, then the government is ruling by force, tyranny. Some people argue the act of voting implies consent, but it's a false assumption to assume if someone votes they consent to at least 1 candidate on a ballot.

If the act of voting implies consent, doesn't not voting imply non-consent? Yet non-votes remain uncounted, that lack of consent remains uncounted. If voting was mandatory, as in 5% of all UN nations, then people who normally wouldn't vote due to not supporting any candidates, would be forced to vote, & an option of "none of the above" is what would characterize their viewpoint, & it should always be an explicit option on every ballot.

If a ballot does not give voters an option to select "neither" (and have that be counted), then not voting is essentially the only way they can express their non-consent. They could write in a candidate if that's available on their ballot in their area, but all the write-in names are not currently considered "lack of support" for Candidate A or B, they're often considered "wasted" votes on some real or imaginary candidate that has no chance of winning.

Currently non-votes are not counted as lack of support. How do you count non-votes? By counting registered voters.

The formula for first-past-the-post is voters choose 1 candidate & the candidate with the most votes wins. That's flawed for several reasons.

Maurice Duverger noticed a phenomenon & wrote about it in the 50s & 60s, now known as "Duverger's law", which says plurality voting systems (like first past the post elections), structured within single-member districts (aka single-winner voting, aka winner takes all), tend to favor a 2-party system.

It could be argued that not giving all voters the explicit option of "none of the above" on ballots has resulted in 2-party hegemony in the US, & increased partisanship, & polarization. A false dichotomy is a fallacy of limited choice, "forcing a conclusion by artificially limiting the available options." Voters have been convinced that each vote is a binary, either-or proposition, yes or no, due to not having the explicit option to vote no on all of them.

Ballots often include questions to voters that are yes/no. In Congress they count Aye (yes), Nay (no), DV (didn't vote). A vote for 1 candidate can be viewed as a vote of yes for 1 candidate, & a vote of no for each other candidate. But ballots usually don't require you to vote no on each other candidate, it's assumed you get 1 yes vote, & the rest are no. (But in approval voting, voters can vote "yes" on more than 1 candidate, & the most approved wins.)

But how can voters vote no for all candidates? If a registered voter does not support any candidates running, they may not vote at all, yet that remains uncounted. If a ballot doesn't include a write-in area or the option of "none of the above", then the ballot assumes someone who votes consents to at least 1 candidate running, but that's a false assumption. An explicit option of "none of the above" would be a way for voters to declare all candidates losers. Nevada has had a "none of these candidates" option on the ballot since 1976 (but if it wins, it's ignored, which is wrong IMO).

Elections should quantify non-consent more than they do now.

The formula for elections should be votes (aka support) / possible votes (aka eligible registered voters). If a candidate's support is less than 50%, they shouldn't win, because a majority of people don't support them.

Say you go to a restaurant in a group of 10 people, & you all sit at 1 table. Suppose the waiter only gives the table 2 options: a) old tuna, or b) old shrimp. Suppose 2 people vote for old tuna, suppose 1 person votes for old shrimp, & 7 people don't vote since they want neither. Should the whole table therefore be served old tuna because that option got the most votes? No. 70% want neither, 20% want old tuna, 10% want old shrimp. The majority consents to neither. In current elections, the news would say turnout was 30%, old tuna has 2 votes & 66% of the vote, & old shrimp has 1 vote & 33% of the vote, old tuna wins by 33 points, they all get old tuna. But the real levels of support are: 70% neither, 20% old tuna, 10% old shrimp, neither wins by 50 points, they all get neither.

Say there is an election with 2 candidates, Alice & Bob, but both candidates are very unpopular. If "none of the above" doesn't appear on ballots, it forces voters to choose "the lesser of two evils", it coerces voters to give some support to candidates who they may otherwise not support at all, except for their desire to make their opponent lose. Without an option to vote "no" on both candidates, to vote them both losers, then a voter is forced into a situation where they must vote in a way they don't want to, in a way they don't fully consent to. One could even argue that all write-in votes are a form of a "none of the above" vote.

If "none of the above" wins, I favor eliminating all candidates from the race & having a new election with all new candidates.

