Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Voting in D.C.

I've only lived in the District for a little over a year, and I did not get registered in time for the Democratic primary (bad me!). Unfortunately, that's when most of the real decisions are made, since the city is majority Democrat.

However, I still plan on voting on Election Day because there's an interesting race for my ward's seat on the City Council between a Democrat and an Independent who is running without a party because he failed to file on time for the Democratic primary. I have not made up my mind yet between these two or the Republican, who may end up getting my vote regardless of whether or not he has any chance of winning.

But the question not on the ballot is the one I am most interested in: How can we get the District represented in Congress?

We have the weirdest "races" for Shadow Senator and Shadow Representative. I SWEAR. I did not make that up. I guess it's who we would choose if theoretically we had a choice.

What I don't understand is the opposition to getting D.C. represented in Congress. It's obvious on the streets why it's a problem: Without an advocate setting aside earmarks in Congress, the District lacks the pork money that goes home with the Representatives and Senators when they leave town after session.

Is there any feeling out there in the "country" about why the District shouldn't be represented in Congress? I'm honestly interested in any and all opinions. I'm not educated enough about all sides of the issue, but I can see now why it's important, especially after moving from a district represented on the House Appropriations Committee.

I think I'm going to try to find out more about this organization and what I can do to change the situation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Let's get the discussion going!

To help stimulate discussion over here, I'm going to be posting some questions for you guys to answer. And of course there will be prizes for those of you who answer some or all of my questions!

The first question to ponder - who is the candidate you are most excited about voting for this election, and why?

To kick things off, here is my answer. The governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, is in a close race for re-election this year. The more that I read about what he has done in his political career, the more I like and respect him. He is an advocate for many of the things I strongly believe in, such as gay rights, the environment, and nursing moms (just to name a few). However, he doesn't have that charismatic "politician" personality, and that has hurt him in many people's eyes.

There was a great editorial in the Oregonian last Sunday about how people don't warm up to Ted, even though he's the kind of politician everyone says that they want. He's honest, he works very hard to deal fairly with all parties in tough situations (unfortunately, these are the kind of lose-lose situations where everyone feels gypped in the end, even though everyone got a little bit of what they were asking for), and he really is a leader "for the people". However, he's humble and doesn't spend a lot of time tooting his own horn about every single little victory (which, apparently, is something you need to do to be wildly successful in politics). He also doesn't stretch the truth, which is another thing that is vile but seems to work for many politicians.

In many ways, he reminds me of Jimmy Carter, who is said to be the most ineffective president in history by some, but in reality was extremely honest, smart and humble. Ironically, he was the first "born again" Christian to become president. He came from humble beginnings and was very much one of the common folk. Unfortunately, what people say they want in a leader and what they really do want aren't always one and the same.

Something to think about - no matter which side you're on (Democrat, Republican or Independent), how honest is the person you're voting for? Do they really do what they say they're going to? And if they didn't, do they have a good reason (one of the traits of a good leader is to admit when they're wrong and do what's best for everyone even if they said they wouldn't raise taxes or whatever).

Now, who's your favorite candidate?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Knittin' the vote!

Election day in the US is right around the corner, and I want to encourage all you knitters to get out there and vote. In fact, I'm going to give out some patriotic swag to everyone who signs up for this blog and posts that they've voted.

I'd also love to hear about the issues that are important to all of you. All different political viewpoints are welcome - just keep it respectful. I think discussion helps us all clarify what's important to us, and different viewpoints help to open our eyes to things we might not have thought about. Come tell us what you're voting for on election day, and how you've come around to that point of view.

Go see this post for a rundown of what's important to me this election season.

Let's knit the vote, people!