11 responses to “The majority in Majority Rule

  1. Cynthia Astorga

    It is true that many officials in today’s society believe that they have every right in choosing what is “best” for the public because the public chose them to be in that seat in office. I believe that as citizens even if we give up our vote doesn’t mean that we want to be represented as a whole. We are not always going to have the same ideals as our elected politicians. We elect politicians not because we believe them and agree with them 100% but because their ideals are the most similar to our beliefs. Like said in the article “basic math may not be universal among adults living in the United States,” just like math not being universe opinions are not universal either. Officials should not feel the need to claim mandate over the people because they were elected by them but instead be appreciative that someone in the public shares similar beliefs as they do. People in today’s society don’t value the right to vote as they did in the past, but it has been seen that in the past as soon as a scandal arises the public get out there and vote those officials out. Officials should take a note that voters have the right to remove any official out office, instead of thinking their word is set.

  2. Does the representative represent the majority when he does not have 51% of all possible voters behind him? Hopefully when the candidate considers himself as representing the majority, he does not view it as a victory but more as a responsibility. Hopefully he understands that the decisions at he makes and the policies that he supports will affect the majority if not more. In Chapter one it showed that the percentage of citizens who choose to vote stays relatively constant during non-presidential election years with the 18-24 age range being around 20% and the 65+ years age range staying around 60%. It also shows that during presidential election years the 65+ age range stays around 68% while the younger demographic has increased from 32% in 1996 and 2000, to 42% in 2004 and 2008 (Figure 1.3). While it is true that election participation is low and that for the young generation, the majority does not vote, is that the representatives fault somehow? No. Can he say that he was elected by the majority? Yes, he was elected by the majority of Americans who chose to exercise their right to vote, and therefore he was elected by the majority. Are we going to say that every official elected isn’t the right official because 51% of all Americans did not vote for him that is pretty much every person ever elected? This is just another example of trying to find fault with the system, it is not a perfect system, but is trying to shake the credibility of the representatives the way to go. Do not point out fault in the system unless you have a solution. How about instead of spending 100 million on campaigns telling me who to vote for, you spend a couple million encouraging me to vote.

  3. Richard Spencer

    I feel as though in this country we take for granted the many rights we have. Although it shouldn’t be mandatory to vote, people should want to vote. The reason why many people don’t vote is because of multiple factors. Many people feel their votes don’t count because of the electoral college. This was added into the system when the framers of the constitution believed the electorate was uninformed and they didn’t want a fringe candidate to gain popularity and enter higher office. There’s also voter apathy. This is due to the fact that our elected officials pander to too many interest groups, corporations and lobbyists. How can an elected official represent the needs of “the people” when they don’t listen to us. As a young voter who has voted in every election (local, state, federal) since I could start voting I have seen promises that aren’t kept and have written my congresswoman, senators, president and written local editorials to local officials and still not seen change. In chapter one we learned about hyper pluralism, well we are already in a hyper plural society. Instead of the common good, everyone wants a piece of the pie for themselves but the pie is only so big and there aren’t an infinite amount of slices.

  4. Voting in the election should be powerful for the whole. I know everyone’s opinion differ from person to another when it comes to voting in the election, but at the end we all want the best out of it. In my opinion, the most important thing to know before voting is that we should know what is the coming president will do for us. For example, we need to know what he/she is going to do for education, health care, seniors and disabilities….ets. If all these information is told to the public, everyone will want to vote because everyone will think that they’re voting for the write person. We not he/she won’t be perfect 100%, but we going to think the he/she is the best to help us with our needs in our society. But, if we see promises that are not kept, our voice will not count or in another word, it won’t make a different. Voting is important only if the promises is kept.

  5. It is inevitable that candidates tend to have a very open window when it comes to viewing themselves as winners to the public, when there are not many representing them or the speculation of them winning is evident. There are states that may totally agree/disagree with a candidate that may want to represent them but despite the hard work either of them do, it all falls upon the voter. If they choose not to vote, that is their choice, if not, then there is always another town/state to help cover up the loss.

  6. This argument does hold water. Reading you opinion gave me the opportunity to think more into this matter. I do agree with your argument. So how could even select a winning canidate if everyone has not voted. The people who vote are basically our representatives. There may be times where the winning candidate will be the opposite of who we really wanted to vote for. There should be no argument against this.

  7. I feel that the percentage of voters have dropped because the people have voted in the past and the person they voted for didn’t win. So they think to themselves why should I continue to vote if it won’t matter. In the last paragraph on page two of the book it states that “In 2008, when the National Election Study asked a nationwide sample about their general level of interest in politics, over half of Americans under the age of 30 said they rarely followed ploitics, compared to less than a quarter of those over the age of 65.” I think this is because most of the politicians talk about health care and jobs. The older people care more about this stuff because some of them have families to look after. Most of the younger people don’t have families to look after they are only going to school. If politician mentioned lowering school costs the younger people would pay attention more. I also think that if the mayors, govenors, presidents, and etc. actually followed through with what they campaign the public would start believe in them and vote more. If a greater percentage of people voted there wouldn’t be a majority vote win and there would be happier people.

