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The most important issue for me in elections is:

by vroom (His Eminence)
on Nov 07, 2000 at 22:57 UTC ( #40391=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

[bar] 5/4%
Health Care
[bar] 2/2%
Social Security
[bar] 2/2%
Foreign Policy
[bar] 6/5%
[bar] 9/8%
Gun Control
[bar] 6/5%
[bar] 8/7%
[bar] 7/6%
The morals the internet is pushing on our kids
[bar] 4/3%
Count me out of this
[bar] 38/32%
[bar] 31/26%
118 total votes
  • Comment on The most important issue for me in elections is:
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RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by Blue (Hermit) on Nov 08, 2000 at 00:14 UTC
    I believe it was Robert Heinlein who said "What type of country do you have if the only people you can vote for are politicians."

    Important topics to me include education, preservation of freedom, honesty, and no censorship. With these, it's hard to find a candidate who matches all. And there is always the nagging feeling if you don't vote for one of the "big two" candidates that perhaps you are throwing your vote away because of the electoral college system, a crime of the same magnitude as not voting.

    It's a tough world, and I always feel that I am casting my vote to the lesser evil, as opposed to the greater good.

    That saddens me.

    =Blue might be eaten by a grue...

      You can only throw your vote away on the presidential vote. Where does the electoral college come in? When you vote for federal senators and representatives. Vote for (as best one can) the better guy among them. The popular presidential vote is used only for stuff like: major party status, and federal election funding. So, vote for people you like for president even if they can't get elected, it's good for them.

      Somewhere I found a site that polled you on your views on a bunch of topics and figured out which presidential candidate was closest to you (and showed you a comparison to all the candidates, including some withdrawn ones). I'll see if I can find it.

      Vote local.

      Sorry to rant, blue. This whole campaign year's driving me mad with the stupidity of others (not you) ...
        Not a rant at all, good points. I think because of how 'big' it is in the media, it's easy to get blinded by the glamour of the presidental election and not give the proper attention to local issues.

        As for the website you mentioned, I saw one at SpeakOut!, and I think I've heard of others. However, the candidate which matched closest to my opinions had withdrawn. 8( (Bill Bradley for anyone interested.)

        Thanks for the reminder that acting locally is where we can make a big difference.

        =Blue might be eaten by a grue...

        UPDATE: Fixed the link

Education? Anyone?
by PotPieMan (Hermit) on Nov 08, 2000 at 11:09 UTC
    I'm actually pretty surprised that no one has introduced education into the discussion.

    I live in Florida, where I've had to put up with a Republican governor (a Bush, no less) who is pushing for "school accountability" and school vouchers. Jeb Bush rates public schools based on standardized test scores. If a school doesn't get a high enough grade, under Bush's proposal, parents can request state money to help put their child in a private school.

    This is a bad idea for quite a few reasons. The obvious: we're taking money away from public schools, which are already strapped for money.

    Additionally, the voucher proposal calculates the cost of educating each child as an average of the cost of educating all children. For example, it costs approximately $3000 a year to educate an "average" child, and about $15000 to educate a challenged child. Because there are fewer challenged children, the calculated cost comes to about $5000 a year.

    A year of private education costs, on average, $7000. This means that parents have to come up with the difference. Poorer families will be unable to make up the difference, meaning that the system favors more advantaged children.

    How does this proposal help? Why don't we work on reallocating money that is already in the school system, giving more to education if necessary?

    Update: Okay, I'll stop ranting. I'm really nervous about the outcome of the presidential race here in Florida. It's really close.


      (If you think these things don't apply to you, they probably don't, so don't be personally offended please... just consider if they might be generally applicable to the "teeming masses.")

