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Bay Area Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/Freethinkers/Skeptics Message Board › Any atheist voting guides for the election?

Any atheist voting guides for the election?

Colin D.
user 64600132
Pleasant Hill, CA
Post #: 1
Obviously I'm not interested in being told who to vote for but theres so many options and so many people and it would be nice if somebody could link me to or knows about a voting guide that focuses on all the available offices and the candidates running for them in a way that highlights their religious or secular agendas so i can know I'm not voting to strengthen the establishment clause and not weaken it. Preferably one that focuses on the local stuff as well.
Susan F.
user 11220914
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 20
Most secular and atheist groups have 501(c)(3) status, which prohibits them from making political endorsements. I find that some voter guides reflect general humanistic and secular values. A few I personally like are from the League of Women Voters, the League of Pissed Off Voters, KQED, and the SF Bay Guardian (lefty/progressive bias). There are tons of religious voter guides-- maybe you can look at those and vote the other way? Good luck and thanks for being an informed voter!
Colin D.
user 64600132
Pleasant Hill, CA
Post #: 2
Most secular and atheist groups have 501(c)(3) status, which prohibits them from making political endorsements. I find that some voter guides reflect general humanistic and secular values. A few I personally like are from the League of Women Voters, the League of Pissed Off Voters, KQED, and the SF Bay Guardian (lefty/progressive bias). There are tons of religious voter guides-- maybe you can look at those and vote the other way? Good luck and thanks for being an informed voter!

Ya know, i figured the NP status would be an issue there whick makes me wonder how the fantastic Atheist Community of Austin gets away with a voter guide and they're the same type of non profit organization. Their guide is always great but obviously doesn't cover the local bay area politicians and issues here. Thanks for the recommendations and i'll take a look at those.
Ming L.
user 64883582
Palo Alto, CA
Post #: 2
Hi Collin
Today is election day & this reply may be a bit late. I'll try to be brief, hence there may be questions. Since I am not exactly sure the extent of your ques, here are a few points to consider.

Overview -
Both Democrats & Republicans twist the truth to their advantage. The net effect to you, unless you are the very poor or the very rich will be small. Despite the rhetoric, each candidate will modify their extremism when elected. If not, congress will guarantee it does not happen. Outrageous changes will be met with stalemate or gridlock - as evidenced right now and why voters like you are dissatisfied & frustrated. This is a complicated question, but the bottom line is, there will NOT be a resolution for a very long time regardless of what & how you vote. Witness the anger & the rise of the tea party. They are now muted and have NOT been able to accomplish much other than help Romney be the party choice. You can call that progress but I call it the flip of a coin.

Points to consider -
Generally, if you are not the super rich you will net benefit more with the democrats & you will also get less religious values imposed.

Local propositions -
There is a simple way of looking at this WITHOUT knowing the real issues. If you don't understand it, vote no. By voting no, you have preserved the status quo meaning you have made zero changes. If the issue is valid and of great community concern, then it will make the local news quickly and you will get much more detailed information so you can understand better. It will then get a 2nd or 3rd chance to be put on the next ballot. Be very careful with the wording of the proposition. Sometimes by voting no, you have just endorsed the proposition.

Last & by far the most important, automatically vote NO on any proposition that ask for MORE money.
Once upon a time there is zero local sales tax. 15 years ago, it was 5% and now it is 8.75%. This is a self-imposed tax. So it is ridiculous to complain about taxes when we ourselves vote to tax ourselves.
As you know, the local gov employees have fantastic retirement benefits that you & I pay for. Far more than the private companies. Or the lavish trips that they take all based on taxpayer money. Behind the scenes, much of this new money you voted for, ends up in a general fund that is used for the waste described above.

Education alone has the benefit of all those billions from state run lottery, where did all that money go? How did they manage education before lottery money? Now they want more? Fix the real problems first, then explained it in DETAIL to us the voters, then & only then should we vote to give them money.

Went too long, but hope you get the idea and hope it helps.














Colin D.
user 64600132
Pleasant Hill, CA
Post #: 3
Hi Collin
Today is election day & this reply may be a bit late. I'll try to be brief, hence there may be questions. Since I am not exactly sure the extent of your ques, here are a few points to consider.

Overview -
Both Democrats & Republicans twist the truth to their advantage. The net effect to you, unless you are the very poor or the very rich will be small. Despite the rhetoric, each candidate will modify their extremism when elected. If not, congress will guarantee it does not happen. Outrageous changes will be met with stalemate or gridlock - as evidenced right now and why voters like you are dissatisfied & frustrated. This is a complicated question, but the bottom line is, there will NOT be a resolution for a very long time regardless of what & how you vote. Witness the anger & the rise of the tea party. They are now muted and have NOT been able to accomplish much other than help Romney be the party choice. You can call that progress but I call it the flip of a coin.

Points to consider -
Generally, if you are not the super rich you will net benefit more with the democrats & you will also get less religious values imposed.

Local propositions -
There is a simple way of looking at this WITHOUT knowing the real issues. If you don't understand it, vote no. By voting no, you have preserved the status quo meaning you have made zero changes. If the issue is valid and of great community concern, then it will make the local news quickly and you will get much more detailed information so you can understand better. It will then get a 2nd or 3rd chance to be put on the next ballot. Be very careful with the wording of the proposition. Sometimes by voting no, you have just endorsed the proposition.

