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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 14 - 11/6/2000
The Unresolved US Election
Did YOU vote? Which candidate did you vote for? How do you feel about the political wrangling going on right now in Florida? Will/Should either candidate concede for the good of the country-or should either/both fight it out until we all scream for mercy? How do you think either candidate, if declared the winner, will be able to bring the country together given the inference that the election results now point to an America that is almost equally divided into one camp or the other? And the BIG question-What, if any, impact will the final results have on the Pagan communities?
| Reponses: There are 263 responses posted to this question.
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| Hi All. I Am Spanish And Live In Spain So I Hope... ||Nov 10th. at 10:07:13 am EST|
|Mar Calpena (Igrayne) (Barcelona, Spain) ||Age: 27 |
Hi all. I am Spanish and live in Spain so I hope I don't offend anyone by posting this.
1) First, for the electoral system. For the European onlooker, the American voting system ("first-past-the-post", as my high school Politics teacher used to call it) isn't at all that foreign. Countries like France or the United Kingdom have been using similar devices for a long time. In theory, this should stop "fringe" parties from getting a seat in the Congress. Italy's electoral system is the complete opposite, as it assigns seats in a direct proportion towards the total votes. Other countries, such as Spain, lie somewhere in between. You do have to receive a minimum number of votes to get a seat (this is calculated with a rule called "Ont's law", but I don't really remember how it works), but there's a fairly wide array of parties at the parlament. As you already know, the first system tends to end up in bipartidism. And the we go on to...
2) The candidates. I also hoped Gore would win the election, but having said that, I felt he was the lesser of two evils. I am no die-hard lefty, but he's closer to right wing parties in Europe than Bush is, and not to socialdemocracy as it is understood over here. Take the death penalty thing, for example. Basically, it was a non issue to both Bush and Gore. And whereas he seems to be interested in protecting certain civil rights (freedom of belief), there are things about that would be cause of laughter in Europe, such as the parental advisory tags in records implemented by mrs Gore. Again, I don't mean to offend anyone, but from outside it looks like the American campaign was too focused on economics and too little on real social issues. Also, around here no one expected Nader to win, but not because his message wouldn't have found followers, but for the fact the electoral system makes it difficult.
Another thing that strikes me out as weird is that only 50% of Americans decided to vote. It might have something to do with the fact you have to register beforehand, but it may be interpreted as sheer disinterest or mistrust. It looks like many people only care about politics on election day. Which is a pity, as the United States are an example to many countries. Please make it a worthwhile one.
Thank you again, and as I said, don't take this as an offence, but just as some food for thought.
| I Definatley Voted And I'm Glad I Did. After Hearing Some Unappealing... ||Nov 10th. at 10:27:21 am EST|
|"ambermoone" (newark , Delaware US) ||Age: 21 |
i definatley voted and i'm glad i did. after hearing some unappealing coments mr bush had to say about witch's i started to seriously oppose him...later i realised texas is one of the most pollutes states in the country...further more as a feminist and a close friend to many gay couples i seriously could not bring myself to fathom this man in the white house..he seems to be against everything i am...i do not agree with all of gore's policy's but he is definetly more moderate. so i voted for the first time and it felt good to take a stand. the florida problem is confusing..it is hard for me not to feel biased when i say that a recount should be done...the presidency should go to the one the people want, but hten again that just may be my personal bisases which i feel are justified due to my views and feelings. i also think that the electoral college has long over stayed its need in this country.
| I Voted For Al Gore Simply Because I Beleive That Al Gore... ||Nov 10th. at 10:28:14 am EST|
|donna hitchcock (middleburg, Florida US) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I voted for Al Gore simply because I beleive that Al Gore represents all the people, not just the educated and the wealthy.
| Bright Blessings, In Response To The Question "who Did I Vote For... ||Nov 10th. at 10:37:27 am EST|
|WolfHawk (Los Angeles, California US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
In response to the question "who did I vote for" I voted for Ralph Nader, he is truly concerned about the environment and wants to try to heal the earth. But, obviously he isn't in the picture so I am hoping Gore wins. I feel he is much more qualified for the job, and that in my mind is whats important.
