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Raoul DeGroot

Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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futuristxen wrote:
xGasPricesx wrote:
"If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote." - David Foster Wallace

Which is pretty much what I said with "I decided against voting because I probably would have just voted republican/tea party anyways". Or I would have just written Karl Marx and Snoopy in all of the write-in sections.

Such a contrast with the last election where I got there before the voting place even opened to stand in line for two hours just for the chance to vote.

My vote has literally no effect on anything because the only political choices I have are getting fucked or getting fucked.

You are way too old to be as disillusioned as you are this season.

Last edited by Raoul DeGroot on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:03 pm
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Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 700
Location: Sydney
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Disharmony wrote:
People yell to vote, which is silly. They should first yell: Become informed, read up on politics that are important to you, then vote.

No, people don't care how informed you are, they just want you to vote on one side of the fence or the other. People need to be educated about what they're voting for first. Like me, I have no idea what is even up to be voted on, why would I vote? Because I have the right to randomly select some name on a ballad that means nothing to me?


i'm confused...are you saying "people need to be educated to vote, but i'm not so my vote or my voting doesnt matter, in fact voting itself doesnt matter....because i'm not why should i vote, and what is the point of voting"...?

*edit* i must say i'm selfish when voting. i find one issue that i know will effect me or my family directly, and i vote for the party that will benefit me and my family on that issue. for example, my mother is on a retirement pension and my brother is on a disability pension. i voted for the australian labor party (though i hate them) in our last election because they are least likely to dismantle such programs. the liberal party (who i hate more) have a history of cutting social programs starting with disability and aged pensions to fund tax cuts to higher income earners. i dont know if the labor party going into the future will be the best for my country, but i have to decide where my interests are focused.
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:06 pm
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Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 322
Location: Boulder, CO
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Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:17 pm
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Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 4783
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Chris Dudley leading the Governor's race in Oregon. Unofficially the tallest governor ever if he wins. Kitzhaber should have challenged him to a free throw contest for the statehouse.
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:20 pm
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Alan Hague

Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
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I'm definitely glad Sharron Angle didn't win in Nevada.

But I can't believe Rand Paul is now a U.S. Senator.
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:22 pm
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Mark in Minnesota

Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2112
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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I have a friend who didn't vote, basically because she doesn't care enough politics to bother learning what the candidates stand for.

I have another friend who voted and split her ballot between Democrats and Republicans but seemed to be more concerned with describing herself as a moderate than seeing the state head in any particular direction on any particular policy. She cast one informed vote against a candidate for governor who supported a change to minimum wage policy that would have negatively impacted her income, but cast that for the third party candidate who was polling something like 30% below the two major party candidates.

Years ago I dated a girl who decided to vote for Bill Clinton because he was more attractive than Bob Dole. She told me she left the rest of her ballot blank.

The more I learn about state politics the less I understand about any of these perspectives. The people we send to office for state and local government have real and meaningful impact on our day-to-day lives, in some ways moreso than the people in federal offices do.

I think I actually care more who my city council member is than I do about who my senators are. I read the minutes of city council meetings and city economic development meetings and see that the council member I voted for is doing real things to get new businesses built in the city where I live. More jobs, higher property values, a greater portion of city tax revenue from stuff other than residential housing. Basic things like not letting the city take in less money in tax revenue from charitable gambling than we spend on city administration of the charitable gambling programs. I actually think she's better in the economic development meetings than she is in city council proper; she brings real and meaningful input to the developers of these large projects, and looks for ways to protect the city from being on the hook for stuff when the developers go out of business.

The woman I voted against in that election had as her pet issue keeping through traffic out of the residential neighborhoods, and had very little relevant experience on the business development side of things. Fewer businesses in the city, worse traffic on the main roads, quieter neighborhoods that don't end up being walkable because there's nowhere to actually go. That election was decided (in favor of the candidate I supported) by a margin of 231 votes out of 1207 cast. At a national level we would call that 19% spread a landslide, but because of low turnout that's an election that was ultimately swung to the winning candidate by something around 2% of the city's residents.

