Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Voters of Every Stripe

Party on! Who needs donkeys or elephants when you can have animals with really cool stripes? Zebras, tigers, maybe even a few skunks! Here in Polk County, Florida, we have 293,107 registered voters, of which I am one. The breakdown among the major parties is 42.7 percent registered Democrats, 38.9 percent registered Republicans and approximately 15 percent no party affiliation. But! This is not to be confused with the No Party Affiliation PARTY, which has nine registered voters. When you consider how few votes the last presidential election turned on, it really makes me feel like my vote is important. Special, even! I wouldn’t dream of not voting. Unless of course the kids were sick. Then I would register for an Absentee Hanging Chad. But the minor party affiliations, which represent 3.3 percent of the county’s voters, I think are kind of fascinating. In fact I should point out that Hubby is one of only 17 voters registered to the Family Values Party. He is considering holding his own convention right here at the house. My party of choice in New York State does not exist here in Florida, so I am one of the many “no party affiliation” voters (note: lower case). However after seeing the exciting list of small party options, I’m tempted to register as something! I have done a little research on some of these parties that I would like to share with you. Because if you watch the national news media you end up with the impression that everyone is voting for Ralph Nader. Independent Party: This is the largest bloc of minor party voters, with 7,724. It is NOT affiliated with the national Independent Party. No. They are much too independent for that! But they are considering hooking up in the near future if it will improve their clout. Or to quote Hermey the Elf/ Dentist from the Rudolph show, “Let’s be independent TOGETHER.” Party headquarters is in Loxahatchee, Florida, which I can barely spell, much less pronounce. DO NOT suggest that they change it. You know Independents. They are likely to go and make it HARDER to spell just to spite us. If they go and add a few more vowels it will sound we are choking on food. Anyway, the most important thing to know about them is that they oppose the One World Government and New World Order concepts. So they won’t be voting for the antichrist, if you were wondering. I oppose those things too, so I can consider affiliating with this party except for my inability to remember the spelling of LOXAWHATZIS. The Libertarian Party of Florida has 299 county voters. They recently held a fund-raiser that attracted 40 (FORTY!) donors, so I would have to say this is an up-and-coming party to be reckoned with. At least 40 people with money know they exist! This party opposes government interference in people’s lives. Best as I can tell, they would not allow Gay Marriage. What they would do is get rid of government’s ability to sanction any marriage at all. There would be no legal marriages of straight people, gay people, polygamous people or animals. Instead the government would just uphold any contractual arrangements that these people, groups, or vertebrates entered into with each other voluntarily. Thus immediately putting many divorce lawyers out of business. Sounds good to me! The Independence Party of Florida (not to be confused with the INDEPENDENT Party, which has a “T” in it instead of a “CE”) has 187 voters registered in Polk. This group speaks more in terms of abstractions, which seem to be oriented toward making Florida state government go away, or at least making it so quiet that you don’t notice it. They tend to speak in terms of lofty ideals (Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! No New Taxes!) instead of taking specific positions. The Green Party of Florida Inc. has 117 county voters. Does it seem slightly odd that a party known primarily for battling huge corporations in order to Save The Environment would put the word “Inc.” on the end of their party title? Thus suggesting they are some big unfeeling company littering the state with green-colored plastic wrap? Or maybe it’s just me that got that impression. One of their essential beliefs is that we are “part of nature” not separate from nature. My only problem with this is that we’re living in Florida, where one of MY chief goals is to keep Nature out of the house. So I won’t be joining the Greens! The Reform Party (89 Polk County voters) has a great plan – voting on weekends instead of Tuesdays! That way everyone can be out of town for the Big Day. The Christian Party has only 42 registered county voters (but hopefully more Christians than that reside here). I was not able to find a website for them, but I will go out on a limb here and suggest that they are probably in favor of the Ten Commandments. The Vets Party of America has 34 registered voters. I know this refers to veterans, but there was a part of my brain that briefly wondered if the Veterinarians were banding together for some kind of animal rights purpose. Anyway, here is one of their Bumper Stickers: “If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in ENGLISH, thank a veteran!” America First Party of Florida checks in with 24 county voters. They are concerned with issues of national sovereignty and the economic health of our country. They are also VERY suspicious of potential ID chip implants, and would in fact like to get rid of the social security number while they’re at it. They have accused Bush and Kerry of running a “pillow fight” instead of a campaign. The Southern Party of Florida seems like a natural down here. You don’t get too much further south than Florida! I could find no further information on them, but if you’re from the south this may be the party for you. Family Values Party, of which Hubby is one of 17 members. I discovered that the president, chairman and treasurer are all the same guy. So I’m going to tell Hubby he ought to volunteer for office in this party! He could maybe be social chairman, since he wants to organize a convention. The Independent Democrats of Florida (16 county members) is a feisty group. They wish to investigate Stolen Elections. They are also linked to sites including “Hillary Now” and the “Oral Majority.” (not sure if that has something to do with smokers) The American Reform Party candidate (14 county members) will “leave no rock unturned” to balance the budget. (Will they be looking for money under there?) They would also like to normalize relations with Cuba. We could start by inviting Castro onto a Reality Show, which should really distract him from his Dictator Responsiblities. The Constitution Party of Florida (11 county members) is opposed to either Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C. becoming states. Who knew this was a hot button issue! I think we should make Cuba a state against their will so we can vote out Castro. The rest of the parties all have fewer than 10 county voters, and basically if you cannot field a full football team I don’t think you are going to wield much influence on the Political Playing Field.

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