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Thread: Primaries

  1. #1
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Primaries

    Lately, I haven't been as involved with skating boards, because the Democratic primary is coming up. Dear skating friends, if you regard yourself as a Democrat, or a person interested in these primaries, I urge you to register to vote. I urge you to go to Cspan's web site and review the film clips or read the transcripts of the candidates' speeches, at least some of them. Visit the candidates' websites.

    As someone who has done this, I have been shocked at how inaccurately the positions of the candidates have been misrepresented, reduced to soundbites, and spun endlessly by news outlets that I had previously considered reputable.
    One can expect that opposing candidates will do this, but the newspapers should report what the candidates actually said, and do the editorializing on the op ed page.

    One of the most disgusting things in this USA is how few people actually vote in elections, but even more disgusting is how few vote in primaries. The primary is where you can actually make your voice heard. If you don't vote in the primaries, you have no right to complain that in the general election that you are making a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    So this is a request: first investigate.

    Then vote. I don't care whether the weather is bad. Many groups will provide you with a ride to the polls.

    This is your country. If you don't care who governs you, you have no right to complain how it is done.

    And if you are a Republican, you shouldn't be ignoring the primaries either. At least read the positions of the candidate who is finally nominated. You can't defend your candidate properly if you don't know what the other guy is saying. I can absolutely assure you that you wouldn't recognize the candidates from the press coverage, particularly on Fox.

    dpp

  2. #2
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Nicely put, Doris!

    Joe

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    YES, what Doris said!!! Also, monitor and vote in your local elections. Today's town councilperson may well be your state senator in a few terms. Lot's of issue's being decided and people being elected can directly affect the quality of life for all of us at some level. Be informed, ask the difficult questions, don't be intimidated and make sure your vote counts. Those traveling at election time, housebound, or even hospitalized can vote by early voting or by absentee ballott. Know the rules for this in your area so that if you do use this option your vote will not be challenged and maybe thrown out due to a technicality. Thanks Doris.

    Piel

  4. #4
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Well put Doris...

    I also second Piel's motion to stay on top of local politics. These people do move up the ranks as Piel states. In a more immediate sense, these people are making all kinds of decisions that LITERALLY afect your own back yard. My husband and I learned this almost the hard way. We live outside the city limits, and earlier this year found out completely by accident that the city was planning to annex part of our community to the city just to accomodate a city worker who wanted to live out here, but is required to live in the city limits. Thank goodness we all found out in time to mobilize our community and stop that action. But...had no one been paying attention, we would all be paying higher taxes now and also living with many city ordinances that would be cumbersome out here in the country, while getting no meaningful city "benefits."

    Just an example that staying informed at all levels is important.

    DG

  5. #5
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Absolutely, doggygirl, and piel. George W. Bush started in politics nearly at the top, as governor of Texas, having name recognition by birthright. But most other candidates get their start in local politics. Madeline Kunin, who was governor of VT when I lived there got started in politics because there was a dangerous intersection near her house and she wanted a stop sign there to protect her kids. That led to the state legislature and ultimately to the governorship. No you can't say governor's mansion. VT doesn't have one. George Pataki, currently governor of NY, was in the state legislature from Westchester before he became governor. And that's where most politicians come from-local boards, offices and committees.

    Most local boards are begging for volunteers. If you care about planning, zoning, harbor management, wetlands, historic districts, or a host of other areas, your town or city is looking for you.

    Tip O'Neill said all politics is local. You can get involved and make the country a better place.

    So get involved, but if you can't get involved, please register now and vote later. And don't neglect the primaries.

    And don't miss the Cspan town meetings with the candidates in NH! The ones that have been completed are stored as film clips on their website. These are completely unscripted events where the candidates have to answer the real questions of real people, not reporters. It's the best way to see who the candidates really are.

    dpp

  6. #6
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I always vote in primaries. Then again, I live in Massachusetts, so primaries are really the only time my vote counts -- we always vote Democrat in presidential elections (in Cambridge, more people voted for Nader than did for Bush ), and because of party driven Texas-style-in-reverse districting, Republican Congressional candidates have no chances (not that I am complaining -- my Congressman is Barney Frank, whom I greatly respect).

    Anyway, I agree with you, Doris, on soundbites. From much of the media, you would think Dean was a super liberal. Which is not true, as his fiscal and educational policies are VERY moderate. My only real concern about him is foreign policy. I liked his speach in the wake of Saddam capture (I always admired his anti-war stance, even when he got attacked for it from his own party). I still, though, don't trust him on Middle East policy. Tough I will probably vote for him in primaries.

    Don't really like Lieberman. His interpretation of the first ammendment differs too greatly from mine. I recall him saying, "First ammendment guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion." Yucks! OTOH, I respect his stand on the war with Iraq, even if I disagree with it. Only Lieberman and Dean chose one path (Dean - against, Lieberman - for), and stuck with it. All other candidates wanted to have it both ways.

    It's also interesting how candidates represent themselves. When you listen to Gephardt, you don't know that he used to be against abortions AND wanted to have prayer in public schools. I really like the plain way he speaks, but much of what he says is, unfortunately, too much off base. Global minimum wage, for instance -- sounds good, but very unrealistic. As his assertion that he would have kept the steel tariffs, yet avoided a trade war.

    Kerry -- I like this candidate (after all, he's my senator!), but I lost respect for him when he voted for the Iraq resolution, and then said he didn't think he was voting for the war with that vote. Excuse me! You are saying you don't understand what you are voting for, and you want me to elect you to be the president???!!!

    Clark. Never understood what the big deal was about his candidacy. I mean, he announces he will run, and immediately becomes the leader. I agree he has much integrity, but he has ZERO credentials on domestic policy. Doesn't seem too original on foreign either. OTOH, I think he would make a great vice presidential candidate; especially if Dean wins the nomination, as Dean would be stronger on domestic issues, and Clark on international.

    The other candidate, I must admit, I know either little about (e.g. Edwards), or don't take them too seriously (e.g. Sharpton).

  7. #7
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    I always vote when I can. Couple of times things happened and I couldn't . The thing that disturbs me most is that anyone who would be very good would never want to run. And in Kansas if you vote democrat it doesn't matter. Most of the yokels are going to vote republican. I'm about to think of doing away with the way they are run and just go by whoever gets the most votes.

  8. #8
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Granny, I too think that the electoral college is very outdated. After the last presidential elections I was certain there would be loud voices in support of changing the system. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Furthermore, in a state like MA (purely democrat), Republican candidates don't even campaign, since they would loose here anyway. If it were proportional, all candidates would be forced to campaign everywhere, not just the swing states.

    Also, the more I observe the political process, the more wisdom I see in Parliamentary style system, where one of the legislative houses is elected proportionally, on the party basis, by the whole nation. In the system we have, basically third parties have no chance. Suppose the green party got 25% of votes in every district of every state in the nation in legislative elections. They would still get 0 seats in the House. Not only does this not seem very fair or flexible, it also diminishes voter participation. Stastically, the countries that don't have the "winner take all", voters are not quite as upset when "their" candidate looses, and are more likely to vote in the next elections no matter what.

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