Voting

From Libertarian Wiki

Libertarians hold a variety of views on whether or not to vote, and how to vote. These attitudes range from believing that voting is immoral, to believing that it is a moral responsibility and that the electoral system "works" in all important respects.

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Why bother voting?

Some political economists have argued that it is irrational to vote, as our votes have an infinitesimal chance of changing the outcome and we would do better if we dedicated our resources elsewhere. This is even more true for libertarians, since we often don't have a clear preference for the Republican Party or Democratic Party, nor for their candidates in particular elections.

If our vote is unlikely to change the outcome of the election, and one likely outcome is not greatly preferred over the other, then why do we vote? If we are rational, we must have some other reason to vote besides affecting the outcome of the election that we are voting in.

Voting is the problem

Many anarchists don't have the problem of deciding whether it is worthwhile to vote, since many of them believe that voting itself is an evil act. These anarchists argue that by voting we are providing justification for the state, and possibly that we are pledging allegiance to the candidate we vote for, should he win.

Work within the major parties

Of the libertarians who do vote, some try to work within one or the other major parties, forming liberty-oriented caucuses such as the Republican Liberty Caucus or the Democratic Freedom Caucus.

Build alternative electoral movements

Other libertarians try to build alternative electoral movements, such as the Libertarian Party.


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