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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| Yes, My Wife - Not A Pagan - And I Voted. We Both Bucked... ||Nov 10th. at 5:48:16 am EST|
|Shadowcatcher (Cincinnati, Ohio US) ||Age: 54 - Email |
Yes, my wife - not a pagan - and I voted. We both bucked the Ohio conservative tradition and went for Al Gore. Among the reasons we chose Gore; environmental concerns, greater sensitivity to health issues, stated goal of using the current budget surplus to pay down the debt rather than give a bonus to the rich and infamous, and the belief that Gore would name Supreme Court justices with a moderate to liberal outlook.
We both worry about official attitudes toward; racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, gays, pagans (Busch says witchcraft is not a religion and worship on military bases should end) and the environment.
Neither man should concede until there is a ballot-based resolution. This may require re-polling Floridians.
If Busch is the elctoral victor there should be no quibbling about electoralversus popular vote count--we know what the rules are. If we don't like the electoral college it should be eliminated legally, not by fiat.
The next four years will be unproductive -- neither presidential candidate has a mandate -- barely a majority-- and the congress -- both houses are nearly evenly divided which sets us up for massive gridlock and polarization.
| I Voted. There Was Never Any Question That I Would Not Vote... ||Nov 10th. at 4:02:15 am EST|
|Rich Ostorero (Sacramento, California US) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I voted. There was never any question that I would not vote. It is a matter of exercising a sacred right bought and paid for in blood. A right, incedentally, that a third of the world's population do not possess.
This time around, the choice was clear-cut: Al Gore. Why? because he is not G.W. Bush and because he has the best chance to beat Bush. While I feel that Ralph Nader best represents my spiritual and political beliefs, I could not vote for a candidate with no chance of being elected when Bush said he did not believe that Witchcraft was a real religion.
The political wrangling going on in Florida is fascinating drama, a memorable real-world cliffhanger. It is also a prime example of what I have come to call Gingrich's Postualte. The former House Speaker paraphrased Clauswitz's definition of war: Politics is war conducted by other means.
In this case, the battlefield will be the courts. I expect an expensive, possibly protracted legal battle in which neither candidate will relent until a final decision is rendered by the US Supreme Court. There will be no quarter, no retreat and no surrender.
I expect the vector sum of this struggle to be thus: protracted gridlock on issues important to the American people. The loser of this struggle will take advantage of the near-equal division of power evident by the vote and do anything it can to erase the winner's gains. However, there will be no gridlock on issues important to Corporate America: "free" trade will continue to be shoved down the throats of American working people, HMOs will continue to put profit over health, the environment will suffer while the bottom line prospers, corporations will be allowed to merge without limit.
The impact on the Pagan community can be summerized thusly: In the short term -- if Bush wins, Pagans lose. Military Pagans can expect Bush to prohibit the practice of Witchcraft on military bases. Gays in the military can expect the Bad Old Days to return. We can expect members of militant majority religions to be emboldened in the advancement of their agendas; we can expect court cases where members of majority religions feel they are unable to practice their religion freely because of the presence of Pagans among them. We can also expect Bush to appoint Supreme Court justices who may well change the legal landscape -- deciding that women no longer have a right to control their reporductive destiny or concluding that the Craft is not entitled to First Amendment protection. The Bill of Rights may well be rewritten to apply only to corporations and members of majority religions if Bush packs the courts with right-wing, corporatist activist jurists. Under a Bush Administration, we can expect environmental protections to be eroded in favor of the schemes of corporate quick-buck artists; we can expect consumer protection to have a lower proirity than corporate profits; the needs of global big business will outweigh the needs of the local communities' poor, sick and elderly.
Bush will usher in a new political Dark Age for Pagans.
If Gore wins, we can expect more of the same we got from Clinton. We will still have to fight against globalization; the Battle of Seattle is but a first in a long campaign. Gore won't be an easy President to support. However, I believe that our fundimental rights to worship will not be endangered.
In the long term, a second President Bush may be just the force necessary to catalyze the Pagan community into a hotbed of political activism. We will suffer losses and we will fight back.
| I Voted For Nader Because I Felt That Bush Would Win Because... ||Nov 10th. at 4:02:13 am EST|
|lissa (vancouver, Washington US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I voted for Nader because I felt that Bush would win because he had 207 estimated votes from the electoral college the day before voting while Gore only had 105 or somewhere in that range. I hope that Nader got enough of the voting percentage to provide the Green party with some funding for the next election.
