Vote, Don’t Play Video Games, Obama Ad Suggests

A new get-out-the-vote ad for Barack Obama includes a shot of a Wii controller accompanied by the words "You Can’t Make History From Here."

In other words, put down your video game for a while and go vote. A sofa and a cubicle also serve as reminders to leave home or office to cast your ballot.

Obama, of course, made big news a couple of weeks back by embedding campaign ads in more than a dozen EA games on Xbox Live. In his campaign speeches he often uses video games as a metaphor for scholastic underachievment.

And, as GameCulture notes, the music in the ad "is pure 8-bit."

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  1. Keddren says:

    This.  If early voting is any indication, turnout this year is going to be huge.  If people all have to cram into the polling places early in the day or after work, those locations are going to be mobbed and chaotic.  If people had the entire day to make their vote, it will make the process much more manageable.

  2. sortableturnip says:

    Wow!  100+ comments and no JT to speak of  😉

    On a serious note, I live in a state where our electorial votes dont mean squat to the candidates.  So, what’s the point of voting when the candidates don’t care diddly squat about my state.  Now, if the states all had equal electorial votes, then my state would matter.

    Plus, it doesn’t hurt that one of the vice-presidents home state is mine as well, so we already know who the state is voting for…

  3. Doomsong says:

    I can’t say that I’m offended by the ad… but I can say I’m upset by the implication that this ad would spur me to vote for the candidate represented in said ad.

    Despite which side wins this election (even though in a true democracy we’d have more than two sides with a real chance), it seems to me that the song lyric still remains true:

    "Meet the new boss… same as the old boss"

  4. urutapu says:

    I like the tune. A lot.

    Although I have to admit that Obama is kind of sending mixed messages, I say if this offends you then, uh…lighten up?

  5. ShtickYoMaMa says:

    Honestly though,

       I think that may have been the smartest thing to come out of an Obama Ad, I with a few others have tried to come up with a plan to petition our senators and congressmen/women, we as an american people fight to get to the elction polls, it is unreal that we are forced to speed from work/school/etc to these cramped polling places only to sit in line.  I think we all just need a full day off to go vote and see the outcome of the election, I mean come on…is it that hard for us to have One day off every 4 years….

  6. Orange Soda says:

    I’ll spend November 4th doing whatever the hell I feel like doing, which may or may not include playing my Wii.

    Sounds rebelious, doesn’t it? Thing is, I voted early. Kinda ruins it.

  7. Thomas McKenna says:

    People who follow Reagan’s ideals want a larger government, at least in terms of military spending.  They make statements about the American spirit and it’s people, etc.  They often interfere with some parts of the Bill of Rights for the greater good (most notably the 1st, 4th, and 6th )

    Libertarians want smaller government in all areas and with it less government spending.  They are often found quoting founding members of the United States who were Anti-Federalists, and feel the Bill of Rights should be treated more than kind suggestions.

  8. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Yeah, what I do with my free time is my own business, regardless of wether or not you consider games to be time wasters and nothing more, Barrack Obama.


    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! -The Buck Stops Here. -Thou Shall Not Teamkill, Asshole.

  9. thefremen says:

     Hey you pay your taxes, that’s better than what can be said about Joe the Plumber (he owes back taxes).

  10. Kajex says:

    Voting is a very important process, as is the choice to not vote for those who don’t represent you. It should not be brushed aside.

    Nevertheless, what I do on my own free time is my own goddamn business, not his. I have a job, I pay my taxes, I vote- I better not be told what it is I should or should not do for my leisure time.

  11. mogbert says:

    Hey, is there a place to go to find out how your state has voted previously? Some place with a bunch of red and blue maps?

    I’ve mentioned before, this is my first time being politically active, I’m curious if my vote counts or if I’m in a state that has always had it’s votes counted for the other side.

  12. Dark Sovereign says:

    Few outside the Republican party would really know the difference between the two. The biggest differences are on foreign policy, legality of drugs, and immigration. The Libertarians want to treat all foreign nations the same in terms of trade, favor legalizing marijuana, and more open borders. The Reganites believe in limited immigration, that certain nations do not deserve the same trade righs as others, and oppose drug use.

  13. Bennett Beeny says:

    I wish we could vote with our gaming consoles.  Heck, I might even vote if I could do it with my console.  Oh, hang on… I’d have to be able to register via the console too.  Oh, hang on… I’d have to become a citizen first.

