Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ballots

I filled out a mail-in ballot for the first time today (yes, I know--I have procrastination down to an art form). I prefer to go into the polls, but Washington recently decided to go to only mail-in. I looked at that ballot and wondered how I was supposed to punch the holes. I ended up holding it and poking them out with the tip of a pencil and then pulling the chad off.

You know, after the 2000 election, I never had been able to figure out the hanging chad thing. I mean, how hard is it to push the little red stylus into the hole at the polling booth? But! Now I understand. The hanging chads came from the mail-in ballots. Suddenly the world makes more sense.


One of the things we voted on was amending the Clean Indoor Air Act. Now at first glace, keeping all smoking out of public areas seems like a wonderful thing. I mean, I’m all for non-smoking, especially since my allergies practically render me unconscious when I get a whiff of cigarette smoke (ok, so I’m exaggerating--but I sure feel like passing out of pure misery!). But when I thought about it for a bit I decided to vote against it. Why? Here’s my answer:

Is it really the government’s job to regulate things like that? If they can regulate that, then they can regulate pretty much anything and before we know it we will be like China used to be--you get fined for chewing gum. Another point people bring up is that it causes cancer, so therefore the government should step in. Well, red food coloring causes cancer. So do most of the sugar substitutes. Should they be banned too?

7 comments:

Douglas_Coombs said...

Secondhand smoke causes cancer too.

. said...

That's a difficult line to tow: what should government govern? Usually, most government institutions begin with good intentions. Social Security was a good idea during the New Deal. Now, it's slush fund for virtually anything. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was long over due, now it's being used to "protect" homosexuality. My point is the problem of government is that we really aren't involved enough. I believe the federal government's job is just that--Federal. Stay out of state and local affairs. The reason I beleieve this is very simple: accountability. If I have a problem with the sanitation in my neighborhood, I don't have to drive 1000 miles and make a 6 month appointment in advance to talk to my city councilman. I have access, real access. How many people really speak with their federal legislators? But I have had many conversations with my local officials. I know them personally and they can't bs folks they know. Well, not as easily. Let the federal government handle truly federal issues, and let the states and counties and muncipalities handle the rest.

Wren said...

Well, Amy, in spite of your "no" vote, it looks like it's going to pass anyway. I don't like those mail-in ballots. I like the experience of going to the poll and putting in my .002 cents worth. Ah, well!

Wrider said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog!
I've got a blog through MSN, and use it 99.9% of the time, just for short stories, devotional thoughts and the like. I've kept it that way because I use it just to share the Word. But...often times I want to write, just to write and blab when I need to vent to no one, so I looked into different spaces. So...for my new blog, I plan on combining both my short stories that I write on my MSN space, along with simple personal thoughts.

Jezreel said...

In Manitoba, it is now illegal to smoke in a public place. As a non-smoker, I don't care. As the foster parent of a smoker, I think it's great! All the more reason for Noodle to knock it off! He's almost at a pack a day! Stupid kids... don't they realize that the reason for all the Nicorette and junk like that is for the people who realize smoking is stupid and want to quit? I shake my head at him.

purple_kangaroo said...

I see your point. But the difference to me between smoking and the other things you mentioned is that smoking affects other people besides just yourself.

We have a right to free speech, but not a right to create a public disturbance at 2 a.m. that keeps other people awake. We have a right to eat whatever we want, but not a right to force-feed someone else what we want them to eat.

The problem with second-hand smoke, as opposed to red food coloring, sugars, etc. is that the person on whom the smoke is inflicted has no choice in the matter and no way to opt out. Laws about food labeling, which I think are a good thing, have the effect of allowing people to avoid substances that can be problematic in food.

Sadly, I didn't vote this year because of some things that came up making it difficult to make time. Bad, bad, I know.

Amy said...

Good point, Angela (Purple Kangaroo)...

I guess it is a fine line as what and how much the government should dictate.