What Elections Are For

Elections aren’t about winning and losing. They’re not for candidates at all. Elections are for giving the voters a choice of peers to choose from so we can participate in running our society. Keep in mind that candidates are voters, too.

Some people quote complicated campaign theory about how to get elected and complain about third-party candidates stealing votes. Some even suggest that third parties should bow out and support ‘the big boys’. I am of the opinion that these people are rather lacking in ethics, don’t really believe in the democratic process, certainly don’t respect voters right to choose and may even feel voters aren’t intelligent enough to decide for themselves. That just might be me, though.

Published in: on October 5, 2014 at 12:49 am  Comments Off on What Elections Are For  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Early Voting

Yes, I have my early voting packet. No, I haven’t voted yet. Yes, I’ll be dropping it off on election day. No, I won’t tell you how I voted (although you might guess with varying degrees of certainty, depending on how well you actually know me). Yes, I am waiting til the last minute to fill it out, but in the comfort of my own home, thank you. No, I don’t think this is a contradiction of intent or purpose of early/absentee voting.

While not the norm, it has happened that things occur in the last days of an election. Candidates die, get indicted, withdraw for other reasons or additional information comes out at the last minute. I don’t want to vote early (if I don’t have to) and then, before election day, find out that something’s changed that would make me want to change my vote and regret that I voted early.

I also like knowing that my vote actually got there. When mailing in my ballot I’m sure it got delivered, but did it get there in time in good condition to get counted? They have to be received by election day, no matter when it was postmarked. It’s rare that I get mangled mail, but it’s happened enough that I want to hand deliver my ballot whenever possible. If I cast my ballot at my polling place on the day of the election I know it got there, whether I got a fresh one and filled it out there or simply dropped off my early ballot.

Voting isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. Our employers must allow us time off to vote under certain circumstances (call your local elections office for details). If you make a mistake while filling out your ballot you have a right to ask for a new one. I’ve done this. My own little kids under foot can be a bit distracting, especially when filling out butterfly ballots in FL.

If you get to the polling place and find that some sort of irregularity gets in your way you do have the right to cast a provisional ballot. If you find yourself in this position don’t be shy, just be firm and follow through both on election day while casting a provisional ballot and in the days after in following up with the elections officers to make sure your provisional ballot is counted.

So, no matter how the election turns out, good luck to all the candidates and happy voting to all of us. No matter who we vote for we vote for the person we hope will make our world better.

All Men…

“…All men are created equal…” you either believe this or you don’t, your actions will tell.

Published in: on November 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm  Comments Off on All Men…  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Current Troubles

The economy, health care, insurance, jobs, crime, education, drugs, … no politician can solve all of our problems any more than the government has, although most promise to. All government can do, really, is mediate disputes (civil, criminal or business), manage and provide for public goods and services (such as schools, infrastructure, disaster relief, parks) and manage diplomatic relations between governmental entities. If they’re not doing that they generally just get in the way. OK, sometimes they get in the way even when they’re just doing their job! The point is, left to our own devices most people find solutions to our own problems just fine, thank you, as long as government stays out of our way. How many of us get to April 15th every year and think “man, what I could have done with that if I’d been able to keep it in the first place!” So, who can help you keep more? The BIG TWO haven’t succeeded so far, so let’s try an infusion of new blood. Throw some Libertarians, Independents or Greens at the State capital & DC. You could do it just for fun, to watch their faces in November. OMG!!! Not THEM! The BIG TWO are both concerned about their power base or they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep the two-party system, even if it means a Donkey loses to an Elephant or vice versa. People always fear the unknown. This Halloween let’s play a trick on the government and send new people in, the ones that have actually been working real jobs (or applying for them along with so many of you). Do you really think we’ll do worse than the career politicians? Don’t feel bad for them, I’m sure they’ll be able to get work as consultants, lobbyists, or other positions of influence. Just vote your conscience. It doesn’t matter if you vote for the winner or the loser, it matters that you vote for what you believe in. If more people did that we might see some real change. Could the other guys really do any worse than the ones that have been running the show so far? At least give us a chance to keep the BIG TWO honest and on their toes. And besides, if you vote for one of the candidates who doesn’t win you have more right to make your views known to them because you didn’t want them anyway! Vote outside the box, mix it up! Don’t vote blue or red, vote purple! Vote for one of the little guys and watch a few career politicians turn purple!

Left/Right…

I just heard someone say during an interview: “Left leg, right leg, same pair of pants…”. He’s right. We’ve been locked into the same dysfunctional systemic rut for too long, but there is an alternative. Maybe we should wear a kilt! OK, maybe ACTUALLY wearing a kilt wouldn’t be very fashionable, but you get the idea. Think outside the box, try something new and vote for old values, smaller government, individual liberties, personal responsibility.  Be American, vote for Liberty, vote Libertarian.