Everybody’s mail-in ballots should be arriving shortly. I wish that getting your mail-in ballot was like getting a Christmas card from your favorite auntie—you know, the one who always slips ya $50? But it isn’t. It’s another sad reminder of just how pathetic most candidates are. And how is it that we’re—in 2012—voting for or against a tobacco company? That’s just about as depressing as getting your own cancer diagnosis.
Despite that, I’m seeking to encourage you to vote, even if there’s only one thing on the ballot that vaguely interests you. And along the way, we’ll take a tour of some reasons why you just might want to vote to stop some very bad things from happening. This analysis will be split into small, digestible stories spread out over the next two weeks.
It should be noted that any actual endorsements will be published separately. I have lots of opinions, and while most of them are likely shared by our writers, the opinions expressed therein are entirely my own. Don’t like what I have to say? Make a comment at the end. Aaaah, democracy, let’s get down to work….
One of the seemingly little known truths of voting in the U.S. is that you don’t have to fill in everything on the ballot. There are no ballot police who will disqualify your ballot because you only voted on the things that mattered to you. So if you have two losers running for City Council in your district, Skip that vote. Although I’d encourage you to invest just a little bit of time to make sure that the loser label isn’t really personal codespeak for: “I was too lazy to do any homework.”
I really want to respect those people who leave comments on Facebook about “it makes no difference” or “both parties are the same”, because they must have attained some inner wisdom and must be actively working towards a better world in ways that don’t include voting. But if you dig a little deeper—click on their newsfeed or timeline—you’ll discover that 99% of time, they ain’t doing shit. They don’t have any causes. They don’t promote any kind of activism. And they care about nothing more than flaunting their ignorance and apathy. Party on, asshats.
If you’re out there organizing WalMart workers to stand up and collect the overtime that the company isn’t paying (Wally’s World got hit with $4.8 million in fines, etc recently) and you feel that you don’t need to vote, more power to ya. If you’re too busy to vote because of all the commitments you’ve made to help veterans who were disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ve got your back. Wannabes and has beens need not apply for dispensation here; other than the types of people I’ve previously exempted (and I’ll bet the bank that most of them do vote) there are no excuses for not voting. None. Nada. Don’t vote and you’re a loser.
I do respect people that have a political consciousness that does not include organizing around elections. I get it that the system is very effective at co-opting and/or crushing people with, shall we say, more pure political stances. But the fact is that a rising tide raises all the boats in the harbor. And voting these days is so simple that there can be no excuses not to. So it’s okay if you “hate the man”; just go vote for that one good woman who’s on the ballot. (And there is one this time!)
Only two have qualified his time around. Watch out for the November ballot, though; it looks like a gaggle of causes have found their way on to the Presidential Election ballot. Relax though, come October, we’ll walk you through those, so you can vote like a pro.
Proposition 28 reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years. This means that a person can serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both.
Let’s take a look at how well term limits have worked… Isn’t your government better, cheaper and less full of bought off political hacks? What?
“No, there’s no difference”?
Well that must mean we need more term limits, daggummit! And that’s what you’re being asked to vote for here. Who came up with this anyway, Homer Simpson? Sarcasm intended.
Proposition 29 would create a new state agency to fund cancer research via a $1 per pack increase in cigarette taxes. The LA Times has all the “reasonable” arguments against this measure. The best arguments against the ginormous TV ad campaign, funded by Big Tobacco to the tune of about $24 million (who’ve clearly been NOT looking out for our best interests over the years) urging you to say no are here. And all the usual “no tax” people have lined up against Prop 29, for the simple reason that there’s plenty of funding for anybody not directly associated with the cigarette industry.
Ultimately, this is a personal decision.
You can vote “no”, and save smokers a buck a pack on a habit that costs the taxpayers of California $9 Billion annually. Or you can vote “yes” and probably never hear about it again.
Instant ReCap for people confused about all the claims being made on TV ads: The tobacco companies and people willing to take money from them say Vote No. Just about every anti-cancer group out there says Vote Yes.
Next Up: Local Propositions.