PopVox, Because Your Voice, It Should Be Heard

I generally try to stay away from politics here because it seems impolite, but PopVox is something people should know about no matter where they stand politically. It’s a non-partisan site that tells you about legislation currently under consideration in Congress so that you can easily and quickly tell your congressperson how you feel about it. For example, here’s what the site says about the “Repeal Obamacare” bill (biting tongue here to keep from screaming my opinion):

H.R. 6079: Repeal of Obamacare Act
112th Congress, 2011–2012
To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Rep. Eric Cantor [R-VA7]
Passed House

See? No political discourse, just the facts, Jack. It also gives you the complete text of the bill, more information on how to work for or against it, and a nice button to click to tell your rep how you feel about it.

We’re at a crisis point in this country, everybody yelling in all caps, so any site that says, “Here’s how to quietly let your government know what you think” without telling you what it is that you think is doing a huge service. Thank you, Marci Harris and Rachna Choudhry, for some very good work.

Edited to Add: Another good place to learn more about who represents you is ISideWith.com. Answer a short but detailed quiz about your positions on different goverment aspects and the site will tell you who best represents you. Illuminating. And if you’re not checking out Nate Silver’s 538 blog regularly, you’re missing good stuff there, too.

Oh, and vote. Thank you.

35 thoughts on “PopVox, Because Your Voice, It Should Be Heard

  1. My husband and I said just the other night that we wished there was a site like ISideWith.com this election cycle and here it is. Nice to see where the candidates agree and disagree with me. Thanks.

      1. My father was a professional paranoid for a few years, and he passed down the skills to his kids, who have gone amateur. Are you sure this site isn’t a Green Party front, and they are trying insidiously to get y’all to vote for someone Green? (Kermit with a Hitler moustache.) LOL, no, I really think that a lot of us are Green (it just makes sense), but we’ve never heard of the Green candidates because they don’t have the connections to go nationwide . . . . Which can also be a problem. Great to have someone who shares your ideals, but if s/he can’t work with others to get things done, it’s still not useful. (Of course, the mainstream candidates aren’t exactly playing nice together, either, so maybe it’s time for a change.)

        Just fascinating to think how the internet could change politics in a democracy. What would happen if we could get real information instead of sound bites of what some people think we want/we should hear?

  2. I’m another one that was kinda ignorant about the Green Party, but otherwise it fell pretty much where I expected it to. And in retrospect, maybe the Green thing isn’t so surprising, because I’m not really a “party” person anyway.

  3. I actually am a member of the Green party. One year I had a “postage due” package at the PO, and I thought it was a birthday present, so I went down, paid the postage, got the package, and it turned out to be…Green party election materials. I guess that’s one way to reduce the budget.

  4. I did the “I side with” quiz and because I have so many “well, I believe this” and my choice was not one of the options so I had to pick “other” and apparently that messed it all up. :/
    yeah. I’m confused but I’m going to PopVox now so I can make decisions that way… at least.

  5. Voting down here is compulsory. One day, we’ll be able to vote from our home PC’s. We’ll be able to get on line and tell our local councils what we think. That could be very interesting. Good luck with your elections. I do sincerely hope that Obama is re-elected. Like here, the alternative is more than a little scary.

  6. I’m with the Green candidate, but a close second with the guy for whom I’ll vote. And all this time I thought I was channeling Rachel Maddow.

    1. I’m guessing Rachel might be Greener than she thinks. Or maybe she already thinks Green.

      That really was a revelation for me. I thought Green=Wingnuts, but there I am.

      1. I love the Greens, and we have a pretty active Green party – Green-endorsed candidates have won Park Board seats and once we had a Green city council person.

        It does take a special kind of person to care a lot about politics but stick with a third party that has nearly 0% chance of getting elected. Our Green on the city council got busted for asking for a ridiculously small bribe (handyman work, basically. Seriously.) Not wingnuttery but maybe quixotic idealism and a side order of nut smoothie.

  7. The thing is, the whole country has moved so far to the right, that anyone left of moderate liberal now qualifies as a wingnut. Is kind of crazy. I’m pretty sure I’d qualify as a Green, but after the fiasco of 2000, I’m sticking with the main party. I’m not thrilled with all of my candidate’s positions and decisions, but I’m scared as all get out of the other guy’s.

