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November 02, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-02

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 2, 1999

GZbe 3idignx i tIg

Looking ahead to Election 2000: Grin and Berra it

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
dailyletters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

HEATHER KAMINS
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily' editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

level

Students should vote in today's elections

or those of you just joining us. I'm
Tom Brokaw and this is NBC's ongo-
ing (and ongoing) coverage of Election
2000. We'll be breaking in with updates all
day as soon as we have nothing new to report
but want to interrupt
your favorite pro-
grams. Now let's go F
live to our man on the
street in New York
City, David Wallace:'
Let me take a"
moment to clear up a .
few questions. For
those of you wonder-
ing. Exile on Maynard
St. Labs recently
developed a technolo-
gy allowing me to look David
as much as one year Wallace
into the future. I '
thought today,
Election Day, provided
the perfect setting to
debut it.
Also, I was as surprised as you to learn I
work at NBC next year. A profitable look into
the future led to my cushy network job.
In January of 2000, I wager an unheard of
sum on the Superbowl and use the winnings
to buy NBC. I keep Brokaw as anchor and
appoint myself chief political correspondent. I
consider myself eminently qualified to ana-
lyze this year's candidates, since like them I
have almost no knowledge of political issues
but a huge personal fortune allowing me to do
whatever I want.
"Thanks Tom. Though the polls opened
bnly a few hours ago, early returns show this
could be one of the lightest voter turnouts in
the country's history."
"What factors contribute to the public's dis-
interest, David?"
"Well Tom, I think the events of the last 12

months did more than a little damage to the
average voter's psyche."
"Could you recap those events for us?"
"Sure. I think it began when Bill Bradley
exited the race just before the New Hampshire
Democratic primary. As you will remember,
reports surfaced indicating that Bradley is a
decent, honorable human being with relevant,
innovative and compassionate ideas. This led
to an intense debate about the fundamental
qualities political candidates must possess
and culminated in the Supreme Court's deci-
sion that possessing integrity in today's politi-
cal climate makes one ineligible to run."
"Dave, I remember that well. If I'm not
mistaken, polls at the time showed the major-
ity of Americans considered relevant, innova-
tive and compassionate ideas boring. So in
retrospect, Bradley left at a good time."
"That's right, Tom, and his departure made
way for Al Gore to take over the lead with his
palatable strategy of saying absolutely noth-
ing about everything."
"I understand you had the opportunity to
talk to the frontrunner this morning. Did you
ask him about his views on campaign finance
reform, the national debt and the chance of
forming a coherent foreign policy?"
"Tom, what do I always tell you?"
"This is TV news, where we play slow-
pitch softball."
"Right. I asked Gore about his favorite
color. Quickly his pollsters gathered informa-
tion indicating equal portions of the country
favor red and blue. Gore refused to commit to
one, instead opting to say nice things about
each and switching his outfit to a blue suit
with a red tie.'
"With the realization that Gore took over
the frontrunner position, how has the Bush
campaign faired?"
"Not well at all, Tom. Though possessing
unrivaled cash, Bush's campaign suffered
from mismanagement. After failing to ade-

quately address allegations of cocame use. the
campaign's masterminds destroyed an
remaining credibility after adopting the cam-
paign slogan. "Put some lines together at the
polls for Bush."
"That really hurt, didn't it?"
"Late night comedians really took off on
him, and Millie the White House Dog's
posthumously published second memoir
blasting the candidate did not help either."
"The nation appears in a difficult position
today. David. We're running out of time. but
could you comment briefly on the Senate race
between Hillary Rodham Clinton and New
York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani?"
"Yes, the Senate race appears decided after
Guiliani's radical last-minute play for votes.
In a stunning development. Guiliani reversed
himself and promised that if elected he would
return pornography and strip clubs to New
York City. He likely will win in a landslide
today, Tom."
"Has there been any response from the
Clinton camp?
"Since the announcement, Clinton has not
offered any official word. However, an
unidentified source reported overhearing a
familiar voice saying, 'But Hil, I've got to
vote for what's best for me!
"Dave, I see in the crowd gathered behind
you what looks like the face of New York
Yankees great Yogi Berra. See if he'll offer
you a comment.
I walk over to the crowd. "Yogi .
"What's this about ' "
"I'm doing a news broadcast for a newspa-
per column that will run a year ago.
"That sounds like something I would say."
Tom breaks in. "Just 15 seconds. David."
"Yes. ah, Yogi, could you please offer a
word on the state of politics in 2000'?
"The future ain't what it used to be."
- David Wallace can be reached over
e-mail at davidmw(a umich.edit.

