Monday, November 3, 2008

My Ballot

With the knowledge that this blog is very influential amongst voters who are easily influenced, I will concede that this post should have come a bit sooner. Nevertheless, for those of you seeking to confirm your worst fears or validate your truest convictions, here is the ballot I will be casting tomorrow.


John McCain.

While not the perfect candidate to indulge all of my political views, McCain is much more likely to preserve individualism, economic freedom, and small government—the 3 of which I would describe as core political beliefs. I am not persuaded by the argument that McCain is too old, leaving an unqualified Palin as a likely successor. She is a Governor, which makes her roughly as qualified as any other Governor, and more qualified than Obama, who has never been an executive. I am also unpersuaded by Obama’s “hope” rhetoric, because he has not offered any policy that inspires me to be hopeful. Somebody told me that if Obama’s tax plans were combined with O’Malley’s taxes, that as a business owner I would be paying $.60 on the dollar in taxes, a claim that I did not attempt to verify for fear that it might be true.

U.S. Representative, District 3

Thomas Pinkston Harris.

I don’t know much about this one, so I’m using a combination of ‘party line’ and ‘anti-incumbent’ strategies. I’ve only seen Mr. Harris once, when he gave a speech at the state GOP annual dinner. He started his speech by saying “change”, then pausing for a minute while the crowd laughed at his mockery of political rhetoric. Good enough for my vote.

As an aside, I believe that there is value in party politics. Most people know what they believe, and why. Most people take the time to do some basic research on Presidential candidates, Gubernatorial candidates, and maybe some others. But beyond that, many people have neither the time nor the desire to become as politically educated as they need to be. I enjoy the political process, yet there are many things that I just don’t follow.

Enter political parties. All you have to do is take your beliefs and pick the party platform that is most reflective of your beliefs. Even if you don’t know much about a candidate, you can approximate that candidate’s compatibility with your beliefs by seeing his political party, and you can make a relatively non-ignorant choice about which candidate you really want. Now, I realize that this process is susceptible to many factors that taint its effectiveness, but it’s better than having every person campaign randomly and forcing the voter to choose without adequate information.

As another aside, discrimination is good. Discrimination is the process of using readily available information to discern facts that you do not have the resources to investigate. For example:

I believe in small government.
Republicans believe in small government.
Ray is running for office, but I know nothing about Ray except that he is a Republican.
I will vote for Ray because it is likely that he believes in small government.

Discrimination is not good when it is based on false information, which is called prejudice. For example:

I do not want to hire any dumb people.
Tall people are dumb.
I will only hire people under 5’ 5”.

The assumption that tall people are dumb is obviously invalid, which gives an incorrect result if someone were to use height as the proxy for intelligence. Throughout history, bad assumptions have been used as signals for other information, resulting in the negative connotation for “discrimination”. I came to this conclusion after reading some tidbits by Walter Williams, so if I’m not explaining it well, do a Google search for him and read more.

Enough with asides.

5th Circuit Court Judge:

Michael Wachs, because he is unopposed.

Board of Education At Large, Tricia Johnson, for continuance in office.

Yes, because I have no reason to vote ‘no’. Maybe that reason makes me a bad citizen, but it is my honest thought. I just have no idea.

Apply the above reasoning to:

-Deborah Eyler, Court of Special Appeals Judge
-Teresa Milio Birge, District 32 Board of Education
-Robert Zarnoch, Court of Special Appeals Judge

Question 1: Early Voting.


There are enough problems with the logistics of election day. Finding the election judges and implementing the safeguards to ensure fair elections and prevent fraud for a 10-day voting period would be nearly impossible. Moreover, the locations of the early voting polls would be determined at the discretion of the legislative leadership, leaving it vulnerable to political gerrymandering. There is ample opportunity to vote as it is now, and the marginal improvement to the ability of every citizen to vote is outweighed by the risk of fraud created by early voting.

Question 2: Slots.




-language does not belong in Constitution
-would be hard to change if citizens changed their minds in the future
-validates wasteful spending by state government

Question A: Charter Amendment, Failure of Bills.


This would effectively eliminate a ‘pocket veto’, and allow bills to become law without action from the County Executive after 10 days. I want to see action.

Question B: Charter Amendment, Nomination of Ethics Commission.


Currently the county exec. nominates all positions, which are then approved by the county council. One member of the current council wants more power in this process, and has pushed this charter amendment. Having half of the commission nominated by the county exec and the other half nominated by the council (as this CA would do) does not appeal to me.


Michael A said...

>This would effectively eliminate a ‘pocket veto’, and allow bills to become law without action from the County Executive after 10 days. I want to see action.

Isn't a pocket veto a way for the executive to kill a bill without action? So the amendment would turn this around 180 deg and allow a bill to pass without action... What's the salient difference? (Kind of reminds me of the parable of blind men and an elephant.)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The Charter Amendment sounds like a way for Democrats to mess up Leopold. If it sounds fishy, it probably is.

Anonymous said...

Leopold supported both of the Charter Amendments.

Anonymous said...

Harris lost.

A Life Well Lived said...

What problems were there on election day this year besides those for Republican candidates?

Oh and this questions: Maybe you can tell me why Red Maryland is now censoring comments from some people?

林依晨Amber said...