The Voice Vote is a vote in a congress or parliament where no list of those voting is made and no list of votes is kept. Wikipedia explains the Voice Vote this way:
This tactic is used when the matter in question is either uncontroversial; or paradoxically when the matter at hand is quite controversial and participants wish to enjoy "political cover."
Because it is now so often used for the latter reason, I will argue it should be abolished. A free people should not stand for their representatives hiding behind "tactics" or parliamentary procedure. This tactic is a holdover from even more barbaric times, and it has no place in the future.
To give you an example from today's news, the US Senate just passed an extension of the Patriot Act on a Voice Vote. This was so that the democrats in the Senate could avoid the embarrassment of their colleagues in the House, who were on record with a pathetically weak vote against the bill. In the House, the extension passed 315 to 97, with only 87 of 264 democrats voting against it. Since there are only 178 republicans in the house, the democrats have an 86 vote advantage, or an almost 50% advantage. This means they can do whatever they want. In the news, this has been called a victory of the republicans, but clearly it is not a victory of the republicans. It is a victory of democrats: they got what they wanted. If they had not wanted it, they could have very easily prevented it; therefore we may assume that they got what they wanted. If you get what you want in politics, it is a victory. So, logically, this must be a victory for the democrats. We can see by the votes themselves that the democrats are nearly as interested in controlling the population by unconstitutional means as the republicans are. Two-thirds of democrats voted to continue undermining the Constitution, while 95% of republicans voted to do so. By studying the numbers alone, we see that this is a broad victory for both parties in Congress, who got what they wanted. The only people it is not a victory for are citizens of the US, who will continue to be wiretapped, spied upon, strip-searched, SWAT teamed, and illegally check-pointed by their own government, without oversight or limitation.
If this is a victory for Congress but not a victory for citizens, then it cannot be true that Congress is representing citizens. Who is Congress really representing? To answer that, you must ask who this is really a victory for. It is a political victory for Congress, but it must be a financial victory for some other group. Politics is just a means to some end, not an end in itself. It is this end-victory that we should study. Who has benefited from destroying the Constitution? Those people who find free speech, free assembly, habeas corpus, civil rights, and privacy a burden on their businesses benefit from this, which means the military, banks, the CIA, big business, oil, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, the same old list. Basically the New World Order people and the Global Governance people. Since freedom and control are opposites, they cannot abide freedom of any kind. Freedom, independence, privacy, self-reliance, autonomy, and local decision-making are all impediments to the future of domination they envisage. The same cabal of interests that have beaten down small countries like El Salvador and Haiti and Indonesia now want to do the same with the big countries. They want to loan us money, buy our governments, then steal our water, land, air, roads, health, and all other resources, and sell them back to us at huge profits. It is the cloaked war of the few against the many, and it has nothing to do with democracy or human rights. Human rights are only something to be tagged and boxed and put into storage for "safekeeping." This is the "victory" of both the democrats and the republicans.
Not even Russ Feingold, considered to be the most liberal member of Congress, thought it worthwhile to make a stand here. Basically, seeing the numbers around him, he gave up. He had some commentary afterwards, blaming his colleagues, but he did nothing himself. "What can you do when you are outvoted?" he will answer me. At the least, you can call for a division. But beyond that, I can think of a lot of things you could do if you are Senator. You could rent a horse and ride it through the streets of Boston or DC or NYC, crying, "The fascists are here!" You could put up a Congress of Refuses in the grass in front of the Capitol under a tent, or a Congress of non-Fascists, where you could hold your own votes. Why waste time being ignored with Voice Votes in the big building? You could publish leaflets or start a blog or put up a Youtube site. You could start a third party and quit calling yourself a democrat. If democrats are now non-Constitutionalists and non-populists, I don't know why any honest person would keep the label. If democrats are now not interested in representing citizens, I don't know why anyone would keep the label. If democrats are now liars (they campaigned by running against the Patriot Acts and the wars and so on), I don't know why anyone would keep the label. No honest person would be a member of a party run by and composed of liars.
Any of those actions from a Senator would have more affect than sitting in chambers with your thumb in your mouth, mumbling a weak "nay." There is nothing in the Constitution that says a Senator cannot publish opinion or sit in a tent or ride a horse or go on Youtube. He can't profit from them financially, but his ability to act is nearly unlimited. These people lack all imagination. Why can the President talk directly to the people, but not the Congress? What is to prevent a Senator from talking to the people he represents, in any fashion he likes? A Senator is from a certain state, but he represents us all. He can talk to any state or all states, if he chooses. If his colleagues don't like it, screw 'em. He doesn't like what they are doing, so why should he care if they like what he is doing? If they censure him, so what? It would be good publicity and would probably increase his re-electability. The narrow confines of current action, from all people at all levels, is a self-imposed restriction. It is not that Feingold is prohibited from doing such things, for instance, it is that he dare not. It is beyond the norm. This norm prevents action in a thousand ways, all to the benefit of the status quo. They hardly need to control us, we are so good at controlling ourselves.
We all better start acting up, from Senator on down. Government requires a total overhaul. And one of the points of action in this overhaul must be the abolition of the Voice Vote.