Thursday, October 13, 2016

Make Every Day Voting Day

I'd like to make this my new second home.

Voting for president never excites me much, because I've never lived in a swing state. What I love, however, is voting for BALLOT QUESTIONS!! It's like the game NationStates, which I was obsessed with in high school. I love being asked a specific policy question and having the answer actually make a difference (assuming that others vote as I do).


This November, Massachusetts has some good ones. We get to vote on whether to have a new casino (that seems to always be on the ballot and we always say no), whether to make certain types of cruel animal confinement illegal, whether to allow more charter schools, and whether to legalize marijuana. California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine are also voting whether to legalize marijuana this November. Other states have questions about gun control, minimum wage, health care, taxes, and other issues.

(One fun thing to do: look up the questions which failed to make it onto the ballot. In Massachusetts in 2016, this included potential laws about maternity leave and fast food worker shift scheduling, as well as an opinion question about whether we "approve or diapprove" of having the Olympics in Boston, and a declaration that corporations are not people which I also feel like has to be a statement of opinion since I'm not sure how it would actually play out in state law. For some of these, it's like, yeah, I see why that didn't make it.)


I just love being asked directly about the issues. I would have happy to have a new ballot question to vote on every week. Even if I had to go in person! Sure, the overhead for such a system might be ridiculous, what approving, explaining, and enacting 52 ballot initiatives a year, not to mention  staffing polling places every week, but think how much fun it would be.


I guess this makes me in favor of direct (rather than representative) democracy. Is this because of my distrust of politicians? Or my love of paperwork?

(BTW, this post prompted me to make a new Nation States account. I'm not sure why it says there are so many public floggings!)

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