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The Straight Ticket Voter May Be The Most Rational Voter Of All

I think the straight ticket voter may be the most reasonable and rational voter of all.

Given the clear differences between the two parties, why would anyone vote for some Democrats and some Republicans on Election Day? 

The straight ticket voter is sending a clear message of party preference.

With a straight ticket ballot, you pull one lever or push one button and by so doing vote for every candidate of the party you have selected.

17 states allow for straight ticket voting. Here is a list of those states. Straight ticket voting is allowed in Texas.

Some disagree with my view on this issue. Here is a link to a letter to the editor of the Providence Journal by a former Green Party candidate for the Rhode Island State Senate named Jeff Toste. Mr. Toste says that in his 2006 campaign he placed first among those who did not vote straight ticket. However, because of straight ticket votes for the Democratic nominee, Mr. Toste lost the race.

I imagine that if I had lived in Mr. Toste’s Senate district in 2006 I might have voted for him. However, Mr. Toste’s letter seems to imply that people who voted straight ticket did not fully realize what they were doing. I think they knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted either Democrats or Republicans to win every office on the ballot. That makes perfect sense.

( Mr. Toste does make a good point in his letter in favor of easier ballot access for third parties.) 

I think a feeling is held by some that the straight ticket voter is blindly casting a ballot without much thought. My view is that the voter switching back and forth between the major parties is hopelessly inconsistent. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is so significant on so many issues, that voting for candidates representing both major parties on the same day is the less thoughtful course.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Navy Wants To Keep Terrorizing Whales With Sonar Blasts

The Supreme Court today heard a case about Navy testing of sonar that may well harm and kill whales and dolphins.

At the moment, these tests off the coast of California are banned by federal court order.

Environmental groups say these sonar blasts sound as loud as a jet engine to whales and dolphins. The Navy says the tests are needed for national security. 

Beyond these issues, the core of the matter seems to be whether the a judge can order the Navy to stop the tests because no environmental impact study has been done by the Navy. The case has implications beyond this specific concern.

Why can’t the Navy just do the study?

I think what we should do is extensively test just how the sonar bombardments sound to whales, and then recreate that noise for Naval test subjects. Maybe some in Navy could volunteer unlike the whales who have no choice in the matter. ( Though I bet that not many would volunteer to have their ears blasted out.)The test subjects could then report just how it sounded and we could make a judgement from that point. 

This National Geographic story discusses possible harm done to Killer Whales because of Navy sonar tests.

And this National Geographic story says whales can be given the bends by such tests.

Here is some good information about many different types of whales.

Here is some history of the Supreme Court. 

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Sea Life | , , , , | Leave a comment