Friday, October 03, 2008

The Importance of Voting

I wish I'd had this flowchart last night. It would have made things make a lot more sense (From
Click to enlarge.

It's now time for Political Rantings by Woman with a Hatchet!

Don't get me wrong, I am vested in this election and yes to all of the folks that are spamming me about whether or not I'm registered to vote: I am registered. I have been voting for 20 years now. Please stop asking me! Argh! Yes, I will vote. No, I won't give you money, I don't have any. Yes, this election is important and groundbreaking. No, I'm not reading everything written about it or watching all of the debates.

The debates, frankly, aren't substantial enough to pay any attention to. Both sides say what they will and then no matter what transpired during the debates, afterwards both sides claim victory. Umm...I don't think that's actually possible, but they do it anyway. To me, that makes the debates completely meaningless. Why there isn't some sort of scoring system and neutral third party judges (Hah! As if!) determining who scored what on each question, I don't know. See, that way we could actually force the speakers to answer the questions and possibly come to the end of the debates with a score and determine if someone actually won or if someone was just being a broken record and repeating the same catch phrases over and over and over again. (See Palin: Maverick. Biden: Joe Biden.)

Clearly the debates are meant to appeal to the "independent" voters. Although how any independent can listen to all of those circular responses and actually get a feel for what either campaign stands for, I don't know. If you still don't know who to vote for one month from the election, you're not paying close enough attention. Go to the website for either candidate and read their platforms. Then go have a look at the way either set voted in the Senate on bills that matter to you and then determine who holds values closest to your own (Obama or McCain. Then select "Pick an Issue" or on the right sidebar select Issue Positions, these are very interesting to read.). Deciding who to vote for is not hard, it just takes a little work if you're actually undecided.

Stop messing around and get to work!

As I say every year during voting season:

Get out and VOTE, dammit!

Do you live here or are an expatriate? Are you a citizen over 18? Then who runs this country directly affects you. Get in the game. Learn the real issues at stake, get educated about the candidates and the local ballot issues (Colorado has some whoppers this year!) and don't just buy into the spin the pundits put on every word that comes out of the mouths of politicians. Responding to emotional pleas does not become you. Waiting until you're in the booth is a waste of your time and the time of the folks standing in line behind you.

Get registered if you're not already. Get the facts on the candidates and ballot issues. Fill out a crib sheet on how you want to vote on each item. Go vote. Pat yourself on the back for doing your part as a citizen and give everyone in line a high five just for being there, regardless of political orientation. In 2004, only 64% of eligible voters bothered to get out and vote (High five for MN for having 79% of their pop get out and vote!). Don't sit on the sidelines.


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