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Pre-Election Discussion 2549

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the let-the-good-times-roll dept.
With the US Presidential Election getting started tomorrow, this story is your official chance to discuss the issues of the election with other Slashdot readers. And no matter what you decide, if you can, just get out and vote tomorrow.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pre-Election Discussion

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  • Remember! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Leroy_Brown242 (683141) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:15PM (#10689525) Homepage Journal
    Vote early! Vote Often!
    • Election Counting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yintercept (517362) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:38PM (#10690161) Homepage Journal
      I suspect that people will be a lot more attentive to the technology of counting votes than they were in the past. Sadly, few people seem to realize the value of an electoral college (which was state of the art vote counting technology in the 1780s.) Even today, I think recent events warrant this technology. The idea is that you determine population in an area every ten years and use this data to separate the population into buckets, you then count the vote in each bucket then determine the winner of the election by counting the buckets.

      The bucket counting process does give small states a boost in the process. The main thing it does is that it evens out wierd fluctuations in the data. For example, there might be higher voter turn out in states with a hotly contested senate seat.

      The Electoral College was state of the art too. IF something went wrong, you would have a body that could deliberate and select the leader. Sadly, the courts seem to have usurped this authority.

      The biggest problem with the bucket counting system is that the US is not expanding the number of buckets with the population.

      Of course, if you believe that the "will of the people" is real and that it is determined mathematically by the vote, then the vote counting technology is just plain wrong.
  • An Honest Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:15PM (#10689528)
    I want an honest option, I am really thinking about a 3rd party, the ____________ party, I like what _____________ has to say about the issues I care about. I disagree with him on a few issues, but they are not a matter that have been strong enough to destroy thinking about him. But on the other hand I live in a swing state. I am leaning towards the lesser of 2 evils, but then when I think of that, I get something inside my head saying "for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe."* I would like some honest thoughts, and please no "if you vote third party you are throwing away your vote" or "a vote for a third party is really a vote for (insert one of the 2 major party candidates here)" because I just don't believe that. Also I am posting anonymously so you can not find out who I am think about or that so it can not influence your response.

    *2 points for any one that can name who that quote is from.

    Also moderators please save your mod points for the respondents of this question, instead of this question it self, besides there is no point in moding up or down an AC.
    • by eln (21727) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:22PM (#10689725) Homepage
      The best way to build up your party is to vote for them in local elections where they are more likely to be noticed, and maybe even win the election. You can also support them by championing their ideas in newspaper letters to the editor, op-eds, protests, and other such things. If the goal is really to push an agenda rather than to put a certain group of people in power, your best bet may be to try to influence one of the major parties to listen to your point of view, and maybe get them to adopt one of your pet issues as part of their platform.

      Remember that in the end, all politics are local. You may have a better chance of your party's platform actually influencing your day to day life if you can manage to get them elected to a state or local office. If your party manages to gain control of a locality, and the quality of life in that locality improves, that will be a far more valuable PR tool then voting for them in a national election where they are only likely to get .01% of the vote anyway.
      • by op51n (544058) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:55PM (#10690544)
        The best way to build up your party is to vote for them in local elections where they are more likely to be noticed, and maybe even win the election.

        Exactly. I just read someone on a forum I post on saying this exact thing. Vote Kerry, then vote third party locally, where they can make a difference to your life.
        I am circumspect about Kerry, but I know for sure that we need rid of Bush more than anything else, and I am not even American. I live in the UK, but it is so clear now that the outcome of this election is going to play such a large role in politics in the UK (thanks Blair, you fucking asshat) and the rest of the world!
    • by SnakeJG (719306) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:31PM (#10689970)
      One possiblity you can consider is vote trading.

      IANAL, and I am sure that this is against some laws, but if you want the lesser of two evils, but feel you should vote for your canidate of choice, perhaps you can ask a friend in a non-swing state who has no interest in a third party canidate (but agrees with you on the lesser of two evils) to agree to vote for your third party canidate, and in exchange you can vote for the lesser of two evils. This way, the third party canidate still gets a vote, and you don't get attacked by a rabid mob for throwing away your vote in a swing state.

