Whose votes won the election?
"Whose votes won the election?"
(by M. James Blair)
Bob and Abe recently voted in a Presidential election. They participated
in many previous elections and debated many topics over the years, frequently
changing their minds about many facets of life. Recently, though, a question
that had bothered Bob since he was a child came to the forefront of his mind,
and he felt he needed to reach out to his friend Abe to discuss what was
Bob said to Abe, "I don't think any one person's vote affects the outcome
unless the election was won by one vote and that person's vote made that
Abe replied, "Perhaps that doesn't fully capture things. What would happen
if no one voted?"
Bob said, "There wouldn't be an election. So?"
Abe remarked, "Since the margin of victory in each state was more than one,
you take it that no one's vote made a difference - is that your view?"
Bob answered, "Yes."
Abe said, "Yet you admit that without votes there would have been no
election - is that right?"
Bob said, "Yes, but what are you getting at?"
Abe answered, "If no one's vote made a difference, yet no election would
have happened if no one had voted, then where did the election result come