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Author Topic: What's your issue?
Christine
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Back in November, my husband and I had someone poll us about which issues were of greatest concern to us in voting. They gave us a multiple choice list to choose from, which I thought was ridiculous because, essentially, they were telling us what to care about. So I won't do it to you, but I'm curious: What federal issues are most important to you and why?
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The Pixiest
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Equal Marriage Rights
Smaller Gov't/Lower Taxes

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Miro
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Full voting representation for Washington, DC.
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The Pixiest
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Really Miro? That's what you want more than anything else????

What about Puerto Rico or Guam or our other territories?

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Dagonee
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Abortion.
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Miro
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
Really Miro? That's what you want more than anything else????

Yes. Once I am actually allowed to participate in our 'great democracy', I will turn my attentions to other areas of need. And then, I might actually be able to make a difference.

quote:
What about Puerto Rico or Guam or our other territories?
I don't know a whole lot about their situations, though I'd tend to say they should either have voting representation or independence. I do know that Puerto Rico has in the past voted to not become a state (and therefore receive all the associated rights and benefits). That's more than we ever got.
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Hitoshi
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Gay marriage or civil unions
Equal Rights/Non-Discrimination laws
Environmental Policies
Foreign Relations

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Dagonee
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The only federal aspects of the gay marriage issue are 1) whether the FDMA is repealed, 2) whether the DMA is passed by Congress, and 3) whether the federal government recognizes and equalizes the treatment of state-recognized same sex marriages or unions.

Which isn't to say that it shouldn't be anyone's most important issue, but if people want to aim their efforts efficiently, it's good to know these things.

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Epictetus
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Equal Marriage rights
Alternative resources
Guest Worker Program or weaning companies off using illegal immigrants.

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The Pixiest
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Dag: those are actually pretty damn huge elements to the gay marriage fight. Taxes are a federal issue as well as the ability to move to a different state and remain married.

Not to mention that states usually have to be forced by the feds to give minorities equal rights. We just passed the 50th anniversary of the Central High incident, for instance.

Miro: So fight to rejoin Maryland or VA. Eliminate all of DC's special considerations in one swell foop.

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kmbboots
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Iraq
Civil Rights/Liberties (including SSM)
The increasing ability of the wealthy (people or corporations) to "buy" government - I supposed this practically translates to Campaign Finance Reform?

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Miro
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I'd be more than happy if DC (or most of it) was retroceded to Maryland, allowing us to participate both in state and national elections. That's one of several solutions acceptable to me.
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Liz B
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1. Care for the poor. This includes food, housing, and health care.

2. Funding for education.

3. Equal marriage benefits for same-sex couples.

4. Legal access to abortion for those 18+. Abortions "safe, legal, and rare." I believe that is a Clinton quote.

These are all extremely important to me.

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porcelain girl
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health care; poverty; education; immigration; environment; foreign relations; the war.
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Icarus
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Good question.

1) Abortion (limiting it or eliminating it)
2) SSM (legalizing it)
3) Rolling back the Patriot Act
After that it starts to get hard to place one above the others.

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GaalDornick
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Iraq, Iran, and foreign relations.

I hate to say it, but, IMHO, SSM and abortion and all those issues aren't as important in the long run as the war on terrorism is.

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Icarus
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*nod* I disagree. From the perspective of someone who views fetuses as human beings, how many deaths does abortion cause a year? Does Iraq even come close?

Oh wait, you're in favor of the Iraq war. Okay, then, same question: does terrorism cause anywhere near as many deaths?

-o-

I was trying to think of where the Iraq war comes in on my list, and, once you separate the Patriot Act, the rest of it just isn't that high on my list.

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pfresh85
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I don't think I have one issue that is sort of make or break for me. In the past, I've just voted for the candidate whose views were closest to mine (i.e. I agreed with them more than I agreed with the other candidate). Maybe I have some kind of unconscious list of importance in my head, but thinking about it just now I can't think of what ranks highest.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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1) Education Reform
2) Prison Reform
3) Alternative energy

A few others, but if you agree with me about the shape of our educational and penal system, coming to a consensus about same-sex adoptions, labor unions, and the thorny of problems of immigration will be markedly easier.

