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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 6,226,828  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 263

Lurker/Post Ratio: 124 to 1

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. Reverse Sort 


The Eyes Of The World Are On Us... I Live In Broward... Nov 17th. at 7:04:21 pm UTC

Eli (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) Age: 18


THE EYES OF THE WORLD ARE ON US... I live in Broward County, Florida, one of the counties doing a manual recount. I checked my ballot over very carefully, making sure I had punched every correct hole and although I had never heard the word "chad" I did make sure there were no hanging tabs. Despite that, other factors can unnecessarily cause votes to be rejected, such as mishandling by the poll workers, or in some cases when people are given pencils to sign with instead of pens, two things clearly not their faults. If a manual recount gives us a better estimate of who won an election, then let's always do it everywhere, put enough people on it and we could manually count every ballot in days. I'm not saying totally negate the mechanical system, but use it to get more speed when an overwhelming victory makes the hand-counting process basically a formality, and call those areas and those races, but recount everywhere by hand regardless of who won or by how much, and only call those areas where the hand counts are exceptionally unlikely to turn the outcome. If this means we can't actually call some states for days, well, we had that problem anyways so problem did the mechanical system alone avoid in that? Do them both together, using the mechanical recount to determine the likelihood of the winner but the manual count as the final standard, and have unimpeachable standards for recounting the ballots. At the same time, let's get rid of all these different and confusing ballots and come up with a universal ballot setup that even an illiterate, blind, enderly, infirmed, or slightly retarded could understand and easily use. I suggest a system in which you place your votes on a touch screen and get to review and thrice confirm your votes before they go through. We also need I think special ballots, polling booths, maybe even whole special polling centers for the handicapped. Still other changes to our system will certainly be necessary, but as American citizens we need an unimpeachable election process, none of this "Oh, this is just the type of thing that happens in close elections" attitude. In Broward I voted for Al Gore, and in yet another race uncalled for similar reasons Elaine Bloom, but even if I had voted for George W. and Clay Shaw, I would still demand that every step be taken to ensure my vote be counted. On another issue, we can not tolerate these instances of black and elderly Jewish voter intimidation. For authorities, policeman and poll workers and others, to intimidate minorities because they know who they will vote for is quite clearly a capital offense. Let's get this done so that the world watching us will have no doubt that our Democray is sound.


Dear Fritz, I Was Intrigued By The Use Of The Word "hoopla... Nov 17th. at 4:19:43 pm UTC

Jay Rufus (Tipperary, Ireland, Ireland) Age: 0 - Email


Dear Fritz, I was intrigued by the use of the word "hoopla" on your website to describe the goings-on regarding the Gush'n'Bore presidential elections in the U.S.of A. It looked as if you were using that word to indicate a sort of situation which in English-English would be referred to as a "(right old) hoo-ha".
I was very puzzled you used "hoopla", as in England this word actually refers ONLY to a game which is played at outdoor festivals and fairs and indoors in some 'pubs' (public houses or bars). Like my late friend Stewart Farrar, I am fascinated by philology (comparative & historical linguistics); so, like all good (aspiring) writers, I went to my dictionary to check the exact meanings. I thought you & my fellow Witchvox-surfers might find the definitions of interest, and they would maybe raise a smile during such serious times:-
1) "hoo-ha" - noun. of unknown origin, English, used to denote ' a noisy commotion or fuss'
2) "hoopla" - noun.a) British - a fairground game in which a player tries to throw a hoop over an object and so win it, or over a painted wooden figure of a man or woman to gain points, (STET!), b) American - U.S. slang for 'noise' or 'bustle', c) American - U.S. slang for 'nonsense' or ' ballyhoo' - see also "whoop-la" from the French interjection "houp-la!", said to a horse to make it go faster, as in English & American "giddy-up!"
( Jay's NOTE: For those with a deeper interest in this last point, go to the lyrics of a song from the 1940's or 1950's by French singer Maurice Chevalier. I think it was about a donkey !!)

As for your requested comments from us bewildered folk overseas to let Witchvox know what we think of the events in the U.S. elections - some of us are wondering why, if a Florida vote of just plus/minus 300 will always decide the successful candidate, why don't you all save yourselves millions of campaign dollars and hundreds of hours of boring TV time by simply confining the elections to Florida alone !!!!! But seriously, we in Europe find it appalling that the future safety of ourselves, our children, the environment and indeed the world can hinge on such an infinitesimally small UNVERIFIED margin in just one State out of millions (or billions?) of people in such a large country; and we are very alarmed at the rumours of possible skullduggery in what is supposed to be the world's greatest democracy (skullduggery = underhand dealing or trickery). >>>>>> best wishes from 'Jay' in Tipperary, Ireland.




