Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Wheels of Democracy are Turning

Way back, circa 1996, I turned 18 which meant I could buy cigarettes, nudie magazines, and change the world by voting. I think I voted in the first two elections since turning 18, but nobody I voted for won (presidential elections), and I soon grew to realize that voting is just a sham anyway. So I never voted again, until today.

Ironically, just this morning, I woke up and watched a documentary on HBO called "Hacking Democracy" about faulty (or outright tampered-with) electronic voting machines that are rarely accurate and loosly monitered for integrity. The whole movie was about how blatently voting machines are manipulated to produce an erronious outcome. This on top of numberous articles I've read since the previous election about vote-counting fraud, inclucing the debacle in Ohio with the presidential election. This obviously did not entice me to enthousiastically go out in the rain today to cast my vote. Nevertheless, I did.

The main reason I wanted to vote today was to address the hand-full of issues on the ballot, particulary the smoking ban. More on that later. But for now, here's how today's voting experience went down...

I got to the polling station, gave the lady my ID, then stood before the infamous electronic voting machine, finger poised to change the world. But alas, I had no idea who to vote for. I've seen the countless political adds on TV over the receint weeks, and they all run together. This one slamming this one. Noone is honest anyway, so who really cares? I figured the best way to vote would be to just pick all the Democrat candidates across the board. I've read enough of Juddy's posts to know that the Republicans are bad and we need to vote them out of office. Not that the Democrats will do any better, but at least there's hope for change. "Just pick all the Democrats," I thought. That was easy enought, but then came the public officials with no political affiliation (judges, treasurers, auditors, etc...). "Oh no! What should I do now." So I decided to pick the candidate with the coolest or most-recognizable name. My favorite was Tim Horton. I don't know what he's running for or what his platform is, but he does make a mighty fine donut, so what the hell? Give him a shot. I didn't vote for Lopez because he didn't sound American enough. I did vote for Travis, because that's my grandmother's maiden name.

The moral of this is that I have NO idea who I voted for. And I don't care. It's not as if whoever ends up in office is going to make a difference. Ten years from now, I'm still going to be held to the same laws, paying the same taxes, and still as disinfranchised with politics as I am today.

The only thing I did care about were the issus on the ballot. Issue 1 was an amendment to the Ohio constitution affecting worker's comp. I didn't really give this too much thought, which was a good thing because it would be moot. Signs at the polling station revealed that Issue 1 was removed from the ballot because the petitions were not received in a timely matter. That, to me, is wrong. It's like the child-rapist going free from prison on a technicality. I mean Issue 1 meant something to somebody, and to not be allowed to vote on it because the petition did not officially meet the deadline is kinda shitty. But I digress.

Issue 2 basically raised the minimum wage from $5.xx to $6.85. Not that I'm against getting paid more, but raising the minimum wage would not help me. I've never made min wage in my life. And ultimately, people could lose jobs because employers can no longer afford to pay as many workers. I voted NO.

Issue 3 was to legalize certain gambling devices in specific counties. The upside is more money for the state. The downside is the families destroyed by compulsive gamblers that can't control themselves. I've seen Wheelilng Downs, and I like it. I like being able to drop a few dollars on gambling. It hasn't destroyed my family. Why not? I voted YES.

Issues 4 & 5 seemed to directly conflict with each other. Issue 4 would allow smoking in places like restaurants and bars, and terminate any current smoking-bans in effect in Ohio, specifically Columbus. Issue 5 would simply ban smoking in any public building and workplace. As a smoker, I'm all about non-smokers rights. But I'm also about my personal freedom. I think it's ridiculous that I can't go to a bar and smoke. What goes better than alcohol and tobacco? Steak and Potatos? Sonni and Cher? A "Q" and frickin' "U"? NOTHING!!!!! I voted YES on 4 to lift the ban and NO on 5 to stop the ban. (Remember -- direct conflict) What happens if each is turned down, NO on each. Well nothing changes. But if each is approved, YES to both, that makes no sence. Lift the ban, then ban smoking? I don't get it. I guess issues 4 & 5 comes down to smokers vs. non-smokers in an all-out drag-out grudge match of the century. Since everything I've ever cared enough about to vote has went the other way, I'm guessing that Issue 4 will go down, while Issue 5 is approved. That's my prediction. If nothing else my vote on 4 & 5 will negate Z's votes and we'll leave it up to the rest of Ohio to decide.

So enough of my ranting. I've already created the longest post of my blogging career on a topic I don't really care that much about. I just hope that Juddy is out there somewhere voting Democrat. If anyone should vote it sould be Juddy, with his highly political, anti-Republican blog postings.

Here's to the rest of our lives with the same political bullshite we've become accostomed to. Cheers!

PS I'm going to go smoke while I still can.


B-Town V.J.G. J Ho said...

The tobacco lobby are very smart. Issue 5 is a statewide LAW to ban smoking, but Issue 4 is a constitutional AMENDMENT to allow smoking in some establishments. The amendment will supersede the law if each passes. I checked two weeks ago at a pole (a survey, not the thing that holds electric wires) and BOTH were passing. The tobacco lobby are very smart.

themom said...

Very good Chump...interesting theories but yu made it to the polls - more than I can say for the female family member of yours. I shall flog her directly.