thank you for your time,
| I Voted For Dubyuh. Although I Consider Myself Pretty Liberal In Social... ||Nov 10th. at 10:46:37 am EST|
|anon (Orange County, California US) ||Age: 25 |
I voted for DUBYUH. ALthough i consider myself pretty liberal in social issues, i believe that less government is better and that he symbolizes that. What's going on in Florida is a joke. Ballots are thrown out all the time for voting for more than one candidate. You dont see the democrats screaming about the votes thrown out in california, new york, or texas? California must of had more votes thrown out than florida, its only 19, 000. And as for the ballots, they were approved by boht parties and seemed very self explanitory to me. We cannot have a re-vote because some people were confused. They should have asked for help or gotten a new ballot after marking two. Gore should act respectful and concede to Bush and vice versa if Gore somehow wins the absent ballots. As far as legal action goes, i am not a lawyer but seriously doubt that any judge is going to side with democrats and voters who were confused by ballots. As for uniting the country, i dont have an answer for that. As far as Pagans being affected George W. is not to strong on religious tolerance without a doubt, the man wants public prayer in schools. However the president does not make such decisions on his own. I think issues like roe vs. wade will be more affected than religious intergration with state affairs which is contstituionaly illegal.
| I Voted For Nader. Because I Live In Texas, There Was No... ||Nov 10th. at 10:48:56 am EST|
|Dimitri Kovarkova (Waco, Texas US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I voted for Nader. Because I live in Texas, there was no way anyone else but Bush would win in this state. On behalf of the great state of Texas, let me also apologize for Bush's childish attitude. He is acting like a spoiled brat who wants his presidency right now.
Gore should not concede the election. As it stands right now, he has won the popular vote and he is leading in the electoral votes. He is not losing. In light of voter irregularities, both canditates owe it to the people to make certain that everyone's vote was counted accurrately, fairly, and legally. Unfortunately, Bush is too eager to take power to be concerned about that. Does anyone else find it ironic that Bush, who ran his campaign on "Power to the People", is so quick to ignore the popular vote.
Of course, I wish they would just ignore the electoral college. It was created by racist, sexist, elitist white men over 200 years ago. It is an anachronism designed so that the common person wouldn't have any real say in who would be the leader of our country.
If Gore becomes the next president, then I don't think there will be much affect on Pagan communities. In general, Democrats talk about being good Christians, but they usually aren't so dogmatic about it. If Bush becomes president, then that would mean we would have Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and in the White House. Considering the Religious Right's influence on the Republican party, does anyone want to move to Canada with me?
| Electoral Vote" Vs "your Vote Matters"... Yes I Voted, And I Voted... ||Nov 10th. at 10:55:19 am EST|
|Micah J (Campton, New Hampshire US) ||Age: 37 |
"Electoral Vote" vs "Your Vote Matters"... Yes I voted, and I voted for Gore. That said I feel the issues that should be of real importance to us all are that it is the vote of a small group of anonymous people (the Electoral College) that decide who shall be our next president, not how you or I vote. Is anyone else as outraged as I that in todays world of instant polls and electronic voting we still have this 18th century anachronism? Regardless of how many times someones stands in front of a TV camera and tells us how this election reaffirms "How important one vote can be" it in fact affirms the opposite.
My one vote didnt matter for beans in this election. George W. Bush won my state and therefore the Electoral votes that went with it. The Popular Vote does not decide who the next President shall be. I feel the entire Electoral College system of voting should be abandoned, and the vote of the people alone should decide who the President of this country should be. But regardless of that, neither George nor Al are in any position to argue that they have won this election. The REAL election hasn't taken place yet. It will happen in late December when the Electoral College votes.
But as an additional twist to an already twisted election process, not all electoral voters are required to cast all of their states electoral votes for the candidate that "won" their state... They can vote for whomever they choose. So lets hope they choose to vote for whichever candidate actually has the most "Popular Votes"... then at least I won't feel my vote was wasted.
| I Hail From Florida, And Yes, I Voted. I Voted My Conscience... ||Nov 10th. at 10:59:28 am EST|
|Barbara J. Walker Graham (Gainesville, Florida US) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I hail from Florida, and yes, I voted. I voted my conscience. I voted my heart. I voted for Nader. This does not mean that I wish Bush to be president. Had V.P. Gore been able to win over the growing green movement, then he would have been able to claim this victory. The 3% of the popular vote which Nader earned cannot be seriously considered the cause of the present situation. The growth of alternative political parties has been stunted in this country by the monied interests and status quo. Yes, we are lucky to have the Constitution on which to rely on. But viable living organisms evolve over time, just look at the Amendments and the Bill of Rights to recognize that the Constitution does not answer all the questions -- and this was recognized by those pioneers who drafted those all important changes. A document 300 years old ought not to stagnate growing opinions. Our society is mature, and needs to re-think the existing political system and evolve a response to the changes that the 21st century brings. I Pledge Allegience to the Earth, One Planet, Many Gods, and to the Universe in Which She Spins. Blessed Be.
| I Walked In, Collected My Ballot, And Prepared To Strike A Blow... ||Nov 10th. at 11:03:37 am EST|
|Strong_Fox (Spring Grove, Illinois US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I walked in, collected my ballot, and prepared to strike a blow against the forces of tyranny. I tried to steel myself saying that I was being logical by voting against the lesser of two evils, but in the end, I just couldn't vote for bush, so I voted my heart and chose Harry Browne. Since there were no other libertarians running, I was forced to vote for republicans like Mr. Henry Hyde.
