COLUMN: Information the Key to Voting Well 

COLUMN: Information the Key to Voting Well 
Posted by FoM on February 25, 2000 at 13:45:48 PT
By Rachael Overcash, The Technician
Source: U-WIRE
The 2000 presidential election is rapidly approaching. Right now we are in the midst of both the Republican and Democratic primaries. The major contestants in the GOP race seem to be Texas Governor George W. Bush and Arizona Senator John McCain. As for the Democratic race, the major candidates are Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley. 
With the elections brewing, I want to focus on the current major candidates (I just have to ignore such long shots as Alan Keyes). Also, for argument's sake, I will have to put the Democratic campaigns on the back burner, as the Democratic primaries are still a few months away, and focus on the GOP primaries. Tuesday, McCain claimed victory in Michigan and Arizona. McCain also had an amazing win in New Hampshire two weeks ago. Right now, McCain's only setback was in this past weekend's South Carolina primary. So, the question is will McCain be the GOP nominee for the 2000 presidential elections? That is a tough one to answer. In my mind, McCain came totally out of the woodwork to run for president. What was really known about McCain before he decided to run? I consider myself a pretty well informed person on the current political scene, but what I previously knew about McCain was really very little. I knew that he was a senator from Arizona and that he wanted to implement campaign finance reform. And campaign finance reform is what has really brought McCain to the forefront, in the voters' eyes. Campaign finance reform is usually an issue left unscathed by Republicans. McCain, however, stepped out of that mentality and fought for reforms in the way political candidates run for office. Being a strong believer in campaign finance reform and running an honest campaign have helped McCain tremendously. He has focused on the voters rather than the interest groups. Unlike previous candidates, McCain is crossing political lines in his campaign. He is drawing votes from both Republicans and Democrats. He has appealed to middle-class working Americans. To the outside observer, McCain appears to be a "liberal conservative." As you more closely examine McCain's legislative behaviors, however, you begin to realize that he is a true conservative. McCain has been consistent in his voting patterns in the Senate. He has generally voted with the conservative mentality. In this election, McCain is playing his political issue cards very well. He is addressing issues that will set him apart from the standard Republican stances that Bush is relying on. He is choosing to focus on issues that will present him as a Republican with a liberal twist. He knows how to strategize and pull votes from other sectors of the population. This reason is why McCain is winning primaries that were thought to be guaranteed victories for Bush. Knowing these basic political facts about McCain and the GOP primaries may be good, but what do they mean to us as students at N.C. State? I know many of you could care less about the 2000 election. You may not even know who the candidates are. Nor are you probably thinking that any candidate is addressing any issue that pertains to your life. Yet, such an apathetic stance toward the election of our country's future leaders is not acceptable. I am not asking everyone to jump up and go enroll in a political science class, nor do I want everyone to rush out and join a candidate's local campaigning office. I just want college students to be more informed about the political scene around them. How do we expect political candidates to take our votes seriously if we are misinformed voters? I know that candidates usually do not address issues that relate directly to our needs. But why should we allow them to get away with not addressing our issues? The question I pose to you is this: What issues would mobilize you to vote or help on a campaign? I guess I am definitely the atypical college student in that I would jump up and down if a candidate talked about some serious reforms in health care. For the more typical college student, some interesting political issues may be the legalization of marijuana or women's rights as they relate to birth control and abortion. How can we get candidates to address these issues--or any others--if we aren't informed about them and don't push our elected officials to pay attention to them? As for the eventual Republican and Democratic nominees, I have no real prediction. I do feel, however, that we should not sit idly and watch our votes go to waste. So, when your party's primary election comes up, get out there and vote with an informed vote. (C) 2000 The Technician via U-WIRE  (U-WIRE) Raleigh, N.C. Published: February 24, 2000Copyright  1995-2000 Excite Inc. CannabisNews Articles from U-WIRE:
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Comment #5 posted by CongressmanSuet on February 25, 2000 at 19:09:28 PT
McCain is WORSE than the others...
   There was an article not to long ago about McCain and his views on the WoD a few weeks back in which the man railed against the lack of effort we were making. McCain is good for one thing and one thing only, he has, and will continue to, devide some elements of the Republican Party, thus weakening them in the Fall. Good boy, John. We really WANT Bush to get the nomination, because then we can trot out the FBI sting operation involving 2 Bush brothers[yes, one was W.]...for complete info, go to the "Bush and drugs" section on the front page. Explore it abit, its great. Im wearing my "There ought to be limits to freedom" T-shirt as I write this....
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 25, 2000 at 15:51:29 PT
A question
kaptinemo, I think you might be right about a third party but where is someone with money to campaign? If you don't have lots of money it doesn't matter how principled a person is unfortunately. Money rules in politics. Advertising is expensive so until we find someone who has the money and desire who should we be hoping for this fall when election times comes I wonder? I just don't know.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on February 25, 2000 at 15:15:54 PT
Nothing but dinosaurs
I don't want to seem a wet blanket, folks, but McCain is no better than Bush, or Gore, or Bradley... on the matter of MMJ, at least. They've all pimped themselves to their various parties, buying into party lines that they know are patently false (At least two of them, [with Bush, quite probably three] know the truth about cannabis) in order to further their careers. At one time, there might have been hope that at least two of these Boomers might have developed a spine (I respect McCain, but will not vote for him) but that time is long past. I'm afraid we will continue to be plagued with political dinosaurs until a third party favoring MMJ gets a significant portion of the vote.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 25, 2000 at 14:48:14 PT
All I KNow For Now!
Hi blueberry kid,This is all I have on McCain. He hasn't been very vocal and this one is about his wife's addiction. He should address how he would help addicted people since it is something that he and his family had to deal with. I am of the thought that he would excelerate the drug war. I don't know if he has really given it much thought and I sure hope he does.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #1 posted by blueberry kid on February 25, 2000 at 14:04:53 PT:
no answer
this is the email i sent to mcains cali. camp.I was thinking about supporting bush because of his states rights position on medical marijuana,what is mccains position? p.s the 8 states that have voted on medical marijuana have all passed.this makes up about 20-30%of the u.s.a. /n.bc.internet polls show 90% support.------------------------------------------------------Thank you for your inquiry regarding McCain2000.We value your input, and appreciate your questions regarding the stances ofJohn McCain as he seeks the Republican Presidential nomination. With volumeof email we are currently receiving, we regretfully cannot respond to eachrequest.For further information we suggest you access our Web site Here you will find an array of issues that SenatorMcCain has addressed. This section is updated regularly.Stay tuned to email for updates on the campaign. You can register for ourInteractive team by visiting - here you willalso find a schedule of events.Again, thank you for your interest in McCain2000.Best regards,Ari M. SchwartzMcCain2000 California
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