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Old 05-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #1
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Civic Activity

Some civic questions if you are bored.


1. Do you vote? If so, do you vote in both primary and general elections?
Do you cast ballots in local as well as national elections?

2. Are you influenced (positively or negatively) by political ads?

3. What makes you vote for someone from another party?

4. Do you vote differently in a local election than you do in a national
election?

5. Do you try to influence the way someone else votes?

6. Do you consider voting for the person you most want to win even
though he/she doesn’t have a prayer of winning a waste of your vote?

7. How often do you regret a vote you have cast?

8. Which of the branches (or subbranches) of government do you put the
most faith in (if any) and why?

9. Do newspaper endorsements have any relevance now?

10. Who was the first head of state candidate for whom you voted? Was it
with enthusiasm?

11. Who was the last? Was it with enthusiasm?

12. How value do you place in the real power of the vote other than
symbolic? Does your vote count? Has your impression of the value
of voting changed for you?

13. Other than voting , do you participate in civic activity? If so, do you
consider yourself an activist? Have you ever held elected office? Do
you write to elected officials/newspapers etc.? Do you protest?
Campaign for people? How do you exert your influence? What's
your style?
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:17 PM   #2
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1. Do you vote? If so, do you vote in both primary and general elections? Do you cast ballots in local as well as national elections?
i vote in every election, i've never missed one since turning 18.

2. Are you influenced (positively or negatively) by political ads?
i'm not really influenced at all. i vote for people based on who's closest to my own views, not who has the largest advertising budget.

3. What makes you vote for someone from another party?
i hardly ever vote for the other party, if i do it's just local stuff. it's probably mostly because there's no democrat candidate or i'm not pleased with the democrat incumbent.

4. Do you vote differently in a local election than you do in a national election?
nope

5. Do you try to influence the way someone else votes?
no, that wouldn't be right. i'll discuss politics with people (though not very many locally, most people don't hold the same opinions as me) but i won't flat out tell people who to vote for or something.

6. Do you consider voting for the person you most want to win even though he/she doesn’t have a prayer of winning a waste of your vote?
i pretty much always want the democratic nominee to win, so that's who i vote for. the only time i can think of where this isn't the case is the democratic presidential primaries, and yeah i voted for who i wanted to win.

7. How often do you regret a vote you have cast?
never

8. Which of the branches (or subbranches) of government do you put the most faith in (if any) and why?
ha, that entirely depends on who's in power. right now? i guess i have the most faith in the executive branch, and the least in the legislative branch.

9. Do newspaper endorsements have any relevance now?
sure.

10. Who was the first head of state candidate for whom you voted? Was it with enthusiasm?
kerry; yes.

11. Who was the last? Was it with enthusiasm?
obama (2012); yes.

12. How value do you place in the real power of the vote other than symbolic? Does your vote count? Has your impression of the value of voting changed for you?
a lot of it is symbolic, but if people don't vote, a small portion of people get to decide who becomes president. an even smaller than now, i mean. i learned about the electoral college in school, so i knew how it worked before i was old enough to vote. but even then, that's only the presidential election. if people don't like the system, they should demand change.

13. Other than voting , do you participate in civic activity? If so, do you consider yourself an activist? Have you ever held elected office? Do you write to elected officials/newspapers etc.? Do you protest? Campaign for people? How do you exert your influence? What's your style?
i'm kinda lazy when it comes to this part. i blog a little about politics, in the past i've written stuff to newspapers, but that's about it. i did almost go to a protest back when the iraq war was in the full swing (i believe it was an instance when...i forget, a vp - former, candidate, something came to town) but i had to work and didn't want to get fired.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
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I can vote in both Australia and New Zealand and my answers are different for some questions, so I've marked them A and NZ.

1. Do you vote? If so, do you vote in both primary and general elections?
Do you cast ballots in local as well as national elections?

A: Voting is compulsory in Australia for federal, state, and local government (though I believe in some local areas - not mine - the laws have been relaxed a bit, and in general they aren't enforced as stringently as state and federal elections). So yes, I vote. The more relevant question to ask Australians is whether they vote above or below the line in their state and federal upper houses - and, in states where preferencing is merely optional (not mine), whether they preference. I'm somewhat of an election junkie in the sense that I vote below the line and thoroughly enjoy it.

NZ: Voting is voluntary. I vote in national elections. I have never voted for a local council or district health board - I haven't lived on the Kapiti Coast since I was a kid, so it's simply not relevant to me and I don't feel like I have much to contribute by voting. New Zealand's local authorities have very limited powers anyway. I get sent material with blurbs from the candidates, but they are always just "I have lived on the Kapiti Coast for a lot of years and I love this community and I want to do the best for it" without giving any specifics of what they will do or how they will achieve it. If somebody really leapt out at me and I thought they'd do great things for Kapiti, then yes I would vote for them.

2. Are you influenced (positively or negatively) by political ads?
Not really. I think if you're rather interested in politics, you already have established views and standpoints, and you'll be able to pick the spin or omissions in most ads.

3. What makes you vote for someone from another party?
I vote for whichever party is closest to my social democrat views. For all of my adult life, that has been the Green parties in both countries, though in New Zealand for my local seat I vote for Labour (see #6). I have considered preferencing other small left-wing parties ahead of the Greens in Australia but have not done so to date.

4. Do you vote differently in a local election than you do in a national
election?

No. Where I live in Melbourne is a total Green/Labour stronghold anyway. Few right-wing candidates even come forward. I'm not sure if there were any at all in my ward last time around. I recall joking that there was nobody for the few remaining racist old people in Brunswick to vote for.

