Is this happening in your country too?
Thread poster: Roni_S
Roni_S  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:34
Slovak to English
Feb 16, 2016

I recently went to my mailbox, and lo and behold I found a letter from the Finance Ministry. Now, why would the Finance Ministry be writing to me? The only thing I could think of was that they wanted to give me some bad news about the already sad situation for self-employed persons in this country. But no. It was something better. It was a letter BUYING MY VOTE. YES. I received a rebate of €10 on my gas bill. It was so thinly veiled as to not even be any sort of disguise. My arm hurt from reading it, it weighed so much.

Apparently the prime minister issued some sort of decree back in November, and wouldn’t you know - it now came into effect. Just a month or so before the elections. Now, correct me if I’m wrong (I’ve always believed that voters were idiots, I’m American so that’s a given) but that’s beside the point, but isn’t vote buying more or less against the law in most countries?
So now - and I know there was some poster here a few weeks back who had some moral dilemma that turned out to be not any sort of dilemma at all, BUT, I will be cashing in the voucher and now I want your opinions as to what I should do with the moolah. This money goes to all people who have natural gas service - so you figure maybe a quarter of the population (I’m not doing any maths here so don’t criticize me).

So now you figure all the teachers and nurses who went on strike, who have by the way more or less all gone back to work, these people could have had their salaries raised by hundreds of euros instead of me getting ten freaking euros as some sort of vote-buying machinery that more or less only a few people will understand. Because most of the voters will buy into the ‘ooh, he’s giving us money’ scenario and we will once more have the same government.

Although they do say, you have the government you deserve. Too bad the morons speak for the majority.

Okay, blown off my steam. Now what should I do with the money? I should just mention that I’m a sucker for animals, but I do think there may be some causes in my community that deserve some money. I also give to cancer research when I can.


[Edited at 2016-02-16 19:56 GMT]


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Jean-Pierre Artigau
Canada
Local time: 13:34
English to French
+ ...
Buying votes Feb 16, 2016

I would start by asking where does this message really come from?

It might have been sen by some crook who tries to rob you. Almost every day I receive e-mails from orphan daughters of recently executed African dictators who want to smuggle millions of dollars out of Africa through my banking account (against payment of a percentage, of course); sometimes they even ask to marry me! Also lately somebody donated 850,000 $ to me and asked my name (this generous donator chose me as his heir but didn't even know my name).

Make a research on the net with some words contained in your letter, you might find lots of other people have received the same letter.

I suspect if anyone wanted to buy your vote, they would probably try to remain undetected, or hire someone else to do it on their behalf; in so doing, if detected, they can say no, we certainly wouldn't do such a thing, it's somebody else, no relation with us.

And by the way, in Slovakia, isn't the vote secret, or is somebody looking over your shoulder to make sure you vote for the right guy?

Jean-Pierre

[Edited at 2016-02-16 20:01 GMT]


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I had a similar dilemma recently. Feb 16, 2016

I received a check for $23 from some firm of lawyers I'd never heard of. At first I thought it was a scam, but it turned out I was an unwitting plaintiff in a class action against Toyota for faulty accelerators, and this was my share of the payout. I used to own a Toyota, but it didn't have a faulty accelerator and I wasn't entitled to any money.

I asked all my Facebook friends what I should do with it, with "donate it to charity" being one of the options. Approximately ten people said "keep it", and two said "send it to me".


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Roni_S  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:34
Slovak to English
TOPIC STARTER
Phil Feb 16, 2016

I don't guess my vote will be for "send it to me" Although I do love that as an option!

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Max Nuijens  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 21:34
Member
English to Dutch
Don't cash the voucher. Feb 16, 2016

If you believe this is an attempt to buy votes and you disagree with such practices, you should refuse the money.

As a bonus, you will feel better about yourself. Also you help others by providing a good example.


