Sunday, October 24, 2004

The democracy thing

You have the right to your own political beliefs; moreover, you have the right to express said beliefs at the polls come the Tuesday after next. Perhaps I'm just fortunate that I live in a state which has no chance of coughing up its electoral votes for the Bush/Cheney/Lucifer ticket, but even if I did reside in one of the so-called "battleground states" I'd like to think that I'd have the courage and conviction to vote for a President according to my conscience and not for the less offensive of the two mainstream canidates who are more likely to win.

Part of the battle here is just learning that you do have a choice. With a corporate media which routinely shuts third-party candidates out of the public eye (not to mention the debates), you'd think that there is only Bush and only Kerry and therefore only Right and only Wrong - or vice versa - and God help you if your personal beliefs don't seem to mesh with Democratic or Republican platforms. There is in fact a multiplicity of political opinions out there with a bevy of parties and candidates to represent them in the upcoming election - check out Ron Gunzberger's Politics 1 website for a rundown of this year's Presidential contenders and see if you can't find someone out there who is running for what you stand for.

And don't swallow the bullshit line being peddled by my friends on the Left that you can't afford to vote your conscience in an election this close. In a democracy, you can never afford not to vote your conscience, because that's how representative government is supposed to work. Your party only gains strength through its results at the polls, and although a few percentage points doesn't mean a thing to one of the mainstream parties by voting for a ticket you believe you might make the difference in your candidates getting additional awareness or even federal elections funding.

So become informed and vote nine days from today. No matter who you end up deciding on, we only become a stronger nation for it- unless, of course, you're voting Bush/Cheney...

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