    Okay, when I can become a citizen, register to vote, and vote, all with my console, then I might vote.  On the other hand, Call of Duty 4 is just so darned fun, and it’s not like either party is going to take away my right to play it.

  14. dobilay says:

    I’m Canadian so excuse me for not knowing but wasn’t it just said above that Reagan’s policies and Libertarians’ are very different?

  15. Monte says:

    Actually someone might need to double check on this, but i think the ads were not hardcoded into the games but provided via xbox live… like you would only see them while playing online, or you downloaded them with the last time you got content for the game, or something like that… after election, xbox live will likely remove all the ads…

    i had the similiar thoughts when i thought that it would be a bad idea to hard code election ads into a video game; unlike ads for coke or pepsi, election ads would expire in use quickly… Then one of the stories about the ads gave me the impression that it was an xbox live/Playstation network kind of thing.

  16. Icehawk says:

    I went ahead and voted on 10/25 (1st Amendment Day) seemed fitting showhow and was already out and about looking for game stuff (360 controller and Fable 2) so took care of business.  Now I can sit back with a degree of detachment and listen to rantings. 

    McCain/Palin having nothing and offer it, large dosages of peppermint (prefer Wintergreen myself) flavored nothing.  They in turn try to take away whatever little Obama has, they are giving negative campaigning a new (or at least deeper) meaning.   Amused me listening to the lastest pitch about how those 2 wanted to return government to the Ronnie Raygun (Ronald Reagan) days when not long ago R.R. was getting pwned hard on policy.. but Ronnie was into the war thing and so is John.    That and thier claims about breaking up the "good ole boys" groups in DC.  Um John are you in a couple of those when last checked.   Cutting off Then biting that hand that feeds you?

    Obama on the other hand wants to be Robin Hood.  Take from the rich and give to the poor.  That is not a pure Marxist (From each according to his ability to each according to need) but it IS liberal as hell.  But hey newsflash, Obama is a liberal democrat.  Obama needs/wants to get more of the younger types (gamers) out to vote as it seems the younger peeps identify him more (or so the theory goes) so his margin grows.  And what better medium to push that than games?  The problem is his campaign ads are going to exist in those EA titles long after the dust settles so We are the ones that will suffer from His ego.

    Methinks either or both of them might find they made a mistake somewhere along the line and awoke the giant and earned the ire of gamers. 

  17. Father Time says:

    If you want us to take the day off please make every other election day a federal holiday. (I hope both candidates get this message)


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  18. Father Time says:

    Err is libertarican a typo or not, I honestly can’t tell the way people combine words to describe their philosophy.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  19. krotoslol says:

    I’m not really offended, so meh.

    Besides, gives me a good reason to get off the couch.



    ==I lieky teh pie.===

  20. Dark Sovereign says:

    I don’t know. From where I’m sitting, the party seems to be splitting along the lines of Bushian "compassionate conservatives" against Reaganites and Libertaricans.

  21. jds says:

    Both candidates are losers. One can’t own up to his past and the other doesn’t have much to speak for regarding his past.

    They both promise too much future.


    . . Wisdom begins in wonder. – Socrates . .

  22. King of Fiji says:

    Lets get real though we aren’t making history by voting we are just simply helping someone become forever remembered in history by voting for someone to become president.

    Also yes I’m pretty sure someone can make "history" on all the things mentioned in that ad.  Lord knows when I was little and had poor bladder control I made history all over the couch when I slept on it.



  23. Zerodash says:

    "Ask for the Day Off"?  You need a whole day off to go vote?  It’s bad enough Obama is going to rape businesses and business owners.    I guess every other year I have voted, I was doing something wrong by not getting a whole day off to do so.



    Otherwise, the Obama campaign seems to be doing tons more to get their message out than McCain ever could.  It’s the best & most focused campaign I have ever seen.

  24. Master_E says:

    "Videogames make you lazy!"

    "Hey, look at my videogame ad!"

    "People aren’t working and studying hard enough!"

    "Take the day off to go do something that shouldn’t take up a lot of your day!"

    He sure is the candidate of ‘change’… changes his mind often enough. 🙂

  25. Bigman-K says:

    I think this is all about moderation. Obama isn’t saying playing video games is bad but playing video games all the time and not going out and doing other things is. Seems reasonable.

    "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  26. turdevo says:

    sorry guys, I’m just a guest here and maybe I missed something but I don’t see nobody in the video tellin’ me “Don’t Play Video Games”.

