As you all probably know by now, I support same sex marriage and am a strong supporter of the NO on 8 Campaign going on here in CA. (If you need a refresher, click here or visit The Man's Blog where he makes a compelling argument in his “Measure” piece and a few wonderful points in the comment section of his “Request” piece.)
So anyway last weekend while walking around Scotts Valley trying to stir the creative juices and get some fresh air we passed a corner where there was not only a “No on Prop 8” sign but also a “Yes on Prop 8” sign. (And because I am a dolt, I didn’t snap a photo to insert here.)
And for just a moment I contemplated ripping down the “Yes” sign.. or at the very least moving it behind the “No” sign. In the end though we kept walking and I consoled myself for my lack of action by telling myself I was too good to stoop to such a level.
Besides, even though I am a strong believer in free speech and such, I tend to think on the whole political signs and advertisements are rather silly and in some cases a waste of time. Do they even work? Maybe I am biased because I do vote, I know when and where and don’t need to be reminded… and better yet I try to make an educated vote and thus the constant bombardment of things political can make me feel overwhelmed… plus with the signs I have to wonder about the clean up crew. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen signs laying in the dirt weeks after an election. For shame.
But signs seem to be at the very least only slightly invasive. They aren’t like commercials that repeat and repeat and repeat until you feel you could recite them for memory. Do political commercials work? I know they are a useful way of spreading lies, (here again) but do they actually help people make up their minds?
Recently (and don’t ask me how or why) I was invited to offer my views and opinions on a few of the Propositions we CA people get to vote on this time around. I first answered demographic questions.
Registered to vote?
Wait, back up a second… the survey got a bit insistent. Do you consider yourself a…. and then listed all the major (and some of the minor parties)Nope
Fine, it said, if you had to pick a party you are closest to in ideology, which one would it be?
At this point I thought I might be politely asked to shut up and go away, but with a heavy computer sigh my refusal to label myself was tolerated and we moved on.
Have you decided how you will vote on Prop 5?
(Which is true, Prop 5 is one of the ones I keep planning on researching because I just don’t know enough about it. In fact, prior to this survey, I couldn’t have told you what Prop 5 even was.)
I was then invited to watch an ad for the “Vote Yes on Prop 5” campaign. I did. The ad was a bit alarmist and focused on taxes.
Now, after watching the ad, will you vote Yes on Prop 5?
Fine, but if you had to decide right now… how would you vote on Prop 5.
Ok… fine.. here’s another ad for “Vote Yes on Prop 5”.
(This one was obviously geared towards yuppies and had happy smiling people giving each other high fives. Nope, not making that up.)
Now, after watching this ad, will you vote Yes on Prop 5?
Fine, but if you had to decide Right Now… how would you vote on Prop 5.
This continued… and continued… and continued. I ended up watching 7 different advertisements that were all “Yes” ads for Prop 5. And my answers didn’t change.
And the survey got upset with me.
After 7 attempts to sway me with bright colors, catchy music, alarmist ideas, emotional pleas, financial tales of woe, happy happy joy joy attempts to capitalize on any idealism I might still have… it gave up.
Why are you still unsure how you will vote?
Because, while the ads were compelling, I have only been given one side of the story and until I can get the other side it would be irresponsible for me to vote one way or the other.
While my answers were not what they obviously wanted to hear… I stand by them. I just wish more people felt this way about voting.
Voting: it’s not just a right, it’s a privilege. Do it, but only do it if you can do it well. Or as Kimbo Jones said “Go vote. But if you don't know what you're talking about, stay home. That is all.”**
*I will usually leave this area blank or refuse to answer but in the case of demographic information on such things regarding advertising, marketing, or political views I go ahead and confirm my existence as a white city girl.
** I edited this a teeny tiny bit… because I have yet to use the F-word on my blog and I am saving it.