On Voting

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Some of the political pundits are weblogging the local results of the election during the day. I won’t check for results until after the polls closed and the true results start coming in. I’m not a newspaper or a television station — people should check those for up to the minute results.

It’s interesting but I’ve made no secret of my vote this year — I’m voting Democrat in all national elections. Why? Because I want to stop Republicans from gaining control of the House, the Senate, and the Executive Branch. Many people don’t agree with me, and perhaps our votes will cancel each other out, but I do what I can. So does b!x, who has a MT category called Vote or Die.

Halley from Halley’s Comments mentions that she won’t disclose how she votes. She talks about how her mother would never tell her father how she voted, and she follows this custom. And I can respect this.

However, the times are a changing, and I not only want to vote, I would like to influence how you vote, especially with this election. So I’ll tell you that I’m voting Democrat for the national elections, but I’m voting Green Party for all local elections. Not only do I want to stop a Republican take over of the national government, I also want to send a message to the Democrats that the only reason I’m voting for Jean Carnahan and Dick Gephardt is to prevent this take over — next time, if they don’t stop being Republican wannabes, I may decide it isn’t worth it and vote Green or Independent all the way.

Another person who isn’t reticent about his political views is Mike Golby, a friend of mine from South Africa. Mike isn’t a man who has much patience for President Bush, and isn’t very shy about expressing his dislike. I agree with much of what Mike says, though I don’t necessarily agree with his use of the terms “Shrub” and “King George” for President Bush, though sometimes the terms slip through.

(I disagree with the terms primarily because I think they shadow the message we’re trying to make — that the President is a man who has a lot of power, and who has not held himself accountable to the basic freedoms on which this country is based. That the President is a man who still hasn’t answered the questions that have been asked about a war in Iraq, and who seems to be in far too much of a hurry to commit us to an action that will leave us bloody, very bloody.)

Use of terms aside, Mike is very good at reminding us in the States what we have to lose if we don’t start paying attention and voting with our heads instead of our fears:

In their apathy, Americans have let government slip increasingly quickly into the hands of the moneyed elite at a time when the gap between rich and poor has never been wider. They have handed government over to big business. Businesses, as we are reminded throughout our eight-to-five lives, are not democracies. They are tyrannies. Their systems, rituals, aims, objectives, and means of achieving them are very different to those of governments. Business is, or should be, the antithesis of government. That is why, for hundreds of years, we have had the private and public sectors. Business has set up office on the Capitol and is governing the United States and the world through authoritarian dictats, dictatorial takeovers, and a blatant disregard for anything not counting as self-interest. It seems Americans couldn’t be bothered to get out there and do anything about what amounts to a very real threat to the fundamental laws and values governing their lives.

Democracy is the enactment of the American constitution. It’s not getting much exercise these days and it shows.

Whether you shout it from the rooftops, or whisper it silently to yourself in the voting booth, exercise your right and responsibility to vote.

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