New City, New Election Day
I like voting. Partly I like the notion that I contribute to "throwing the bums out" (or maybe voting a few bums back in). Partly I like voting on referenda and local measures, which always seem more directly relevant than voting for most public offices. And partly I just like reading candidates' statements in the voter guides.
In California I especially enjoy reading statements by the Pro-Life Nazi Party, ahem, I mean the American Independent Party. As far as I can tell, their platform involves turning women into baby machines (by repealing abortion rights), making God a more central part of American life (remember: if English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for all those immigrants), and making sure everyone in the country is armed (presumably because God wants us to shoot all those babies we'll have before we overrun the planet). The Republicans are downright liberal next to these guys.
We don't seem to have a Progressive party here in California. We have a Green party, but I've always been a little suspicious of Green parties; environmentalism isn't really my thing. I'm still pretty much a party Democrat, though pretty handily on the left wing of the party. I'm not much of a fan of Gray Davis (sure, California's power crisis wasn't really his fault - we can blame the power companies and Davis' Republican predecessor Pete Wilson for that - but he sure didn't handle it well), but I didn't really see a clearly better alternative.
The state propositions were all kind of lame this time. I voted in favor of the Voting Machine Modernization Act (we still use punch card machines here; Wisconsin had nice, fairly modern, readable ballots which you marked with a pen) and the wussy Sort-Of Overturn Term Limits But Not Really measure. Everything else I voted against.
Several cities in the area have some nifty measures to build "big box" retail stores in their bounds (Home Despot, Ikea, etc.). One of them was in my city, and I voted against it, partly because I thought the retailer was being obnoxious about it, but mainly because we don't really need that particular retailer in town, and it seems like the city could find a better use for the site. I hope it gets voted down.
So anyway, elections are fun. I'm not sure why more people don't vote in 'em.
My voting place is farther away than my place in my old district. It's still in walking distance, but it's about a half an hour round trip, which is perhaps a bit longer than is entirely convenient on a Tuesday morning. I might drive next time. I dunno. The walk is rather pretty if I take the side streets.
In other news, I'm working on getting my taxes information off to my accountant. About time, Rawdon! Man, it's been a busy couple of months. Where is the time going?