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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 83 - 10/27/2002
Time to Talk Politics and Elections…
Eek! It’s the silly season again.
For U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is holding mid-term elections Nov. 5th. Will you be voting? What are the issues that are most important to you? Do you vote by issue or by party? Do you have any thoughts on how it will turn out?
Non-U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is woefully ignorant about your political processes. Please enlighten us. How many parties do you have? What are the names of the parties and what platforms do they represent? Do you have 'liberals' and 'conservatives'? How often do you vote? Do you elect representatives? How do you contact these representatives about your issues?
As always while talking politics, discussions can become heated. Please stay on the issues and do not resort to personal attacks. Further discussions should be taken to e-mail.
| Reponses: There are 109 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| Two Elections For Me! US/UK ||Oct 29th. at 4:11:10 am UTC|
|Jade_Moon (London, England) ||Age: 16 - Email |
Im both a US and UK citizen because my Mum is from the UK and my Dad is from the US. Im gonna be 17 in November and we live in the UK so naturaly I will be voting here but I will also probably be voting in the US! I really hate Bush and his policies (even though my opinion has raised slightly since 9/11/01 but I still want to vote against him) I have to say I know very little about US politics so I will need more info about that but I know plenty about UK politics (well in England anyway.)
Here we have 3 main Parties: Labour and Concervatives are the main two. They are both Right wing although the Concervatives are more so. Initialy Labour was right wing, but hey, they just changed. We also have the Liberal Democrats who are Right in the middle of left and right wing. As they are the most left wing I will vote for them as most of my veiws are Social or Communist. I also agree with most of their policies.
There are also some other parties such as the Green Party and the Monster Raving Loonie Party (who are a really cool party who go around making strange policies like "at least one day a week you must wear under pants on your head" and are just there to make fun of politics. They have never been voted in though.... LOL!!)
Thats about it.....
| Apathy ||Oct 29th. at 11:10:58 am UTC|
|The Sweeper (OK) ||Age: 48 - Email |
The fact that less than 50 % us vote is exactly why the “two party system” is so entrenched. Apathy is the enemy of good government. Casting a vote is only a small part of our responsibility, being involved in the whole process from beginning to end is the answer. Some of you folks seem to want to wake up on Election Day and be given menu of candidates to select from like ordering lunch at a restaurant. You have to be involved at the grass roots if you want real choices. Start by finding someone at a local level that you like and respect and help getting him or her elected. Be part of the system, it’s like gardening, if you don’t plant the seed, and tend the sprouts you can’t expect to reap much of a harvest. It’s easy to sit back, complain, and do nothing, getting involved is tough work, but, being a Pagan isn’t easy why should Politics. For this election find the candidate that is more in line with your views then the others. It won’t be a perfect fit, heck it may not be even close, but do the work; one will be better for you then the other and that is the point.
| Apathy Again And Again ||Oct 29th. at 12:27:16 pm UTC|
|Sammy M. (Billings, Mt.) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Apathy for sure... it's easier to laz out that to make an effort. Bitching is easy!. Yet, the 50% that don't vote, DO Bitch about what is happening and do it constantly. Amazingly THEY are majority and could dramtically change the game if they got off of their lazy butts and DID change the game. Voting requires a tiny bit of effort... but not all that much.
The alternative parties just can't seem to get off the ground with more than a few percents of the vote - meaning they don't make it to the game. Hence they are not players at this time. I really hope that changes, but until it does we must deal with what we've got.
I will vote the lesser of two evils. I have soured on the democrats as an alternative, but will vote with them to make sure that Ashcroft, Robertson and Bush don't end up owning the entire show.
I say get out and vote and (unless you live in Florida), YOUR vote will matter.
| Screw It! ||Oct 29th. at 2:51:07 pm UTC|
|Matt (Detroit) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I'm moving to Finland. Lot's of trees there, my ancestors are buried there, and their Constitution is short and sweet. It's also in a far off corner of the globe which is less likely to be bombed by "mistake." Unless we go to war with Russia of course. I hate to say it, but let America kill itself. I’m tired of living here, and yes once I am able to afford a plane ticket I will be leaving. It’s not just the politics, it everything: corporation (let us hold your hand through the dark underworld of your own opinions), religion (government in action!), bogus science (based on a false definition of skepticism), advertising (please let me think for you), hypocrisy (like Dubya doesn’t have his own Lewinski!) and general disrespect for the wellbeing other people (animals, plants and minerals included). I also have no time for the persecution complex that plagues every single American; it’s all soap opera mentality here, life has to be dramatic in order for it to have any meaning. Can’t life just be boring? My life is very boring and I am happy for it. Simple: go to school (Computer Science major with a strong focus on UNIX based OS’s, I don’t listen to the counselors much, they say I should go with Windows – BLAH!) go to work, and go to sleep. That’s good enough for me.