Sy Leon wrote a book, None of the Above: Why Non-Voters are America's Political Majority . Since silence does not imply consent, then the silent majority do not consent to a President Trump. Only 20% of Americans voted for Trump in the 2016 election. Which means 80% of Americans didn't. Why should be anyone be "hired" by taxpayers if 80% of people don't support them to begin with?

Since House Republicans have betrayed their oath of office & refuse to impeach a person who is unfit to be President, then the American people need some other option to "fire" the President they allegedly "hired." That could be a new Amendment to vote to impeach a President by popular vote (since the House of Representatives cannot be trusted to obey their oaths of office & impeach a rotten President), or maybe an Amendment to vote to impeach the House Speaker by popular vote.

TLDR: Winners should be determined by ( votes / registered voters). Ballots should include "none of the above." If someone doesn't have >50% support, they shouldn't win. If turnout is <50%, nobody should win. If nobody wins, rerun the election with all new candidates. If voters can vote to hire someone, they should be able to vote to fire someone, including the President. Maybe a certain number of signatures could be required to trigger a vote to fire. A vote to fire, vote to impeach could also be based on ( votes / registered voters), & require >50%. Enough tyranny of the minority.

by ChooseNeither   2018-11-10

You can't blame people who didn't consent to Trump or Hillary for Trump's win. Non-voters consented to neither. Silence does not imply consent.

It's immoral to be forced to consent to something you don't really consent to. It's immoral to be forced to consent to something you don't fully consent to, but rather feel trapped into choosing a "lesser of two evils." Over 100 million Americans didn't vote for Trump or Hillary, over 65 million voted Hillary, over 62 million voted Trump. Trump came in 3rd in terms of support, yet Trump "won." It makes no sense.

People mention turnout. Why should turnout matter? Because only votes are counted? If so, then I think elections are counting wrong. Low turnout represents lack of consent.

A vote is a vote of support. A vote for a different candidate is lack of support. A non-vote is also lack of support. If a candidate's support is greater than their lack of support, & they have the most support, they should win. If a candidate's lack of support is greater than their support, they should never win. It's crazy if anyone ever wins with less than 50% of the vote (a majority of people don't support them).

A vote is a vote of consent for a candidate. A vote for a different candidate is non-consent to every other candidate. A non-vote is also non-consent. If more people consent to a candidate than don't consent, & if they have the most consent, they should win. If more people don't consent to a candidate than consent, the candidate should never win.

When faced with 2 horrible options you don't consent to, the only rational choice is neither. If someone asks, "Would you rather I shoot you in the hand, or in the foot?" there's no reason to consent to either. That's a false choice. That's non-consensual.

The phrase "consent of the governed" appears in the US Declaration of Independence:

>We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Wikipedia says "consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is only justified and lawful when consented to by the people or society over which that political power is exercised."

If you don't have the consent of the governed, then your government is illegitimate. If people do not consent to a government, then the government is ruling by force, tyranny. Some people argue the act of voting implies consent, but it's a false assumption to assume if someone votes they consent to at least 1 candidate on a ballot.

If the act of voting implies consent, doesn't not voting imply non-consent? Yet non-votes remain uncounted, that lack of consent remains uncounted. If voting was mandatory, as in 5% of all UN nations, then people who normally wouldn't vote due to not supporting any candidates, would be forced to vote, & an option of "none of the above" is what would characterize their viewpoint, & it should always be an explicit option on every ballot.

If a ballot does not give voters an option to select "neither" (and have that be counted), then not voting is essentially the only way they can express their non-consent. They could write in a candidate if that's available on their ballot in their area, but all the write-in names are not currently considered "lack of support" for Candidate A or B, they're often considered "wasted" votes on some real or imaginary candidate that has no chance of winning.

Currently non-votes are not counted as lack of support. How do you count non-votes? By counting registered voters.

The formula for first-past-the-post is voters choose 1 candidate, & the candidate with the most votes wins. That's flawed for several reasons.

Maurice Duverger noticed a phenomenon & wrote about it in the 50s & 60s, now known as "Duverger's law", which says plurality voting systems (like first past the post elections), structured within single-member districts (aka single-winner voting, aka winner takes all), tend to favor a two-party system.