I totally disagree with Bush's ideas and plans to impose his will upon our supposed free country. I have a bad feeling that he will win.
Goddess help us.
| I Voted For Harry Browne. Yeah, That Libertarian Guy---what, Because I... ||Nov 10th. at 3:47:50 am EST|
|Amanda (Dallas, Texas US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I voted for Harry Browne. Yeah, that Libertarian guy---what, because I am Pagan you expect me to be some kind of liberal? I read something on CNN.com the other day that proves illuminating in the light of all the wrangling going on in Florida. It states that Gore would probably take it very hard if he lost. Well, he lost--or maybe he did and maybe he didn't. In any case, he plans to challenge the results and fight for a runoff---gee, how will he do now that Nader is out of the picture? And if he gets what he wants, the GOP would then turn around (with some cause) and state that _Gore_ stole the election by using spurious claims of voter fraud (more like ID10T errors) to force a Nader-less runoff in heavily Democratic precincts. And forcing this Constitutional crisis serves what purpose? Gore's ego. He cannot believe he lost the electoral vote. Yes, he did win the popular vote, but look at the states he won. Some of the most liberal states are often some of the most populous. The Electoral College makes sure that the winner has a broader appeal. If we determined Presidential elections based on popular votes, we'd get as many liberal Democrats as y'all would like, but they'd all be a bunch of Yankees who don't know Silicon Valley from the Grand Canyon, and whose understanding of agriculture begins and ends at the grocery store. All this wrangling and maneuvering is not good for the country.
| Yes I Voted, For Al Gore. Although I Wasn't Completely Sure I... ||Nov 10th. at 3:28:24 am EST|
|Wendelyn S. Dyer (Pace, Florida US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Yes I voted, for Al Gore. Although I wasn't completely sure I wanted Gore in office, I knew for a fact that Bush wasn't the right choice. (I am now positive that Gore is the right man for the job after seeing how is handling the whole re count thing) I have been paying attention to the campaigns (as much as I could) and in the beginning I liked Bush, I felt like we needed fresh blood in the White House. Then RU-486 was approved and that same day Bush went up to the edge, stopping right before saying he would have the FDA ban the drugs here in the United States. Then when his views came out on Wicca not being valid I saw a man who is ruled by the christian church and his bible. (Not to offend anyone, merely my opinion) I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state, and a man who would govern as directed by his religion and not by the people who he governs is not only wrong but scary. I'm also very concerned about the justices of the supreme court. If they were to retire with Bush in office then Roe v. Wade is out the window.
Now on the Florida issue. I live in Florida and I have only seen one other Floridian post here. On Tuesday My brother and I went to the polls togethor, this was his very first election he could vote in, the woman who gave us our ballots did take about 15 seconds (one breath) to explain them, when asked to, basically there was an incomplete arrow, to vote for your candidate you just drew a line through the arrow next to his/her name. There were many candidates for the presidential election, congressional, local school supervisors and some referendums on the back, I understood this, my brother asked her to explain it again just so he would be sure. She looked at him like a complete idiot and treated him as such as she said it once again, this time a little slower. We went to our booths and filled in our arrows.
I'm positive who I voted for and so is my brother.
But if there are 19, 000 ballots in Palm Beach that were thrown out because of double voting, caused by the confusion created by the ballot, they should be allowed to recast thier vote, just so they are certain they voted for the person they want in office. This can easily be done. Everyone has to sign in when they come to vote, so there is a record of whether you voted or not and so be allowed to vote again.
I think that to avoid the chance of confusion in the future there should be a nationally agreed upon ballot, not for every election in every state necessarily, that would smack in the face of states rights but for the presidential election at least.
The Electoral College is outdated and unneeded. We should work towards having a constitutional amendment abolishing it. What is the point in telling people that thier vote counts when in all actuality we as the people of this country do not elect our presidents. For this election, every vote has counted and this will go down in history as the time each and every persons vote mattered.
But the E.C. will have the final say. That isn't the right way to do this, not in these modern times.
