Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Martin Sheen told me to vote today. He left a message on my answering machine. He told me to vote no on the recall, yes on Bustamante, and no on Proposition 54 (which would forbid CA government agencies to collect data on race - and while stopping affirmative action, would also prevent University of California researchers from studying race-based socioeconomic issues or medical issues). Oddly enough, I had already voted on these issues, exactly as President Bartlet told me to.

The ballot is unbelievably poorly designed. When I stepped up to the touch-screen machine, after voting my recall no, a screen of candidates for the replacement governor popped up. The first screen showed only candidates with names beginning with R, W and Q. I didn't find Bustamante until the third screen of eight. After I checked his name, I had to flip through the remaining five screens before the propositions appeared.

I found the ballot confusing, and I'm a native English speaker with a college degree. What of the lower classes?

Edited to add some thoughts from Paul, who found an apropos quote regarding people who run for office:

The major problem - one of the major problems, for there are several - one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem."

-Douglas Adams, in Chapter 28 of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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