Every 4 years we cast a ballot for electors for the President of the United States. 4 years ago, the candidate (technically the electors) for whom I voted were not elected, but I was proud of my country for demonstrating how far we had come as a nation. I will not be voting for our President this year either, but it doesn’t change the fact our incumbent President is a person of color and that is what makes this country great.
That said, here is my ballot:
Electors for President of the United States: Gary Johnson / Jim Gray – Libertarian
I believe the two party system in the United States is a corruption of what the United States should be. We have two institutional parties manipulating politics toward their own ends – voting on issues and not solutions. We allow politicians to give us a false choice of one or the other.
“Don’t waste your vote” is a fallacy. The utter arrogance to hear Al Gore complain that Ralph Nader cost him the Presidency or George HW Bush complain Ross Perot cost him reelection – it presumes that the Presidency belongs to one of two parties, that people casting a ballot for someone more aligned with their beliefs somehow bastardizes the result.
I am voting for Gary Johnson because his articulated positions are more inline with my beliefs than those of any other candidate. He’s a legitimate candidate, having been the 2-term governor of New Mexico as well as having built his own company. He stands for the reduction of government power and control. He stands for the freedom of making your own choices and taking your own consequences. GaryJohnson2012.com
Massachusetts Senator: Scott Brown – Republican
Senator Brown has had 2 years to put a stamp on the Senate. It’s been an unremarkable 2 years (particularly given that at least the last 1 year has been spent campaigning), but I like what I have seen from him. I believe he is a genuine person who wants to do a good job for the people of Massachusetts. I want to know what he would do with a full term. I found the whole Elizabeth Warren ancestry issue to be a red herring, and more than slightly offensive – that died the death it deserved to die. That said, I find the Warren campaign’s distortion of Brown’s record to be equally as offensive.
All in all, I’m going to vote for a candidate who has expressed and demonstrated a willingness to work across the aisle over a candidate running on keeping the other party at bay (as noted above, I believe 2-party politics to be a corruption of what politicians are elected to do) every time. ScottBrown.com
Massachusetts “Right to Repair” Initiative, Question 1 - Yes. This is the intersection between the auto makers’ intellectual property and my access to data I create. I willingly choose to give away data to such sources as Facebook and Google because they provide a service for which I do not pay; I have bought my car, as part of that cost I expect I am buying the access to the data created by that car. The legislature passed a compromise bill in July – to my mind, that bill is not comprehensive enough. I will vote “YES” on this bill.
Massachusetts “Death with Dignity” Initiative, Question 2 - Yes. We should have the right to control our end of life decisions. Beyond the sound bites, one truth remains: the individual should control his/her destiny on his/her own volition when faced with an incurable disease. There is no mandate on a doctor – an individual doctor does not have to write a prescription and can choose not to treat a patient in this way. Death is a uniquely personal experience and an individual deserves the authority to make his/her own choices around it.
Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative, Question 3 - Yes. I don’t believe marijuana should be criminalized to begin with, however in this case if there’s a positive use for it there’s no reason a doctor should not be allowed to prescribe it. The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police are against the question, largely because of their concerns about distribution, or in other words control – which I believe is part of the problem. Attorney General Coakley is concerned passage would lead to a “headache” ensuring it’s not “abused,” a concern that would be eliminated if the sale of marijuana were controlled as is the sale of tobacco or alcohol.
The rest of my ballot resembles a Soviet ballot – for all of the other positions, save one, there is but one person running for office.
The one that has more than one candidate (on my ballot) is for Representative in General Court (or Representative to the State legislature); this office has 3 candidates running: a Democrat (incumbent), a Republican, and an Independent. I’m planning to vote for the Independent, because he’s a little wacky – a little far out – but because he seems genuine and a true counter balance to the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature in Boston. He has been an elected member of my hometown’s light board for 15 years and a volunteer for NEADS Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans and Canines for Combat Veterans for 30. He’s a small business owner, and has some solid ideas for growing small business – the economic generator this country needs. And he thinks this experience is qualification for government. In the ideal world, and in the vision of those who created our system – it is qualification for government. And he’s got a great name…even if his website is broken. He says some things I don’t agree with, but he says a lot that I do – and he’s not aligned with either of the major parties. I’m of a mind to give this man a shot. “Winn Handy.” I like it.