Vive la république!

I Voted TodayI was talking to Will this morning and he asked how I was going to vote Prop. 29, the California cigarette tax. I told him that I thought it was a good idea. He countered that he didn’t like the idea of making smokers, who are generally poor in more than one way, pay this tax. If he could tax the cigarette companies, he would feel much better about it.

The fact is that the cigarette tax is going to be approved overwhelmingly. But Will was still struggling with the right way to vote on it. He isn’t alone. Most people I talk to take voting very seriously. They don’t consider what the polls say. For most people—and this includes most devoutly religious people—voting is the most sacred act they perform.

We should at least have a system where people are compelled to register to vote, like they have in New Zealand. Or a system where people are automatically registered to vote, like they have in Finland.[1] In fact, I am for compulsory voting, like they have long had in Australia. And just in case there are any libertarians out there, this is not a question of freedom. Citizenship implies certain responsibilities and if voting is not one, the concept has no meaning.

Not to mention that we cannot win if we do not play.[2]

So to all those people who take their citizenship seriously today, I salute you. Vive la république!


I was wrong. The cigarette tax went down. Vive la corporation! So neither of the ballot measures went the way I wanted. Typical.

[1] Finland, Finland, Finland! The country where I want to be!

[2] Here is Little Stevie Orbit:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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