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Re: 1 Vote or 5 million dollars?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Would you sell your voting power for 5 million dollars?

Yes (“Show me the money!”)
133
56%
No (I want to keep my Liberty)
103
44%
 
Total votes : 236

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Infected Mushroom
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Re: 1 Vote or 5 million dollars?

Postby Infected Mushroom » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:03 pm

Please consider the following hypothetical:

With the US elections so close, I’d like to revisit this simple thought experiment. Now is a good time to ponder for yourself... how much is my vote worth?

Assume that in the near future, someone offers to buy your voting power for 5 million dollars.

Assume the following:
1. This is legal and effective (the rich buyer will be able to cast 2 votes, your vote is gone forever)

2. In the hypothetical, only this one person can and is interested in buying this one vote from you. No other votes are bought or sold.

3. Once you sell your voting power, you can never vote in anything political ever again anywhere, anytime.

4. The 5 million dollars is a non-taxable, state-recognized gain.


So... deal or no deal?

Give me 5 million dollars, who cares about a useless single voting power?

Or is your individual voting power worth more than any amount of money?

Please pick an option and provide a justification. Consider cost-benefit analysis, morality, and personal values.

I would do it. I could do a lot with 5 million dollars. The one vote has essentially zero probability of actually changing the outcome of any elections; therefore it is worthless in terms of cost-benefit analysis. No election is going to be impacted by my one vote.

I don’t see any ethical issues where the sale is 100 percent legal.
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Baby Chipmunk
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Founded: Sep 07, 2020
New York Times Democracy

Postby Baby Chipmunk » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:05 pm

This year I'd keep my vote, because *gestures at everything*.

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Of Zigarozia
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Founded: Dec 25, 2019
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Of Zigarozia » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:06 pm

5 million is a lot. I would definitely sell my vote.

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The Draemon Provinces
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Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The Draemon Provinces » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:09 pm

Selling my vote is far more practical.

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Of Zigarozia
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Of Zigarozia » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:11 pm

However, I do disagree with the premise that a single vote is unimportant. In multiple US election (Kentucky house of representatives, district 37, Alaska House of Representatives, district 1), to name only examples from 2018, the race was decided by a single vote.

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Infected Mushroom
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Infected Mushroom » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:12 pm

Of Zigarozia wrote:However, I do disagree with the premise that a single vote is unimportant. In multiple US election (Kentucky house of representatives, district 37, Alaska House of Representatives, district 1), to name only examples from 2018, the race was decided by a single vote.


I mean... it could be

Nothing is ever entirely impossible :)

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Disgraces
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Postby Disgraces » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:20 pm

My vote alone is extremely irrelevant. Gimme the money.
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Blargoblarg
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Blargoblarg » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:03 pm

Of Zigarozia wrote:However, I do disagree with the premise that a single vote is unimportant. In multiple US election (Kentucky house of representatives, district 37, Alaska House of Representatives, district 1), to name only examples from 2018, the race was decided by a single vote.

This alone is enough reason for me to reject the money and keep my vote. But I'd also keep my vote because a rich asshole who can afford to buy someone's vote for $5 million already has way too much influence on politics, they don't need more. And I like being able to decide how I want to vote, not somebody else deciding how they're going to vote twice.
Last edited by Blargoblarg on Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Czechostan
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Postby Czechostan » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:39 pm

Sell my vote, then donate the money to the campaign of the candidate I would have backed.

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Nantoraka
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Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Nantoraka » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:41 pm

I take the 5 million, then offer 1 million to 5 people for their votes, and go vote anyways.

Play the system!
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:06 am

Blargoblarg wrote:
Of Zigarozia wrote:However, I do disagree with the premise that a single vote is unimportant. In multiple US election (Kentucky house of representatives, district 37, Alaska House of Representatives, district 1), to name only examples from 2018, the race was decided by a single vote.

This alone is enough reason for me to reject the money and keep my vote. But I'd also keep my vote because a rich asshole who can afford to buy someone's vote for $5 million already has way too much influence on politics, they don't need more. And I like being able to decide how I want to vote, not somebody else deciding how they're going to vote twice.


To reduce that person's influence you should take the money. Because (as the poster above pointed out) you can have much more influence on the result using the money. But also, the rich fuck might realize that some people refuse no matter how much is offered, and just try again and again offering only $500 dollars each time, eventually buying ten thousand votes with the money they foolishly offered for your one vote.

