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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Soundbites: Oct. 21

Melt the party polar caps, not the ice caps

Sitting at the Congressional District 8 debate on Monday, one couldn’t help but be perturbed by the incessant cheers and jeers during candidate’s responses. Even more annoying were the well-advertised supporters of the candidates, who would stand up mid-sentence and verbally accost the opposing candidate.

Perhaps having few to no supporters present was a positive for Libertarian candidate Steve Stoltz; at least he was afforded the opportunity of a quiet audience to address (a luxury he rapidly squandered away, as he responded to every question with one sentence that usually just restated the question). The supporters of Republican Jesse Kelly and incumbent Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, who made their voices heard at the debate, provide a perfect example of what is wrong with politics and the political party system today.  

People say politicians talk too much, but even if they talked less, audiences in the political world today wouldn’t listen. Every political activist has become so entrenched in his or her own party that they don’t even care about platforms or even issues. It’s one thing to have a firm stance on abortion; it’s another to blindly support a candidate solely because he or she is from the same party as you.

What happens in today’s political world is voters discarding issues they care about when it comes down to Democrat vs. Republican. So was the case in Michigan when a pro-life Democrat, Bart Stupak, won over the Democratic voters, who are traditionally pro-choice. Now Stupak has announced he won’t seek re-election because of all the pressure he received from the Democratic Party when it came to an abortion portion of the health care bill. Why were the Democrats so flabbergasted that one of their own would oppose them? Stupak was concerned about issues, not about what party he belonged to.

Party polarization is crippling this country. Most Republicans automatically reject anything produced by the Democrats, and Democrats expect every one of their party members to blindly fall in line and vote alongside them. But who can blame them? If your opponent is willing to aimlessly vote as one unified coalition whose only common goal is to beat you, then shouldn’t you try to mindlessly gather your entire group together with the common goal of simply beating them? American politicians seem to think so.

— Storm Byrd is a political science sophomore. He is also a student organizer for UA Votes, which is run by Arizona Students’ Association.

When considering Prop 302, ask, ‘But what about the children?’

Hey, kids. It’s (unfortunately) time to put on your personal ethics hat.

The issue with Proposition 302, which seeks to repeal the Arizona First Things First Program, is one of trust. Specifically, do you trust Gov. Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living — I mean Brewer — and her intentions with our taxes?

The text of the proposition says that the funds from a cigarette tax hike in 2006 (currently around $300 million, with $125 million from the same tax coming in every year) will no longer go toward early-childhood preventative health care. Instead, it will be deposited in the state general fund and be “”separately accounted for and shall be appropriated for health and human services for children.””

Basically, Governor Palpatine is aiming is to make a source of revenue more flexible so she can try to balance the budget.

But what about “”the children?”” Take a look at the text of the proposition. It makes it pretty clear that the money will also go toward “”the children,”” just in a more general, possibly sketchy way. Here are a few more pennies for your thoughts:

According to a weekend article in the Arizona Daily Star, Governor Skeletor “”won’t urge people to support Proposition 302, even though its failure would leave a huge hole in her spending plan … necessary to balance the budget.””

Also, Terry Goddard has been all up in her grill about it, doing his best to assure Arizona voters that Governor Aku hates “”the children.”” He might be right, but he’s probably hatin’ so he can get elected, and is definitely the least trustworthy character witness for Governor Voldemort in the entire universe.

— Remy Albillar is a senior majoring in English and creative writing.

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