      I would just like to finish this post by saying: IANAL and this is in no way advice that I feel anyone should follow, merely hypothetical ponderings on my part, which I am sharing with the slashdot community as I believe is my first amendment right.
    • by in.johnnyd (534394) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:42PM (#10690249) Homepage
      If your 3rd party vote total exceeds the difference between the two "evils," you're sending a message that the loser needs to look at pretty seriously. He might have won had he embraced some of your politics. Your return on this vote investment may be 4 years down the road (or never), but a vote for one of the "evils" will be interpreted as a mandate for his platform. I'd say it's even more important in a close race to vote for your 3rd party.
      • by dtfinch (661405) * on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:31PM (#10691333) Journal
        He might have won had he embraced some of your politics.

        I don't think it works out like that.

        If a candidate were to move towards a third party, they would lose middle votes to the opposing candidate. They seek the position that maximizes their votes. If some of a third party's supporters move completely out of reach, it may actually force their nearest two party candidate to move the other way to make up the gap by stealing his opponent's votes.

        Look at what Kerry is doing. He's described as one of the most liberal liberals in Congress, yet he's taking a position that nearly matches Bush's. The last election, 3rd party votes gave Bush 4 years to "reeducate" the most gullible, pulling many middle voters in his direction. Kerry's only choice is to try to steal those voters back, and hope that the 3rd party voters have learned a lesson. I believe Kerry is a lot greener than he'll admit during his campaign. He's a big liar, but has little choice in the matter because of the damage that's been done.

        Possibly the best way to pull the parties in your direction is to educate the opposing party in a non-threatening manner. Plus, by joining a major party you have the ability to influence its direction in the primaries. If you join a third party, your opinion does not affect who wins the two party primaries. I'm a registered Democrat but online surveys tell me David Cobb is my hero.
    • by dave-tx (684169) <df19808+slashdot&gmail,com> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:42PM (#10690257)
      Quite simply, your vote is based on your evaluation of the situation. Are you willing to accept another 4 years of the current administration in order to make a statement for your third party candidate? If so, then you should vote for your third party candidate.

      If not, then consider placing your third party vote another time. This may not be the best time to make a statement.

    • by TamMan2000 (578899) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:46PM (#10690348) Journal
      www.votepair.org [votepair.org]

      (depending on who you think is less evil...)
    • by soft_guy (534437) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:53PM (#10690487)
      Yours is a very personal question. It is up to you, and no one else, to decide where you think your vote will do the most good.

      A vote for a third party is not just a thrown away vote. Historically third parties have influenced the major parties. For example, the socialists advocated the creation of social security which was later picked up by the democrats. There are other examples. Plus, a third party can sometimes replace a major party. Example: the Republican party did not begin as a major party. They grew into one.

      And we are not that far from such a thing happening. Let's say the democrats loose on Tuesday. Republicans retain control of the white house, both houses of congress, etc. It is only a matter of time before the democrats cease to be a major party. Perhaps the Green party would emerge as a replacement? Who knows.

    • by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:53PM (#10690507) Journal
      please no "if you vote third party you are throwing away your vote"

      I never understood that either. How is voting for someone I don't want *not* throwing my vote away?

      • by micromoog (206608) on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:23PM (#10691169)
        Look at the issue in more than a black & white sense. Many people have the following two goals, in order of priority:
        1. Get _____ 3rd party candidate elected.
        2. Get Bush out of office.
        In reality, voting for the 3rd party candidate contributes to the failure of both goals (goal 1 is already at 100% failure). Voting for Kerry leaves goal 1 at its predetermined failure state, but actually does something towards goal 2.

        If you really don't care whether Bush or Kerry wins (keep in mind, one of the two is definitely going to), then this doesn't apply to you. But if you have any preference at all, it arguably makes sense to vote along that preference.

    • by Hooptie (10094) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:55PM (#10690532) Homepage
      is voting for evil!

      Regardless of how you try to justify your vote, a vote for a major candidate is a statement that you:

      • Approve of that candidate
      • Endorse that candidate's position(s)
      • Want that candidate to be the next President of the United States!

      If these three items are not true, you can either abstain from voting, or vote for a third party candidate. Please note that it is not possible, in the US, to vote against a candidate. The most you can do is vote for one of the competetion

      As for myself, I will be voting for Michael Badnarik [badnarik.org] for President. What's that? I hear cries of:
      "But, he doesnt have a chance to win!"
      "This election is too important to risk electing the wrong person!"
      These are both true statements, however I refuse to "waste my vote", or "throw my vote away" by voting for a candidate that I disagree with.