  8. Thanks for the links – apparently I’m much more Democrat than I thought. But then, the other party has gone so far to the right, I really shouldn’t be surprised.

  9. The nice thing about having an one party system (if only because 66% of everyone votes for them every time) is that we have a lot less doubt about how things will turn out. Once we know who is the president of the ANC everything is sorted, more than a year before the actual elections roll by. (Um, I’m South African – I do realize everyone doesn’t know who the ANC is 😛 )

  10. I will have to take the test. I am happy to hear there is a 3rd option because I really don’t care for either of the main two. I recognize others here do prefer one of them though. The sign in my yard would say “Can I have a 3rd choice?” Of course, the 3rd choice candidate is likely to take 3rd place, but might be a nice wake up for the Democrats & Republicans if the Green Party gets enough votes.

    1. Kelly, and all the others like me who read “green” in first choice: do not let perfect be the enemy of good. Your 3rd party presidential vote will not wake anyone up. Unless voting methods are changed so that you can say “I vote for candidate C but if C isn’t going to make it, I want B not A” you will simply either have your vote lost in the deluge or be effectively voting for the one you least want to win. One can argue all one wants about the need for a third or fourth party, but in Presidential elections a protest vote is pretty much a vote for the other party. Even the Tea People still hook their ship to a major party. They know that striking out on their own (too early) is doomed, even with Fox new giving them free airtime. (They are also working local elections.)

      If you want to make a difference with your vote, make sure you vote in all local elections. Those are often the people with more direct power over your fate. And the successful ones can rise to national prominence. That’s where your third party support will do the most good.

      Personally, I maintain that the elections for School Board are the most important you can vote on as these people approve/disapprove the funds and curricula for our next generation. Second is probably city council or the like. They approve zoning. In my experience (limited) in a district of 50,000 people, at least half of them voters, roughly 1500 people vote for school board members. Get your group to rally behind someone and their chance of election becomes near certain because a couple hundred, or even tens of, votes can be decisive.

      Thanks for the reference, Jenny. I just wish we could be talking about modern and new things instead of reliving the choices of 1912 all over again. (birth control and prohibition: really? How have we failed to settle these issue? Can’t we do something interesting instead?)

    2. I was thinking the other day it would be AWESOME if the ballots included a “None of the Above” option. Will it do any real good? Probably not. Will it get some attention? I think so, and the attention of the political system is something we desperately need right now. I also think it would help get those slackers off their asses who refuse to vote at all because they don’t like either of the main candidates. So. Stupid. Hello, there’s other stuff on the ballot that IS important. Voting is our obligation as citizens, not a meaningless privilege to piss away. If you don’t “love” one of the main candidates, then at least pick a “lesser evil” or spend an afternoon Googling the alternatives instead watching Honey Boo Boo. I believe our system would function better if more people actually participated in the process instead of just whining about it on FB and Twitter and other social media I’m not cool enough to know about. Sorry… got all soapboxy, but damn if this “It’s not my fault because I didn’t vote” attitude doesn’t irritate the hell out of me.

  11. Wow, I was not as Green or Libertarian as I thought I would be — or rather, I’m still pretty inclined to side with the Greens and Libertarians, but it’s on issues I care less about and so it works out to siding Democrat 91% overall. Guess I have moderated into the two-party tyranny with age. I’m glad to see that I don’t agree with Virgil Goode on anything, as I thought he was pretty creepy as a Republican Congressman when I went to school in his district.

    I side the most with Barack Obama on economic issues.
    I side the most with Gary Johnson on immigration issues.
    I side the most with Gary Johnson on healthcare issues.
    I side the most with Barack Obama on social issues.
    I side the most with Jill Stein on foreign policy issues.
    I side the most with Barack Obama on science issues.
    I side the most with Jill Stein on domestic policy issues.
    I side the most with Jill Stein on environmental issues.

  12. Also, when I was in college I knew a lot about the Sudanese north-south civil war and Darfur — and wrote a paper on the brief Communist coup in Sudan during the Nixon Administration — but when I saw the genocide question on ISideWith, I had the old person thought “Isn’t that over yet? Or is there a new one?”

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