Monday, July 12, 2004

Representative Government

The thought occured to me last week, but I've been putting off writing
about it for some time now. In Michigan there are people trying to get
particular measures on the ballot, with varying levels of success. Off
the top of my head they are:
-Removing a ban on the death penalty in Michigan
-Banning gay marriage
-Ending race preference in admission to state schools
-Prohibiting partial-birth abortion

Some of these are going to be on the ballot, some are not. I like the
idea of the voters as a population deciding the issue, but one thing
troubles me. Why do we need these ballot initiatives? If a reporter
stopped me and asked what was going on my answer would be that our
elected officials are not doing their jobs. They are not representing
the views of the people they represent, rather they are pushing through
along party agendas.

Something reminded me, inspired me this morning to actually get to
writing on this. There was a discussion on the Diane Rheem show about
Catholic bishops saying that John Kerry should not be allowed communion
because of his views on abortion, with a few bishops saying that he
should be excommunicated! Now I've heard some rumbling about this, but
one caller made an excellent point. How can Catholics, or any Chrisitian
people, rail against John Kerry and then promote George Bush? The caller
pointed out that George Bush was a pro-war, pro-death penalty
politician, both of which the Catholic Church condemns.

I feel like people, especaially our elected officials, have lost touch
with what we the people want for our nation . It seems there is no room
for the moderate left. There are only "swing voters" who are either
pulled left or right. I'm so frustrated with this two party system. I
wish John McCain and Bill Bradley would get together and forge a new
party, one that people could say "Gee, I don't agree with you in that
respect, but I think we can approach it with some discussion" rather
than yelling from either side of the aisle about "hippies" or
"chickenhawks."

On a different, personal note, Ellie and I enjoyed another great weekend
up at the Evart lake house with her parents. I got a chance to go out
golfing and really enjoyed myself on the back part of the course. I've
got a recurrent issue when golfing, when I hit the ball it tends to
slice off to the right. I noticed toward the end of the day that as I
took my swing if I kept my left arm pretty straight and didn't try to
deepen the backswing by shifting my wrists (basically taking a partial
backswing), it seemed like I could straighten the shot out a bit. Of
course I didn't notice it until the 17th hole, but next time out I'll
have to try to remember that.

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