Sunday, October 15


So i haven't posted in a while, because i've been busy. After a year abroad, lots to do before i graduate. I will try to go over some of the stuff that happened over the summer, later, but for now i'm just going to put up some recent occurance so i don't fall further behind.

So without further delay, on to new bussiness. Back when i was a sophomore there was an election for the local alderman, this election involved both local people, and students. The candidate favored by most students won, and her opponent tried to have all the student ballots thrown out, because the university offered priority housing to people who registered to vote in the elections, and also threw a party for people who could prove that they voted. This attempt was rejected in court, and the school paper published a short bit in the opinion pages about how the woman was a doof for trying to get the votes thrown out. A local resident at that point took up the banner of doof woman, proclaiming it was northwestern's fault and all student votes should be thrown out. Doof woman was fighting for all her constituents, including the students who she was disenfranchising. So i sent this piece to the paper, and it was published in the opinion section. (originally it was longer, and more convincing, but there is a 300 word limit so i had to trim it.)

This is a response to the woman who gave Fiske a thumbs up for her attempt to throw out all the students votes. I voted in the 2005 elections that elected Cheryl Wollin. I didn’t partake in the party for voters or use housing points, and yet apparently my vote should still be nullified, simply because those “bribes” were offered.
Lets play devils advocate, grant Fiske’s premise, and see what happens at the next election. Northwestern officials and students would scheme up ways to unseat Judy Fiske, and they are pretty clever so they’d come up with one. At the next election university officials will offer parking privileges to all non-student residents who register to vote as well as a party for non-student residents who voted. After the election Wollin would of course sue to throw out all non-student votes, and she would win using identical logic to that Fiske used. Of course it doesn’t matter whether or not anyone accepts any kind of bribe, once the bribes are offered the voters are guilty. Then students alone would decide the outcome of the election.
Luckily in this country we have a justice system that recognizes individuals rights. A justice system that recognizes that you cannot strip a person of the right to vote based entirely on the actions of someone else. If in fact what University officials did was illegal, there was voter fraud, and Fiske was fighting for her constituents, then she would go after the people who committed said crimes, the perpetrators of this “second Watergate.” Instead she attacks me, an innocent student who committed no voter fraud, nor any crime of any kind. It’s clear to me she in fact was fighting not for her constituents, but for one person, herself.

For anyone who is a robert heinlein fan, i can't help but think to his plan for voting. He had 2 options for voting. Basically you put a price on voting, say 10 dollars, you go into the voting booth, and before you vote, you have to answer a question. In his version it was find the answer to a quadratic equation, but it doesn't really matter what the question is, it could be about politics if that is preferable. If you answer correctly, you get to vote, and you get your money back. If you answer incorrectly, you forfeit the money, and don't get to vote. The other version was that instead of risking 10 dollars, which might skew the vote in the direction of the rich who don't mind losing money, you have to risk your life. Then you'll only have people who really care voting. As well as people who are intelligent and or well educated.


Blogger Aras said...

first of all, why did you say "on to new business" and then tell a story from sophomore year? aren't you a senior now?

and b. heinlein's ideas, while very intreaguing, the second one has the same flaw as the first. in the first rich people risk much less attempting to vote, and in the second it's old/dying people; in that system, anyone who's terminally ill has the cheapest risk to vote. i shudder at a world ruled by gramdpa simpson.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Trashcan said...

First of all, "on to new business" was just a bit of a joke. In general the whole thing was new, because the lawsuit was just thrown out of court recently, and the editorial was written a week ago.

Secondly the world is already ruled by grandpa simpson. It is common knowledge that old people vote in far greater percentages than others, so especially in the US where voting percentage is low. So politicians do all they can to reach older voters. That's why politicians spend so much more time talking about social security, perscription drugs and medicare than other issues. Although right now iraq is taking up a fairly large portion of the discussion.

Also i think it would not so much favor older people, as poor people. If you are completely broke, living on the street, it's worth it to go try to vote for a law that will give you lot's of money. It would result in a government somewhat like starship troopers, where many very wealthy people don't bother to become citizens because they don't need to, the only reason would be for pride in your country.

2:43 AM  
Blogger Aras said...

that's almost true, but remeber, if it was completely true, there'd be a 6 p.m. curfue for everyone under 60 years old.

6:52 AM  
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