Things like ENDA and DOMA and health care reform and immigration reform and even things like the fizzled push to appoint Elizabeth Warren as head of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection... these things matter and whether or not they happen affects the lives of a lot of people in real and positive ways. They just vanish into the gap between what we think we should do and what we can agree to do, not because there's no consensus about what the policy direction should be, but because our national political alliances have become so entrenched that whether these things happen ultimately has very little do with whether or not they're a good idea. Congress doesn't move on real bi-partisan business (the kind that Al Franken has often described as win-win-win scenarios) because nobody wants to give the other side a win. Democrats in the minority after today will be just as entrenched as Republicans in the minority were before the election because Democrats will want to prove to the electorate that Republicans couldn't deliver the things they said they would deliver.

Everybody seems to agree that the country is actively worse because of this kind of ossification in Congress and the various state legislatures, but nobody wants their side to be the first to compromise, because they don't trust the other side to let the pendulum swing back in time.

In this context the national climate doesn't change much at all based on how one individual votes in one regional election. Things are doubly fucked because even the signal of an informed and conscientious vote election by election gets lost in the noise of people who vote for reasons they freely acknowledge to be bad or arbitrary.

When positive social change on some of these issues finally happens at the national level, it won't be because the left finally started keeping its promises to a coalition of progressives who were excited and engaged two years ago and felt like suckers this morning, it will be because our parents all finally started dying and left us in charge by default. Shit, I'm not even sure being dead will stop them -- I saw a lot of website ads this week with Ronald Reagan's face reminding us that he would want us to vote Republican on Tuesday. A whole lot more of us are going to have to start doing some time face down on the street in zip-tie handcuffs before those parents of ours can be shamed into doing something other than make us wait them out.

Meanwhile, the votes I make in local elections at least seem to have some amount of real impact on my life and the lives of people close around me. The signal to noise ratio is better in those elections too, and the people who win those seats are more likely to actually read and react to my emails.

Being disgusted with national political entrenchment should never be a free pass to skip out on civic participation. If you care enough to be frustrated into indifference, you care enough to re-focus your efforts in places where your action can still matter.

Last edited by Mark in Minnesota on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:22 pm
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Raoul DeGroot

Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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I'll bet Thomas the Tank Engine would vote.
If he had limbs to do so with.
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:22 pm
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box johnson

Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 1123
Location: Denver
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I love that Prop 19 failed in the emerald triangle. SMH
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:27 pm
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Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 151
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
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Fuck it, I will vote whenever I have the opportunity. It's one of many things I refuse to take for granted.

This. I am amazed at some of these responses. Some of you are acting like that little kid on Christmas morning throwing a tantrum because you only got 11 of the 12 things on your Christmas list. 2 years into a term and you want the world??? This stuff doesn't just happen overnight.
Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:36 pm
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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I'm extremely good with my decision not to vote. I didn't want to support the democratic party, the republican party, or the libertarian party. That's the only people on my ballot. Most of the local races were republicans running unopposed. The ballot initiatives were uninteresting to me, and I'm fine with them either being passed or not passed.

I am incapable of voting on the ballot that was put in front of me, because voting is a choice, and I honestly can't make a choice on that ballot. The only choice I can make is that the outcome of my inaction does not outweigh the ten minutes I would save not going into the little booth and filling out each little line on the ballot. The choices that were presented to me are inconsequential to the reality I'm interested in. It's like someone asking you what you want for dinner and everything sounds the same, but they are forcing you to make a decision, and honestly it doesn't matter and you wish they would just pick whatever it is they want and leave you alone about it.

I would also not be shocked if it ends up being the republicans who push ENDA through and repeal DADT. Republicans aren't nazis, and if Obama is going to govern from the middle, it might actually move the country forward to have the republicans with enough agency in the process to make it of interest for them to get things done and make compromises to get those things done. So like I said, if I had a gun to my head, I probably would have voted for them as a fuck you to the democratic party. But if a democratic member somehow by some miracle won in these races, then whoopie to that too. And as for throwing the libertarian party a vote--fuck that. If I'm voting for a third party, I'd like to be one I'm ideologically in line with. The principle of voting third party doesn't outweigh the idealogical decision.
Post Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:01 am
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Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2536
Location: TKO from Tokyo
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X the Outsider wrote:
neveragainlikesheep wrote:
Charlie Foxtrot wrote:
neveragainlikesheep wrote:
I say we all vote Republican for a decade straight and just end this shit.

If the idiots want to drink the kool aid, I say let 'em.

They'll never listen otherwise.

Don't you live in Tokyo?

Shouldn't you be out buying underwear from a vending machine or something?

Har, har. Loving that one, champ.

How do you suppose we go about exposing the Republicans for what they are?

