Gainesville Ramblings

This is a blog, and thus it barely qualifies as writing, let alone formal writing, so I'd not let it bother you.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

How I'm Voting

While the secret ballot is vitally important to a democracy, there's nothing wrong with an individual revealing how one is voting on a voluntary basis. So tonight, I bring you the how's and why's of my upcoming trip to the poll this Tuesday.

I should probably preface this by saying that this year, I'm voting strategically. I think the Republican controlled government has been an utter failure. Between a poorly planned and executed war, a budget deficit of record levels, and attacks on the Constitution and the American way of life, I can't see one thing that this government has done well in the last six years. Therefore, the most important thing this election, in my mind, is having an opposition party in control of at least one house in Congress. Preferably both. So I'm voting Democrat in all but one race (that one race being Sheriff, and that's on the recommendation of Dave). You may think this is crazy liberal talk, but it’s not just us lefty's who think this way.

Senate: Bill Nelson. This one is real real easy. Even if I wasn't voting Democrat, as explained above, I would be voting for Bill Nelson here. Why? Katherine Harris is Bat Shit Insane. No really. Also, apparently soon to be charged with bribery charges. Nelson hasn't been the best Senator, and I'm especially disappointed with him for voting for the Torture Bill (I'm sorry, I mean the 'Forcible Interrogation' bill) last month. But he's not a bad guy, and certainly leaps and bounds better than his opponent.

6th Congressional District: David Bruderly. Yes, he's a Democrat, so that's no surprise. But reading what the incumbent, Cliff Stearns' main issues are, I become very OK with my strategy in this case. Stearns supports a national sales tax (the most non-progressive form of taxation), 'staying the course' in Iraq (read his paragraph on Iraq and come to any other conclusion), and supports Medicare Part B, which is probably the biggest waste of taxpayer money in years, and likely to bankrupt the program in a decade. Bruderly doesn't exactly excite me, but he's my choice for this race.

Governor: Jim Davis. This is a hard choice, but I have to go against the candidate whose main push is that he "will continue the policies of Jeb Bush." Bush hasn't been the worst governor, but we need change in two important fields: Education and Land Management, two areas that Jeb has done horribly in. The FCAT is a disaster, and the environment continues to be destroyed as the more and more people move into the state. I've voting for change here, so Davis gets the nod.

As for the many judges on the court, I find it horrifying that we're voting on Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges. These positions need to be non-partisan and independent, not counting on voters for their jobs. So I'm voting for all of them to stay in office. As for the race between Stan Griffis and Stephen Pennypacker, they seem basically equivalent, so it requires more study before I pick someone.

State Constitutional Amendment 1: Yes. It’s a good idea in government to know how much money we're going to be spending, and trying to keep that spending under control. It’s especially good after the last few years of drastic budget deficits in this (and most) states. So I have no problem with this amendment.

State Constitutional Amendment 3: No. I was initially going to vote yes on this, as I find a lot of the proposed constitutional amendments don't need to be in a constitution. However, after hearing Carl Hiaasen speak last week, I changed my mind. This is the one method for forcing a reluctant and immobile legislature to do something that the people desire. Yes, stupid things like the Pregnant Pig amendment get in, but it also got things like the Class Size and Minimum Wage amendment in. The legislature was never going to pass these, as they are in the pockets of the big businesses, especially the Sugar, Development, and Tourism industries. So making it harder for the people to force the state to do something is not the answer here. I would prefer some kind of referendum method, instead of putting things into the Constitution. But since we don't have that, we have to protect our constitution by voting no on this.

Amendments 4, 6, and 7: No. None of these are things I like to be in the Constitution, and none of them I particularly care for, especially the Smoking one. We shouldn't be spending $57 million a year to prevent smoking. I don't think that's necessarily something the government should be involved in.

Amendment 8: Yes. A way of preventing the repercussions of the horrible Supreme Court decision last year, which made it OK to take property and give it to another private individual, on the basis of increasing tax revenues. Worthy of being law, and worthy of being in the Constitution.

Want to argue any of these choices? Feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me. And if anyone needs a ride to the polls, I'm your man.


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