Last & by far the most important, automatically vote NO on any proposition that ask for MORE money.
Once upon a time there is zero local sales tax. 15 years ago, it was 5% and now it is 8.75%. This is a self-imposed tax. So it is ridiculous to complain about taxes when we ourselves vote to tax ourselves.
As you know, the local gov employees have fantastic retirement benefits that you & I pay for. Far more than the private companies. Or the lavish trips that they take all based on taxpayer money. Behind the scenes, much of this new money you voted for, ends up in a general fund that is used for the waste described above.

Education alone has the benefit of all those billions from state run lottery, where did all that money go? How did they manage education before lottery money? Now they want more? Fix the real problems first, then explained it in DETAIL to us the voters, then & only then should we vote to give them money.

Went too long, but hope you get the idea and hope it helps.















That didn't help and that was utterly ridiculous to read XD

I'm not a naive child, i don't vote no on anything automatically, i look at the facts behind something and vote because i understand it. I also don't let anybody tell me what to vote, that's not the point of seeking out many guides.

I don't just vote for the enrichment of myself so it has little to do with the direct effect on me although financial policy has a HUGE effect on me, tax brackets aren't the only issue with financial policy.

I don't get my news from politicians, ever.

Vital things run on tax dollars, I will vote for tax hikes to run those vital things. Taxes are necessary to get us out of the quagmire we're in but i sure as hell don't vote for tax hikes for anything and everything.
David D.
user 14112952
Berkeley, CA
Post #: 7
Good for you, Colin. First for voting at all, which is the basis for our form of democracy. Next for seeking some aid in getting a grip on a large, complex ballot. I took your quest to mean you were doing the research we all should do and sought assistance for parts that you could not easily decipher on your own. It is a challenge to learn what to expect from candidates and very hard to select school board members or transportation boards and whether a certain ballot issue does a good thing or does not.

There are never any simple guides such as "do not vote for anything that raises taxes" because we have to pay for a government that is responsible for national defense, peaceable trade, certain regulations, and various elements of infrastructure. We are a better society if we are educated and we seem better off with a universal education system, which must be paid for. That proffered advice was indeed ridiculous.

We probably could have some sort of voter guide; tax exempt groups can do that and I am not sure that all of our individual groups are tax exempt anyway. We are a mixed group and harder to herd than cats so there could never be more than a general guide that might echo the guide published by the state. I am sure that you can find Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members and whatever else in our meetings. I hope you did find sufficient information to make an informed choice and to place your vote with some confidence.
Colin D.
user 64600132
Pleasant Hill, CA
Post #: 4
Good for you, Colin. First for voting at all, which is the basis for our form of democracy. Next for seeking some aid in getting a grip on a large, complex ballot. I took your quest to mean you were doing the research we all should do and sought assistance for parts that you could not easily decipher on your own. It is a challenge to learn what to expect from candidates and very hard to select school board members or transportation boards and whether a certain ballot issue does a good thing or does not.

There are never any simple guides such as "do not vote for anything that raises taxes" because we have to pay for a government that is responsible for national defense, peaceable trade, certain regulations, and various elements of infrastructure. We are a better society if we are educated and we seem better off with a universal education system, which must be paid for. That proffered advice was indeed ridiculous.

We probably could have some sort of voter guide; tax exempt groups can do that and I am not sure that all of our individual groups are tax exempt anyway. We are a mixed group and harder to herd than cats so there could never be more than a general guide that might echo the guide published by the state. I am sure that you can find Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members and whatever else in our meetings. I hope you did find sufficient information to make an informed choice and to place your vote with some confidence.

I think i made the right choices, i had to dig quite a bit at times especially for some of the education funding propositions. Finding out exactly where that money is going to come from i think is made deceptively difficult by the proponents and the opponents. I had to look beyond even the 3 voter guides i had to find the gritty details of some things.

I pretty much never vote for a candidate, i vote for an ideology that i believe is fair and has a clearly illustrated history of WORKING, combined with what i think the odds are of that candidate pushing that ideology. I'll vote for a candidate that will anemically push my ideology over a candidate that will push an ideology that i feel is wrong, unfair or toxic to the country any day of the week. Generally what's best for the country is going to benefit me as well because what is a country if not a conglomeration of citizens?

Either way, i'm glad it's over, i got the vast majority of what i wanted and while i didn't get some things i wanted, i can live with it.
Ming L.
user 64883582
Palo Alto, CA
Post #: 3
I'd like to echo the other comment by saying good for you because you made an effort to understand.
What both of you missed in my comment is the short phrase that preceded it - "if you don't understand", then vote no rather than yes. Or optionally - leave blank. The logic is that you have not changed anything.
But peace & am glad you found your answers. That is all.
Wendy
user 9892369
San Ramon, CA
Post #: 452
Collin,

How refreshing to find someone else who cares enough to do his homework. I agree with so many of your statements. Could have used another thoughtful, analytical person like you at our recent voting party. Just for giggles, you might want to read what resulted from our group discussion about the various CA state propositions. Some of the people in that Meetup group also belong to this one.

http://www.meetup.com...­
Colin D.
user 64600132
Pleasant Hill, CA
Post #: 5
Collin,

How refreshing to find someone else who cares enough to do his homework. I agree with so many of your statements. Could have used another thoughtful, analytical person like you at our recent voting party. Just for giggles, you might want to read what resulted from our group discussion about the various CA state propositions. Some of the people in that Meetup group also belong to this one.

http://www.meetup.com...­

Hey thanks. My mother usually stops by for coffee on voting day and it's sortof a ritual where we grab a few guides, a few beers or coffees and spend a few hours digging around to figure out what we think is best. She had to work all day this year so it was just up to me.

I'll check out the group and the discussion. I just joined and haven't made it to a meetup yet due to my busy life atm but i plan to change that soon! Thanks for the welcome.
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