I've been getting into politics recently, not so much because I want to as because I have to. The world is being FedExed straight to hell, and part of the reason why is because more people just don't care enough to change it. In a world where 60% voter turn-out is considered good, if the people who didn't think their vote mattered were to make a coordinated effort, they could elect their own choice. However, it should not be underestimated how much the current "ruling class" wants to keep things as they are. Because the current system is working well for them, even if it isn't working for the rest of us.
So, this year I registered with a party and started becoming much more active. If you are unafilliated you lose out in an important part of the process. I selected Republican for a couple of reasons. In general I agree with the idea of a smaller government. Oddly, while Republicans talk about a smaller government the current administration is doing exactly the opposite. Which leads me to another reason I selected Republican -- they need my help in selecting canidates than the Democrats do. The GW Bush administration has done as far as I can tell, a handful of good things and a whole pile of bad and very bad things.
The thing I find so disappointing is that so many people are still supporting him. I think some are supporting him because they think they need to to support our troops, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, I'd say that supporting our troops requires us to be very critical of what the current administration is doing. Another comment I've heard in favor is that Sadam really needed to be toppled. I don't really have an opinion on that, I don't know enough about it. However, it's surely the case that if it's true that Sadam needs to be ousted, the way you do it in a democracy is to prove it to the people and get their support. You don't use propoganda, mistruths and lies to get support because "you know better".
That is what I find most disappointing. The current administration has used secrecy on an unprecedented level to control, mistruths and lies to gain support, all the while talking about brining democracy to another nation. Secrecy is incompatible with democracy. Taking action that you can't legitimately get support from the population for is not at all democracy.
It is indeed disappointing that our system is set up in such a way that only two parties can really participate at the highest levels. While you can definitely make a huge difference in the smaller runs and get a better canidate elected who is going to be a better fit, it just isn't going to happen for the president. You basically have two choices, Bush or Kerry. I personally think that the current libertarian canidate is more like what the country needs right now, but my vote for him is basically a vote for Bush, so I went ahead and voted Kerry. I live in Colorado, very much a swing state, so that really is the case.
However we do have a new item on the balot this year, which is making it no longer "winner takes all". If that provision goes through, Colorado will split their electoral votes based on it's popular vote. Meaning that if we could get 20% for a third party canidate, they could actually get an electoral college vote. Unfortunately, now is a very bad time for this to be going through, if you believe that Bush is not the right leader for this country. You just can't win sometimes it seems.
Currently, I've been volunteering a lot of time with the Kerry campaign, but that's been kind of disappointing. I think once the election is over I'm going to try working on breaking the two-party system. I think that is the most important thing I can do towards really fixing the country.
Those are my thoughts.