Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why I Don't Vote

I am not a political person. I hate politics. I don't get involved.

Living in Washington State, I have learned that the politicians here don't care about my opinion or my vote. On more than one occasion the state legislature has gone against voter's wishes and done what they wanted to anyway. On several occasions, we were made promises that were broken. I've learned that most politicians are corrupt liars who will say or do anything to advance THEIR position and the past proves it.

Safeco Field, home of the Mariners, is a good example. In 1995, the Mariners demanded a new stadium be built for them. "Build us a new stadium or else," they said. The Legislature initially rejected the use of state taxes to fund a new stadium. So, they put it to a vote and the voters rejected it. We didn't want to pay more taxes to fund the building of a new stadium. So, the Mariners made more threats. A month after the voters rejected the proposal to increase taxes to build a new stadium, the state Legislature approved a measure to increase taxes to build a new stadium. Huh? I thought we said, "No!" (source here)

Another example comes from our car tabs. After years of paying high priced tabs and excessive government spending, voters approved I695 to repeal car tab taxes and bring the car tabs down to a flat rate of $30. Following the vote, we were shocked to find that we were still paying more than $30 for car tabs leading to I776. I776 was put to the voters to repeal the remain fees. "When we said $30 tabs, we meant it," we said. The initiative was approved by the votes and two counties and a city sued to keep the initiative from become law. The state supreme court upheld the initiative. So why, I ask, did I pay $80.75 for my husband's car tabs last month?

And finally, there's the 2004 election for Washington state governor. It was extremely close. Dino Rossi, the Republican candidate, was declared the winner in the initial automated count and again in the automated recount. It moved to a manual hand recount. During the recount, King County (a primarily democratic county) "found" 723 ballots that they said were uncounted or improperly rejected. Then it was revealed that five other counties included so called "found" ballots in their hand recount. These found ballots put Gregoire ahead by 129 votes. Then they found votes cast by dead people, felons, and people voting twice. There were also accusations made that military votes weren't counted because they were mailed out late by the counties. How can voters trust the vote with all of this happening?

These events have taught me several things:

  1. When the voters say no, the politicians ignore us and do it anyway.
  2. When the voters say reduce our taxes, the politicians raise taxes a different way.
  3. When votes are close, the recounts get creative.
  4. The vote outcome in Seattle is the outcome of the vote for the entire state.
  5. Promises made are promises broken.
Why don't the politicians save us a lot of time and money and do away with voting altogether. They just do what they want anyway. Or, if they really want to have a vote, just ask Seattlites what they want as their vote always decide the outcome of the vote for the entire state. Check out this map (from Wikipedia) showing how many counties Gregoire won (green) and how many Rossi won (gray). I think it says it all.

And the federal government isn't any better.

So, now you know why I don't vote. It's a waste of time. Next, I'll tell you why I feel I MUST vote in this next Presidential election...even if my vote probably won't matter anyway.

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