James: Let me take you on a different perspective on this issue.
From about 2003–2007, I was playing the stock market, mostly blue-chip stocks. I did well in those times. But every year, each of those companies sent me their annual report with a proxy card to vote for certain directors.
If I were a good shareholder, I would have studied those reports and got the bios of those directives. I would probably need about 4 hours to cast a somewhat wise vote. And I usually had 10 corporations. But I never did the study; I never cast a vote. Here’s why.
- I just don’t have the time and energy for the study.
- Most of the reports required a higher understanding of accounting than I currently have. I probably could make some sense of the numbers, but . . .
- The bios of the directors were all whitewashed: as if these fellows (and few gals) never did anything wrong in business. I probably could do some internet research to find more negative stuff, and get some balance.
In a nutshell, any vote I could make (even if I had the time and energy to study), would be based on very incomplete information. If I cast a vote, I would be diluting the wiser votes. I want wise shareholders to vote to steer the company. So I, in essence, took away my right to vote in these corporate elections.
This may be a similar reason why some people don’t vote on a regular basis.
Rather than chastise them, why not find out why they don’t vote?