Brian Doherty @ says:

Defending non-voting in bars across this great land, I often hear the ultimate "shut up"—that if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about politics or society. The reality is the exact opposite: By voting, you are playing a game whose rules are that the majority vote winner gets to control the reins of government, in all its unspeakable power. If you complain about the results of the game you chose to play, you're just being a sore loser—or winner.

Here's the whole of it:

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

I watched an HBO movie this weekend entitled, "Iron Jawed Angels." It was an excellent and moving story. Truly amazing to see what women had to go through to receive some measure of equality in this country. I would recommend watching, if you get a chance. It should give american women some understanding of the privilege of being allowed to have a voice in their own government. Interesting thing presented in the movie, though. In the midst of their protest, these women were confronted with the dilemma of electing to postpone or continue their cause at the onset of World War I. They knew that, at the very least, it would be rude to picket the office of the president during wartime. They chose to continue and hold the president accountable for his policy which included a zealous agenda of helping the citizens of other nations to reach the respectable position of a self-governing society while neglecting a large percentage of the citizens that lived under the rules of his own administration. The women were spat upon and called names, assaulted and arrested. Some of the onlookers told them to "go to Germany." I found this to be an ironic twist, in that this is the very thing that some have been known to say to me in today's world when I say I choose not to participate in the voting process. Honest to God, they tell me to move to Germany, as I've no right to live here in their precious democracy. Seems to me that those women, and many who came before, have always been fighting for the same thing. Liberty. The right to live according to one's own conscience. The fact that I don't vote is not because I'm lazy (although I am lazy) and it's not because I am disillusioned by the whole mess (although I am that, as well). My reasons are a matter of conscience. And when the people of this country choose a platform that would deny people the right to act in response to their own chosen belief system, then they lose the right to be called a free society. And then, in fact, those who lost their lives to provide that freedom, really did do it all for nothing.

Postscript: This article was printed in the letters to the editor of the Ogden Standard Examiner on November 12, 2004.