      I think you're putting the cart before the horse. The quality and effectiveness of education will not and cannot improve until the attitudes of people (and especially students) change. Education seems to only be really important (as in, "I should actually bother studying and going to class") to a minority of children. So, no matter what you do with the education system, a lot kids will still just not care, still skip classes, still drop out. Of course, living in New Mexico (lousy schools, very high dropout-rate) might be influencing my impressions. :)

      In my opinion (currently valued at 2 pfennigs), the way people are attacking this problem is very similar to the way that abortion is attacked. They're going after surface issues and ignoring the underlying ones. Some people want to make it really easy to have one, some people want to make sure no one can have one, but almost nobody is trying to change the attitudes of people which induce them to want one. As long as there are incentives to have bastards (welfare) and have unprotected sex (boyfriend approval), there will be people who are desperately unprepared who will get pregnant and need abortions (or welfare).

      Gaaaaah, now I'm ranting. Sorry. Maybe I should mention He Who Kills UseNet Threads so this can be ended....

      As a foreigner (not even living in the US any more!) married to a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools I can just offer a comparison between the US and European systems.

      It seems to me that the main difference is that in the US money for education comes largely from local sources. Which means that poorer areas get less money than richer ones, hence increasing the gap between rich and poors. In Europe, by contrast, money if managed at country level, which makes it much easier to send money to the places where it can make a difference.

      Despite Massachussets being a fairly progressive place (and probably the best place on Earth to be a Perl geek!) no amount of state or federal funding seems to be able to overcome the basic fact that poor people do not pay enough taxes to pay for a decent school system (except if you're a rat or a cockroach!).

      Now (to try to come back slighltly on-topic) how this impacts the Perl Monks population is probably easy to find out: have a poll on race/ethnicity/whatever, especially amongst US citizens here and you'll likely to find an overwhelming majority of white folks, at least if I can judge by the crowd at the Perl Conference or YAPC.

      PS: sorry PotPieMan, as I am typing that it looks like dubya carried Florida and the Presidency with it :--(

        Your information is incorrect, most funding is at the state level.
      Your doing the very same thing that your accusing them of, on average a private education may cost $7000 this means you can get it for less
      Money also is not IMHO the problem, I went to public schools last, (Gardner, MA) they had plenty of money, classrooms could easily have held twice as many students
      And compition is NEVER a bad thing, nor is choice. freedom==choice.
      What does more money actually do? reduce class size? That doesn't do anything, most catholic schools have classes of 60+ students but have better results than the public schools
      And it can put computers in the class room, but what exactly are they going to do with these computers? If your students are failing your current classes adding more isn't going to help, and having a couple computers in a classroom isn't going to magically change anything
      I very much disagree with the idea that we should just randomly throw money at public schools and hope the problem goes away, it won't
      BTW before any federal money gets added to the department of Education they should get their books in order. Congress hired a private company to go through and straighten out the books, that company was unable to do it. Their should be accountability on every level down to the cent.
        It is true that the average cost of a private education means that there are some schools at which you can get it for less money. (Specifically in my city, I don't think there is one private school that goes for less than $7000.)

        Competition is fine, as long as it's judged fairly. Jeb Bush judges schools on standardized test scores, which, in my opinion, don't show anything about intelligence. Just to get a passing grade under Jeb's system (the tests aren't very well written, by the way), teachers have to spend half the year teaching to the test. School vouchers might work if the money weren't allocated based on standardized test scores.

        Also, I'd like to reiterate that I wasn't necessarily for straight up giving more money to schools. The system definitely needs to be restructured so that it works more efficiently. For instance, teachers need more control over the money in a lot of schools.

        P.S. It's great that you lived in Massachusetts, where education is an important issue already. It's also a smaller state, so the system is easier to manage.


RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by AgentM (Curate) on Nov 07, 2000 at 23:06 UTC
    I'd like to see more technological intelligence among the politicians. While Gore maybe gave some money to create the Internet, I doubt he actually knows what "an Internet" is. All the more reason to vote Larry For President.
    Paid for by the Larry Wall for President Committee. Not asscociated with Abdullah.