Damn I went way off track on that one; sorry I just had to rant.
| Pagans Are Not Monolithic! ||Oct 29th. at 4:46:35 pm UTC|
|Peragana (Northern Virginia) ||Age: 32 - Email |
>We all seem to agree on the issues, but have no one to be the front runner for 'us'.
Well, no, we don't all agree on the issues. That's the one thing that drives me dizzy about Paganism and politics, this assumption that Pagans all walk in one, left-leaning lock-step mode. Plenty of Pagans, myself included, are conservatives and Republicans. As for the "Christian Cartel", the best way to counter their influence is to become involved. They are as influential as they are (especially in the GOP) because they're well-organized, and because their opposition has abdicated the responsibility to oppose them. This is a message I'd like to direct toward Republican-leaning Pagans: do NOT let the religious right scare you out of the Republican Party. Yes, that's what they'd like to do. Don't let it happen. I'm out as a Pagan and a Witch, and I hold office in both my local and state Young Republican groups. I know of at least 2 other Pagan YRs in my state alone. The opportunity to meet, in a friendly setting, candidates and prospective candidates, and make your voice heard on religious freedom issues is invaluable. The more moderate voices are heard in the party, the more influence we have. This is NOT an impossible battle!
For all Pagans, not just GOP-leaning ones, what I can say as an active volunteer is to get involved. Find a party that suits you, or a candidate, or an issue group, and don't just vote, but GET INVOLVED. Talk to the candidates-- they're at 4th of July events, fall parades, county fairs, they're out there. Tell them what your concerns are. Become a part of the process, and you will be remembered-- for those candidates and political people, a "pagan" will become a known quality, the face of a trusted, intelligent and well-grounded volunteer. If you want "the system" to listen to Pagans, you have to be heard.
| Untitled ||Oct 29th. at 7:13:37 pm UTC|
|Harvestmoon (54935) ||Age: 0 - Email |
This election is as important as the presidential election. We have watched our civil rights eroding away since 9/11/01. The erosion will fastforward if we have both a Republican House and Senate. If that happens there will be NO checks and balances. There will be no balance. The followers of the Religious Reich do vote, and vote for whomever they are told to. They have been out in full force campaigning for this election to get both the House and the Senate filled with people who want prayer in school, who want to teach that the United States was built on Judeo-Christian values only, etc. We are living in dangerous times, and must realize the importance of our freedoms and demand that those freedoms remain in tact.
| We Are Headed For The Handmaid's Tale ||Oct 29th. at 10:51:01 pm UTC|
|Stephanie Stanton (New Orleans, LA) ||Age: 47 - Email |
My husband is a registered Republican, I am a registered Independent. We normally vote person, not party, and for the last 15 years it seems we're always voting the lessor of two evils. But because he is registered Republican, we get TONS of mail. This is a tidbit from the latest in our congressional race. "Issues...Teaching values in schools, Recognizing America's Judeo-Christian heritage, A ban on some or all forms of abortion, Need for public officials to openly discuss the need for America to return to traditional, moral values in our public and private lives". We have 3 Republicans running against the incumbant Democrat in this race, and all of the Republicans are spouting the rhetoric that I just quoted. One of them, is the one that referred to Muslims in the following manner "If I see someone come in that's got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over." He is in the House of Representatives and is running for the Senate in this race. Supposedly, if this ends up being a run-off between the Democrat and any of these Republicans, Bush is supposed to set up camp in Metairie, LA (he wouldn't dream of living in poor, black New Orleans) to ensure that the Republican gets elected. I despise our 2 party system, but we are in dangerous times at the moment. We, the people will be in deep do-do if both the House and the Senate are controlled solely by one party. An furthermore, if that one party is the Republican party, we might as well all go back in the Broom Closet. I am appalled and enraged that so many Republicans think that they have the monopoly on morality/ethics. I will not live in "The Handmaid's Tale" or "Farenheit 451", I will not abide the dreams and actions of our Founding Fathers being crushed under the Hitleresque boot of Judeo-Christian zealots. Complaining and not acting in accord is nothing but diarrhea of the mouth. Voting is an action, volunteering, campaigning is action. What good is spellwork if we don't act in accord? I am reminded of typing class back in 1970, the repetitive action of typing "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country". NOW is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of our country, before we no longer have the choice to do so. Please remember to honor the Founding Fathers at this upcoming Samhain. Someone has to give them comfort, for they are surely turning in their graves.
