Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Ranked-Choice Voting

This year (2009) Minneapolis, MN is switched to a new method of voting (for local elections). Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV)  also known as Instant-Runoff Voting (IRV).

The way it works is: (Taken from an article in the Southwest Journal) In single-seat races, RCV relies on a 50 percent-plus-one rule. What that means is a candidate wins when he or she gets 50 percent of votes plus one. If no candidate reaches that off the bat, the runoff process eliminates the lowest vote getter off of every ballot. The ballots that marked that candidate as a first choice then instead have their second choices counted. That process continues until one candidate hits the 50-plus-one mark.  (link for the whole story) http://www.swjournal.com/index.php?publication=southwest&page=152&story=14559

I really liked the fact that I had more choices but I didn’t like the extra research I had to do to learn about all the different candidates. As an example I’ll use the fact that there were ten challengers to R. T. Rybak (our Mayor).

After going through the process I really hope that RCV becomes the national system of voting.  I for one am tired of the two party system where the two parties spend more time fighting than working.

Advertisements

Throw Away Vote (Take the Poll)

 

Normally, one would think that its not the right time for this post. In Minnesota (as of today) the Senate race still isn’t settled, which is part of the reason I’m writing this. A couple weeks ago, at a party, a friend mentioned that he voted for the “third party candidate” and someone commented that he threw his vote away. Over the years I too have been told that I’ve thrown my vote away just because I didn’t vote for either of the “main candidates”. Like my voting for candidate “C” made candidate “A” lose to candidate “B”. To that I say Bull!  If they don’t earn my vote they don’t get my vote (but I still vote). So I thought I would say here in this post what I have been telling people for years. I believe that everyone who is eligible to vote should vote (there really are no excuses). The only votes that are thrown away are the ones not cast. If you don’t like the democrat or the republican candidate then don’t vote for them,  if you don’t like anyone else on the ticket (“third party”),  write a name in. The more votes third party candidates or write ins get the stronger the message is to the main parties that we are not happy with them and that they need to change. In my opinion it’s time for the politicians to put the people above the politics of their party. If they do not and if everyone would exercise their right to vote, Mickey “Freakin” Mouse (or some other fictional character) might end up winning a few elections (I would like to see the candidates explain that one).

 

Politics And The Spinning Media

 

I for one, am sick and tired of the way certain “news” shows spin political news, and the self-righteous ego driven idiots giving us their spin. Seems to me the 24 hour “News” networks are becoming as fringe as the far left and far right wing “nuts”. First it was Fox “news”, if you can realistically call it news, that went so far to the right that their heads went up their ass. MSNBC is quickly joining Fox in becoming a fringe “news” organization (at least when it comes to politics). With these channels right next to each other on my cable channel line up, I wonder what would happen (and afraid to find out) if I switched back and forth between the two. Would I open a gateway to a world where moderates and common sense ruled the world or would I get some form of brain whiplash from hearing the same news story with one version causing Armageddon and the other causing heaven on earth. Seriously though, I have all but blocked Fox News and I seldom stop on MSNBC any more. I wish it was possible to remove just those channels from my cable lineup so they don’t get any of my money. Unfortunately, I know that they are part of a extended cable package (what if the viewers only paid for the channels they wanted?). This leaves me watching CNN or CNN Headline News, which I find somewhat annoying with all their fancy technologies, like their holograms. Why would me seeing a hologram be any better than seeing the person on a monitor? (Now when they can get Soledad O’Brien’s hologram to appear in my living room they will have something). CNN must be leading the way with all of their interactive crap too (twitter/facebook/myspace and let’s not forget ireport). When I want to find out the publics opinion I’ll read more blogs. When I turn on the news I want the news with as little spin as possible and I want it from news professionals and not pundits or so called “experts” (a.k.a spin artists). I for one don’t need the news to re-enforce what I already believe. I need it to let me know what’s happening. I’m smart/independent enough to have my own opinions.

Thoughts on Abortion

 

Many years ago I heard of a shooting of a doctor (who preformed abortions) by some pro life nut claiming to be a Christian. I really couldn’t understand how someone claiming to be pro life (or a Christian) could kill. The reasoning was taking a life to save many other lives. Being pro choice I decided to put some real thought into the matter and try to understand both sides and that way understand my own position.

