I’m not the only person to say this, and may people will shout ‘Fair weather fan!’ at me for doing so, but damn I’m happy the BoSox won. That’s not what I’m going to blog about today. I’m going to let the true believers, the idiots, the 103 year-old man who was a senior in high school the last time the Boston Red Sox won it all tell their stories the way that this sort of drama should be told. By a real Boston fan. If my Uncle Arthur writes up his thoughts on the matter, I’ll post it for him, but if not, well … I’m waiting for my Indians to make their bid for a curse breaker. Then you get my story.
Today, because this is likely to be my last blog before the US Election, is about … the election!
So here’s the deal, I’m going to make it short and to the point.
Vote, Damn you!
Got it? Good, now if you’re already going to vote, you can go spend 5 minutes picking lint out of your belly button or whatever it is you’d do while normally reading my blog. See, I’m not going to waste metaphorical breath ranting about who you should vote for. Frankly, if you don’t know by now, there’s nothing I can do to sway you one way or the other. Personally I’m voting for Kerry (as are most of my family and friends). But if you want to vote for Bush or even Nader, have at. If you’re not going to vote (Dad…) then I really wish you’d keep reading.
Your vote counts and matters. Your vote could be a deciding factor. Your vote could help change the world. How many times do people tell you that you’ve done something for the world, that you’ve helped in some small way to make a change bigger than yourself, that will resound for years? Yeah, voting really is that big. If everyone with an opinion voted, if everyone was educated enough to understand the basics of the party politics and the candidates’ view points, then we would have the educated democracy we want.
But we don’t.
On a lark, I pulled up a page on Voter Registration and Turnout – 1996 where Maine has a 71% turnout for voting, everyone else lingers around 50%. Maine also had 105% of the population as determined by the last census register to vote (that’s actually normal, since people move around since census polling, and some never bother to reply to the form). Now, in baseball if you hit the ball 40% of the time, you’re fucking amazing. Voting isn’t baseball.
Here’s how voting works: The popular vote in each state determines how their Electoral College votes. The number of members in the College is based off the state’s number of Senators (2) and the number of reps in the House of Representatives. The Representatives are based off the census, so the more people in a state, the more reps. Fair enough. That total number of Reps + Senators is the number of people on the Electoral College for a state. I’m repeating so that you’re on the same page I am. Now, every political party (including independents) submit an official list to the State Chief Election Official a list of people pledged to their party candidate for president, and each list from each party lists people equal to the number of slots in the Electoral College.
Come election day, the popular vote determines which list of people goes to the Electoral College and casts their votes for which party. In all states except two, if a candidate wins the state popular vote, they get all the Electoral votes. For Maine and Nebraska, a candidate gets one electoral vote for each congressional district won plus two for the state as a whole. As a whole that seems a little more fair to me. Colorado’s also got a ballot referendum to give out Electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote starting this year, but I’m not sure if it’ll be done by November second.
If no one obtains an absolute majority of Electoral votes (270 is needed to win), then the House of Representatives have to pick the winner from the top three contenders, with each State casting one vote, and in this case, majority rules. If there’s no clear winner for Vice President (didn’t you know they were technically elected separately?), then the US Senate votes on theirs from the top two contenders.
Now I have this idea that the president is a Republican (I’m thinking Cheney) and the VP is a left wing Libertarian, pot smoking hippie homosexual. Wackiness ensues! I actually miss That’s My Bush for all that it only lasted 8 episodes, I loved it.
We have a problem with the census right now, and it’s horrible inaccurate. Sadly there’s not a lot we can do about this, without something like how Sweden requires everyone to have an ID from the age of 5. There are a lot of Bad Connotations with that, since the Nazis did crap like that, and with the current regime in the US (Patriot Act for example), a lot of people are squidgy about that sort of ruling. The ACLU would also have a field day, and argue about freedoms. That said, the problem of having an accurate count of who the hell is in the US is not an easy task. You can’t just shoot people with tranquilizers and put a tag on them to mark they’ve been counted.
I wish we could.
Still think your vote doesn’t matter?
I’m done now. Vote.