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Saturday, April 28, 2007

VOTING Questions

I was reading in Newsweek a couple weeks ago about some (Republican) politician complaining about ex-cons voting. I don't see the problem. I think the ex-cons SHOULD vote. Perhaps:
1) They'll feel more a part of the society as engaged citizens.
2) They'll be able to better suss out the crooks who actually get elected, the Duke Cunninghams, the Bob Neys.

If anything, I'd think we would like to get MORE people to vote. Are people afraid that a bunch of former felons will get together and take over the town? If so, they should get out and register (and vote) themselves.

(Greg noted this story about the White House pursing legal efforts to limit voter turnout. This is not just unjust, it's pathetic.)

I also was interested in the recent French election. Apparently, the top two vote getters, Nicolas Sarkozy, who got 31% in the first round, and Ségolène Royal (26%), will be in a runoff, but the candidate who is reportedly most acceptable (or least unacceptable) to the widest number of people, François Bayrou, came in third (19%), so won't be in the runoff.

So I'm wondering:

1) What restrictions, beyond making sure somebody is of age and actually lives in the district, should there be on voters? I'm against too many restridctions.

2) What can be done to engage more people in the political process? Would Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) or other alternate voting methodologies work? How about voting over several days and/or online?
For free IRV? stickers send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:, 26 Glen Street, Malden, MA 02148. Spread the word and make it stick: IRV; for a better democracy!
Dennis Kucinich, member of Congress and Presidential candidate, has introduced Articles of Impeachment Against Vice-President Richard Cheney. Kindly, Kucinich waited until the the Veep's blood clot was under control to reintroduce the measure.
Bush v. Bush.
Erin Davies makes the best of a bad situation, letting the world see and contemplate the hate speech scrawled on her vehicle. The initial act of vandalism was especially disturbing to me since it happened in my city (Albany), but Erin's reframing is quite intriguing.
What the rains of last week did to the basement of the David Sarnoff Library last week.
Last, but certainly not least, send some love to Kelly and Lefty.


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