Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Election Day, 2006

Yup, I voted. It felt good; it nearly always does. As I commented to my wife on the way out: our Republic gives us an awful lot, and doesn't expect much of us in return. This is one thing that it does expect, and it's good to take it seriously.

Most of the ballot didn't interest me much, I'm sorry to say -- candidates for State Treasurer, State Auditor, that sort of thing. I did vote wherever there was a contested race, though. As a matter of principle, I don't like to vote in uncontested races; an uncontested candidate doesn't need my vote.

Except for one case. My Congressional Representative, Rep. Barney Frank, was running uncontested. I wrote in my wife's name instead. (She later sheepishly admitted to me that she'd written in my name. It's amazing how people can think alike sometimes.)

Oh, and people across the country keep asking: "Why don't the people of Massachusetts do something about Ted Kennedy? Why don't they vote him out of office for a change?" Well, all I can say is that I did the best I could.

The ballot also had some interesting open questions. Question 1 had to do with whether grocery stores in Massachusetts should be permitted to sell wine. (No, I'm not kidding. Right now the liquor stores in Massachusetts have a virtual monopoly on this.) Question 2 asked whether one candidate should be permitted to be listed on a ballot with more than one party -- e.g. candidate Daniel I. Brookline, running for town dogcatcher on the Independent ticket as well as the Free Our Dogs Party and the Over Six Feet Consortium. (The idea is that I could then get the majority of the vote, even if no single party does. I could also confuse the heck out of the voters; no, thanks. I also do not see how this increases political responsibility, as its advocates claim.)

Question 3 wanted to encourage private day-care providers to unionize. (But I thought the whole idea of using private, at-home day-care was that there was competition and variety from which to choose?) Question 4 was a proposal to increase Brookline property taxes by 3%, in order to pay for miscellaneous and unspecified projects to preserve historical landmarks and open spaces and such. (My feeling is: if they haven't been able to do so adequately up to now, why do they think that the answer is to throw more money at it? And, if more money is truly needed, is it not possible to redistribute the existing budget, instead of raising taxes? I know the answer to that one, of course.)

Question 5 was non-binding, to demand that our Representative vote in favor of a resolution to pull back all U.S. troops from Iraq immediately. You can probably guess how I voted on that one.

Get out and vote, people! Your country needs you.

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