      Hooptie

      • by epiphani (254981) <epiphani.dal@net> on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:57PM (#10691768)
        To quote one of the great canadian political satirists and ranters, Rick Mercer once said (slightly paraphrased):

        "Some people say that they arent going to vote because its like trying to choose between the lesser of two evils. Now listen to me very carefully here - when it comes to running a country, it is very important to choose the lesser of two evils."

      • by wass (72082) on Monday November 01, 2004 @05:01PM (#10691862)
        There's a big difference between being an idealist and being a pragmatist. No candidate will ideally represent all your viewpoints, there will always be differences. So really every person in the USA should vote for themselves, according to your logic.

        The big question is to ask yourself "How important is this election? How many issues are at stake that I will regret helping re-elect Bush by voting 3rd party?.

        It's way too close to the election for any significant momentum to build up for any 3rd-party candidate. Like someone else said, the best chance to get them elected is to vote for local positions. For example, at my house we have a sign for the green party candidate for Baltimore City Council on our front lawn, and he's gotten alot of exposure lately. We also have Kerry-Edwards signs on our lawn too, because

        But definitely realize that nationally if you vote 3rd party you're taking a vote away from Kerry. Yeah, we can argue all day till the cows come home about whether it's a wasted vote or not if you vote for who you really want. But practically and realistically you should realize you are 100% helping re-elect Bush again by doing so. If you don't mind re-electing Bush in order to vote for your ideal candidate, then go ahead and do so.

        As for myself, I voted Nader in 2000 because my state is heavily democratic and I despise the 2 party system. Bush has been way way WAY too radically conservative IMHO, and the USA and the World will be significantly better off by pushing him out of office. Most liberals I know, including many local green-party enthusiasts, are voting Kerry in this election. (Actually, the only exception I personally know of who is voting Green is the aforementioned Green Party candidate for city council). Even though my state is not a swing state, by voting Kerry I am helping to legitimize his election through the popular vote as well.

        So basically, if you don't mind Bush getting re-elected this time around then vote 3rd party. In the past republicans haven't been as evil as Bush, and I'd agree with you about going 3rd party to help usher in change. But this time around there's too much at stake for my risking any Bush re-election. Things at stake include : draft, more war, appointing between 1-4 Supreme Court judges, amendment to ban gay marriage, tie Christianity closer to the US government, etc etc.

    • Wasted Votes? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by stealth.c (724419) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:55PM (#10690547)
      The only time you waste your vote is when you vote for a candidate you do not respect.

      The Republicans and Democrats have all the media access they want, and are going to have a gajillion dollars to run campaigns no matter what. A vote for one of them would hardly be noticed. Voting for a third party has, proportionally, far greater impact on things than a vote for either Republican or Democrat. A vote for a third party candidate has a noticeable impact on the party's future funding and publicity. A Green/Libertarian/Constitution/Socialist vote in 2004 is an investment in 2008 and beyond. It is an investment in true change.

      Besides, if you keep voting for the lesser of two evils, you're going to keep getting--you guessed it--evil! Repeating an action and expecting a different result is the very definition of insanty. Therefore, if you're going to keep voting for Democrats and Repbulicans, you're crazy if you expect meaningful change.
    • by famebait (450028) on Monday November 01, 2004 @05:23PM (#10692320)
      Well, here's how my logic would go in this particular election, if I were eligible:

      THE most important thing about democracy, even more important that any real or perceived influende on actual policy, is that you get to hold the people in power accountable.

      Kerry may be a wild card, but you KNOW that Bush LIED to you. To ALL of you, and not just about his private life, or even shady business practices, but about important political decisions with direct bearing on the security of your country and the rest of the world. He LIED to you in order to go get accceptance for going to war on a sovreign nation who was no threat. He LIED to you about the reasons you should or should not support risking the death and suffering of thousands of american soldiers and innocent civilians alike. Even if you would have supported it anyway, there is NO excuse for misleading the public in such a blatant way on such a serious matter. NOONE should get away with that, EVER.

      If you don't kick him out now, you're basically telling politicians (all of them), that they can get away with pretty much anything and enjoy continued support, as long as they dangle some sort of enemy in front of you.