You should take the money, but make a show of reluctance (maybe try and bid them up!) so you don't wise them up. Then they won't be so likely to offer a small sum to the next person, but instead blow all their money to get only 20 votes or so.

It should be noted that buying a person's vote is illegal, and it being election-related the Mushroom should watch his step!

Also, wouldn't it be a better dilemma if the money offered was more realistic? Would you sell your vote for $500 for instance ...


Here in Australia, voting is compulsory for all levels of government. I was in the town hall to vote and I chatted to a guy about his problem of being in a big rush but worrying about how long it would take him to cast an absentee vote (he was out of his home area). He said "if it wasn't for the fifty dollar fine I'd just walk out". Either that, or something one of us said before, attracted the attention of an electoral official (it's illegal to talk about politics, candidates, parties etc within the polling place) and she heard him say he would walk out, so she said something like "no matter the fine, it is illegal to knowingly not vote" ... like she's going to arrest this guy twice her size ... so I said "Fifty dollars is the fine for not voting in a State election, this is Federal and the fine is only twenty dollars. Then he turned to the official and asks her if that's right, and looking very sour indeed she confirmed it was. He made a happy noise ... and walked out.

It's just one data point I admit, but that guy's vote was worth less than negative $20 but more than negative $50 to him.

And no, I did not approve of his choice. Every Australian should vote, and maybe the Federal fine should be raised to the same $50. There is no moral to the story, and it may not be entirely accurate as my memory is least reliable on subjects I was proud of at the time. They're cheapened by over-use, and used up in some way by using them to cheer myself up.
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Vassenor
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Postby Vassenor » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:14 am

Are we going to do this every election because you don't like it when people say they wouldn't take the money?
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Heloin
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Postby Heloin » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:17 am

Nantoraka wrote:I take the 5 million, then offer 1 million to 5 people for their votes, and go vote anyways.

Play the system!

Then sell your five votes for twenty five million. Repeat.
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Infected Mushroom
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:19 am

Vassenor wrote:Are we going to do this every election because you don't like it when people say they wouldn't take the money?


I recycle/re-iterate my thought experiments once in a while.

Once a year/half a year... something like that

You’ll notice that this iteration is different from the last iteration

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Infected Mushroom
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:20 am

Interesting. It’s very close to 50 50 in the polls

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Esternial
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Postby Esternial » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:30 am

Depends on who wants to buy it. If it's someone who I align with, I wouldn't mind selling them my vote.

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Infected Mushroom
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:34 am

Esternial wrote:Depends on who wants to buy it. If it's someone who I align with, I wouldn't mind selling them my vote.


This sounds reasonable.

If the other party would foreseeable vote the same way for at least one election or more, then you don’t in practice lose much :)

Very pragmatic
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kelvaros Prime
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Postby Kelvaros Prime » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:40 am

Esternial wrote:Depends on who wants to buy it. If it's someone who I align with, I wouldn't mind selling them my vote.


Very solid point. I'd probably do the same.

In this case: yeah, I'd sell my vote for 5 mil if the buyer had similar views. Otherwise I probably wouldn't.
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:40 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Vassenor wrote:Are we going to do this every election because you don't like it when people say they wouldn't take the money?


I recycle/re-iterate my thought experiments once in a while.

Once a year/half a year... something like that

You’ll notice that this iteration is different from the last iteration


Now it's just "don't vote" rather than "vote as I say"?

It's not different in the most important way though. Many of your hypotheticals have the same fault: the money offered is so extreme that in real life anyone but a billionaire would take the money. They're not answering necessarily with what they would really do, because the offer seems "too good to be true" so what they're really telling you ... is admittedly sometimes that their vote can't be bought at all, but also virtue signalling that (when they wouldn't if you offered $500), and most of all "that's fishy, it's too good to be true, I would stay away from this deal in real life".

Even before I saw the other posters' ideas, I knew you were throwing away the money. To them I add, I can have far more political influence by donating to individual congress-critters, and then writing them a letter about why I donated. Than with one puny vote! Any rich person foolish enough to try and change an election result this way is going to end up poor and disappointed.
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Eahland
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Postby Eahland » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:41 am

I'ma eat five dozen eggs in a day and use the proceeds to buy twelve more votes for myself.

Specifically, I'm going to buy the votes of the Republican electors from Wyoming, Idaho, and West Virginia.
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:52 am

"I want to keep my Liberty" is cringe-worthy. If liberty consists in making a choice between different people to represent you, it ain't worth much.