It could be argued that not giving all voters the explicit option of "none of the above" on ballots has resulted in two-party hegemony in the US, & increased partisanship, & polarization. A false dichotomy is a fallacy of limited choice, "forcing a conclusion by artificially limiting the available options." Voters have been convinced that each vote is a binary, either-or proposition, yes or no, due to not having the explicit option to vote no on all of them.

Ballots often include questions to voters that are yes/no. In Congress, they count Aye (yes), Nay (no), DV (didn't vote). A vote for 1 candidate can be viewed as a vote of "yes" for 1 candidate, & a vote of "no" for every other candidate. But ballots typically don't require you to vote no on every other candidate, it's assumed you get 1 "yes" vote, & the rest are "no." (But in approval voting, voters can vote "yes" on more than 1 candidate, & the most approved wins.)

But how can voters vote "no" for all candidates? If a registered voter does not support any candidates running, they may not vote at all, yet that remains uncounted. If a ballot doesn't include a write-in area or the option of "none of the above", then the ballot assumes someone who votes consents to at least 1 candidate running, but that's a false assumption. An explicit option of "none of the above" would be a way for voters to declare all candidates losers. Nevada has had a "none of these candidates" option on the ballot since 1976 (but if it wins, it's ignored, which is wrong IMO).

Elections should quantify non-consent more than they do now.

The formula for elections should be votes (aka support) / possible votes (aka eligible registered voters). If a candidate's support is less than 50%, they shouldn't win, because a majority of people don't support them.

Say you go to a restaurant in a group of 10 people, & you all sit at 1 table. Suppose the waiter only gives the table 2 options: a) old tuna, or b) old shrimp. Suppose 2 people vote for old tuna, suppose 1 person votes for old shrimp, & 7 people don't vote since they want neither. Should the whole table therefore be served old tuna because that option got the most votes? No. 70% want neither, 20% want old tuna, 10% want old shrimp. The majority consents to neither. In current elections, the news would say turnout was 30%, old tuna has 2 votes & 66% of the vote, & old shrimp has 1 vote & 33% of the vote, old tuna wins by 33 points, they all get old tuna. But the real levels of support are: 70% neither, 20% old tuna, 10% old shrimp, neither wins by 50 points, they all get neither.

Say there is an election with 2 candidates, Alice & Bob, but both candidates are very unpopular. If "none of the above" doesn't appear on ballots, it forces voters to choose "the lesser of two evils", it coerces voters to give some support to candidates who they may otherwise not support at all, except for their desire to make their opponent lose. Without an option to vote "no" on both candidates, to vote them both losers, then a voter is forced into a situation where they must vote in a way they don't want to, in a way they don't fully consent to. One could even argue that all write-in votes are a form of a "none of the above" vote.

If "none of the above" wins, I favor eliminating all candidates from the race & having a new election with all new candidates.

Sy Leon wrote a book, None of the Above: Why Non-Voters are America's Political Majority . Since silence does not imply consent, then the silent majority do not consent to a President Trump. Only 20% of US adults voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Which means 80% of US adults didn't. Why should be anyone be "hired" by taxpayers if 80% of people don't support them in the first place?

And since House Republicans have betrayed their oath of office & refuse to impeach a person who is unfit to be President, then the American people need some other option to "fire" the President they allegedly "hired." That could be a new Amendment to vote to impeach a President by popular vote (since the House of Representatives can clearly not be trusted to obey their oaths of office & impeach a rotten President), or maybe just an Amendment to vote to impeach the House Speaker by popular vote.

TLDR: Winners should be determined by ( votes / registered voters). Ballots should include "none of the above." If someone doesn't have >50% support, they shouldn't win. If turnout is <50%, nobody should win. If nobody wins, rerun the election with all new candidates. If voters can vote to hire someone, they should be able to vote to fire someone, including the President. Maybe a certain number of signatures could be required to trigger a vote to fire. A vote to fire, vote to impeach could also be based on ( votes / registered voters), & require >50%. Enough tyranny of the minority.

edit: typos