      Even if you believe Kerry will be worse (I fail to comprehend how that is even remotely likely, but I know you are out there), how much worse could he be, and wouldn't it still be worth it just to send a clear message that you will be held accountable if you fuck up?

  • by eln (21727) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:15PM (#10689536) Homepage
    I'll just be glad when this whole stupid thing is over. I'm so sick of all of the election coverage.

    I look forward to seeing who won the election sometime in late December.
  • Ob. (Score:5, Funny)

    by mcmonkey (96054) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:15PM (#10689540) Homepage
    Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
  • Voting for Badnarik (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Liselle (684663) * <[ten.ellesil] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:16PM (#10689545) Journal
    I live in Massachusetts, where the outcome is more or less predetermined (we are sort of a wacky state that's solidly Democratic, and has a history of electing Republican governors. Don't let that fool you, though, Kerry will landslide here). So I've decided to vote Libertarian. While I don't agree with everything Badnarik stands for (free market can't solve everything), I am using my vote to try to put a spotlight on election reform. Anyone else in the same boat?
    • by crow (16139) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:21PM (#10689699) Homepage Journal
      Yup, I'm also in Massachusetts. I'm usually a Republican voter, and I can't support Kerry, but I also can't support Bush for a number of reasons. Voting for Badnarik seems like the best way to send a message that I'm a disgruntled Republican.

      Not that I agree with the Libertarians, but I would like to see their ideas get more consideration.
    • by I'm Spartacus! (238085) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:22PM (#10689715)
      I'm in Arizona, and we will certainly go Red*. As such, I'm voting for Badnarik with the hope that the Libertarian vote will be dramatically higher than it was in 2000.

      Baby steps...

      * If the decision was in doubt, I'd certainly vote Kerry as Bush has proven to be the most hostile to the rights of U.S. citizens as any administration since Lincoln's.
      • by LMCBoy (185365) * on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:11PM (#10690908) Homepage Journal
        If the decision was in doubt, I'd certainly vote Kerry

        You should vote Kerry then, because AZ is in play. I'm in AZ too; voter turnout can make the difference here.
        • Arizona (Score:5, Interesting)

          by HopeOS (74340) on Monday November 01, 2004 @05:13PM (#10692132)
          I'm a Republican in Arizona. All the Republicans in my office, my family, and immediate friends are voting against Bush. I don't anticipate Arizona going Blue this election, but I am very curious to see how the numbers come out.

          For the record, I work in financial software, and most of our employees are software engineers or have advanced degrees in Economics. The office was universally for Bush in 2000 and against in 2004.

          It's the economy. There is no issue more pressing.

          As someone commented earlier around the watercooler, we'll have plenty of time to discuss gay-marriage and stem-cell research when we're a third-world nation.


          -Hope
    • by Senjutsu (614542) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:23PM (#10689755)
      But Badnarik is a bloody nutcase.

      Blowing up the UN within a week of taking office? How does that work with the strong property rights stance of the Libertarian party? "We're all for the government respecting your property, unless we don't like you, then we'll confiscate it and blow it up?" His plan isn't legal, let alone practical or within his authority as President

      The Federal Income Tax is illegal? Strapping prisoners to their beds for a month so that their muscles atrophy? Has he read the constitution? Does he understand that the President doesn't wield this kind of power?

      Based on his tendancy to advocate this kind of crap, my only conclusion is that Badnarik has even less respect for the whole of the constitution than the two major party's candidates.
  • Here goes. (Score:5, Funny)

    by captnitro (160231) * on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:16PM (#10689549)
    Let's do some unscientific polling.

    Introducing 'Geek Code Election 2004'.

    VOTE
    (Bu)ush
    (Ke)erry
    (Bk)dnarik
    (Na)der
    (P e)routka

    PARTY AFFILIATION
    (R)epublican
    (D)emocrat
    (G)reen
    (B )rown
    (C)onstitution
    (L)ibertarian
    (W)hig
    (J)e di

    You work it out, I don't know.

    CONFIDENCE

    ++ Like candidate a lot
    + Like candidate
    X Neutral about candidate
    - Don't like candidate, but voting for them
    -- Really don't like candidate, but voting for them
    # Better than incumbent.

    and state. Group multiple elements in parens.