To sum up I voted, for Gore, the voters of Palm Beach should insist on recasting thier votes, and the Electoral College has to be rid of.
| Does Anyone Else Think It's Odd That The Only State (so Far... ||Nov 10th. at 3:10:56 am EST|
|Neva Rowden (Castro Valley, California US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
Does anyone else think it's odd that the only state (so far at least) to have major polling problems is a state run by George Bush's brother? Maybe there was tampering there to boost Bush's votes?
Yes, I voted. For Al Gore. And if it's such a problem why don't they just have a national re-election? I'll vote for Gore again, and again if need be. I think that if George Bush gets in the BIG chair we are all in serious trouble.
Just my humble opinion...
| My Candidate Is Gore. I Think Te Political Wrangling In Florida Is... ||Nov 10th. at 2:20:20 am EST|
|Amy (The Dalles, Oregon US) ||Age: 24 |
My candidate is Gore. I think te political wrangling in Florida is a bit ridiculous. And instead of making a big deal out of confusing ballots, tey should call veryone back into the polls and vote for pres again. The BIG impact? Maybe all states would end up with ballots that a uniform layout, like those in Oregon. Pagan community impact? I don't know.
| First Off, Yes...i Voted. As Did The Rest Of My Chosen... ||Nov 10th. at 2:01:42 am EST|
|Catherine Wagner (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
First off, yes...I voted. As did the rest of my chosen family. In fact, there was quite the political debate raging in the house (the 4 of us live together - two couples). The two women (myself and the other wife) would have preferred to vote our consciences, but were absolutely convinced that if we did NOT vote for Bush, we would be literally throwing our vote away and allowing Bush to win. And I will NOT lay down and show my belly to someone like him. The men in the house, however, were of a different opinion. One voted Libertarian and the other voted Green.
I definitely feel something smells down in Florida. The whole thing stinks of fraud. And with the new numbers from CNN at 66 of 67 counties being +679 new votes for Bush (total FL votes of 2, 909, 814) and +2, 234 (!!!!!) new votes for Gore (for a total of FL votes of 2, 909, 585) - there is something rotten down there.
Florida has also has a past history of electoral corruption, and voting difficulties. PLUS it took good-ole-brother-boy Jeb until the AFTERNOON to withdraw from the election counting committee.
I don't think Gore is blameless in this situation either. But I definitely think that a re-vote in W. Palm Beach would be a fair idea.
But there's a problem with that too. Think about it. ONE county knows how the rest of America voted. Even if they limit the voting to ONLY those whose signatures show they voted on Tuesday, those who actually voted for Buchanan or Nader or one of the others will change their vote to Bush or Gore in hopes of swaying the vote to their preference. That is the portion that would be unfair.
So, frankly, if they have to revote there is either one of two solutions I can figure out. 1) if they revote, EVERYONE revotes or 2) if they revote, they MUST vote for the person they voted for the first time. Problem with #2 - how do you enforce that.
What will the impact be on us? Well...right now, the impact is no more nor no worse on Pagans than on the rest of the country. However, if Bush wins, and does so in a way that grants him moral and ethical support from the greater portion of the country...the only thing between him and his promises is the divided Congress - who are already calling for bipartisanship. He has promised to end abortion. He doesn't feel that we are a real religion, and it is likely he will try to do something to withdraw religious support for our military brethren. Bush is far more likely to take us many steps backward for the steps forward that we have already tried so hard to take. Gore at least doesn't have those issues. Yes, his integrity is questionable - but looking at the past 200 years, have we EVER really had a President whose integrity has been beyond question??
| Alright, First And Foremost I Will Say That There Should Be A... ||Nov 10th. at 12:45:25 am EST|
|KarEEna (Kenmore, Washington US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Alright, first and foremost I will say that there should be a revote in Florida. That kind of ballot confusion is just rediculous. The ballots should be redesigned and then all of Florida should revote.
And as for who I voted for and who I think should win . .. Gore, of course. He may be kinda wooden and a little slow at times but he is not Bush and that is the main thing that drew me to him. NOt only does Bush give me the creeps but he is misogynistic and way too conservative for modern living. He will take away religious freedom and women's rights. He wants to catipult the country back in time about 60 years or so. Look at his eyes . . . do you trust him? I certainly dont. Bush is dangerous for women as a whole and the non Christian community as well. Not just Pagans.