oday, citizens of Ann Arbor have an
opportunity to influence how the city
and county will run for the next two
years. Five seats on the Ann Arbor City
Council, as well as a seat onk
the Washtenaw County. EtE
Commission and a ballot
initiative on an increase in
property tax for funding city
parks will all be on the bal-
lot Tuesday. It is important W
for students to participate in WWWOOWa
the upcoming elections as t
all matters on the ballot nn Ar
influence life at the.X h:
University. wwctgnn
The City Council makes :rborius
many decisions pertinent to !ndexftfr,
students. Including the
mayor and 10 elected council members
from five wards, the council decides,
among other things, the penalization rate
for parking tickets. It also controls
municipal taxes, water treatment, housing
inspection and city zoning.
These issues currently under debate
have a major impact on students living in
Ann Arbor. A strong voter turnout from
the University community could signifi-
cantly impact the elections and subse-
quently the operations of the city.
Among those running for a seat is
incumbent Chris Kolb (D-5th Ward), who
lost to Ingrid Sheldon by less than 60
votes (1.2 percent) in last year's mayoral
election - demonstrating just a few votes
can make a major impact at the local
level.
The Washtenaw County Commission
has a special election to fill a District 11

(central Ann Arbor) seat. The commission
holds a wide variety of powers that affect
students in Ann Arbor including judicial
duties, health services, building inspec-
tion and the sheriff's
'TION office. LSA senior Jeff
Irwin runs unopposed in
N this election, adding
another dimension of stu-
AW CQL0f dent involvement.
With the low turnout a
IteIaw "° Us non-presidential election
typically provides, this is
City Hal an excellent opportunity
isrte: ,4for the University com-
munity to assert its vot-
ramed/f- ing power in determining
Ann Arbor's and
Washtenaw County's
officials.
Aside from electing City Council and
County Commission members, there is
also a ballot proposal impacting students.
The City Council has proposed a 5-year
increased property tax valued around $8
million for this period in order to pur-
chase land for much-needed parks.
It is in students' best interests to par-
ticipate in these elections. In 1997, only
about 11,000 people voted in municipal
elections.
Given the size of the student body, the
University has a great opportunity tomor-
row to assert its influence on local poli-
tics. The decisions made by those elected
this year will have a direct influence on
Ann Arbor residents. Students registered
in Ann Arbor should take advantage of
this democratic opportunity and make
their opinions heard.

CHIP CULLEN

-.,._
" i "b: A

.' '4E: . I

N

WRJY ARE MY TAXES
SO NIGH4?
04JNN ARE THEY GOI'*A
f1IX THE ROADS?

Sparking conversation
Political debates should occur frequently

n our democratic political system,
debates between candidates are far too
rare. If we, as a nation, want to reform
and strengthen the electoral process, there
must be a greater demand for organized
debates and a call for their support
through public funds.
In the last week, Dartmouth College in
New Hampshire has hosted two debates
featuring the leading contenders in the
Democratic and Republican presidential
races. These meetings were not debates in
the classic Lincoln-Douglas style but
were instead a series of questions direct-
ed to each candidate individually, in a
town hall format. Each candidate, regard-
less of how well he was doing in the polls,
was given an equal chance. Thus, many
candidates who had little chance to voice
their beliefs were thrust into the spotlight.
The American people deserve to know
what their potential leaders value. Only
with an educated voting body can democ-
racy properly function. If voters are made
aware of their choices, they can more
effectively select the option that best suits
them. Debates are a near perfect way to
accomplish this goal. In , an organized
debate, voters have the opportunity to see
more than the typical televised sound
bites that dominate media coverage of
elections. Instead, voters get to observe
candidates in action, stating their beliefs
in the open. This is far more effective
than the brief clips with which most news
sources flood voters.
Debates should be sponsored through
public funds and should be nationally
televised well in advance of any election.

long. It is time that the nation returned to
the concept of the citizen-statesman,
wherein any citizen can step up to the
podium and run for public office.
As it stands, only those citizens who
have enough money to buy television
time have a shot at winning an elected
post. If a candidate cannot make himself
or herself known to the people, he or she
cannot win. By providing free television
time and hosting debates, the nation will
help eliminate the stipulation that only
the wealthy can be in government. Every
citizen, rich or poor, is a member of our
government-of-the-people, and as such,
each has an equal right to hold office.
Americans should make every effort to
watch debates when they occur. By doing
so, they will be able to make more
informed choices when election day
comes. At the very least, they will witness
an entertaining show.
Debates often feature individuals who
are passionate about their beliefs and will
defend them vigorously. Especially in
debates for national elections, voters will
have the opportunity to see candidates
that they might have heard about every
single day, but never actually seen in
action.
The value of debates cannot be over-
stated. Debates are a key tool in a demo-
cratic system and vital for its survival and
prosperity. If the future of this nation is to
be one of freedom and liberty, one where
all citizens have the ability to make their
voices heard, debates must be sponsored
frequently. And for campaign finance
reform to become a reality, the nation