As to all the fighting in Flordia, screw ups happen everywhere. The so called "confusing ballot" is of the same sort I used in cook county, Illinois, and was approved by the election commisoner who was a democrat. If you cannot be bothered pay attention and vote for the wrong candidate, that is your fault. If you double punch and vote for two presidents, your fault, toss it out. Those are the rules. allowing someone to revote with knowledge that I did not have access to when I voted violates my rights. So no new voting.
On roadblocks, I find them abhorrant and un constitutional, but a roadblock a mile form a polling place that stops and tickets people of every ethnic background as the florida one did, does not racisim make.
On republicans vs democrats, as a libertarian, I find great fault with both parties. That said, I will pick a republican over a democrat because I know that anything they do with regards to social issues in society will be watched and reported on by a media that favors the other side. so I know that bush cannot sneak in a national jesus day or bash a gay day.
That said, the democrats scare me because they have no watchdogs like the media to hound them. Mayor Daley of chicago rails about gun violence and wants guns banned from the public, yet his chicago police routinely innocent people, and there is no outrage. The democrats complain about unlicenced gun dealers selling weapons, no such an animal, when they say that they are saying that if I decide to sell a gun to a friend, that makes me an unlicenced dealer, same logic would say that when I sold my car to my sister, that makes me an unlicenced car dealer. B.S. And since Clinton/gore/reno, I see federal swat teams braking down doors, shooting and burning innocent women and children. yet those who claim to support peoples rights and call themselves liberal say nothing. at least under bush there are voices that will cry foul if he tries the same.
| Yes, I Voted, And For Gore (that Discussion Reserved For Another Time... ||Nov 10th. at 11:09:23 am EST|
|Graywolf Dreamer (Grapevine, Texas US) ||Age: 33 - Email |
Yes, I voted, and for Gore (that discussion reserved for another time and place). Unfortunately, I feel that the fighting-it-out is the only option if our goal is to improve the process. Under no circumstances should we allow anyone's particular wish (for the method of resolution of the FL issue) to replace the ruling of the courts. That's what they're there for -- even if one of the candidates would prefer to concede.
I feel either candidate will have a difficult term given the non-mandate of the election and the nearly evenly split Congress. Hopefully, this will mean at least one term of minimal impact to Pagan communities. I doubt religious bigotry in the guise of civil legislation will be a priority in a close-vote atmosphere, and however many justices are appointed by this new President will have to be much more moderate than he might wish.
Either way this turns out, it promises to be an interesting four years.
| Shrugs* I Voted For Gore Because A Vote For Nader Was A... ||Nov 10th. at 11:25:21 am EST|
|Wolfie (Middle O' Nowhere, Missouri US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
*shrugs* I voted for Gore because a vote for nader was a vote for Bush. I would have preferred a Green Party protest vote; however, with the elections so close I feel that it was a disaster that anyone voted for Nader--had those folks voted for Gore, Mr. "I wanna put oil rigs in Alaska's wildlife refuge" Bush wouldn't have had a chance. Yes, it was voting for the lesser of two evils, but frankly I'm willing to give up on my ideals a bit to protect against a greater danger than voting Democratic.
| I Voted For Al Gore. Bush's Stance On Many Issues Is A... ||Nov 10th. at 11:40:54 am EST|
|Lori Hammock (Taylor, Michigan US) ||Age: 35 |
I voted for Al Gore. Bush's stance on many issues is a little frightening, but no where near as frightening as someone who would contest an election that is as fair as humanly possible given the way the ballot was designed and counted. A lot of other precincts use that type of ballot as well.
If this is pursued in the courts after all the votes are finally counted, disaster will fall. The conservative movement will gain momentum, their notions that our current administration is corrupt beyond redemption will be justified. Because we can't change the laws in the middle of the election. That's not how America is suppose to work. And remember if the conservative momentum gains, that won't be good for us pagans. Something to think about. We don't like conservatives shoving their ideology down our throats. To challenge their victory when there is no evidence of criminal conduct will just strengthen their arguements that those of us who aren't so conservative can't be trusted.
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