Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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.