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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 4, 2004
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Students who voted in election should be proud

I want to thank everyone who voted yesterday. Whether or not your party won, please remember that each candidate is here to bring our country forward and allow everyone to realize the American dream. No matter who won the election, it is our duty to support our president as a united county and stand together as proud Americans.

Mike Ferguson
engineering management senior

Electoral college doesn't reflect American votes

I've learned three things from this and last year's elections.

1. Medicinal marijuana is OK.

2. Same-sex marriage is not OK.

3. The U.S. electoral college is an outdated, outmoded system that needs to be re-thought.

The truth is that of the 700,000 + votes for Kerry in Arizona, not a single one of them really counted. The nearly four-and-a-half million Republican votes in California have no effect on the 55 electorate votes that went to Kerry.

The truth is that if you're red in a blue state or blue in a red state, your vote won't make a difference. On Nov. 2, each and every one of those Bush supporters in California could have woken up thinking "Hmm, might as well not vote today," and although Bush would likely not win the popular vote, it would not have any effect at all on whether or not Bush is re-elected.

The way the electoral college is currently set up, we have a situation where 45 percent of California's population is not represented, a situation in which the president makes 20 stops in Ohio and barely even notices Arizona. After all, despite the fact that although 45 percent of us didn't vote for him, 100 percent of our electorate did, and, as long as our state stays red, Democrats can stay indoors on voting day, and Republicans can forget it if they're thinking to catch a glimpse of Bush himself in this state (unless my geography's bad and Arizona lies somewhere between Pennsylvania and Florida. Then hopefuls might see Mr. Bush stop in a coffee shop on the California side of Yuma.)

A change needs to occur in every state's electorate. Each state's electorate vote should more accurately reflect the voting populace, not only the majority vote. In this way, the electoral vote will more accurately reflect the popular vote, blues and reds in every state will matter, and presidents-to-be will spend more time in all states, and their politics will be less skewed by "swing state" bias.

John D. Teran
physics sophomore

Student participation in election a positive sign

It is definitely a good sign of the times that more and more students are taking an active role in democracy this election year by getting out and voting. The fact that young people are catching on that one person actually can make a difference in this country is certainly helping to knock down the stereotype that most students are politically apathetic. But now, we as active citizens also have a duty to understand what is going on in the world and in our country, and to that end, we must allow our opinions to drift beyond the party lines of "Republican" and "Democrat" - opinions that are portrayed minimally on this campus, especially as the election draws near.

The majority of opinions expressed on campus mainly consist of the kind of partisan banter one has come to expect from shows like "Crossfire" and "The O'Reilly Factor." It is almost as if the entire campus has been split into two camps which, sadly, have split their opinions into the two loudest voices on this campus this semester - the college Democrats and Republicans. It seems as though any person who supports A but not B has their opinions invalidated by the fact that they don't follow what one of the parties do.

To those who dismiss this as pure speculation, one has only to look at the kind of political events the UA has put on - party propagandists such as Ann Coulter and Michael Moore do nothing to invite thought and discussion, but rather are more of a pep rally for one of the two political camps. Such events do not attempt to invite the kind of debate that we so desperately need to better understand what needs to be done in the country. They are nothing more than the modern-day equivalent of Nazi rallies, where people follow blindly the image of their leader.

Though the reality of American democracy is that we live in a two-party system, we do not have to live in a system of two ideologies. Where the deviations from those two ideologies occur is where the real change happens - the kind most of us want to see. But in order to have it, we have to invite dissent from them into our lives and our campus, to create controversy and to stimulate the minds of students. Inviting racist, conservative hacks and overweight liberal propagandists onto campus is not the way to do it. It's also not appropriate to throw pies at them, either - despite being hilarious, it does nothing to change the views of any intelligent individual.

Aaron Finke
chemistry senior

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