They'll just blame it on the next guy after they fuck up the country even more. Funny we went into a recession and get attacked. They blame it on Clinton. 8 years of driving us deeper into debt has all been blame it on Obama.

Well, then we just make it two decades.
Post Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:23 am
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Mark in Minnesota

Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2112
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Rob-Raz wrote:
I am amazed at some of these responses. Some of you are acting like that little kid on Christmas morning throwing a tantrum because you only got 11 of the 12 things on your Christmas list. 2 years into a term and you want the world??? This stuff doesn't just happen overnight.

Promising that you will end DADT while refusing to issue an executive order ending it and having your Justice Department appeal a court decision striking it down isn't "these things take time", it's a cynical attempt to court moderates by perpetuating a hateful injustice in the belief that the left hates your enemies so much that they will support you no matter what. Even if Obama and Congress pull their heads out of their asses and get a DADT repeal signed before the start of the next Congress, they're still sending the message that LGBT people aren't worth supporting until there's no longer any political cost left to doing it.

We're running headlong into an attack on DOMA under the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution and Obama's Justice Department will probably defend DOMA against the attack in the SCOTUS hearing of the case.

The people that DADT and DOMA explicitly discriminate against, and the people that ENDA seeks to protect, are supposed to be an honored and respected part of the Democratic base. At best, repeal of DADT and DOMA and passage of ENDA this winter would mean that a legislative and executive axis of Democrats ultimately decided that the way they would honor their promises to that portion of their base would be to give the LGBT community the same kind of support that a lame duck president gives convicted criminals by waiting to issue their pardons until his last day in office.

Only this is worse than a President sitting on the pardon privilege until the lame duck portion of his presidency: when we don't have the courage to stand up for this and related minority civil rights issues when we're at the peak of our power, it's worse than just an act of cowardice, it's a concession of the moral high ground to the opponents of those civil rights issues. We're saying that we don't think we can win an argument in defense of the reforms and so we're waiting until we don't have to try.

That issue isn't the only place where Obama has abandoned the moral high ground in favor of coalition-building with moderate and conservative values, either. Part of the way he excited progressives in this country in 2008 was by promising a return to higher moral standards over issues like torture and illegal rendition. Instead of keeping that promise, he's done something that not even Bush ever did, which is to assert the existence of an executive authority to kill an American citizen off the battlefield without arrest, trial, or even the right to judicial oversight of the kill order, so long as the target has been designated "terrorist". It's a blatant betrayal of the principles he ran on and he's not even really willing to defend it to his base because he believes that it costs him nothing to move to their right on issues like this.

Never mind whether Obama's decisions here were right in a pragmatic sense or not. He shouldn't have made those promises in the first place if keeping them meant running away from the relevant discourse on the issues. Obama knows how to use the bully pulpit and why it's important when he does; he made a specific tactical decision not to use it to shame his friends in Congress on any of these issues when doing so might have gotten them to pass the laws. Now that there will be a Republican majority in the House and a strong Republican filibuster in the Senate, he will almost certainly use these issues to attack them. He's shown that with respects to civil rights for the LGBT community, he wants the problem more than he wants the solution.

I don't blame people at all who say they'd rather not vote at all than cast a vote that plays into a worldview that says a moderate vote is worth trading for a progressive vote because progressives don't have anywhere else to go, but moderates might support your opponents instead. Telling disenfranchised people they're throwing a tantrum by refusing to vote is a form of tacit support for their disenfranchisement.
Post Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:23 am
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Thank you! Exactly.
Post Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:37 am
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I've been working on a political campaign since late september. phone calling registered voters or door-knocking 6 days a week. been thinking a bit about voting versus not voting. I didn't vote for any city council candidates as every single candidate was a clown and i felt like i would be consenting to their shenanigans. I voted against Meg Whitman. The system is actually not built for change, your vote matters but it doesn't. It's not just about the candidates and issues, but voter turnout in your district and precinct effects resources in your community. Republicans paid for Tv ads in Nevada aimed at getting disillusioned Latino voters to stay home. Voting doesn't seem to ever fix the root of the problem, and political promises won't fulfill into nurturing communities of creative ease, abundance, and safety. Our system is one of administrative rationalism, where the demands of the office require attention to liability, revenue, whatever other boring-as-fuck unimaginative formalities required to perpetuate the system. You are always voting for the system. Once I accepted this, it made it a bit easier to vote without delusions.