I started with the reasons to have an abortion. It became clear that almost every reason began with I. “I’m too young,” “I want a career,” “I can’t do this on my own,” etc. Even in the case of rape or incest it came to “I can’t bring a child from those circumstances in to the world.” Then there is the abortion when the mothers life is in danger, which boils down to “I want to live.” Even though I can understand the reasons for wanting/having an abortion, it became clear, (even if I didn’t want to admit it) an abortion is purely a selfish act. With that being said, everyone has the right to be selfish.

The next step I took was the question of “When does life begin?”. When I honestly answered that question the only answer I could come to was that life begins at conception. Sure the embryo may just be cells but it’s going to be a baby/child (not a third arm), and the question was “when does life BEGIN?” and not “when does life become recognizable?”.  If the law makers ever admit that life begins at conception then abortions would have to be illegal and those having them or giving them would have to be charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They (the law makers) could however come to the conclusion that abortions early enough would not be punishable (which leaves us at where we are now) or less punishable. Then you would have the problem that if age becomes a factor in punishment of murder, you could argue that killing a child (even a fetus) should get a more severe punishment. Kill a child and you kill any offspring they may have had, effecting the planet more. Where as, killing a 70 year old should get less of a punishment since they are past child bearing age. Then you could argue that a 70 year old male could still father kids so would that make men worth more than women? So how can the law makers (or anyone) admit when life begins if their answer lead them to a place they don’t want to go? (Who is to say whose life is more valuable?)

 

Question: Who has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body? Answer: The woman. However, in the case of pregnancy/abortion though is it really just her body? Should the man have no say in his child? The answer to both of these questions I believe is no. As I established earlier life has already begun so it is not just her body. For the second question, it took two to make it it should take two to decide on a course of action (in a perfect world). If a pregnant woman gets 100% of the say shouldn’t she also get 100% of the consequences? I’m a realist though and I know that is impossible to enforce or expect. It shouldn’t become a world where a man can say here’s the money for an abortion, now I’m not responsible if you decide to have it. Then again how fair is it that only one person gets to say, hey I’m having it and you’re paying for it (for 18 years) or I’m getting rid of your baby and you have no say in it? There is also no way for a man to say hey you are having or aborting it if you want to or not. Since the woman carries/grows the baby in her body it is more of a womans issue but since the decision she makes will affect the man it isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s a human issue.

Being pro choice is not the same as being pro abortion and anyone that says it is is an idiot. These are the same people that don’t want to educate or reduce the number of abortions. They just want to teach abstinence. Abstinence and waiting until you are married was fine and dandy back in the day when people got married at an earlier age (13-16 years old). Now though we live in a world when some girls hit puberty at the age of 8 years old. Abstinence should be taught along with other birth control methods and sex education in general. Planned parenthood does not (or should not) equal abortion clinic. Every last pro-lifer that is out there trying to make abortion illegal should have at least one adopted child too, since they always say that you should keep it or have it then put it up for adoption. Don’t just adopt the babies either, there are plenty (too many) children that age out of the system and are never adopted. There are also studies out that show that unwanted children are more likely to end up in prison. So anyone not willing to take responsibility for educating people or for the unwanted children being born, be it through welfare or adoption, should keep their mouth shut about abortions. In the event that your teen tells you that they are pregnant, never tell them that “I’ve raised you better than that”. Apparently you didn’t, so you have some responsibility too.

My conclusion is that I’m still pro choice, but only because I know the world is better off with legal abortions than with illegal abortions taking place.

Definitions

Definitions of a few words I think we and our public servants should read to refresh our memories. These are words that Politicians use to divide and manipulate us.

Conservative: Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.

Liberal: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

Moderate: Opposed to radical or extreme views or measures, especially in politics or religion.

Activist: Of, relating to, or engaged in activism.

Activism: The theory, doctrine, or practice of assertive, often militant action, such as mass demonstrations or strikes, used as a means of opposing or supporting a controversial issue, entity, or person.

Then there is the word politician (the reason the world is a mess).

Politician: 1. One who is actively involved in politics, especially party politics. One who holds or seeks a political office. 2. One who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by scheming and maneuvering: “Mothers may still want their favorite sons to grow up to be President, but … they do not want them to become politicians in the process” (John F. Kennedy). 3. One who is skilled or experienced in the science or administration of government.

This last word I think is the most important one.

Compromise: A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions. The result of such a settlement.

After reading these definitions feel free to email them to you public servants, or, as they like to be called, ”leaders of the free world”.

Definitions taken from the American Heritage talking dictionary.