I love to vote. I especially love to get an absentee ballot so that I can take my time while voting. Yesterday Brad and I sat at the dining room table and filled out our ballots, reading the blue booklet from the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly and newspaper endorsements and editorials, and discussing the issues before completely filling in the boxes on our ballot forms. The ballot was long this year, the 2nd longest in Colorado history, with 14 ballot measures; but I like that in a ballot. One of the ballot items was an amendment that makes it much easier for citizen petitions to get onto ballots, which I voted for. I'm optimistic that in our lifetime there might be a technological way to have an actual direct democracy instead of the representational democracy we have now. It's more work as a voter to have a long ballot with complicated initiatives on it, but I think I trust the general voting public more than I trust many of our elected representatives. Ask me in a week, after the ballots are counted, whether I still feel that way..
Brad's idea for direct democracy is that we should have a flat tax and each tax payer would get to allocate their taxes instead of having Appropriations. I could allocate all of my taxes to public education and you could allocate all of yours to the Department of Defense. Or whatever programs you support. I'm guessing that not many people would vote to put most of their taxes toward interest on the national debt, which as of September 21, 2006 was 8.5 trillion dollars. In 2003, interest on the debt was 318 billion dollars. See this fascinating chart showing ratio of debt to GDP change for each president which shows increases only during Republican presidential administrations since 1945. Fascinating to compare data to party rhetoric..
I'm not an especially sentimental person, but I'm always aware as I seal my ballot envelope that the right to vote is a right that people have fought and died for, and continue to fight and die for; and I'm thankful I have this right. I also always remember that women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years in this country.
The only thing I don't like about my absentee ballot is that I don't get one of those fun "I have voted. Have you?" stickers..