Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Making voters even lazier is not the answer to low vote turnouts

Is it laziness? Apathy? Or is it just pathetic that in the face of such low voter turnouts in important local elections, voters may have to give up what they have already given up, voting in person in a polling place, to instead resort to licking stamps, sealing envelopes and mailing in their ballots?

If anything suggests that human beings are capable of marginalizing themselves, the shift from active voter engagement to voting by mail is the height of public irresponsibility.

And of course, there is always a politician who will exploit any maelstrom in our society. They range from morally corrupt to the immorally opportunistic, which is the category in which I would put our Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quinn is the guy who helped undermine public representation in the legislature to save a few bucks by changing the system which guaranteed that in legislative districts dominated by one party, a member of the minority party would always be elected.

Yet, in the face of having undermined public representation for a few bucks, he doesn’t hesitate to propose jacking up our state income taxes to off-set what many believe are fabricated and exaggerated state debts that range from $1 billion to $9 billion and that have grown to more than $11 billion. A whopping 50 percent increase in the state personal income tax.

Now, Quinn is suggesting we “save” more money by eliminating the process of forcing people to be responsible by getting their asses off the couch in front of the TV screen filled with “reality trash” TV shows, and going to the election polls twice every two years to elect the people who will eventually return to either steal their money through wasted taxes legally, or by literally stealing their money and maybe – maybe – going to jail.

He wants to replace it by having people vote by mail.

If I didn’t know Quinn, I’d suspect the maneuver was some kind of fetcher bill designed to get him a cash donation or bribe from the U.S Postal Service, which could use some stimulus package to off-set the fast-declining use of the “snail mail” which is being eclipsed by “email.”

But that’s not why he is suggesting this insanity. He is suggesting it because, as the proverbial stupid question and answer goes, it is there. Why does the chicken cross the road? Because it is there and it wants to get to the other side. Why does a do-gooder introduce do-gooder legislation? Because is sounds good.

Yet, reducing the effort our citizens have to make to vote is not the answer.

The answer to dwindling voter turnout is not to place the blame solely on the voters, and make it easy for them to ignore the entire process altogether, but instead to place the burden where it really belongs. On the shoulders of the corrupt politicians who run this state and our government to the ground, and the culture of corruption which is their lifestyle.

How about putting more politicians in jail? How about instead of grabbing the easy targets like Rod Blagojevich, grab some of the tougher crooks who hold office yet do exactly what Blagojevich did except with “finesse.”

Finesse? Is it finesse that separates Blagojevich strong arming contractors and donors in exchange for contracts and favoritism from his allegedly lesser guilty colleagues in Springfield who give clout and favoritism to their pals, supporters, contributors and family members?

Blagojevich’s greed is what is chasing him. So if you’re not greedy enough, and you don’t too blatantly cross the alleged line of ethics that exists in Illinois (which doesn’t really exist at all), you are okay to continue raping and pillaging the taxpayers?

No, Gov. Quinn. Don’t make it easier for the voters to votes. Make it harder for the politicians and government bureaucrats to steal and waste tax money. How about limiting politicians to two full terms. Finito! That’s it. Make Mike Madigan find a real job instead of sluffing off on the public payroll his whole life and then dragging his daughter (who would have made a fine English teacher or Monster Truck driver in another life) into politics, too.

Gov. Quinn, how about a real push for an ethics law with real teeth, instead of the dentures you and your cronies are now polishing up to pretend like the culture of corruption in Illinois is somehow being addressed?

But that would be too much to ask of a “reform” governor who has apparently reformed himself by suddenly doing what newly elected Jane Byrne did six months after defeating the “Evil Cabal of men” she fought: joining that Evil Cabal and becoming a card carrying member and advocate.

Let’s encourage voters to vote not by making it easier for them to be lazy, but rather by making it harder for the politicians to steal, lie, exaggerate, obfuscate and cheat.

That’s what I would call real reform.

-- Ray Hanania

No comments: