That example aside, I don't see why this is either illegal or unethical. You aren't trading your vote for money. As far as the ethics of it, think about it this way: the politicans go through incredible gymnastics to gerrymander districts so your vote doesn't count, why is it unethical to trade your vote accross those boundaries to make their gerrymandering pointless ? They trade their votes to trick you into voting for them.
Your vote is your own, first of all. Nobody elses. If you happen to live in a state where your opinion matters disproportionately more to one of the leading candidates, you should vote your conscience and screw whoever might be a lesser of three evils. If I want to vote for Nader, I'll do it on my own, without somebody else's promise that they'll do it for me. And I won't be afraid of helping GW Bush. I'll vote my conscience, nothing else. I couldn't vote for someone who didn't represent me at least to a certain degree. Even if it is supposedly a trade.
How exactly do you know that this person you're paired up with is going to vote the way that you both agree? Don't tell me that it's a matter of trust, either. I don't buy it. I have no way of tracking that information, and hence, only another person's word. Maybe I would have trusted them on it sixty or seventy years ago, but not now.
Secondly, voting in congress is not by secret ballot. Besides, most people would agree that politicians are less than credible, so why would you want to try and rationalize something like this in terms of their activities? Yes, you might not be trading your vote for money, or a new DVD, or something similar, but you are letting an organization know how you plan on voting. The last thing we need is another large entity being involved in our political process.
The issue is not whether you have more power by operating like this. The issue is credibility of the voting process. When you start playing games like this on a large enough scale, you have the potential for elections to be rigged. Yes, I know the electoral college isn't representative of popular opinion. Yes, I believe it needs to be changed. Do I believe that this is a step in the right direction for that? No. Why? Because it gives people like Al Gore and George Bush too much reason to play on other people's fears. When you have an electorate voting scared, you have an electorate that isn't thinking clearly. And when you have that bad shit happens.
I had thought about writing quite a bit more, but it would have made you go to sleep, I'm afraid. Really, when I get started on something like this I tend to ramble endlessly, so I'll spare you the pain.
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