[ March 09, 2007, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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jeniwren
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Liz, why are three of the things on your list? Currently, they are all, with the exception of #3, abundantly available and/or already legal.
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The Rabbit
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At the national level:

the war, health care, poverty, environment, energy, national debt, criminal justice reform

At the state level:

education, transportation, poverty, health care, urban planning, environment, criminal justice reform


The most facinating thing my list is that someone could concievably produce the exact same list and yet have political opinions that are polar opposites.

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jh
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1. Abortion rights
2. Civil rights (Equal marriage rights for same sex couples)
3. Funding for education, health care, etc for the poor

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ClaudiaTherese
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The OP question:
What federal issues are most important to you and why?

1. Universal access to necessary medical care: because I see a breakdown coming, in part secondary to bankruptcies triggered by unpayable medical bills. Diabetes on the rise + a lot of people without needed access --> mushroom cloud

2. Better funding for and support of teachers: because I don't think we can expect people to keep doing hard work for minimal compensation and still not be respected. Again, something's going to blow. Or, rather, fizzle out in a slow and agonizing death due to burnout.

3. Environment reform: long term investment, has to be done

---

Edited to add: [small voice]have no idea what to do about Iraq[/small voice]

[ March 09, 2007, 11:08 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by jeniwren:
Liz, why are three of the things on your list? Currently, they are all, with the exception of #3, abundantly available and/or already legal.

I don't know about Liz, but in my experience 1 and 2 on her list are not adequately available in the US.

As for #4 on her list (abortion), although its currently legal there are an awful lot of people who are trying to make it illegal. As long as there are people who consider making abortion illegal their number one political priority, there will also be people for whom keeping abortion legal will be a top political priority.

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Annie
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Health care reform
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Noemon
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1. Environment
1b. Alternative energy source development
2. Space exploration (including asteroid defense, colonization of either other planets or of long term artificial habitats, and resource acquisition all three under this umbrella)
3. Health care reform.

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Miro
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Edited to add: [small voice]have no idea what to do about Iraq[/small voice]

Unfortunately, I'm with you on that one.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Miro:
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Edited to add: [small voice]have no idea what to do about Iraq[/small voice]

Unfortunately, I'm with you on that one.
Yep, me too, I'm afraid.
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jlt
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That's hard to decide, and I'll probably change my mind later but (not in a particular order)...

1. Foreign Relations (including but not only war)
2. Alternative/Efficient Energy- especially transportation and building
3. Immigration
4. Health Care
5. The national debt

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Launchywiggin
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It's fascinating how many different answers people have put up for their most important.

My biggest issue is government spending and government waste. I feel like the decisions being made now regarding the budget are foolish and increasing the wealth gap between the supperrich and everyone else.

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Annie
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Ah, yes. As far as Iraq-

I was hoping that being gone for 18 months they'd have it all sorted out when I got back.

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Mucus
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I'm in Canada, so for *my* federal government:

A) Environment
B) Different (or even reversing) tax cuts (current conservative government starting to follow the US model of giving tax cuts that benefit the rich while screwing the middle class)
C) Equalization and regionalism (government is playing/proposing a dangerous game of granting greater regional autonomy to Quebec to gain votes, also natural resources are exempt from the equalization program)

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Telperion the Silver
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Gay rights.
Federal deficit.
The terroist war.
Survival of the middle class.

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Rakeesh
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I have no single issue. I can only put it broadly, and I've only got one.

1. Long-term, rational, problem-solving ideas from federal politicians.

I'm afraid there's just not much of that coming from people whose stances I like even on more specific issues.

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Liz B
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quote:
Liz, why are three of the things on your list? Currently, they are all, with the exception of #3, abundantly available and/or already legal.
quote:
I don't know about Liz, but in my experience 1 and 2 on her list are not adequately available in the US.

As for #4 on her list (abortion), although its currently legal there are an awful lot of people who are trying to make it illegal. As long as there are people who consider making abortion illegal their number one political priority, there will also be people for whom keeping abortion legal will be a top political priority.

