Cartoons, cartoons, cartoons.... John Crowther's Cartoon Odyssey

I think of it as The Fool's Journey. I've been asked who the "fool" is. It's me, but in the classical sense of the court jester. Only the fool was allowed to tell the king of his follies. All cartoons are available as prints or originals, framed or unframed, through my website or e-mail. For mugs, t-shirts, and other products visit my gift shop at* (be sure to include the *).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The I's Have It

Voting is serious business. I admit to a kind of panic about voting, which gets worse as election day nears. I try to do my homework, but no matter how much I do I still feel as if I don't know enough. Not so much about the presidential candidates. Good heavens, the campaigns are so "in your face" you can't help but be informed. It's all those lists of judges and commissioners that get me, the people I've never heard of. Propositions are also my undoing. Both sides have convinced me that if I vote for the other side it will be a disaster. If I skip over them I feel as if I've betrayed my birthright, but if I vote for someone or something bad I feel like I'm entirely responsible. When I step into the voting booth I suddenly have the sense that the whole weight of the elctoral process has been dumped on my shoulders, and I leave the polling place even more anxious than went I went in.


Anonymous Lee said...

Totally agree about the judges and propositions. I break out in a sweat, try to ignore the boxes, but feel guilty if I do not mark a box, frantically try to remember what I have read, panic and then say, Ok, will go for my first response and finally check a box, turn in my ballet, start rethinking the xs and want to recall my vote. All in all, I wind up a nervous wreck, wind up with hair standing on ends and start to pray that others will be more intelligent about the propositions and judges. It does not help that sometimes 'yes' means no and 'no' means yes. Who are all these people who are running for judge, anyway.

Like these two in cartoon have not made up my mind ever now! Ahhhhhhhhh!

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

What are judges and propositions? Are they voted upon at the same time as the presidential ballot? Who are they and what is their purpose. Are there many of them? Is there an option to tick the box they stand for rather than each individual? It sounds a bit like our House of Reps and Senate... but there are always condensed selections for those who don't want to get down to choosing individuals. What's it all about?

11:27 PM  
Blogger John M Crowther said...

Jean, first of all it should be clarified that each state has its own laws regarding elections. But it's pretty much standard for there to be a whole series of things on the ballot besides the president: local officials (city, county, state), local laws such as bond measures, state and federal judges (as Lee said, who are these people?), U.S. representatives (up for election every two years) and senators (every six years). Here in California our politicians like to throw the tough choices back at the voters in the form of propositions, and this year we have twelve of them. It's absurdly easy to get an amendment to the state constitution by way of a proposition - a simple majority will do it -- but devilishly hard to get one removed. Too much of the time we're stuck with really bad legislation because of these props. BTW, did you know that the U.S. got the concept of a secret ballot from Australia, some hundred years ago?

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Yeah... I think you guys already had the secret ballot but the Australian ballot was introduced there in the late 1800s from what I've read.

Our system of government is based on the British Westminster system. Voting is compulsory here and failure to do so is met with a hefty fine. We have separate federal, state, and local government elections... all held at different times. In the federal and state elections we vote for who we want in the House of Reps and the Senate. We can choose individuals or (as most people do) choose along party lines with the selection of one box. Sometimes (very rarely) we are called to a referendum which relies upon direct vote from the electorate to effect a constitutional amendment. It's interesting to note that very rarely have these proposed amendments been carried. We aussies are a pretty skeptical bunch! LOL

I can't imagine having to decide on so many important issues in the one ballot. No wonder people are confused... not to mention suspicious (as they well should be) of the electoral process!

3:38 PM  
Blogger John M Crowther said...

Yes, Jean, it's mind-boggling. To vote responsibily one really should hunker down and treat it like studying for an exam. Leee descdribes the anxiety-producing process very well.

There's a terrific article in the Oct. 13 New Yorker magazine detailing the history of the vote. The word "ballot" for instance, comes from the Italian word for bullet, or small ball. Voting was once done by dropping bullets, and later peas or beans, into a can.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

How ironic that the word ballot should derive from the Italian word bullet! I hesitate to suggest this as an effective solution to the multiple shortcomings of our pollies... but let's face it a pea shooter in the behind never really hurt anybody - and it sure would smarten them up! (((LOL)))

8:34 PM  
Blogger gretchen said...

Jean, in line with your peashooter idea, I thought the audience should get paint ball guns at debates. Everytime a candidate doesn't answer or panders, they get shot at. The cleanest person at the end wins!

And John, at least in California you get the little informational pamphlet. My husband was flabbergasted upon moving to connecticut to discover that no such documents are sent out. It's really ridiculous considering that we're the second wealthiest state in the country that we don't inform our electorate!

5:25 PM  

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