  27. Geoff says:

    Yeah, I prefer Libertarian myself, though voting for a 3rd party right now is still a waste of a vote in my opinion.  If there’s one thing Dems and Repubs can agree upon it is to not allow anyone else play politician with them (at least when it comes to the Executive branch).  Maybe that’ll change, I’m kind of expecting the GOP to split between "old guard" conservatives and the looney social "conservative" branches.

    "Whole reason I started smoking (true)."

    You too??  I don’t now about you, but this election cycle as increased my smoking up to a pack a day.  (Use to be half-a-pack).


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  28. hellfire7885 says:

    Eh, forget it, thansk to a damned paperwork mix up I can’t vote as my registration didn’t go through.

  29. Geoff says:

    Meh, whatever.  I tune out political ads.  Honestly, I HATE election years, everything about them.  Sure I try to find out what each candidate’s policies are (the things that actually matter…which means about 10% of what the media covers) but after that I just try to ignore it all.  Heavy emphasis on "try" ’cause I’m bombarded with such stupid crap from both sides everywhere I go.  Hell video games become one of my few escapes from the insanity  of it all.

    Either way I do plan to go out and vote…then go home and play some Fallout 3 or Fable 2.  Might even sneak some DS time in there if the voting lines are long enough.  It’s win-freakin’-win.  🙂


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  30. Firebird says:

    I said this once before, I am going Libertarian….

    I will put my controller on the ground (or under with me) when I hit the grave.

    I just don’t vote since most politicians promise more than what they deliver.

    Either way, the electoral college is always there to screw your votes, so why bother? There has an influx of negativity about those that don’t vote as well, particularly by celebreties. I hate nothing more than such things shoved down my throat. Whole reason that I started smoking (true). But these are my opinions, so if you have any feelings on the contrary, I’d respect.

  31. thefremen says:

     I think a better message would be "Vote, even though Diebold will probably tamper with your ballot and fix the election for the GOP."

  32. Nocturne says:

    If there was a Wii voting channel I’m sure he would be saying stay in front of your video games and vote, but there’s not so shift your backside.

  33. Good Lord says:

    Ah, a proponent of the American caste system! How about you take your righteous indignation over your fellow Americans seeking to make the voting process easier (GOD FORBID! Ever heard of an absentee ballot?) and shove it up your fear-mongering ass?

  34. Thomas McKenna says:

    "Moral equivalency (your second paragraph) is a cop-out favorite of the Left. Try again."

    You go ahead and try again.  I’m libertarian, not part of "the left." 

    Also, it’s not a cop out.  It’s a fact.  Under the constitution we are all equal, and thus people who vote have no greater citizenship or say in how the government should be or be run than people who don’t vote.  Of course, for those said "non-voters" to really put a say into how the government works they’d most likely have to vote and thus no longer become a non-voter, but semantics aside the point holds.

    In the US, we have this thing called freedom, or at least we’re supposed to have it.  This means we can do whatever the hell we want so long as it does not infringe on another person’s rights, and in doing thus we are Americans.  There is no "greater American."  Just because you live by your views and your morals doesn’t mean someone who lives by different values, or thinks differently than you, is somehow less important.  Voting for president is worth the hassle in your mind.  It is in mine as well.  The fact that you fail to see is that other people don’t feel that way, and they are entitled to their stance as you are to yours. 

    And I didn’t ignore fraud, I simply left it out as it had no part in the argument I was making.  I don’t care if you can vote from your couch or have to do absentee or whatever, and this never was my argument.  I was simply arguing that you have the right to look down on those who don’t vote, but that doesn’t make it, or you, right.  It’s their vote, and they should be able to do whatever they want with it, and this includes not casting it.

  35. Dark Sovereign says:

    People who go to the polling stations, and wait in those long lines, care more about their votes than people who would require a vote at their house. Yes, voting for a President IS worth the gas needed to get to the polling stations. Secondly, you ignored the issue of fraud.

    Moral equivalency (your second paragraph) is a cop-out favorite of the Left. Try again.


  36. Dark Sovereign says:

    You mean the barrier of "I have to get off of my fat ass and move down to a polling station"? Again, how would fraud be detected in disseminated voting? 

  37. Loudspeaker says:

    That’s not my point.  My point is that in this day and age why are there even any further limitations to voting?  BTW just because one does not vote doesn’t mean one is disinterested in their democracy.

    My counterpoint to your comment is…  Why are their barriers to voting?  What’s wrong with eliminating barriers to vote?