I Voted For Nader. I Couldn't In Good Conscience Cast My Vote... Nov 17th. at 3:55:35 pm UTC

Kimberly Hunt (Seattle, Washington US) Age: 26 - Email


I voted for Nader. I couldn't in good conscience cast my vote for either Bush or Gore. Bush, well, he doesn't have the basic qualifications for the job in my opinion. He has no clue about anything outside of the Republic of Texas (yes it really is a Republic). He's far to insular, and doesn't have the smarts to know where he needs to improve.
Gore is a chameleon. Check out www.godhatesfags.com to see what Gore's past stances have been on the issues of religion, morals and homosexuality. Enough said on that.

However, unlike Gore, Bush has stated publicly that he doesn't think that Wicca is a real religion. That's sounds rather dangerous because if other's share his views, it could mean an end to protection under freedom of religion for us. But given Gore's past views, how can we tell what he really thinks? Hopefully, both will see the advantage of leaving us alone.

At this point it doesn't really matter if either concedes, as we are already the laughing stock of the globe. On the upside, more people have gotten interested in the election process.
I'm not sure either candidate will be able to bring the country together after this mess.

Argh!


I Voted For Al Gore. Granted, He May Be A Little Cold... Nov 17th. at 3:36:34 pm UTC

SilverMoon (Waterloo, Iowa US) Age: 27 - Email


I voted for Al Gore. Granted, he may be a little cold, but his views on the environment are very crucial. Also, because of what Mr. Bush was quoted for saying about religion, I don't want him to be able to tell me that what I practice (Wicca) should not be considered a religion.

To me, the hoopla going on now in Florida is crap. It has boiled down to one side squabbling with the other. My question is very simple, if the roles were reversed, would one side still be criticizing the other? Of course not--they'd be doing exactly the same thing. I say for this election since the electoral college has created such a problem to let the popular vote elect the president.

Truth be told, I don't know if either candidate will know exactly how to bring the country together--at the moment our country has no idea who its next president is going to be. And we're worried about the president bringing us together???


Yes, I Did Vote. I Voted For Gore/lieberman. I Think Gore... Nov 17th. at 3:11:53 pm UTC

Cernowain9 (Indianapolis, Indiana US) Age: 40 - Email


Yes, I did vote. I voted for Gore/Lieberman. I think Gore will do more to respect religious minorities like those of us who are pagan.

Most of the "hot button" issues didn't weigh in on my decision so much. As far as Social Security, I think both candidates views could be enacted, it really wasn't a "choice" as far as that issue is concerned. Both candidates were "pro-education", but as each admitted, the schools are locally controlled, so the federal gov's influence would be minimal, seems to me.

There was one issue that helped tip the balance toward Gore for me. In the third debate, the death penalty issue came up (finally). And although both candidate believe in it (and I do not), Bush's little laugh about executing prisoners in Texas really bothered me. At least Gore is open to looking at DNA evidence when it comes to the death penalty. I would think a lot of pagans would be sensitive to this issue because of the history of the "burning times", but pagans I know seem divided on this issue.

Bush's slur again wicca not being a real religion was the topper, though. If he becomes president in January, he will be Cammander in Chief of our armed forces. In that capactity, he may have some influence on the military's stance on recognizing wiccans and pagans as official religions. The same military that protects our right to freedom of religion may lose their right to practice their wiccan/pagan beliefs and be persecuted.

As long as we are a minority faith, we will need to vote with "the right to religious expression" firmly in our minds!


Manyu,addy:jongaeyu@hotmail.com.yes, I Voted For Gore. Bush Is Too Much... Nov 17th. at 11:41:53 am UTC

Tom Boughan (Cowan,, Tennessee US) Age: 47 - Email


Manyu, addy:jongaeyu@hotmail.com.Yes, I voted for Gore. Bush is too much in league with religious right and he let it be known he doesn't think wicca is a legitimate religion, so it is not covered under the First Amendment. He also mentioned Ft. Hood indirectly by mentioning that military made a mistake by allowing wicca on base.I want an end to the voting count, but not too soon that lots are not counted.For example, absentee ballots and the butterfly ballots.


I Did Not Vote. Instead, I Supported A Boycott Of This Idiotic... Nov 17th. at 12:12:34 am UTC

Craig Stehr (Berkeley, California US) Age: 51 - Email


I did NOT vote. Instead, I supported a boycott of this idiotic election. I feel just fine about my decision. I look forward to NOT voting again, in the future.


I Am Seventeen Years Of Age And Am Living In Quito, Ecuador... Nov 16th. at 10:46:40 pm UTC

Sage (Quito, Ecuador) Age: 17 - Email


I am seventeen years of age and am living in Quito, Ecuador. Though I do not know the views of the U.S. election in Ecuador, I do know the views in my school. It is needless to say that Republicans are shunned. I only know of three people (two of them brother and sister).

I feel that all the votes in all the counties of Florida should be manually counted again. In some places, they aren't counting the entire 100% saying that some people just can't punch the card hard enough. The people who are saying that are essentially taking away another person's right to vote. I find that completely unacceptable. I do not believe that any of the candidates can truly bring the country together with such as close count in the election, along with this controversy. Like most people, I don't think either the Democrats or the Republicans will accept the other party's victory. Someone will always make it difficult.