By the way, during our campaign, i got harrassed on several different occasions by some Tea Partiers. So much for their freedom of speech and all that constitutional BS - basic civic engagement is allowed in Tea Party USA if it is done for progressive causes by brown folks.
Post Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:08 am
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11-02) 22:57 PDT San Francisco (AP) --

Californians heeded warnings of legal chaos and other dangers and rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would have made their state the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The spirited campaign over Proposition 19 pitted the state's political and law enforcement establishment against determined activists seeking to end the prohibition of pot.

It was by far the highest-profile of the 160 ballot measures being decided in 37 states. Other topics included abortion, tax cuts and health care reform.

On a night of conservative advances in much of the country, Massachusetts voters spurned a chance to cut their taxes — rejecting a proposal to lower the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent. Critics said the cut would have forced the state to slash $2.5 billion in services, including local aid to cities and towns.

In Colorado, voters decisively defeated an anti-abortion "personhood" amendment — similar to one rejected in 2008 — that would have given unborn fetuses human rights in the state constitution.

California's marijuana proposal would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot, consume it in nonpublic places as long as no children were present, and grow it in small private plots. It would have authorized local governments to permit commercial pot cultivation, as well as the sale and use of marijuana at licensed establishments.

Proponents pitched it as a sensible, though unprecedented, experiment that would provide much-needed revenue for the cash-strapped state, dent the drug-related violence in Mexico by causing pot prices to plummet, and reduce marijuana arrests that they say disproportionately target minority youth.

However, every major newspaper, both political parties, the two candidates for governor and all but a handful of leading politicians came out against it.

"Today, Californians recognized that legalizing marijuana will not make our citizens healthier, solve California's budget crisis, or reduce drug-related violence in Mexico," said the White House drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske.

Instead, he said, legalization would lead to more addiction, driving accidents and emergency room admissions.

Federal officials also said they would have continued enforcing laws against marijuana possession and sales had the measure passed.

Prop 19 supporters blamed the outcome on the older, more conservative leanings of voters who participate in midterm elections and pledged to try again in two years.

"It's still a historic moment in this very long struggle to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Project. "Unquestionably, because of Proposition 19, marijuana legalization initiatives will be on the ballot in a number of states in 2012, and California is in the mix."

Tim Rosales, who managed the No on 19 campaign, scoffed at that attitude from the losing side.

"If they think they are going to be back in two years, they must be smoking something," he said. "This is a state that just bucked the national trend and went pretty hard on the Democratic side, but yet in the same vote opposed Prop 19. I think that says volumes as far as where California voters are on this issue."

In South Dakota, voters rejected a measure to legalize medical marijuana — a step already taken by California and 13 other states. A medical marijuana measure also was on Arizona's ballot, and Oregon voters were deciding whether to expand the state's current medical marijuana law by authorizing state-licensed dispensaries.

Among other notable ballot issues on Tuesday:

_Arizona voters approved a measure banning affirmative action programs by state and local governments based on race, ethnicity or sex.

_Washington state's voters repealed taxes on candy, soda and bottled water adopted by lawmakers last year — a move that could eliminate a projected $352 million in revenue over five years. Voters rejected a proposal to impose a state income tax on any income above $200,000, or $400,000 for couples.

_In the littlest state, voters chose to keep the longest formal name — opting to stay as Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, instead of just Rhode Island.

_In Illinois, where the two most recent former governors have been convicted on federal charges, voters approved an amendment that enable future governors to be recalled by popular vote.

_Oklahoma voters approved a proposed amendment aimed at nullifying the segment of the new federal health care law requiring people to have health insurance. Similar measures were on the ballots in Arizona and Colorado.

In Oklahoma, voters overwhelmingly passed three measures that had dismayed some progressive and immigrants-rights groups. One makes English the state's "common and unifying language," another requires a government-issued photo ID in order to vote, and the third prohibits state courts from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases.

_In Colorado, voters rejected three measures that would have banned borrowing for public works, cut the income tax and slashed school district property taxes. Opponents said the proposals would have cost the state $2.1 billion in revenue and eliminated tens of thousands of jobs.

_For the first time since the 1990s, there were no measures to ban same-sex marriage. But in Iowa, voters ousted three state Supreme Court justices who joined a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized gay marriage there.


David Crary reported from New York.
Post Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:16 am
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