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  38. Thomas McKenna says:

    People who vote are no less of citizens than people who do vote.  Besides, is going to a polling place to vote for someone who isn’t going to win your state anyways really worth the cost of gas to get there, and the insanely long and slow moving lines you’d have to wait in?  Is it worth the $0.42 it costs to send in an absentee ballot?

    You may have certain feelings on the questions I just asked.  Realize that others have differing opinions.  Also realize that even though they have a different set of beliefs than you they’re still citizens, still have the same rights and privaledges you do, and should be treated no differently than you should be treated, be it in life or politics.

  39. Dark Sovereign says:

    Socialism is, at best, Communism-lite. It shares the same premise that Communism does, i.e. that all people should be forced to be equal. It differs in how far it goes. Features that are similar in both Socialism and Communism: confiscation of wealth from those who have it to those who don’t. Hostility to religion. Public ownership or heavy governance of what would otherwise be private institutions. They also share economic decline. Look at Europe. Despite its glorious socialist system, no nation in Europe can really be said to be an economic power. The buying power of Europe in the world dropped as other markets in Asia began to embrace the free market. The United States managed to stay even. As the recent crisis shows, Europe booms and busts when the United States does.

    Besides, Socialist Democracy is a lie. A farce. In Socialist "Democracies" one group of people is robbed and another becomes entitled and beholden to the government. As the recipients of wellfare expand, their dependence on it becomes greater and greater. Because they are beholden to the government, and because the government can crush dissent in the name of "fairness", no freedom can truly exist in such countries.

  40. Dark Sovereign says:

    Reaganites, followers of Reaganism, want less central planning by the government, less taxes, less regulations on businesses, the department of education gone, Roe vs. Wade gone, strict constitutionalist judges, restricted immigration, and a strong military. The Federal government is granted the power to raise an army. Reaganites prefer free market solutions to problems. What Reagan did is by and large irrelevant to the beliefs of the Reaganites.

  41. Thomas McKenna says:

    You called for Reaganism.  Reagan drastically increased the size of the government in both bureacracy as well as spending.  He may have caused the USSR to implode on itself, and I thank him for that, but his stance towards the role the government should play is not in line with a libertarian mindset, and in fact is contrary to it in many cases.  So basically, on the your question about where did you support increase in government power, I’m going to have to say…

    "Or some serious Reaganism."  <— Right there

  42. Dark Sovereign says:

    Huh? Where did I support "policies that do nothing but increase government power"? 

    My biggest beef with the Libertarians is actually their foreign policy. Sometimes, preemptive military force is needed.

  43. Thomas McKenna says:

    You’re calling for complete opposites here.  On one hand, you want a libertarian candidate that wants to minimalize the government in all areas, whlie on the other you want policies which do nothing but increase the size of the government?


    As an aside, but still slightly on topic, why would anyone who originally voted for Ron Paul now cast their votes for Obama?  They’re nearly diametrically opposed to each other in political thought.

  44. ShtickYoMaMa says:

    Actually yes I do, I grew up in a very political household, and you must not know the fact that voting present is basically a cop out to voting no on a bill…in IL they can do this often without ever having to vote on specific bills, and Sen Obama did this MANY times (over 100 if I’m not mistakened) during his "illustrious years" as an Illinois state senator.  Yeah I’m sure if he gets elected and he messes up, all the Dems will say "well WE didn’t vote for him", the man is a hypocrite, elitiest, and a liar, again go look at his 13th District and tell me what a GREAT job he’s done for that district of Chicago.  In 2004 he said "I don’t think I’m ready to run for such a big job, I need to get more experience.." or something to that fact, and that was when asked about running for president….yeah real nice of his campaign group to call her Incapable or Inexperienced when Obama himself has no experience.

  45. ShtickYoMaMa says:

    Yeah and you think thats bad, take a look at the 13th District he represented during his time in Illinois, he did such </sarcasm> GREAT </end sarcasm> things for the district, by voting present so many times.  Not to mention that his wonderful mentor Emil Jones is a complete and total scumbag.  Oh yeah and do I EVEN NEED to mention he came from the Chicago Political Machine??????? ‘Nuff said, I’m voting Red on 11/4

  46. Dark Sovereign says:

    1) The expansion of Medicare is always accompanied by a loss in the private sector. His policies would be the first step on the road to government takeover. Sadly, the process might last longer than he will, so it may not be visible until maybe 2016.

    2) McCain has his religious hatred of pork to back him up. Obama does not.

