Friday, November 5, 2010

Civic Duties

Saying I voted in the city of Chicago might be a little nerdy to brag about, but considering the pretty intense political history of the city (and the state), I'm impressed with myself. What stuck out for me, reminding me just how far from home I really am, was the amount of non-traditional candidates. For nearly every position there was not only a Republican and Democrat running, but also a Green Party, Independent, and/or Libertarian candidate.

If you don't already know this, my political sentiments align for the most part with libertarian socialism. (This does not make me an anarchist, per se, though close.) Mostly I don't agree with capitalism and prefer local government over federal government...I'm not as extreme on some other issues. Anyways, I was just super excited while voting because for once I didn't have to choose between only two (broken) parties. That's another aspect of my political beliefs--I don't think a two-party system ever works for very long.

In other political news, as a community we attended a forum on ending the death penalty in Illinois. Currently, there is a moratorium on the death penalty here, which means it still exists, but there are no executions. Many hope the death penalty will be totally repealed in the very near future. The two speakers at the forum included a death row inmate who was later found innocent and exonerated (in his case a $10,000 bribe was enough for the judge to throw the trial), and the sister of a woman who was murdered by her boyfriend in 1995.

All this voting and learning about local issues is making me feel like I really do live here. I remember feeling this way in Rome after my history class, or after reading the local newspapers. What sealed the deal in Rome, though, was when tourists would ask me for directions...and that actually happened here the other day while I was walking around downtown. So yes, I'm feeling like a Chicagoan these days.

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