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Andrew Mellor

Surely the two main differences are firstly cost (it's free to vote in an election) and secondly the theoretical beneficiary: no-one benefits from you voting in an election except for the you the individual and possibly the person you are voting for (though, this is a little more complex given your explanation above). In TV quizzes, there is no aspiration involved, no noble democratic theory (however troubled) at work. And the lies are the essential core of the operation rather than an unfortunate side-effect of it (as in politics).


It's costly to vote: not just in the physical and opportunity cost of getting to the polling station but also the investment made in researching candidates and being aware of political issues. You also avoid the costs associated with having to stomach Today(!)

Matthew Whitfield

Oh my God - how EVIL can these politicians get? Reinforcing a cultural civic norm by encouraging us to vote, getting us to think about voting (do we really think about this - don't we just instinctively know who we hate and who we hate a little less?) and traipse out in potentially bad weather to put a cross in a box - it's like they've made us their slaves in a world of corrupt priviledge that we're too blind to see!

Betting in any competition will have fixed odds depending on the rules that have been set and the number of participants etc. Voting is not betting - there are potential outcomes that cannot be predicted by any formula. I laugh in the face of a formula that assumes that probability can be accurately determined in a dynamic situation such as voting intentions. Your figure has been reached by using data from the last election - before the last election you would have had no idea what the spread of voting would be.

I am up for this debate - I vote and do so rationally. Tell me why you think I'm wrong to do so.


I don't think you're wrong to do so. What makes you think that?

Matthew Whitfield

I'm glad you don't think I'm wrong to vote. Your original piece suggests that you do think we're irrational to do so. Is this the case?


No, all i'm saying is that it strikes me as being hypocritical to say that "TV quizzes misguide/exploit people regarding the chances of them winning" and "your vote makes a difference/counts".

I tried to explain why i'm apathetic to both, but that doesn't mean we all should be. Presumeably you gain pleasure from voting in a way that I don't. I'm sure some people get pleasure from participating in TV quizzes in a way that I don't. Tastes are subjective, after all.

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