  47. Krono says:

    1) Obama’s policies would not nationalize healthcare, nor would they strangle private education that I can tell.

    2) $800 billion in new spending, with a bunch of spending cuts that would account for half of that. As for the rest, we shall see, it kinda depends on how much he could actually get implemented. McCain ain’t particularly better in this regard as I recall.


  48. JustChris says:

    Ah, you’re probably a Libertarian if you’re for small government. I’m worried that Ron Paul might be too old to run in 2012, but there could be another guy like him.

    To be more fair, though, the real definition of Socialism is the workers’ control of production, and not state control.

  49. Dark Sovereign says:

    Really? Obama’s policies would nationalize healthcare, strangle private education, and likely maintain the current unprecedented level of control over banks. Socialism is a gradual shift, where wealth is taken from one group, by force, and distributed to another group that the State feels is more deserving. Socialism primarily differs in the degrees to which it is Communist, whereas the system takes longer to achieve total public ownership/control of the means of production. The two systems have the same ends, i.e. forcing all the wards of the State to be "equal" regardless of how bad off they are.

    Secondly, do you honestly think that Obama can get any of his programs funded without raising taxes on the middle class, or by redistributing "some" wealth? He’s proposed, what, $4 trillion dollars of new spending, and promised to pay for it by "going through the budget and eliminating projects that don’t work". That particular method of raising funds is ludicrous coming from him, escpecially given his ridiculous campaign expenditures. So, he’ll have to raise taxes. It will start with the "wealthy", and then creep down to the middle class. Gradually, the successful, identified as "the rich" will be giving most of their funds to the government, which will then be given to the various tribalist interest groups that compose the democratic party, and to taxpayers sharing none of the costs of government.

    He, and the Democrats, advocate programs which would enslave the populace to entrenched beaurocrats in the government. Both he and the Democrats represent the parasites that infect any successful Democracy, the groups who found out that they can just vote themselves money from the government.

  50. Father Time says:

    Socialism requires a lot more than just distributing SOME wealth. Socialism is complete control over the economy which is not what’s being proposed. There will still be rich and poor no matter who gets into office.

    Ragging on Obama for that is like Dems ragging on Mccain for 100 years of Iraq war.

    Both comments are far less sinister and mean less than what people think they mean.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  51. Dark Sovereign says:

    Why should we give the government ANY power? It has yet to use it appropriately. Why should we accept that some beaurocratic shithead can allocate our money better than the people can? We need a government that is drastically scaled back in power, and a government restrained by the "constitution-in-exile" that FDR threw out.

    And yes, spreading the wealth is Communism. Or, more precisely, it’s Socialism, which is the Communism that occurs in Democracies. You can demonize big oil, wall street bankers, and "the rich" until you turn blue in the face, but the fact is, those people are required for healthy economies.

    I love how people can be easily fooled by the mantra of "equality". Perhaps the biggest and most corrosive lie in America is that "equality" enforced by the government is actually desirable.

  52. Nekowolf says:

    I’m both American, and a Socialist. Socialism is not an automatic equal to communism. Communism is an extreme from of socialism. Two words: Socialist Democracy.

  53. Michael Chandra says:

    I’ll be blunt.

    I’m from Europe. Netherlands. A country based on socialism for a major part. I take a look at our most extreme right-wing political parties and your party-system. I notice that we are partially socialistic, far away from communism, and we’re way more left than you’ll ever be. I laugh at your "Marxist" claim.

  54. Krono says:

    If you think Obama is a neo-Marxist, then whatever you do, don’t look at any part of the Democratic Party, or our progressive tax system that’s been redistributing the wealth in this country for decades. I’m not sure you could take the shock.


  55. Conejo says:

    because giving tax cuts to Big Oil, allowing them to lie to the government, and ignoring the fact that the two most powerful people in government work for them have worked so well for us for the past 8 years…

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  56. Verbinator says:

    I’m not insulted, but I’m also not going to cast my vote for the man and his neo-Marxist allies.  –Verbinator

  57. Monte says:

    Well when you consider the Wii has yet to support a black wii, i think the return intolernce is to be expected… bigoted lil’ console XD

  58. Dark Sovereign says:

    Race-based favoratism from his days in the Illinois legislature.

    "Authoritarian conservatism"? Do you even know what our conservatives believe? I mean, really, do you? Half of the conservatives want almost all of the government dismantled, and the the other half want merely most of it dismantled.