Votes are worth something, but you can only accurately gauge how much by considering a vote to be a share of power. A single vote has the most power in a very closely contested race (something you have no control over as a voter, other than to move house). And the least power when the jurisdiction is a walkover for one party.

Parties are inevitable. Parties are good. No voter has any appreciable power unless they vote in concert with others. They must find a common cause (or usually, several, to form 'big tent' parties) and if parties were not there to rally voters to one side or the other ... they would come into existence to perform that function. Much as people hate having to 'pick a side' and get in a big tent with people they don't entirely agree with, they have to do it, or else give up their little share of power. Voting for the protest candidate or the joke candidate does send a signal, but it exerts no more power than staying home.
Also, AiliAiliA
No footwear industry: citizens cannot afford new shoes.
High rate of Nobel prizes and other academic achievements.

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Infected Mushroom
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Founded: Apr 15, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:53 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
I recycle/re-iterate my thought experiments once in a while.

Once a year/half a year... something like that

You’ll notice that this iteration is different from the last iteration


Now it's just "don't vote" rather than "vote as I say"?

It's not different in the most important way though. Many of your hypotheticals have the same fault: the money offered is so extreme that in real life anyone but a billionaire would take the money. They're not answering necessarily with what they would really do, because the offer seems "too good to be true" so what they're really telling you ... is admittedly sometimes that their vote can't be bought at all, but also virtue signalling that (when they wouldn't if you offered $500), and most of all "that's fishy, it's too good to be true, I would stay away from this deal in real life".

Even before I saw the other posters' ideas, I knew you were throwing away the money. To them I add, I can have far more political influence by donating to individual congress-critters, and then writing them a letter about why I donated. Than with one puny vote! Any rich person foolish enough to try and change an election result this way is going to end up poor and disappointed.


In my head cannon, the rich person thinks as I do (that 1-2 votes are useless statistically speaking). He’s only after the gimmick of being the first person in world history to gain the State-recognized power of having 2 votes in elections. He plans to market this to his advantage and use the publicity for gains that aren’t political in nature.

He knows that money > votes in democracies. He’s been playing the game a lot longer. He’s bored of it. Now he just wants something else.

...

But again, it’s not necessary to know this to answer.

You have to keep in mind that my scenarios don’t go for absolute realism, they are thought experiments set up with intended trade offs. They are meant to cause you to self reflect on your values.

The rules and premises aren’t capricious, they are to maintain the intended trade offs. (For example, if the selling and buying of further votes WERE allowed, it creates a very different cost-benefit analysis. Hence why some of the rules close that down. As another example, I don’t want this to be about Legality and Law and Order... so I stipulate that in this scenario, the sale of this one vote is made legal by the State).

Do you see?
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nobel Hobos 2
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:14 am

Eahland wrote:Specifically, I'm going to buy the votes of the Republican electors from Wyoming, Idaho, and West Virginia.


Good idea, but the pricing is complicated. I get that you're trying to take advantage of the small state weighting but ... an elector is an elector. The advantage has already been factored in by there being 3 instead of 1.

By choosing such red states, you are guaranteed against Biden winning and "your" electors not even being sent to the college. But you have to be careful of state law: some states do not allow the electors to be unfaithful. Your money goes on nothing if the state law allows their government to replace your bought electors, with others of their choosing.

I have a feeling that the redder a state, the more loyal their Republican electors will be to the party. So you're kind of going up-market, when you could get 9 electors much more cheaply somewhere else. Anywhere that isn't a strong lean or better for Biden, but still being wary of unfaithful elector laws.

I'm actually thinking Texas, because there probably are some opportunist politicians (or camp followers, which electors probably are) who aren't feeling that confident about the Republican future there, and thus less bothered by the party ostracism that will come their way when they vote for the Enemy. They might be able to stay on the winning side and get a job with the Democrats!

Texas also, because if Biden wins it fairly he's won the election, and your bent electors won't be needed.

DISCLAIMER: This is a hypothetical, it's political war-gaming for a hypothetical thread. NOBODY DO THIS, it is go-to-prison ILLEGAL.
Last edited by Nobel Hobos 2 on Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Page
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Page » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:16 am

At this point I would sell the vote and donate the 5 million to buy gas masks, armor, and tanks for protesters.
Last edited by Page on Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nobel Hobos 2
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:17 am

Page wrote:At this point I would sell the vote and donate the 5 million to buy gas masks, armor, and tanks for protesters.


Make sure you don't under-spend on gas masks, because tanks are a bit pricey.
Also, AiliAiliA
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