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In Distraction 2004

October 01, 2004

Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1

Often on election day, we feel we have a choice: do we vote our conscience, or our fears? Fortunately, there's finally a way to do both! Using the science of vote swapping, now perfected after a botched trial run in 2000, voters in swing states and spoiled states join forces to assure that we get one vote of conscience (Ralph Nader) and one vote of abject terror (Bush/Kerry).

How do you participate? Simply register as a swinger or spoiler (to match your location to a swing state or spoiled state) and we will match you up with an appropriate "swap." It's simple, particularly when compared to registering to vote (sometimes necessary; check local laws and statutes) and finding your polling place (the standard limit is one; again check your local laws and statutes).

Isn't this backwards? Shouldn't you be helping people to vote for Ralph Nader in spoiled states while everyone in swing states votes for John Kerry?

No, but we understand your confusion! In 2000, some web sites mistakenly called for just such an arrangement. Its flaws are obvious. Following this logic, votes against war and for basic human rights would be relegated to such spots as Texas and Massachusettes. Although technically part of the United States, these two states (red and blue, respectively) do not participate in national elections, as their electoral votes are automatically placed directly into the column of their owners. Think of them as US colonies or protectorates, much like Puerto Rico, Iraq, or the UK. This process takes place sometimes as much as two months prior to election day. (The Rhode Island 2004 Presidential "election" was actually completed several weeks ago.) Under these circumstances, it clearly makes no sense to vote for anyone other than the owner of the state in question, if vote you must.

Conversely, voting for John Kerry in a swing state, although technically feasible, is not sensible. If we have learned one thing from the last election, it is that the votes in swing states are of great importance and are highly scrutinized. Thus it is important for us to send a message to George Bush in the swing states, by voting for someone who does not actually agree with him on the issues. Any other version of vote swapping is more than likely in the beta testing phase and should not be taken seriously.

Didn't Ralph Nader cost George Bush the election in 2000?

No. Whereas it is true that some registered Republicans did indeed vote for Ralph Nader, it must be asserted that the real reason Mr. Bush lost the election is the fact that he is a right wing zealot with far more money than brains, not because some members of the GOP voted for a third party. (Note: the fact that Mr. Bush was ultimately appointed President by the supreme court is immaterial in this particular matter. We are concerned with election reality, not post-election theft.)

Aren't there clear differences between Bush and Kerry?

Yes. They have different opinions about stem cell research.

Isn't it important to vote for John Kerry to make sure that the Democrats maintain ballot status?

Certainly, in the eyes of some pro-war voters, it is important to support the war movement by having more than one war candidate per election. We are not insensitive to this sentiment, but we beg of you: only vote for John Kerry in spoiled states! Only in such states can we be assured that a vote for Kerry will do no harm.

How do I know if I'm in spoiled state, or in a swing state?

This can indeed be a difficult question to answer, but we here at ReverseVoteSwap.org have developed a convenient algorithm. Please consult the following guidelines:

  • Turn on your television set, and look for presidential advertisements. You can recognize political ads from their absolute lack of political content. Listen for words such as strength, integrity, honor, valour, and the like, as well as references to low, low prices. Hey Ya by outKast may or may not be playing in the background. If you see an advertisement like this within the first ten seconds of turning on your tv set, you are most likely in a swing state. If, after a period of one week, you have seen no political ads, you are most likely in a spoiled state, where political advertisement is forbidden by law.
  • Consider what local politicians tell you is the "most important thing" to do in the election. If they mention voting you are likely in a swing state. If they say send money you are more likely in a spoiled state.
  • Consider the last time you had the opportunity to see any of the candidates in person.
    • If the answer is "never" you are likely in a spoiled state. Candidates will sometimes visit spoiled states, but not for political purposes. For instance, Bush visited a spoiled, non-voting state last Thanksgiving to serve turkey. Kerry likewise lives in a spoiled state for tax reasons.
    • If the answer is "the other day when he fed me breakfast" then you most likely live in a swing state. Exception: If the candidate fed you French toast, disregard. No serious candidate would serve French toast, so that interaction is not to be trusted.
    • If the answer is "a couple weeks ago when we were snorting blow in Vegas" then you need not worry about the election, since you clearly personally own one or more candidates and should not concern yourself with petty electoralism.

Aren't there big differences between the candidates?


Aren't there Massive differences between the candidates?


Aren't there Massively Enormous differences between the candidates?


Aren't these the two most different candidates in the history of modern elections?




Huh. OK.

Yeah. Sorry.

Won't we be sending the world a terrible message if Bush is re-elected?

No. Remember that the main "message" that our country exports abroad is in the form of military bombardment. This "message" will be interpreted in basically the same way, whether delivered by Bush or by Kerry.

Isn't Nader getting tons of support from Republicans who just want to support Bush?

No. Most wealthy Republicans understand that their best bet is to support the two candidates they agree with most (Bush/Kerry) rather than to help in any way the one they agree with least (Nader). This is illustrated by the fact that the Kerry campaign and its assorted subsidiaries have spent $500 million dollars, while the Nader campaign has mustered a somewhat smaller figure.

I am for less healthcare, more wars, and a ban on gay marriage. Whom should I vote for?

This is an excellent question, and one we get frequently. It can be difficult to sort this one out, and we encourage you to consult with your local mystic. However, rest assured: no matter who wins in November, your agenda will carry the day!

Is vote-swapping legal?

Vote-swapping has indeed been scrutinized for its legality. Our lawyers have researched it thoroughly, and have advised us to inform you that it is indeed a legal gray area. They also noted that the standard electoral practices of the two major parties (blocking third parties, harassing voters of color, creating confusing ballots, committing war crimes, etc) are far worse. Hence we are confident that you can participate in Reverse Vote Swapping without a fear!

Posted by convener at October 1, 2004 11:38 PM