    We have a welfare state here. Europeans are remarkably ignorant about it, but we’ve got it. We don’t pay people to not work though.

  59. Haggard says:

    Expansion of the welfare state from nothing, yes. Race-based favoritism, what?

    Trust me, Obama here would be to the right of our Conservative party. Yeah, he’s liberal – but only when compared to the authoritarian conservatism you guys are used to.

  60. Dark Sovereign says:

    He advocates it far more than his contemporaries. Wealth redistribution has never actually been popular with the public. That’s why Democrats usually try to hide it in terms of "equality", or "helping the little guy". By hiding the redistribution in emotional terms, they become harder to argue against.

    In what way is Obama a "moderate liberal"? I’m ignoring that "world’s political compass" bullshit because the Europe and the United States do not use the same political language, and because Europeans opinions are irrelevant in U.S. elections. Let’s see: no merit pay, check; removing secret ballots for unionization, check; higher taxes for "the rich", check; race-based favoratism, check; expansion of the wellfare state, check; dovish foreign policy, check; expansion of government expendatures, check; "living constitution" judicial appointees, check; tax funding for abortion, check. None of these could be called "moderate" or "conservative". All are the properties of the far left. He doesn’t have any conservative positions to balance him out on his liberalism, either. So he would be a far left or near far left liberal.

  61. JustChris says:

    So many people are scared of the link with Socialism to Obama that I swear that it’s turning into another Red Scare. Besides, wealth distribution through taxes has generally been popular with most Democratic platforms. People act as if this "radical" thinking is just Obama-centric.

    Also he is seen as a flaming liberal to most conservatives, but the truth of the matter is, he leans more to moderate liberal. The US political compass is very skewed to the world’s political compass. Western Europe is far more liberal than the US.

  62. HarmlessBunny says:

    I hate smear campaigns. This one is one of the worst for the US. Bad enough the Canadian election was one of those… *rolls eyes*

  63. HarmlessBunny says:

    Not too many, being Canadian and all…Though I have heard a few. However if he is Marxist, he is DIET Maxist. Crappy taste of it, with none of the calories. Seriously Marxists are scary people. Do I see him Pro-Social Democratic like a lot of Europe? Well a touch of it, not by much…

  64. Zevorick says:

    Redistribute the wealth sooo makes him a communist. He’s also an insider in washington, has no idea how blue collars work, and hates plumbers. Unlike John McCain who only drinks beers in blue collar bars with plumbers… or something like that. I honestly don’t know at this point. Both sides are making me sick.

  65. Haggard says:

    It’s interesting you should say that. Here in Europe we all love Obama.

    It seems the only country in which he faces serious opposition is in America – the country he’s running for President. He should have run for President of Earth instead!

  66. HarmlessBunny says:

    I am not insulted by it (then again I am Canadian). Interesting he takes such an angle and integrates video game ads into the election. Strangely I believe this is the beginning of a new trend.

  67. Haggard says:

    It’s actually fairly similar in operation (not outcome) to the British ‘first past the post’ system – each of the 400+ electoral wards (geographical areas) votes in one Member of Parliament, and the party with the most MPs wins.

    So in 2005, more people in England voted Conservative than Labour, but Labour still won a majority of electoral wards (by winning wards with smaller populations) and are therefore the leading party.

  68. Dark Sovereign says:

    Somewhat. The smaller states don’t get that much more of an advantage, nor the larger states that much of a disadvantage. The number of electors is based on the number of representatives in Congress.

  69. Monte says:

    Well yes, there are only 2 states that use a non-winner take all method. The other 48 use winner-takes-all

    As for Nader, i’m not sure but part of the reason that people say he contributed to Gore’s loss is because he was taking votes that would have normally mostly gone to the democrats or not all (consiterablly less to republicans and the rest would not have voted at all)… In some states like flordia where the election could be shifted by a relatively small number of voters, every vote counts and the votes that went to Nader could have gone to Al Gore instead… though ofcourse, if flordia didn’t have a winner take all method, the votes would have been split 14-13 or something like that and as such, Nader’s impact would have been very much diminished when it comes to his contribution to Gore’s loss

    And the electoral college system could STILL give states a disportionate share of votes and give small state more say… the true falw of the electoral college is not the electoral college itself but how the electors of each state are distributed; the winner-takes-all method seems very wrong to me

