You’ll Never Not Vote Again

This Danish PSA, which may or may not be some sort of parody, explains why it is critically important to vote (h/t Jason).

See, if you don’t vote, then you’ll force this large mustachioed dude to interrupt his orgy so that he can promote your involvement in the democratic process…..uh, with his fists. There’s also a dolphin involved somehow.

Any questions?

Also, is that Ben Patrick Johnson doing the voiceover?


If you can’t be bothered to vote, I can’t be bothered to care about your opinions

'Filthy Habit by SillyPuttyEnemies' by Sillyputtyenemies (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia CommonsCity elections are Saturday. Here’s a story about why you should give a shit.

Seven years ago, a tiny percentage of Austin’s voting population voted to ban smoking in bars located within the city limits. Leading up to the election, bar owners split over the proposed ban, and some warned of dire consequences if it did pass. By the end of May 7, 2005, around 5% of the city’s registered voters had weighed in on the question, approving the ban 52% to 48%.

As I recall, there was wailing, gnashing of teeth, and cries that this would destroy the downtown scene once and for all, as people deprived of their right to smoke would simply go elsewhere. I spent an afternoon at Crown and Anchor Pub about a week after the election listening to someone make these dire predictions, only to learn that he hadn’t voted. I had two responses to the people warning of the sky falling, one of which holds true today.

First, this is Austin, Texas, the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Where else are people going to go? San Marcos, where the bars closed at midnight? Round Rock, where the, uh…..well, nothing interesting ever happens in Round Rock. Are smokers going to skip the bars and clubs and just listen to a Bob Schneider CD while chain-smoking in the living room? I seriously doubted it at the time, and the fact that downtown Austin has sprouted multiple high-rises since 2005 seems to support my position that downtown Austin would be just fine.

Second, roughly five percent of the voting population actually voted in that election. I don’t know what percentage of the voting population subsequently whined about the outcome, but I know it was large. If you opposed the ban, yet didn’t vote, shut up. Just shut your pitiful fucking mouth. The ordinance passed by 2,420 votes, according to one crazy libertarian blogger. That’s more than the capacity of Antone’s, sure, but that certainly represents but a fraction of Austin’s smoking population circa 2005.

For my part, I’m glad the ordinance passed. I think people ought to be able to do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt other people. Smoking bans tread close to the edge of what “hurts” people, in terms of secondhand smoke, but note that the ban didn’t exactly lift the floodgates of nanny-stateism all over the city. Continue reading