Yes. What The Rabbit said. I agree that care for the poor is available in our country, but I think we should do a LOT more. (And I care about helping the undeserving, adult poor, too.)
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Lavalamp
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1) Universal affordable health insurance/health care
1) Poverty Assistance (food, housing, jobs training)
1) Increase funding for Substance Abuse treatment
1) Setting stricter limits on the power to wage war (pre-conditions,
1) Establishing a process by which Congress cannot recess until the budget job is done each year
1) Eliminating all set-asides/ear marks
1) Requiring all meetings with lobbyists to be open to the public with time and location published in advance.


Okay, those are my top priorities.

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Christine
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It strikes me that Iraq isn't on most of your lists. Not saying that's a bad thing, but it is interesting given that it tends to be the top story on the news most nights. It was also one of my choices in the poll. [Smile]

Let's see here...health care, gay rights, abortion (pro or con), and education seem to be top priorities for many people.

My issues:

1. Downsizing the federal government. I think it's too powerful. I think that states should pick up the slack in many cases, especially education, where the federal government has failed miserably.

2. Repeal of the patriot act and other violations of basic constitutional rights.

3. Putting an end to an ill-defined war on terror. (This does not necessarily mean pulling out of Iraq by a week from Tuesday.)

4. A foreign policy that includes diplomacy

5. Tax equality -- I want to see the rich pay their fair share

I could keep going...I have a lot of issues.

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mr_porteiro_head
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In no particular order:

SSM (against)
Abortion (against)
Immigration (for immigration, and against acting like dorks to them)
Big Government (against, especially federal)

[ March 10, 2007, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

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Megan
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--Improved oversight and accountability for government at all levels (aka, "No one is above the law.") This incorporates lobbying reform, campaign finance reform, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
--Health care reform. The system is broken and needs serious help.
--Protection of civil liberties (in this, I include rolling back the patriot act and SSM [for]).
--Foreign policy that involves diplomacy and a willingness to admit that we might not always be in the right.

And, on that final note, I'd absolutely love for our next president to be able to admit he or she made mistakes if they happened, rather than giving us a 1984-ish, "No, we never did make mistakes; our policies have always been right," even when the actual policies in effect have changed.

If I thought that education was a federal issue, it would be included on this list, but I believe education reform is something that needs to happen at the state and local levels, rather than the federal level.

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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:
*nod* I disagree. From the perspective of someone who views fetuses as human beings, how many deaths does abortion cause a year? Does Iraq even come close?

Oh wait, you're in favor of the Iraq war. Okay, then, same question: does terrorism cause anywhere near as many deaths?

Maybe not, but I still think terrorism causes alot more destruction to society than abortion does. Terrorism not only kills people but causes fear and affects people's ability to live their life normally, such as in Israel. Terrorism also hurts the friends and family of a victim of a terrorist attack, while an abortion is a voluntary "killing" from the fetus' parents. It doesn't cause as much suffering to the family because it was their choice. I know it sounds horrible to rank the importance of the death of a human life, but I think from a completely rational standpoint, an abortion isn't as bad as someone dying from a terrorist act.

Also, abortion is an issue with two sides to it, so it's something people will probably be fighting about forever. Terrorism is something that I think everyone agrees needs to be eliminated for us to advance as a society.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Also, abortion is an issue with two sides to it, so it's something people will probably be fighting about forever. Terrorism is something that I think everyone agrees needs to be eliminated for us to advance as a society.
Which means my vote has much less impact on terrorism - after all, no one wants it to stick around. Even if politicians disagree on the means, they agree on the goal.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
but I think from a completely rational standpoint, an abortion isn't as bad as someone dying from a terrorist act.
How convenient for you that those who are "completely rational" agree with you. [/sarcasm]

Note that I would have agreed with your statement if you had said you had said that abortion isn't as bad as terrorism "from a certain standpoint" or "in some ways".

But saying that those who disagree with you are not completely rational is just bad form.