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The Misha
Local time: 13:34
Russian to English
+ ...
Find something else to worry about Feb 16, 2016

You'd be surprised how much worse the government and what it does can get. Compared to all that potential ugliness, this is really nothing. Cash the check - or not. It really doesn't matter one way or the other. It's ten bucks, for crying out loud. Just save yourself all this unnecessary grief.

If you really want to know how much worse it can get on principle, read some Ayn Rand if you haven't done so already. Come to think of it, her work should be required reading in school before they let the young'uns vote. Then again, there's the small issue of the teachers union and the Democratic establishment that won't have any of it - but that's already talking politics, which we shouldn't, so we won't. God forbid.

[Edited at 2016-02-16 23:37 GMT]


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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:34
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Here, Feb 17, 2016

in Ukraine (not the best country in terms of the rule of law) it is a criminal offense. Just as simple as that.

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:34
German to English
As far as buying votes goes ... Feb 17, 2016

... it seems pretty harmless to me. At least it is a relatively small, one-time payment. It is also a progressive bribe (relative to income, it benefits those who earn the least the most). I can understand getting upset about how blatant and stupid it is, but at least they're not introducing a bunch of tax cuts that everyone will be suffering from for years or decades.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Mysterious title change Feb 17, 2016

Q. Is this happening in your country too?
A. No. In the country where I live, much, much worse things than that are happening.



[Edited at 2016-02-17 08:55 GMT]


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:34
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
It probably is ... Feb 17, 2016

... and probably should be against the law just about everywhere, but then again in many countries they only PROMISE to reduce your gas bill before they get elected (and then they don't, or they increase it), which is another kind of bribe. In the end we vote for people because we want them to do things like that, reduce our gas bills and improve our lives. I'd say take the money and play dumb.

I'm sure everyone would be interested to know how it's a "thinly veiled" vote purchase, though. I for one (sorry, Tom!) would be grateful for a summarised translation.

And as has already been said, how would they know you voted for them in the end? Does a rather large gentleman to accompany you when you vote (and break your legs if you don't toe the line?)


Mervyn


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Ditto! Feb 17, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Q. Is this happening in your country too?
A. No. In the country where I live, much, much worse things than that are happening.



[Edited at 2016-02-17 08:55 GMT]


Do €10 buy a vote? In my country, much, much worse things have been happening for ages, for example a long string of hasty inaugurations (bridges, sections of motorways) when the election day is just around the corner. It's as if some politicians think that all voters are really uninformed and apathetic.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 19:34
English to Croatian
+ ...
Agree. Feb 17, 2016

Max Nuijens wrote:

If you believe this is an attempt to buy votes and you disagree with such practices, you should refuse the money.

As a bonus, you will feel better about yourself. Also you help others by providing a good example.


Then take shots of the whole process, and also the part where you are rejecting it having it somehow documented on a piece of paper, then post all those pictures for your friends to see with hashtags #raiseawareness, #unethical money, #shameonyou, etc.

But I am not sure either how this is buying votes, ie. it is not that clear from your post.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 00:04
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
In my country Feb 17, 2016

My Prime Minister is after me to make me give up my gas cylinder subsidy. It amounts to only a few hundred rupees, but I refuse to part with it, knowing how precarious a freelance translator's income stream can be. But my PM is known for his persistence - he not only sends me emails, but also SMSs to my phone, and occasionally also rings me up and personally talks to me about the importance of giving up my subsidy. I still refuse to budge, but nor does he. Every time I book for a new gas cylinder, I am first given the option of clicking a number on my phone and give up my gas subsidy, only after I decline to do that am I allowed to proceed with the gas booking.

This who-blinks-first game has been going for almost two years now and so far I have been doing you translators proud by staring on unblinking.

[Edited at 2016-02-17 14:36 GMT]


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:34
German to English
Can you get a restraining order? Feb 17, 2016

That seems a little strange that the Prime Minister of India has enough time to call you to complain about your insisting on continuing to claim your entitlement to some kind of subsidy worth a few euros. It sounds like harassment to me, maybe you could get a restraining order.





... or did I misunderstand something?


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