  8. I do agree that many politicians falsely believe they have won the majority vote from the people and should respectfully assume their seats. Many politicians continue to forget the basic idea of representing the ideas from all the people (including non-voters), only because they have won the supposedly “majority” of the votes does not mean everyone has the same ideas as the elected official. Politicians should be asking the non-voters what ideas they represent. We should look at the following statement from the book Government in America, “representation: in politics, this means that the desires of the people should be replicated in government through the choices of elected officials” (Edwards, Wattenberg, Lineberry 14). It clearly states that elected officials should replicate the desires of the people. The democracy system has been set to reflect the peoples’ preference and for everyone to have an equal opportunity to participate in government. I think the question everyone should be more concern for is, why are non-voters expressing their rights as Americans? This creates a big dilemma in the government system because it can put it into question if the system is even working. From my personal experience, most non-voters choose not to vote because they question the government system. As an American I believe in the American system because everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in government. For non-voters to question the government system makes our country not look as a whole neither united. As Americans everyone should be participating in electing political officials. All Americans should be expressing their ideas or else their ideas will never be heard or any issues would be resolved. As Americans we have the responsibility of educating others about the government system and the importance of voting. We need to be united, to be reflected as a whole.

  9. In my opinion, the argument does not hold water. If an elected official runs and wins an election by a majority vote, that’s what exactly happened. There is no if, ands, or buts about it. This is not rocket science but straight common scenes. When an elected official wins an election by a majority vote, the vote that counts are the votes of the voters that took the time and knowledgeable efforts to go out and vote. One challenge our Democracy faces is the limited participation in government. “Americans do not take full advantage of their opportunities to shape government or selected its leaders” (Edwards III, Wattenberg, and Lineberry, p. 16). To better illustrate, we can take a look at the 2010 General Election Turnout Rate in which it estimated the whole United States turnout rate of counted voters was at 41.7%. In addition to the low participation rates, we also should take in consideration that elected officials that win in a majority vote can say they represents the majority of the people because the citizens that choice not to vote either didn’t bother or the issues at hand were way to complex for their understanding. Edward, Wattenberg, and Lineberry emphasize, “We live in a society with complex issues and experts whose technical knowledge of those issues vastly exceeds the knowledge of the general population” (p. 16). I don’t know about you but in my experience reading some of those informative ballot booklets are like reading a very complex law book and in hence an average person like me can find both of them somewhat complicated to comprehend. In conclusion, democracy is what makes it possible for these elections to take place, as they are a privilege to have in our county. People should take more of a time to vote and get knowledgeable of the complex issue at hand, so elected officials can even better say they have one won their majority vote and represent the best interest of the American people.

  10. Voting is an important factor that contributes to an election. Many believe that one single vote won’t affect its results but it’s the single individual votes that build up the majority. Representatives are elected because they share similar beliefs but this does not necessary mean that they understand everything that the citizens want. Voting is important since it helps voters elect an representative that can closely project their ideal beliefs. But I don’t think it hold water since the people who are interested in government and are willing to make their voices heard are voting to be a majority. If an majority wins, it wins since the representative is voted upon his ability to make decisions that benefit the majority of the American citizens. I think that people who believe government isn’t doing a good job to step up and speak up even if voting is the only thing that they are able to do.

  11. I used to think that most of elected officials won by majority vote, at least for the most part except the really wealthy people who could buy their way into election,in my opinion. But the text states that no matter the number of votes Incumbents normally win. “Indeed the most predictable aspect of congressional elections is this: Incumbents usually win.”(E text, 351) So what does this tell us? Taking into consideration, voter turn outs for example: a country will never have 100% of voter satisfaction, “we are lucky to get anywhere near 60%” (The Majority in Majority Rule)so the article states. So if only 60% of a city votes and the one Presidential officer wins with 55% of those votes he is automatically elected to office. Which in this case the article does not focus on how few people question or challenge elected officials who claim to have a mandate from the people despite never actually winning the majority of votes but rather, this article focuses on how elected officials should not claim they represent a majority of people if only 60% of America votes. The author also comes to a clear point where he states that you cannot discount non-voters just because they did not vote. Maybe the voter was affected by outside variables such as skin color, “there is evidence that African- American members are more active than are white members in serving African-american constituents and they appear to increase African-American constituents contact with and knowledge about congress.”( 350-351, E-Text) With that said, voters can be affected in such ways like race, or even gender, a woman may be influenced by another woman who show influential characteristics such as Confidence, hope and wealth. Finally, Presidential officers should not say they represent the majority of people, they should say they represent their supporters.

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