[ March 10, 2007, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

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The Pixiest
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I was thinking the other day... how much more traction the pro-life movement would get if it emphasised adoption more. Encouraging people to adopt and encouraging those seeking abortions to put their child up for adoption. I know some pro-lifers do that, but you don't hear of them. It's always Keep vs Kill. Very little emphasis is given to the third option.. Giving your child to someone who would love him or her. (for the record, I'm pro-choice but want women to chose life. Or "Choose Adoption" if I were to make a bumper sticker.)

MPH: At the risk of you getting dogpiled yet again =(... I understand that you don't like SSM for religious reasons... But there's a whole slew of things your faith is against that are legal. Why is SSM one of your top issues? Why not turn a blind eye to it like drinking, caffeine, gambling, etc, etc... I mean, drinking and gambling definately destroys families. SSM builds families, even if you don't consider them ideal.

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Dagonee
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quote:
I was thinking the other day... how much more traction the pro-life movement would get if it emphasised adoption more.
"Choose Life" and "Adoption is an Option" stickers get pulled off cars all the time, so I'm skeptical if this would work. Those who counsel pregnant mothers considering abortion pretty much always mention adoption.
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The Pixiest
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Dag: Dunno, The abortion debate has been raging my whole life and I very rarely hear adoption brought up.
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jeniwren
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quote:
Originally posted by Liz B:
quote:
Liz, why are three of the things on your list? Currently, they are all, with the exception of #3, abundantly available and/or already legal.
quote:
I don't know about Liz, but in my experience 1 and 2 on her list are not adequately available in the US.

As for #4 on her list (abortion), although its currently legal there are an awful lot of people who are trying to make it illegal. As long as there are people who consider making abortion illegal their number one political priority, there will also be people for whom keeping abortion legal will be a top political priority.

Yes. What The Rabbit said. I agree that care for the poor is available in our country, but I think we should do a LOT more. (And I care about helping the undeserving, adult poor, too.)

I think it's unfortunate that we think the federal government should take care of our poor, when it's clear that they do such a bad job at it. I'd love to see a ratio study of the dollar efficiency of our federal services to the poor, as exist for most charities. As I type, my husband and son are serving breakfast to the homeless, something they do often. Every dollar donated to make this happen have gone directly to the food. No one is paid for service, and the equipment used was all donated. While I am the first to admit that charities are not perfect and people do fall through the cracks, it is obvious to me that they are generally far more efficient than the government at making the dollars they have go the farthest.

Given that our tax dollars are what make the government services possible, it makes me less desirous than ever to expand federal services to the poor -- every dollar they get, they waste far more of it than every dollar I donate to charity. I would rather give my money to where it will go the farthest.

As for abortion rights, there is a great deal more money behind abortion than there is in pro-life lobbies. As long as that remains true, abortion will continue to be legal, IMO.

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Christine
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jeniwren: To be fair, many public charities are highly inefficient as well. Not saying the federal government could do it better, but I'm not sure they're doing it worse. Of course, with public charities we have the option of choosing the good ones (and they do exist), but many of the most prominent and largest charities (The United Way comes to mine) are highly inefficient.

Pixie: I've always heard adoption and pro-life in the same breath. This is usually one of their foundational arguments.

As for SSM: I understand why this is a hugely important issue for those whose lives are effected by it (ie gay people), but I've never really understood why it is so important to other people. Maybe someone could help me with the "why" part of the question there. [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
As for SSM: I understand why this is a hugely important issue for those whose lives are effected by it (ie gay people), but I've never really understood why it is so important to other people. Maybe someone could help me with the "why" part of the question there. [Smile]

For me, it's because I love and care for people for whom this is an immediate problem, as well as being concerned about participating in an unjust society. Societies will never be perfect, of course, but I feel strongly about continuing to make the one I am a part of better (in the sense of true to good principles).

So, both for concrete and abstract reasons, at least in my case.

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James Tiberius Kirk
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To be fair, our domestic adoption programs aren't in particularly good shape.

*

Federally: energy policy, foreign policy, Iraq, Afghanistan, and terror. I suspect finding a solution to the first will greatly help the others. Government waste is atrocious, and immigration is a mess.

On a local level: Education (K12) education (higher-ed) education (jobs training), poverty, crime.

--j_k

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Libbie
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Equal marriage rights.
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