    I'm a Ke(X#)DVA.

    REMEMBER TO YANNO, VOTE TOMORROW ALSO, SLASHDOT DOESN'T COUNT
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:16PM (#10689566) Homepage Journal
    Even while in France last week.
  • A Thought (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:17PM (#10689591)
    Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
    Those who count the votes decide everything.
    ------------------(Joseph Stalin)
    • by meganthom (259885) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:41PM (#10690208)

      You might want to follow these tips outlined by electoral-vote [electoral-vote.com]:

      Find out today where your polling place is by calling your county clerk or checking mypollingplace.com [mypollingplace.com]

      Alternatively, call 1-866-MYVOTE1 to find your polling place.

      Check the hours the polls are open with your city or county clerk.

      Print the League of Women Voters' card in English or Spanish and put it in your wallet or purse.

      Bring a government-issued picture ID like a driver's license or passport when you vote. Some states require it but if there are problems, you will certainly need it. If you have a cell phone, take it to call for help if need be.

      As you enter the polls, note if there is an Election Protection person outside the polling place.

      If you are not listed as a registered voter, try to register on the spot. Some states allow that. Otherwise, talk to the Election Protection person if there is one or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for instructions. If neither of these helps, ask for a provisional ballot, but you will need a picture ID to get one.

      According to Democracy Now [democracynow.org], voting tricks abound in states like Florida and Ohio, so try to arm yourself (against both sides) if you live in one of these states.

  • Please.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solder Fumes (797270) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:18PM (#10689604)
    If you have no clue of the issues, if you're basing your decision solely on superficial reasons, or if you're just voting because someone told you to, please don't vote.

    Don't drown out the voices of actual concerned citizens who have invested a good amount of effort looking at all the issues and reviewing the histories and promises of the various candidates.
    • by I'm Spartacus! (238085) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:25PM (#10689817)
      if you're just voting because someone told you to, please don't vote.

      Unless they told you to vote against Bush. Then it's OK!
    • Re:Please.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Luciq (697883) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:40PM (#10690194) Homepage
      I agree. This is essentially letting others get multiple votes through you, which is obviously unfair when phrased as such. My sister, for example, is wholly clueless when it comes to politics "I don't even pay attention to that stuff..."

      But is she voting? Yes!

      For who? Bush!

      And why??? "I just vote for whoever Dad tells me to vote for."


      Sweet succulent Jesus save us all...
      • Re:Please.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by the_rev_matt (239420) <slashbot@nosPam.revmatt.com> on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:38PM (#10691451) Homepage
        I've often been criticised by fellow liberals when I espouse the idea that you should have to take a test before being allowed to vote. A simple fact based test e.g.

        Amendment x will do which of the following:
        a - change the wording of the state constitution regarding property tax
        b - require me to sign over my firstborn child
        c - change the wording of the state constitution regarding employment rules

        If they can't get that right, they don't get to vote on that issue, move on to the next one.
  • by supun (613105) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:18PM (#10689612)
    Can I vote for the judges who will decide this election instead?
  • by ntxb229 (542609) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:18PM (#10689628)
    Even though the daily show is "fake" news and is supposed to be comedy, I think the title of their election coverage tomorrow is all too revealing: "Prelude Recount" Let the lawsuits begin!
  • Should you vote? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:19PM (#10689641) Journal
    And no matter what you decide, if you can, just get out and vote tomorrow.

    The creators of that "Team America" movies (same guys behind South Park) got hammered because they said, basically, that if you're clueless don't bother to vote.

    What say you /.? Do those that truely have no idea or opinion really need to get out and vote? Does having some (more) randomness thrown in really help? Or is it all just a ploy to boost the "voter turnout" numbers, so when countries like Chile get a 98% turnout, we don't look like doofuses?
    • by Qzukk (229616) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:31PM (#10689972) Journal
      Do those that truely have no idea or opinion really need to get out and vote?

      Maybe you don't know the difference between blue and red. Maybe you have no clue who your US Representative is. But you probably do know if you want to have a cap on your property tax, and if there should be a .25 cent/gallon local gas tax to pay for road upkeep.