    However, i would argue that giving small states a disportionally larger number of electors is actually unfair to the larger states… afterall, under such a system, the weight of an individual vote coming from a small state is greater than individual from a large state (its like bob from texas’s vote is only with 10 points, while Mary from montana’s vote is worth 100 points; or soemthing like that… in the end, Mary has more say in who wins)… i guess it seems fair in the winner-take-all method since not doing so would make small states feel very weak, however in a non-winner-take-all method it would be unfair and need correcting… but since the votes are being split properly, small states should not feel to be to be small as their small vote will still count for something. The Votes would feel more like they are just part of a larger whole of the nation instead of being bound to just the state

  70. JustChris says:

    It also goes to explaining why an electoral landslide victory can be easily predicted even though the popular vote prediction is close- within a 5% difference with both major candidates for example.

  71. Dark Sovereign says:

    Not all the states are winner take all, I thought. Wasn’t part of Al Gore’s loss attributed to Nader? Besides, the electoral college system gives smaller states a disproportionate share of the votes and larger states less influence.

  72. Monte says:

    Each State is assigned a number of electors based off the population of the state… a large state like california as about 55 electors, while a state with a small population like alaska has only 3 electors. The electoral college is bassically a winner takes all kind of voting method for like 48 states; whoever wins the most individual votes in a given states wins the ALL the electoral votes; 51% of the vote in california lands you 55 votes. Victory goes to however can get over 270 votes (so it doesn’t matter if you win by 2% or 30%). Essentially, if you come from a non-swing state, your vote practically doesn’t matter since you’re state is still gonna fall into the same pocket regardless of how you vote… i’m from New york, unless i can get tens of thousands of people to vote differently, a republican doesn’t stand a chance of taking the state.

    I always thought of it a rather flawed method as the 2000 election helped prove… Al gore won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. All logic says that Al gore was the real winner, but the law is based off the electoral college… i mean, if the electoral college votes were split proportionally based on what percentage of state the candidates won, i would bet that Al gore would have won instead… Seems to me that the general election should be run like the primaries where the votes are split based off the precetage… technically it could sill be a bit faulty, but there would be a much smaller margin of error and it would make me feel like my vote from New York actually counted for something

    I don’t think it would even be that hard to fix… the constitution gives the states the freedom to choose for themselves how to destribute, so its the states themselves that chose the winner take all method… so long as this flawed method is not consititutionally bound changes can be made (the consitution sets up the electoral college, but not the winner take all method)

  73. Father Time says:

    The electoral college as I understand it:

    There are 50 states and each state gets a certain number of electoral votes (I think that’s what they’re called) based on population (however Washington D.C. seeing as how it’s not officially part of a state gets it’s own votes). Now on election day everyone votes and for each state you determine which candidate got the most votes and you assign all those votes to that candidate (I think a few states have rules where the votes split). It’s very much a winner take all kinda thing.

    So say a state has 6 electroral votes and 58% vote Mccain 39% vote Obama and 3% vote Barr (the long shot 3rd party candidate). All 6 of those votes go to Mccain and whichever candidate ends up with the most electoral votes wins.

    This is how Bush won in 2000 despite getting less total votes than Gore (although to be fair it was considered the closest election we had in a long time).


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  74. Dark Sovereign says:

    Roe vs. Wade- removed the rights of the states to decide the issue for abortion for themselves. A Liberal reform. Social security, a system specifically designed to increase dependence to the state. A liberal reform. The Department of Education, removing the ability of the people to decide which curriculum is taught in their schools, another liberal reform. Secondly, how does opposing measures that remove the populaces freedoms, such as strict gun laws, the Fairness Doctrine, Social Security, and a progressive tax scheme make me "undemocratic"? Aside from that, none of the "reforms" were successful. Our education system is in the toilet. Social Security is going broke. The "progressive tax scheme" may soon be used to punish the successful. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, liberal organizations set up to increase homeownership, are now in the toilet. Add that to the fact that the New Deal, a famous period of liberal reform, and the "Great Society" were both failures.

    It’s not as if instituting liberal reforms is somehow more "democratic" than undoing them will be. The same positions used to erect them will be used to tear them down. The difference, of course, is that such destruction would be killing your beloved programs. So instead of actually defending the merits of the reforms themselves, of which there are zero, you attack the messenger with logical fallacies and strawmen.

  75. Bennett Beeny says:

    Liberal reforms are so difficult to undo because the only people who don’t like them are on the extreme right.  It’s not as if undoing liberal reforms is somehow ‘democratic’.  Your attitude just shows how undemocratic those on the political right are.