I dont think either candidate should give up though. To me, that would seem like they are giving up their convictions as to the issues and that just feels wrong to me. Definately a revote should happen though. And, hopefully, we will be graced with a president who is NOT Bush. :)
| I Had Every Intention Of Voting, But It Did Not Happen. I... ||Nov 10th. at 12:20:54 am EST|
|Steph (Midwest City, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I had every intention of voting, but it did not happen. I did not receive anything in the mail telling me where to vote so I went to the polling place I voted at the last time we had an initiative. It was at a public school and It was about 0900 am and it looked like class was in session. There were no signs saying to vote there, I thought maybe they had changed the location because school was in session. I was late to work because I drove around looking to see if I could find the alternate site. I was late to work. I got off work at 7 pm only to find that the polls were closed. I was pissed.
I BELIEVE THAT IF THE POLLS ARE TO BE HELD ON A WORK DAY DURING WORK HOURS THAT THEY SHOULD BE OPEN 24 HOURS OR THAT DAY SHOULD BE A HOLIDAY DURING WHICH BUSINESSES CLOSE. It seems funny to me one cannot buy alcohol on that day in Oklahoma (so people who run liquor stores have the day off) but the rest of us 40 hour a week joes have to make time for it somewhere in our busy schedules, Assuming that is that the Polls are clearly marked so that you can find them.
I feel that the reason we have had a problem with voter apathy and political participation in this country is that the politicians willingly and knowlingly take advantage of the working class's predicament with long working hours and longer working weeks. Meetings are held between 1 and 3 pm in this state. Most people are still at work during that time or picking up their kids. You have to carry a copy of the State's Sunshine Laws (the Open Records and Open Meeting's Act) to keep local politicians from lying to you all the time. And so this whole deal with the polls being open from 7am to 7pm on a work day does not surprise me. Who will turn out in higher numbers if the polls were held at later hours? Not the people of leisure I dare say. I believe that the entire state of Oklahoma keeps it's backward Feudal ways by discouraging to Blue Collar person from participating not only in voting, but even in the most rudimentary levels of local politics.
I know federal law says you get two hours to get off and vote, but who here has worked at 7-11 or McDonalds and believes that will happen? What about those people on swing shift? Sure you can go vote early, but what if you didn't expect such a predicament? Should we always vote in advance? And the Ballots in Florida? Why stop there. Nothing on Tv or Radio discussed out here where to vote. I do not recall hearing that the polls closed at 7pm For some reason I thought that the polls would be open til 9pm. Well thats what I get for thinking.
I am filing complaints about it all. I urge everyone to do so. Polls open on a week day? Then it should be a holiday or 24 hour polls.
| I'm Canadian, But I Have Been Paying Close Attention To The Us... ||Nov 9th. at 11:57:26 pm EST|
|WillowSong (Sudbury, Ontario CA) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I'm Canadian, but I have been paying close attention to the US election. If I were an American, I would have voted for Al Gore.
Bush has said that he doesn't think that Witchcraft/Wicca is a "true" religion, so if I were American, I would be afraid to live as a Pagan/Wiccan in the States with a President who would probably think that Wicca is evil, or "not valid." Pagans/Wiccans have a fairly tough time dealing with all the fundamentalist Christians out there already harassing them. To have a President who would probably back up the fundamentalists would only cause alot more problems for the Pagans/Wiccans living in the States.
This is just a Canadian's view on things.
| I Voted For Gore. I Think That What Is Going On In... ||Nov 9th. at 11:33:33 pm EST|
|Heidi (St. Paul, Minnesota US) ||Age: 28 |
I voted for Gore. I think that what is going on in Florida is just irritating. I heard that in the last Presidential election, they also threw out ballots that were punched incorrectly, so I feel that there should not be a re-vote. That problem should be addressed after this election is totally over. I think Florida needs to re-design their ballots, but as I said, after this election is over. I definately do not want Bush in because I feel he is a threat to women's rights and to other groups (Pagans, Gays, etc.), but it does not take away from the fact that in Florida there had already been a system in place, which included throwing out incorrectly punched voting ballots.
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