      Go vote, even if you don't care what the president does. Even if you think your vote for president doesn't count, you've got state and local issues on the ballot where you will have your voice heard.
    • by White Roses (211207) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:45PM (#10690321)
      Somewhere along the line, "a duty to be an informed citizen able to vote intelligently" became "a duty to vote". I'm not really quoting anyone here. Just paraphrasing what I was taught in elementary civics compared to what I hear on ABCNNBCBS, a division of News Corp.

      So, I agree that if someone doesn't know anything, he or she should stay home. It's not that she or he has failed in his or her duty to vote, he or she has failed in his or her duty to be an informed voter.

      If you know the issues, are well informed, and still don't vote? Fine by me, you're an informed voter who abstained for informed reasons. But that's less likely to happen. Most people have an opinion on something. If an issue matches your opinion topics, vote. But you still need to be informed to do that.

  • Diebold machines (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:19PM (#10689643) Journal
    A simple question to voters of any preference: do you trust the voting machines to
    A) count your vote correctly and
    B) resist tampering until the end of day printout?

    It just looks to me that with their documented flaws the machines simply cannot be counted on. I'm in the UK, so is the 'close up view' you've got making things look any better than I'm thinking?
  • by AaronW (33736) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:22PM (#10689728) Homepage
    I look forward to voting tomorrow. One thing I am thankful for is that I can demand a paper ballot instead of the standard electronic (Diebold) one. I urge everyone who votes tomorrow to ask for a paper ballot, even if they are not available just to make a statement.

    Even if you live in a state that is clearly going to one candidate or another, your voice will help add to how strong your state's voice is.

    Also don't forget all the local items, where your voice typically is much louder.

    And finally, remember that you're not just voting for a candidate, but for all their support staff. For example, a vote for Bush is also a vote for Michael Powell, John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney, Carl Rove and all the other people that come along for the ride. Not to mention that the next president will likely select one or more supreme court justices.
  • apathy (Score:4, Informative)

    by viniosity (592905) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:25PM (#10689815) Homepage Journal
    If there's one thing I'm grateful to Bush for it's that he's fired up more people to vote than in any time I can remember.

    These days it seems that more and more people can't be bother to even contact their representative or mayor to voice an opinion on issues that really matter. (examples in DC include lack of voting representation, gun ban repeal, stadium taxes, bad schools, etc). Instead they rely on a vocal minority who *sometimes* do the talking for them. This is the sort of apathy that leads to the atrophying of our civil liberties. When you can't be bothered to protest the Patriot Act (or even pay attention to it) you are basically giving your right to complain without being hypocritical. In the best scenario somebody fights for you, in the worst somebody will suffer trying to regain those liberties later on.

    With corporations spending millions of dollars [opensecrets.org] to trump your opinion, a single vote is a powerful thing. Think of it as your way of spending millions in one afternoon. I hope that everyone who votes tomorrow will become more involved in the political process and write your representative about the issues that may matter [eff.org] to you.

  • I don't expect too many Slashdot readers fit this category, but if you know of someone who is voting for Bush for his stance on abortion and life issues, please direct them to my blog article [underreported.com] that shows how Bush works behind the scenes to ensure the continuation of abortion in the U.S., while merely spouting pro-life rhetoric to snag those votes.

    Recommend the link if you would like (or don't mind) votes transferred from Bush to Peroutka (Constitution Party).

  • by clinko (232501) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:28PM (#10689896) Homepage Journal
    I'm right. You're Wrong.
  • by l4m3z0r (799504) <kevin@ubersty l e . n et> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:45PM (#10690328)
    Alot of people here at /. would have you think that tossing your vote to a 3rd party candidate would effect some change and make a statement. This is true, but for the presidential election it actually does little to nothing. If you want more 3rd party candidates toss your local election votes to them, help a green be your mayor, or on your city council. The more greens or whatever 3rd party people that elected to these positions the larger there support base gets and positions them better for future national elections. This presidential election however will not be affected so much by your vote for a 3rd party candidate.

    With this in mind it is obvious you want some change since you are undecided and would like to see more/better candidates. Your best bet to do this is to vote against the incumbent at every election. For each position on your ballot find the incumbent and vote against him/her. Failing to get re-elected sends a huge message to the party. If bush gets re-elected for instance his ideas become the parties main platform and ideas if he fails however they will seek to change themselves in order to correct Bush's mistake. This is the same for all local chapters of these parties as well.