  76. Dark Sovereign says:

    Liberal "reforms" are difficult, if not downright impossible, to undue. Republicans and Libertarians do not like either. (Yes, I’m ignoring the more liberal portions of the Republican party, like Bush)

  77. sqlrob says:

    It still has a purpose, and always will. The Founding Fathers did it fully intentionally.

    Look up "Tyranny of the majority"

  78. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I am not sure about our next constitutional convention, but it should be near. There have been several groups in Oklahoma working together over the last decade to change the ballot access laws, but they never get to a vote, because they are always shot down in commitee before a vote can take place and any attempt to bypass congress and petition to have it on the ballot for resident vote is met by our equally restrictive petition laws.

    E. Zachary Knight
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  79. Dark Sovereign says:

    When’s your next constitutional convention? Could you propose an amendment? Or you could move to some North Texas town. The Libertarians have a fairly large support base in most of Texas, I think.

  80. Father Time says:

    I have your same predicament but I live in California which is a blue state.

    What really sucks is that 3 or 4 years ago I lived in North Carolina which was a red state but is now a swing state.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  81. DeepThorn says:

    What percentage of those red voters are over the age of 60?  They have to die off sometime, and then you should start voting soon.

  82. Father Time says:

    I thought Texas was a swing state this year?


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  83. Krono says:

    Not voting is foolish. I’ve been voting since as soon as I could register, despite the fact that Virginia as a whole has been considered to be solidly Republican (which I am not). This year, we’re suddenly a "battle ground state".

    No vote is ever wasted, even if it isn’t cast for one of the two big runners, it’ll be a vote in protest against them.


  84. Blu300 says:

    Um…does anyone feel like explaining what an Electoral College is to a Brit who wants to learn a bit more about the American Political system?

  85. sirdarkat says:

    Hey you have the same voting method as I do; let’s see I live in Oklahoma the past 4 elections no matter who was running they have voted red therefore no matter what my opinion is it doesnt matter because this state will always vote red.  Ah the electroal college defeating the purpose of one person one vote since its conception.  Granted it may have had a purpose in the beginning under the premise of no wide spread coverage of who is running but its an obsolete relic that just throws in your face that your vote doesn’t matter and the president could care less about your state because your state is always going to vote the same way.  I cant even recall the last time a presidental canidate made a stop in my state to give a speech after all what is the point of fluffing a state already fluffed for the red. 


    Anyways that was a little off topic … as for the ads I find some amusement in the fact that he insults us as underachievers and then panders to us with in game ads.  Ah politicans fence sitting till the end.

  86. Conejo says:

    anyone insulted by this ad should probably punch themself in the face.

    of course, as long as the Electoral College exists, i’m not bothering to vote since i’m a resident of a major state.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  87. Dark Sovereign says:

    I wish Bob Barr had a support base. We need some libertarian government destruction right about now. Or some serious Reaganism.

  88. Dark Sovereign says:

    Why should people so disinterested in their democracy that they can’t be arsed to go to the polls be allowed to vote? Furthermore, how would voter fraud be detected in such a system?

  89. Loudspeaker says:

    I get the idea of the add, however its delivery mechanism needs work.  The point is voting is important.  Ok, got it.  However, when you throw in video games, work, and school you’ve just said that voting is more important than the economy, education, and recreation.  This is an interesting line.  In a week we don’t have a vote for the economy, nor do we have a vote for a school, and we definitely don’t have a vote for recreation.  We vote for individuals.  Period.  Yeah you can say you’re voting for ideals, party lines, etc., however you’re still sending your vote to a person.  What they’ve said to get to this point matters little once they’re in office.

    Quite frankly I think the idea of this add needs to be reversed on the politicians.  Why can’t the American public make a decision from their couch?  Why can’t the American public vote from a Wii?  Xbox?  PS?  PC?  I’m aware of the possibility of the system being hacked or votes being cast that aren’t valid, however that already happens, so again, why aren’t we allowed to vote in this manner?  Taking is a step further, if all possibility of fraudulent votes were eliminated from a "vote from home system" would it be implemented?

    Whoa…  I think I had a Zippy moment.  Gonna have to stop there. 

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  90. Zevorick says:

    Indeed. I wasnt very insulted by it. It was rather stupid since it could potentially piss someone off, but it didnt start a fire under my britches.

  91. Father Time says:

    I can’t make history on my couch? I’ll show you. There’s a world record for ‘laziest bastard’ with my name on it.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

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