Your vote makes a difference


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Your vote makes a difference. You hear those five words often come election time, are you a firm believer of this saying?

I put this in mature discuss instead of General because I want some good thought replies to this thread. I'm sure people have strong feelings about this.


Son of Liberty
Yes it makes a difference, unfortunately so few people exercise their right to vote. I do believe your vote makes a difference and everyone should vote when they have the chance to.


Registered Member
Assuming I vote in a national German election, let's do a math: Germany has 82 million inhabitants, ca. 60 million of which are allowed to vote. When turnout is at, say, 75%, that means my vote is 1 out of 45 million. So by mere math, the chance that my vote "makes a difference" (that on my vote depends the decision which one of both large parties gets the office of Chancellor) stands 1 : 45 million. That's not really much.

But then, assume everybody assumed his or her vote doesn't matter, because the chance of making a difference is 1 : 45 million -- then nobody would go voting anymore at all. Obviously, a vote thus makes more difference than this calculation suggests.

Also, sometimes even minor fractions of votes can make a difference: For example, the Pirate Party won 2.0% of the votes in the last election, and although 98% of the voters did not vote for them, this was a success d'estime -- the established parties got afraid this party, which runs on a platform of internet freedom and private data protection, will take even more of their voters away in the future, so they soon adopted several demands of the Pirate Party -- including the libertarian FDP, which now is junior partner in the government. Ergo, even 2% of the votes had influence on politics already.

A similar thing happened in the 1980s, when the Green Party came up -- although it made between 5% and 8% only, this new competition resulted in a change within the established party in favor of environmentalism. The office of Minister for the Environment was created, long before the Greens were part of the government for the first time.

So yes, your vote does make a difference.


if everyone of us believes that "my vote makes a difference" then of course it does make the difference.
I always vote in elections. i never hesitate. i want my vote to be heard/seen/felt and the only way i could do this is by voting.
imagine the weirdness if everyone of us didn't believe in our own votes and didn't vote..., who would participate in elections?
believing in such issues is important.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
In presidential elections, no, I don't feel like my vote makes any difference.