Cross posted from Pruning Shears.
Kevin Gosztola's post on safe voting strategies quotes historian Howard Zinn's claim that "we have all been brought up to believe that voting is crucial in determining our destiny, that the most important act a citizen can engage in is to go to the polls." But Zinn veers away from an important insight by concluding "and choose on of the two mediocrities who have already been chosen for us." I completely agree that voting isn't the most important thing citizens do (they still should do it, obviously; I'm not saying it's trivial). Read more about Third party laziness, 2012 edition
This year's presidential election has produced a brand new form of messaging. It isn't very cutting edge, though; not some kind of recently developed social media application or scary new number crunching technology. No, it's empty chairs. Really. People (in northeast Ohio at least) have been putting them on their front lawns as a tribute to Clint Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention. Sometimes the chairs are completely by themselves, unaccompanied by any election signage or word of explanation: Read more about Empty chairs and missing signs in Ohio
A teacher friend here in LA, who has spent probably 20 or more years teaching in inner city high schools, sent this email to everyone she knows yesterday, highlighting the importance of voting YES on Proposition 30.
I have never done anything like this before, but I feel like the stakes are so high, I just had to say something.
Please vote yes on Proposition 30.
LA Times columnist George Skelton does a pretty good job of addressing concerns on both sides of the issue here.
So who won yesterday? Corporatist Republicans made irrelevant gains against corporatist Democrats. The big winners were the kleptocrats. The looting of the country will continue because quite simply they own both parties. They are both parties. The vast majority of Americans, those of us who are not in on the looting, we lost, but we knew this before the first ballot was cast. All you had to do was look at the choices. Read more about Who won yesterday?
Just a note before I begin. These are just the candidates that I know of from my work in the Green Party and what I can glean online. There are plenty of other strong Green candidates for state offices all over the country. Not to mention, there are tons of strong local Green candidates. You can find Green candidates near you at NewMenu.org. Read more about Three Green candidates that could seriously shake the boat in their states
UPDATE: If you'd like to know more about the non-legacy party candidates for California governor, they'll be debating tomorrow (28 Oct). Brown and Whitman have been invited, too, but, according to the press release, neither one has responded yet.
The debate is sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. It's scheduled for 1 to 2:30 pm. Pacific Time, and will be streamed live and archived at the Free and Equal website (link above).
Participants include Peace and Freedom Party candidate Carlos Alvarez, American Independent Party candidate Chelene Nightingale, Libertarian Party candidate Dale Ogden and Green Party candidate Laura Wells.
End of update
Read more about Making Your Vote Count, CA edition UPDATED
the first openly-gay person to be elected to Congress--ever (Baldwin and Frank came out while already in office). The article takes stock all around the country.
“Jared Polis is the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent, and he joins Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank as the three out members,” said Denis Dison, a Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund spokesperson."
“a bittersweet election for gay people.” Read more about a roundup of some LGBT victories--including Jared Polis--
the AP pulls out their crystal balls--
"For all Barack Obama's talk about change, there are signs that in style -- if not substance -- a new White House under Democrat Obama would operate much like the current one under President Bush. ..."
Here are the five parties with seats in the Canadian House of Commons. I'm including the Green Party because they technically got one shortly before the election due to "crossing the floor" (an MP declared his affiliation with them but was elected under another platform).
Today, when most of you get to work, the Canadian polls will open. Aux urnes! as they say in French. So, I've been in Canada for the past week or so, and I had grand plans of not only finishing off some posts which I owe some people, but writing a sort of last-days political travelogue of the Canadian election, as I've been wandering around southern and eastern Ontario. But not least due to the surprising spottiness of Internet access, I have failed. *hangs head* Read more about Canadian election today
US bloggers still bandy about the idea that they'll run away to Canada if things get worse in the USA. This week, it appears that this is less justified than ever.
Despite campaign gaffes, the Conservative Party is still on the train to a majority government in Canada. Thus saith Nik Nanos, who is apparently the most trusted Canadian pollster. They are at 40% in the polls with a 15% gap between them and the Liberal Party. Another couple of points, and assuming that the poll results would hold at the ballot box, and they would have more than half the seats in the Canadian House of Commons, and full control of the levers of government.
So why is the Liberal Party doing so badly? Read more about The Liberal Party of Canada: historically weak
Another video from the Canadian election whose overall lesson is quite applicable to the American situation. Rick Mercer is the host of the CBC comedy Monday Report, which is a weekly Daily Show-type thing. Mercer is a very popular comedian in Canada, but IMO he became less funny when he left the endlessly hilarious This Hour Has 22 Minutes team. This video is from several months ago: