Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I voted!

Here in Australia, voting is mandatory. Isn't that amazing? Could you imagine what it would do for American politics if it was mandatory to vote in every election? What is the point of government for and by the people if the people don't participate in it?

Having said that, I hate politics. Normally, I find voting pretty dull, but I do it because it's important. But voting this year is exciting, at least in Washington State. There's yet another opportunity to vote down a Tim Eyman initiative, a measure for the legalisation of marijuana, a chance to support or oppose equal marriage rights for all citizens, and another opportunity to fill in a box for a presidential candidate that I really believe in (voting for John Kerry in 2004 was so painful.)

I was really proud to fill in the "Approved" oval for Referendum 74. Not just because I'm super excited about my little sister's wedding next year, which is gonna be off the hook, wha- wha-!! But because I was raised to believe that love and commitment are good things. I'm also the child of not one but two divorces, so I don't sit around and listen to anyone who tries to tell me about the sanctity of man to woman marriage blah blah blah. C'mon people, I've seen the reality.

Side note: I probably spent the most mental effort debating the marijuana thing. As someone who has never smoked or ingested pot, and who sees no reason to ever do it except in the case of future illness, I don't have a particular interest in it being legalised. The more I read about it, the more the language of the initiative sounded dubious. Some proponents of decriminalising marijuana oppose the initiative because of the specific system that it sets up. It sounded to me that, if I wanted marijuana to be legal, this would not be the system under which I would want it to be legal. It just doesn't sound anything like the utopia that marijuana proponents are hoping for.


  1. I totally love voting and the voting season (yes - I'm still a huge nerd). I was so excited to vote this year because there are so many things and people on the ballot I feel very strongly about (especially Referendum 74 - and voting no on another Eyman initiative. Ugh). I voted yes on the marijuana bill mostly because I feel like it's a step in the right direction. Also being one that has never smoked or ingested pot, I don't support legalizing marijuana because I want to use it. I support it because I think it should be taxed and regulated, much like cigarettes (especially because it is considered much safer than tobacco). However, I understand your hesitancy on this particular initiative. It appears to be very heavily regulated. I'm okay with that, though. The important thing is that it will reduce the amount of money spent prosecuting and locking up users of marijuana, which is important when there are so many other pressing concerns on which the money could be used. I think it'll be really interesting to see if it passes, and it will be very interesting to see what the federal government does in response. Like I said, I love this time of year! :)

    Hope you're loving Australia!


    1. haha You and your love of civics! Did you ever get to serve on a jury before becoming a lawyer? Yeah, I agree it would be interesting to see how the Feds would deal with it. And I was glad it was on the ballot, as it does seem like a step in the right direction. It'll be interesting to see how it all unfolds either way!

      When's your big day??

    2. I never did get to serve on a jury! I'm bummed about that. I'm still holding out a glimmer of hope, though, that I will get jury duty and there will be so many really awful people on the jury panel that they'll have to keep me on, despite my profession. It could happen, right?

      The "big day" is June 22, 2013. I think we've got most of it planned, except the little things like decorations, invitations, and save the date cards. But I'm sure we'll get there. If I didn't really want to make my own decorations, invitations, and save the date cards, those would probably be done by now.

      When are you going to be in the country next?

  2. HOORAY for voting! We sent in ours this week. Obama will win. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com
    And gay marriage has a really good chance of passing! And we voted NO on the charter schools initiative. 5 days to go!