My 2012 Election and Why I Voted for Jill Stein

Image: I actually voted a week ago, absentee, but I got this when I voted in the primary, and it's certainly a lovely sticker.

I feel I should write a blogpost on the day before the election, even if I have mostly ignored election politics here, or at least addressed it in rather indirect ways. Over a year ago I had already decided I wouldn't vote for Obama, then a few months ago I compared Mitt Romney to John Kerry, and last month I commented on how Obamney/Robama ignore poverty, and on how conservative evangelicals should be up in arms over the non-Protestant Republican ticket. In any case, let's get straight to the point: How did I vote on the November 2012 ballot, and why?

Let's deal with the smaller stuff first: I voted no to having a constitutional convention in Alaska. This question is mandated to appear every ten years, and so far a majority has never voted yes. My thinking is that opening Alaska's constitution to change is just too big of a risk; as it is we have a very good state constitution - except, that is, for the amendment to it that prohibits gay marriage. Governor Parnell - a bigot as well as a shill - opposes gay marriage, so not only will a majority of Alaskans have to support it in order to repeal the amendment (which may be the case soon) but we will also have to kick some anachronistic politicians out of office.

Secondly, I voted yes on bonds for transportation. Alaska has a lot of money and very little infrastructure. As far as I'm concerned, the state should be spending money until the Bush has every (practical) development project they want. How is it acceptable that many of the state's communities don't even have proper sanitation facilities, let alone affordable energy sources? Instead of giving out energy checks of a couple hundred dollars per person, Governor Palin should have been putting her weight behind projects like interties in Southeast, where despite having loads of hydroelectric energy, some small communities still have to pay astronomical rates for diesel-produced power.

This also connects with my party line support of Democrats for state representative and senator. In general, Democrats in Alaska are more willing to spend the state's money on projects for those who need it. It's great that Alaska has budget surpluses and has so much money in savings, (much, much more than any other state), but we don't get bonus points for keeping money in the bank: There are many Alaskans in need right now and much in Alaska to be improved that could use just a bit more of that money. Some Republicans - like Parnell - are even worse than just being miserly: They're currently pushing to lower state revenues by giving relief to the oil corporations! (This article set in Fairbanks has a great look at some of these issues.)

For U.S. representative, I voted for Sharon Cissna because Don Young is ridiculous. The man should have retired a long time ago; it is not appropriate, nor honorable, to be running for a twentieth term as he is. "Career politician" usually carries negative connotations, but apparently not for Alaska voters.

Jill Stein (source)
Now, last but not least, I get to why I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party for President. (I'll keep it brief.) Barack Obama has done just about nothing to change the fundamentally unjust economic structures of the United States. He failed to push for punishment and reform in the financial sector, ignored the nationwide struggles of labor unions, failed to advocate for the nation's impoverished, and cites as his greatest achievement the passage of what amounts to a Rockefeller Republican health care plan. Jill Stein's stands align with the direction I want this country to go in, most particularly with her Green New Deal.

Elections should be built on the principle that citizens will vote for ideas and ideals they believe in. Did you?