Thursday, 23 June 2011

a vote is a voice

well, in French to vote is "voter" but a vote is not "une vote" but "une voix" or the same word as for "voice".  so in that sense voting is speech.  Discuss.  Norm is worth a read on this topic.  When we vote we know what we are doing, don't we?  We know that if, for the sake of argument, we voted LibDem, never dreaming that they would go into coalition with the Tories, we can't go back a week later and say we got it wrong.  We know that, hein?  What do we really think we are doing when we vote?


Anonymous said...

Most people don't think and an increasing number don't vote.

Augustus Carp said...

What most people are saying when they vote is, "I don't like X, so I am going to vote for Y or Z to make sure that X loses."

That is the pinnacle of thought currently expressed in British politics - hope it's better for you in France.

Oranjepan said...

The French translation is interesting, but it offers further insight too.

A voice in a crowd is difficult to identify until you've attuned your ear to hear it, and until you can then whatever speech is contained within it awaits decyphering.

So in that sense one vote alone may be speech, but it still requires us to distinguish between words and the meanings that may or may not have been connected to them.

And that means if you take a single vote in isolation it has artibitrary value, whereas if it is put in a serialised context it creates a form of dialogue with discernable values.

So it might be worth rephrasing, that a vote is noise, but voting is meaningful conversation.

dreamingspire said...

A vote is somewhat like a bet. Unlikely to win (as the Queen discovered with her much fancied horse both at Epsom and this weekend).