    So clearly and simply, vote against all incumbents no matter what. In local elections vote for 3rd party candidates at random if your too lazy to learn what they stand for. But for presidential elections your best bet is to just vote for Kerry and bitch about him when he fucks up.

  • by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:48PM (#10690398) Journal
    Instances:

    - Mindless slogans: 93,451
    - Ideological smog: 878,102
    - Lies: 200,289
    - Conspiracy theories: 1,623,933
    - Trying to reduce the mind-numbing complexity of the modern world into a two step process for global utopia: 890,105
    - Urban myths: 115,936
    - Party line mantras: 278,102
    - Thoughtful content: 3
    - Snotty instance analysis: 1

    Here's a better way to vote. Those of you supporting Kerry slit your wrists. Those of you supporting Bush shoot yourselves in the head. We'll count the classify the corpses accurately. Honestly. We will. Really.

    Reason magazine had the best cover. It showed a picture of Bush and one of Kerry. The cover said, "Good news. One of these guys is going to lose. Bad news. One of these guys is going to win."

    Keep drinking the Kool-aid, folks. Hopefully the ELE asteroid is coming soon to put an end to all this.

    Go ahead. Mod me flamebait while marking the "BushKerry is a poopiehead who wants to eat my baby/kitten/grandma" posts as +99 Insightful.

  • by Tangential (266113) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:55PM (#10690545) Homepage
    Question for Bush supporters:

    What are the chances of 2 Texas oilmen (financially supported by many more oilmen) giving us a coherent national energy policy which frees us from dependency on oil and the Middle East?

    Question for Kerry supporters:

    What are the chances that 2 trial lawyers (who's biggest contributors are the trial lawyers associations) giving us the litigation reforms so crucial to getting escalating health care and pharm costs under control for the long term viability of our economy?
  • by Larthallor (623891) on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:09PM (#10690864)
    The Bible teaches, I believe, that God the Father sent down to Earth his only son, Jesus Christ, to live as man among men. The Lord said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." God sent Jesus to be the example of how a man should live his life on Earth. Only by following the way, the truth, the life of Jesus, shall we come to know the Father. This is where the modern saying, "What would Jesus do?", comes from and makes it so much more than a simple statement of admiration. "What would Jesus do", in my understanding of the phrase, is the guideline of righteous living.

    And so, in order to see what Christians should focus on when looking for leadership in their time on this Earth, they should look at what Jesus focused on while he was here, living the life of the righteous man.

    How often did Jesus talk about homosexuality, abortion, or assisted suicide? Were these sins the focus of his ministry? Or did he focus on healing the sick and feeding the poor?

    Did he beseech us to increase the wealth of the moneylenders, so that there would be more crumbs for the poor? Or did he believe that we should help the poor by ... helping the poor?

    Did Jesus limit his healing to those that could afford the money to pay him? Or did he reach out and touch all in need?

    Did he focus on destroying enemies or loving them? Did he advocate war or peace?

    I understand and admire evangelicals' conviction to vote their conscience and follow the Word, not just in church, but everywhere, every day. But, despite the Republicans throwing those that have strength of faith some Old Testament bones, it is the God-fearing liberal Democrats like John Kerry that best exemplify the self-sacrifice and social compassion Jesus had.

    Can you really look at how George Bush reacts to the world and see him asking "What would Jesus do?" I cannot. I certainly can see him consulting the Bible and finding passages to console him. I certainly see that he believes God approves of his actions. What believer doesn't? But, try as I might, I cannot see in him a man doing as Jesus would do. Read Matthew 5:38-48 and tell me if you can hear the voice of George Bush.

    Agree or disagree with the policies of George Bush and other Republicans on the merits as you will, but please don't make the mistake of thinking that George W. Bush is following the way, the truth, the life.
    • by WndrBr3d (219963) on Monday November 01, 2004 @05:02PM (#10691888) Homepage Journal
      After reading your reply, I'm reminded of a Fake Campaign ad where they parody what the Bush Administration would say about Jesus if he were running for president against G.W. Bush:

      link [wiseass.org]

      I think it covers what you said in your reply almost word for word.

