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Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:58 PM

"Sitting out the election is half a vote for the party you dislike the most"

As Norway goes to the election booths today, they do it without the country's most beloved political commentator, Professor Emeritus Frank Aarebrot, who died on Saturday. Professor in comparative politics at the University of Bergen, he won innumerable prizes for his ability to teach. He achieved cult status with his televised marathon lectures on Norwegian history, American presidential elections, and WWII, which had Norwegians of all ages riveted in front of their TV screens for 200 minutes, 227 minutes, and 200 minutes respectively. He got people interested in history and politics. One of his quotes has been widely shared on social media today.

"Sitting out the election is half a vote for the party you dislike the most."

In Norway, with its parliamentary system, many parties on the left, right, and center, and its proportional representative election model this is true, but it is even more true in the American system. Where you have only two viable choices, not voting, not to mention voting third party, is a whole vote for the party that is farthest away from you politically.

RIP, Frank Aarebrot. You will be missed.

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