5. Do you try to influence the way someone else votes?
I suppose I do, what with blogging about each election.

6. Do you consider voting for the person you most want to win even
though he/she doesn’t have a prayer of winning a waste of your vote?

A: Irrelevant question thanks to the joys of preferential voting, where if your first choice doesn't win your vote just flows on to your second, and so on.
NZ: Under MMP, you vote for a party list (so you tick the party you support) and for your local seat (via first-past-the-post). I vote for the party I support most on the list, but for my local seat that's purely a race between Labour and National. There's always a Green candidate but they never get much of the vote, so I go Labour. New Zealand Labour is more left-wing than their Australian counterpart anyway, which makes the decision less difficult for me.

7. How often do you regret a vote you have cast?
Hasn't happened yet.

8. Which of the branches (or subbranches) of government do you put the
most faith in (if any) and why?

Well, I've got a little more faith in Australian federal government than some of our crackpot states that are prone to lengthy periods of one-party rule - especially you, Queensland.

9. Do newspaper endorsements have any relevance now?
I would not discount the influence of the media in Australia, especially when ownership is very heavily concentrated (Newscorp own roughly two-thirds of our newspapers, and only Sydney and Melbourne have competing dailies, giving other cities a very mono-political press landscape).

10. Who was the first head of state candidate for whom you voted? Was it
with enthusiasm?

Well we don't vote for the head of state in our parliamentary constitutional monarchical system, but in terms of who formed government:
NZ: In 2005 I was happy to vote for a local member from Labour and help Helen Clark's government maintain power.
A: In 2007 my preferences flowed on to Labour, and I was thrilled to see Kevin Rudd oust John Howard.

11. Who was the last? Was it with enthusiasm?
NZ: The 2011 election was such a non-event. Everyone knew John Key would stay in power. I did my bit to try to oust him, but no luck; the whole thing felt like just going through the motions. It was the least enthusiastic I have ever felt about about an election, though I was rather enthusiastic about the good Green list result. Looking forward to this year's election and the possibility Key might lose.
A: I was very enthusiastic about trying to stop Tony Abbott last year. I was more enthused about trying to stop the Libs than keeping Rudd in power. No such luck though.

12. How value do you place in the real power of the vote other than
symbolic? Does your vote count? Has your impression of the value
of voting changed for you?

Eh... I'm registered in very safe Labour seats for both Australia and New Zealand (I fall just outside a swing seat in NZ). I'm sure I'd place more value if I were in a tight seat. In Australia, I see my Senate vote as more important because of the opportunity to get a Green Senator elected in Victoria. Fell narrowly short in 2007 and 2010 but successful in 2013. In Victorian state elections, my seat might fall from Labour to Green this time around, so we'll see how that goes. My impression of the value of voting has changed a fair bit in realising just how agonisingly uneducated so many voters are, not even understanding how the preferential system works or what the parties stand for.

13. Other than voting , do you participate in civic activity? If so, do you
consider yourself an activist? Have you ever held elected office? Do
you write to elected officials/newspapers etc.? Do you protest?
Campaign for people? How do you exert your influence? What's
your style?

I'm a lazy prick who spends too much time ranting about stuff online and too little time doing anything meaningful.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:44 AM   #4
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1. Do you vote? If so, do you vote in both primary and general elections?
Do you cast ballots in local as well as national elections?

Compulsory here, so yes.

2. Are you influenced (positively or negatively) by political ads?

Not really, pretty much not at all, I already know what every party is about and their aims.

3. What makes you vote for someone from another party?

The one likely to make my existence/class status more manageable than the others.

4. Do you vote differently in a local election than you do in a national
election?

No, see above.

5. Do you try to influence the way someone else votes?

Sometimes, I'm not militant about it, I do try occasionally to convince people not to if they're going to vote for an unsavoury party.

6. Do you consider voting for the person you most want to win even
though he/she doesn’t have a prayer of winning a waste of your vote?

Yes, I suppose.

7. How often do you regret a vote you have cast?

Never, I'm young enough that my participation in elections has been very recent at the earliest and thankfully I haven't strayed from my beliefs.

8. Which of the branches (or subbranches) of government do you put the
most faith in (if any) and why?

None, I do not believe that my interests are looked after.

9. Do newspaper endorsements have any relevance now?

No, most of the time they would confirm my choice not to vote for that particular candidate/party.

10. Who was the first head of state candidate for whom you voted? Was it
with enthusiasm?

I voted for the local Greens candidate, no enthusiasm because I was voting for the candidate of a party which had the most similarity to my political views (which is not very substantial).

11. Who was the last? Was it with enthusiasm?

The same case as the above despite it being a different election.

12. How value do you place in the real power of the vote other than
symbolic? Does your vote count? Has your impression of the value
of voting changed for you?

No, not particularly. It's a bit of a novelty I guess.

13. Other than voting , do you participate in civic activity? If so, do you
consider yourself an activist? Have you ever held elected office? Do
you write to elected officials/newspapers etc.? Do you protest?
Campaign for people? How do you exert your influence? What's
your style?

I don't, I'm not affiliated with any party although I guess I like discussing politics with those who are at least a little likeminded, discussing ideas and in the past it has lead to some people warming to the views that I have. However, I'm not really militant about it either, I don't talk about politics very much aside from my family, some friends and online.
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