      And kudos for you for standing up for what YOU believe in, not what they tell you to.
  • by LMCBoy (185365) * on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:30PM (#10691315) Homepage Journal
    It's pretty interesting (in an wretch-inducing way) that a core Republican strategy is to keep people from voting. The lengths to which they apparently will go to achieve this end makes one wonder how they can sleep at night...

    • Wisconsin: Flyers distributed in poor neighborhoods, falsely warning people that they cannot vote if they have unpaid parking tickets, unpaid rent, any relatives in jail, etc, etc.
    • Wisconsin: Republicans claim that 37,000 democratic registrations are invalid, because the voters did not return registered mail sent by repub. party (same happened in Ohio).
    • Ohio: Republican attempts to intimidate and delay voters at the polls have thankfully been outlawed by a federal judge (though I am not holding my breath that they will fully comply, and what about other states?)
    • Ohio: Democrats were sent letters falsely informing them that their voter registration is invalid, and they are ineligible to vote.
    • West Virginia: Democrats were phoned by Repub HQ, falsely told they are ineligible to vote.
    • Ohio: Democratic party phone banking station had its phone line intentionally cut.
    • Wisconsin: College republicans distributed flyers in UW dorms, falsely telling students they could vote in any precinct they chose (similar misinformation ocurring at U.Arizona dorms).
    • Michigan: Republicans calling democrats, urging them to "stand up for gay marriage" by voting for Kerry, who will "legalize gay marriage", a right "that we all want". And don't vote for Bush who will "outlaw gay marriage".
    • Alabama: Taking a page from "The Onion", flyers distributed in poor neighborhoods, encouraging voters to go to the polls on November 3rd.

    and on and on and on...

    What contempt they have for the American people and the democratic process. It's sickening.

  • by $criptah (467422) on Monday November 01, 2004 @05:48PM (#10692728) Homepage

    I really hope that all you who are reading this post do know your candidates. However, I will publish my points of view for those ones who are undecided. Here is why I vote for Kerry:

    Kerry does not want to increase the power of the federal goverment. As he stated, he would like the states to decided on several particular policies. This is as "American" as it gets. Bush, on the other hand, wants to increase the amount of control that fed. gov't has over the states.

    Kerry does not want to embed discrimination into our Constitution. I am not gay, but I believe in equality and justice for all. How can one expect a fair treatment while the others are being denied civil liberties? Think about it, would straight men beat their wives if the concept of heterosexual marriage was perfect? If you want to protect marriage, do me a favor: push for women's rights and stand against family violence.

    Kerry does not shove the Bible up my ass. Whether you are religious or not, you should remember that religion and state are separate in this country. Just because you believe in god, it does not mean that your beliefs should become a part of my life. I have nothing about personal religious traditions, but I think that citing the Bible when it comes to creating laws is pushing it. When is the next round of witch trials, Mr. Bush?

    Kerry is for cooperation with international entities and other countries. Remember, we did not win WWII without help from numerous states. Despite personal feelings we cannot spit at the French and tell the Germans to shut the fuck up and eat that kraut. A world is a big pile of shit and all of us are in it equally.

    I support women's right to choose.

    During the debates Mr. Bush did not have enough guts to admit three things that he screwed. Let me help him out: "No Child Left Behind," Iraq, tax cuts for the rich.

    If you think that Kerry is a "flip-flopper," think how many times YOU changed your mind and why you did it; did it make you a bad person? Although this may not be a populate saying in the United States -- it's French -- but "only idiots do not change their minds." Would you rather vote for a person who can adjust his/her decisions based on feedback (just like the spiral model of software engineering) or you would you prefer a blind follower of some sort of ideology?

    Kerry is intelligent, Bush is not. Do me a favor, compare Kerry and Bush rallies, speeches, etc. You will see a difference. Our current president speaks like a fucking second grader with "internets," "budget men" and "group of folks."

    48 Nobel prize winners support Kerry.

    Kerry promises pro-environmental policies.

    This is a strech, but compare the economies and educational systems of "blue" vs. "red" states. It will give you a rough idea who is voting for Mr. Bush. Also, take a look at rallies and the supporters of both candidates. I have nothing against Republicans because I tend to vote for the principals, not the party. However, it is not the case during these elections...

    Well, I believe this is enough for starters. Ideally, I would like to see a president who is conservative when it comes to spending and liberal with social policies. However, this is never going to happen. There is too much bigotry in this world.

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