| It'll Get Ugly Before It Gets Better ||Oct 30th. at 2:24:17 am UTC|
|OakWise (Redlands) ||Age: 34 - Email |
About 1/2 my good friends are also extremely conservative. We talk very often about politics, religion & ethics. We've agreed that its OK not to agree. We talk at length - they';re truly wonderful people and I care about their families, their goals etc.. that's what friends do for each other. But in the last several weeks, I've seen an ugly almost predatory side to them as they absolutely salivate at the thoguht of controling the Legislative & Executive branch. They've lost track of their ability to think for themselves - and have turned into single issue voters. Abortion, Prayer in School, School Vouchers, English only initiatives, etc - they're absolutely scary. My only hope is that they;'re not successful in dividing the liberals any more than we mange to do ourselves. If not - watch out - The Jesus Club will be coming to state/city capital near you... oh yeah, we'll be going to war too.
| I Can Spell... No Really I Can! ||Oct 30th. at 2:28:16 am UTC|
|OakWise (Redlands) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Hello again. I just read my post. I really can spell and write fairly well - obviously I just can't type worth a damn. - please forgive. :)
Bright Blessings - OakWise
| I'm With Stephanie... ||Oct 30th. at 9:46:52 am UTC|
|Morgan Ravenwood (Arizona) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I vote in every election mainly to give voice to the opposition, so to speak. Arizona is a primarily Republican state but it seems this time we may actually get a Democratic governor. I hope so, anyway.
Because of its conservative bent, AZ is a tough place to be for Pagans. We have a tough battle against the Xian majority as well, but many of us are working toward the furtherance of tolerance. When we work together, there's nothing we can't do.
ALL Pagans should realize what kind of power we have in the vote, and not waste the opportunity for our voices to be heard. So get out there and do it!
| Are State Lotteries A Tax On Those Bad At Math? ||Oct 30th. at 12:33:01 pm UTC|
|DJ (Kingsport, TN) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Let me say first I tend to vote Republican. However, I am registered as an Independent. The big issue in Tennessee is the constitutional amendment to establish a lottery. The Christian element is highly upset because the people seem to want a lottery rather than a flat income tax. The current polls show 63% in favor of a lottery while 37% oppose it. For the past several years the Christian element of the Republican party has been able to stop bills which would give us the right to vote on a lottery. I can not believe for so long they pushed their religious morals on an entire state and it took our state's dismal financial situation to allow a vote. I wouldn't be surprised if the Christian coalition in TN pursues legal action when the lottery amendment passes.
| Conservative Does Not Equal Republican ||Oct 30th. at 2:08:57 pm UTC|
|The Sweeper (OK) ||Age: 48 - Email |
Please folks, being a conservative is not the same as being a republican. Conservatism is a philosophical viewpoint; a republican is a member of the Republican Party. The Republican Party’s views, as does the Democratic Party’s, changes year to year reflecting there membership. JFK, the icon of the Democratic Party, had many views that reflect strongly with the current Republican Party.
Casting ones friends, as having “an ugly almost predatory side” and being “absolutely scary” may be a bit harsh don’t you think? When you are discussing issues with your “friend” are you out spoken about your beliefs, and have you ever been swayed by their arguments?
The issues of Abortion, Prayer in School, School Vouchers, English only initiatives, are exactly that, issues, ideas with which people agree or do not. Because a large number of people have these ideas in common does not make then a “single issue” and does not make the people who hold them “single minded”.
Using phrases like “The Jesus Club” is just as harmful and counter-productive as the stereotyping of Pagans and Heathens.
Over the years my viewpoints and opinions have change, with good fortune and the guidance of those wiser them myself I hope they will continue to do so.
Engaging in Debate is a wonderful thing; sitting in judgement is not.
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