The final results will have a major impact on pagan communities. If the Republicans win, there will most likely be a great increase in the amount of Christian-related bills going through. I believe that the pagan community will have to fight long and hard to keep minds in Congress and the White House open.

Personally, I can not see how someone can vote for a man who is against affirmative action, among other important issues. During this election period, I have also found that teenagers who are living overseas and have travelled a bit are more liberal and open-minded to almost everything. My school is mostly democratic and this election is causing a bit of trouble between my school and another religious school in the city. When all is said and done, I just want this entire episode to be over (with favourable results of course!:P)


I Did Not Vote. As You May Have Noticed, I'm 16. Until... Nov 16th. at 8:18:23 pm UTC

Vaelyn et Tu'Ra (Marietta, South Carolina US) Age: 16 - Email


I did not vote. As you may have noticed, I'm 16. Until I am allowed to legally vote, though, I can at least express my displeasure at this nation's leadership. I find it funny that we've failed to produce someone who has enough dignity and skill to lead our country.
I am a student in AP US History this year and, so far as I can tell, there has been no truly good leader of the US since George Washington himself, and he would be now as obselete as my IBM PS/2.
All I can hope for is that, when this election is finally cleared of all BS, the elected president will be competent. I, truthfully, cannot tell which candidate is more suited for the job. What I do know is that political reform can't be too many years off. When the two prime candidates are so inseparably tied that the nation cannot tell between them, there is a major problem.
I hope the next election produces someone more stomachable. Perhaps Mrs. Dole will run again... I think she would have made a marvelous president.


I Did Not Vote In This Presidential Election. I Could Not Choose... Nov 16th. at 7:06:09 pm UTC

Firesprite (Pendleton, Indiana US) Age: 33


I did not vote in this presidential election. I could not choose "the less or two evils". How can I elected a man to lead my country if I wouldn't even trust him to handle my personal finances. I am sick of Republicans and Democrats, I think "professional politicians should be outlawed. I'm ready to go back to the way it was meant to be - you know, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.


Of Course I Voted For Gore. I'm A Political Science Major. As... Nov 16th. at 7:06:02 pm UTC

Sepra (Phoenix, Arizona US) Age: 21


Of course I voted for Gore. I'm a Political Science Major. As one, I did want to clear a couple of things up though:

1. The need to vote for someone not of the two parties. Perfectly acceptable, but just as long as you do it for a good reason. Like giving the Green Party (who are socialist, I must add) 5% so they can get funding. But a multi-party system is better that a two-party system? No way. It's actually a statistical fact that multi-party systems are less stable. Look at Italy.

2. Neither candidate will take away our rights. There will be no loss of our First Amendment rights. Ans as for those worried about the Supreme Court: Nixon appointed the judge that ruled in favor of Roe. The fact is is that all justices are wild cards.

3. As for the recount: it's absolutely necessary. When your majority is less than the margin of error, it would be wrong on both sides not to do 5 recounts. So no one is really whining, they are just asking for their due.

4. As for the electoral college: well, we can't fudge like we did in the past because of the unique position we're in, but it's still in the Constitution. If we scoff at one part of that document, we are scoffing at all the rights it affords us. Maybe it does need to be changed, but it will be after this, and there will be an amendment. Which I doubt will happen.

5. Neither Al or Dubya are fools. Not a whole lot of personality, but neither did Wilson, and he was ok. I just felt that with Gore's senatorial experiance along with his greater knowledge of both foreign and domestic issues, he would be the better man for the job.

6. As for Wicca, nothing will happen. Come on people, we survived Ronald Reagan! Remember?
(excerpt from Old Time Religion - 80's version):
Don't vote for Ronald Reagan
He's too square to be a Pagan
Let's all vote for Carl Sagan!
He's good enough for me!

BB :)


Well, This Is Quite The Situation Here In The Us With Our... Nov 16th. at 6:12:29 pm UTC

Dian E. Ericksen (Lakewood, Colorado US) Age: 37 - Email


Well, this is quite the situation here in the US with our Election. Yes, I did vote and I voted for Ralph Nader, who has been the scapgoat of the Democrats. Why? Because I am tired of the same stuff from both of our major parties and because I think that it is time that people started standing up for what they believe in, not just voting for the 'lessor of two evils'. I really feel that at this point, it matters very little which of the contenders becomes president. Neither will have an easy job uniting the country and overcoming the feeling that he 'stole' the job from the other candidate. If this election has taught us anything as pagans, it should be that EVERY vote counts and it is very important for us to all get out there and cast our votes for the candidate of our choice. I really feel that this situation has re-established the importance of being involved in the political process. We fought a war so that we would have the freedom to vote for how and by who we were governed, please let us start exercising that right again. Next time, let us all get out and vote!


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