19 November 2006

Voting

I voted this November because I was disturbed by the incompetence of our current leadership. I researched all the candidates online. I even included the local regional ones and Judges. Yeah, I know, even I can't believe it. I actually sifted through tons of news related to the election. I read policies. I read transcripts of speeches. So much information.

What did I find election day? I went and voted here in Atlanta, Georgia on a Diebold electronic voting machine. As I walked into the public housing complex common room to vote, I started a small conversation with one of the polling people. Telling her how I read up on this and that, and how I had moved and my address was different.

"Don't tell me too much information" she said as a warning. This still puzzles me today. Was she trying to save me from loosing my vote because I was at my old polling station? I thought my vote would be provisional because of my move so close to the election. Would it not be counted? Could it have been that because she was a poller she was forbidden from getting that information verbally from me?

I will never know. However her image stuck with me.

Here I was voting in Midtown Atlanta. Probably one of the most Democratic regions in the state of Georgia. There was no line. There were no pollsters taking exit polls as I left. The only thing in the room was 3 women who passed out paperwork, someone to give me a SIM card the size of a VISA. And 10 electronic voting machines.

If they could give you less information they would. There were state resolutions with 4 lines. A sizable group of local positions were uncontested.

Lets say that electronic voting machines are not killing democracy for a minute. Lets give the politicians and the corporations the benefit of the doubt. If you are going to use something electronic to vote, why not give the voter more information if they want it. Why not give an executive summary of referendums to be passed if the voter wants to see it. I am not saying force people to read through legalese legislation. Just some cliff notes on what the bill is about.

Also why are we voting for judges? They have no political affiliation. They were nominated for their position, we just say yes or no. Does anyone ever hear about specific cases of judicial decisions that create precedent in the media? No, all we hear about is OJ Simpson's new book.

Voting was pushed to the back of my head since then. However weeks later, post referendum, I figure that Coach Pelosi is going to make some changes. I have slowly come to realize that this will not be the case. Nothing will be accomplished because our nation is so polarized that compromise is out of the question for the politik.

What we need is a Progressive party. We need a Christian Party. We need a
Libertarian party. A Green party. Not only Dems and Repugs. A multi-party system is the only thing that will force our politicians to compromise. In a multi-party system even a small minority has power because they need to be brought on board to get legislation through. They must work together to pass anything with a majority.

I am truly not sure what this all means for our everyday lives. The only actual thing that I know for a fact is that Gas was cheap in October. The price of fuel was high before and it is steadily increasing now. This is one commodity that the whole country watches on a daily basis. The rest of the economy is only monitored closely by our stock brokers and traders. Think of what they must be seeing during these elections.

Something must change soon. We must always strive to improve upon our imperfect democracy. What have we done lately? What has evolved in our system? I hope that more people are asking these questions. I hope they are searching for answers themselves. Knowledge is our only option.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this without voting in new parties things are in trouble. The change will only take place when people get out and put some Independent and Third parties in office. I'm not talking a small amount but one that has affect at the local and federal levels. This is my hope and dream for 2008. I hope enough people want even more change and let the leaders know the people need business and want real answers and action.

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