    AgentM Systems nor Nasca Enterprises nor Bone::Easy nor Macperl is responsible for the comments made by AgentM. Remember, you can build any logical system with NOR.
(d4vis)RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by d4vis (Chaplain) on Nov 08, 2000 at 00:18 UTC
    I voted for "The morals the internet is pushing on our kids "...seriously.
    I think it's an important issue only in the negative sense, ie. any politician that blames the internet for the 'moral decline' of America immediately earns my contempt.
    I'm tired of pol's scapegoating the internet (or the media for that matter) rather than addressing the real issues.

    Has America declined, morally, in the last dozen years? The last fifty? I don't know, but my sense is that it has not. It seems that many a pol who longs for the "good old days" convientiently forgets things like the relative unequality of women in the workforce (as well as society in general) widespread poverty, institutional racism, etc...
    Either way, I think the 'net is more of a mirror to morality that a causal factor, but it's always easier to blame something when most of the population doesn't really understand it.

    ~monk d4vis

        That is a great link! What a riot.

        And proves your point quite elegantly. *smile*

        Roy Alan

      You are so correct in pointing out that "the good old times" were not always so good for a large portion of the population. But the moral climate has changed a great deal. So many things that would have shocked our grandparents right out of their seats is now commonplace, even tolerated.

      Roy Alan

        Interracial marriage?? Shocking!
        Premarital whats-that-you-say?? Shocking!
        Where's my household butler robot, dagnabbit?

        e-mail neshura

Take a hint from the wackos
by TGI (Parson) on Nov 08, 2000 at 03:20 UTC

    I was talking with a friend recently, discussing our disgust at the level of current politics. She said that she was going do what the whackos do.

    Extremist wackos, like the ones who bomb abortion clinics, have a simple method of pushing their issue.

    • They vote in every election
    • They vote based on one issue
    • They work with like minded whackos to recruit others

    So, maybe we should each pick one issue that we (individually) care about and persue it madly. I may try it and see if I'm any happier. What do you think?

RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by jynx (Priest) on Nov 07, 2000 at 23:58 UTC
    In concurrence with William Baldwin (author of Bruno the comic strip, shameless plug ;), there is a considerable lack of good voting candidates this election. When did we go wrong so that we no longer vote for the best candidate but the lesser of two evils?


      I expect it was when people got so caught up in listening to prognosticators do what they did. Seriously, if the media didn't say "well, you know it's going to be one of these two guys," it seems to me it wouldn't be such a foregone conclusion. I don't claim that the chicken came first, only that the chicken's presence acts to increase the likelihood of the egg's being created.

      Philosophy can be made out of anything. Or less -- Jerry A. Fodor

RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by amelinda (Friar) on Nov 08, 2000 at 01:26 UTC
    Where's "all of the above"?

    Semiseriously, there isn't a single most important issue to me... so I can't really answer.

    Update: Er... there isn't a single {most important issue}. I'm concerned about liberals spending our money like it's water, and about conservatives sucking away our rights like they're water, for starters.

RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by nop (Hermit) on Nov 07, 2000 at 22:59 UTC
    I got the first vote at Perlmonks today, so (for the moment at least) I am not only in the majority, I am the majority!

    Seriously, just voted for real in the national and state election, and encourage everyone here of age to do the same....

      Do so early, and do so often.

      Don't blame me, I voted for Bill n' Opus!

      Philosophy can be made out of anything. Or less -- Jerry A. Fodor

RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by bastard (Hermit) on Nov 08, 2000 at 19:53 UTC

    I thought it was "Eradication" not "Education"!

    Damn, better luck next time I guess.

RE: The most important issue for me in elections is:
by TStanley (Canon) on Nov 08, 2000 at 19:04 UTC
    My big issue is the readiness of the military. Having spent 10 years on active duty
    I saw how many deployments and TDY (Temporary Duty) assignments that my friends did.
    Not to mention, the military itself is approximately half the size that it was, before
    Clinton came into Presidency. I felt that Mr. Gore is going to carry on the plans of his
    predecessor, so I voted for Mr. Bush.

    There can be only one!

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