LSA-SG candidate
deadline nears
TO THE DAILY:
Students at the University are notorious
for standing up for their beliefs, and many
groups on campus have made a significant
difference for their cause. A few are vocal
and seem omnipresent; others, such as LSA
Student Government, make a noteworthy
contribution to the everyday lives of
University students while keeping a decid-
edly lower profile.
Already this year. LSA Student
Government has aided its constituents in
many ways. It has dispersed more than
$20,000 among student groups, organized a
concentration fair for undergraduates.
appointed qualified individuals to positions
in various University committees and
passed a resolution encouraging the use of
environmentally friendly paper products at
campus computing sites. This single organi-
zation has made a difference in each of
these diverse areas just two months into the
academic year.
Student government seats are, in general.
elected positions. Elections this year will takee
place on Nov. 17 and 18. Students run for a
variety of reasons. A few are motivated simplyt
to add to their resume or think the election isr
a campus-wide popularity contest. But most
truly wish to better the life of each LSA stu-
dent on campus. Both types of candidate winr
from time to time fortunately, the power tol
choose your representatives is in your hands.
The students of LSA are by and large good
judges of character and have, in the past, cho-
sen effective governments.
Voting allows you to choose who you want
to speak for you. Running for a seat lets you
do the speaking. Past representatives have
campaigned for academic minors, and when
they spoke, the administration listened. People
involved with government begin the process
of change in everyday student life. But we
can't do it all by ourselves. We need you to
finish the process.
A successful student government such as
LSA-SG depends on the ideas and efforts of
highly motivated individuals. Getting
involved in a college goverment is simple
and an excellent way of making a significant
impact on your school. Take a stake in your
scholastic life - rn for student government.I
Candidate packets are available at the
LSA-SG office at 4152 Union; the filing
deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 3. The candi-1
dates' meeting is on Thursday, Nov. 4, from
7-9. If you have any questions please con-1
tact the elections director at lsasg.elec-t
tions a;'umich.edu or the LSA-SGI
Communications Committee at7
lsasg.comcunmich.edu.
RODOLFO PALMA-LUUON
LSA SENIOR
ROBERT SHEREDAI
LSA JUNIOR
Only women control
their bodies

1 w DOShfSOMr s RODY
DO SMETHNG?
a
a-
the pregnancy is caused through no negligent
action of the mother, that is in cases of rape,
incest. etc., I believe that abortion is justified.
Secondly, as the letter points out, "Not
everyone on this campus is a liberal." This is
very true, but I fail to see what this has to do
with the letter. I am what might be called "lib-
eral", but does this mean that my voice should
count for less because of it? Am I somehow
wrong or "missing out" due to my "loose
moral" views?
Life is a beautifdl thing, but the govern-
ment has no right to tell a woman that she
must relinquish control of it. A woman's
body is a sacred thing. It is each woman's
responsibility to care for that body, and to
use it responsibly, and to hold dominion
over it. No one, saxe each woman herself,
should be allowed any say or control over
what is done to, legally provided for or
allowed as far as their body is concerned.
. MATTHEW HECK
SCH OOL OF M USIC SENIOR
Death penalIty is
To THE DAILY:
I am writing this to respond to the Oct.
27 letter to the editor entitled "Death
Penalty Not As Unjust As May Appear."
Although I do not doubt the numbers that
Alea researched, I do have a problem with
her interpretation of them. You try to dis-
miss the fact that the death penalty is
biased against minorities by pointing out
that there are about as many Caucasians
(48.4 percent) as African Americans and
Latinos (48.1 percent combined). What
you don't point out is that Caucasians
make up far more than 48.4 percent of the
population. The proportion of minorities
on death row is far higher than their pro-
portions in the general population.
Next, you try to downplay the idea that
some of these people might be innocent.
Although are legal system is improving, it
still gets some things wrong. There have
been many people released from death row
after new evidence had been found in their
case. Although you say only 23 people who
have been put to death have been later
r--a, ;nt'w-nt urba- trnum hnur mimnx

DANIEL BAXTER
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT

jail when sentenced to
parole). The death penalty
costs, both monetarily and
a valid system.

life without
has too many
morally, to be

DAAP to propose
tuition freeze
TO THE DAILY:
The Defend Affirmative Action Party of
the Michigan Student Assembly will put
forward a Tuition Freeze Resolution on
Tuesday Nov. 2. The resolution calls on the
MSA to support ending tuition increases
and to fight to achieve this by organizing
with other universities and colleges in
Michigan, The United States and North
America. At the University of Michigan, the
rate of tuition increase over the last two
decades has far exceeded inflation. In-state
tuition rose from $3,288 in 1989 to $6,333
in 1999. These trends of increasing tuition 0
have the result of narrowing access and
opportunity for students from low- and mid-
dle-income backgrounds, and for all stu-
dents generally.
The University of Michigan's increasing
tuition is part of a national trend.
From 1980 to 1995 the average
amount of student loans for college students
at four-year public colleges rose by 367
percent.
In 1995-96, more than half of .
seniors at public four-year colleges bor-
rowed from federal loan programs and
carried an average of over $10,000 in
debt.
In the 1995-1996 school year, 79
percent of undergraduates worked to pay
their education expenses; a substantial
proportion of students reported that their
work negatively affected their academic
performance.
The scope and seriousness of the prob- 0
lem of rising tuition makes a national cam-
paign for a tuition freeze a viable prospect.
As the official voice of students, the
Michigan Student Assembly should support
this resolution. Any representative who
votes against this resolution is acting as a
renresentative of the University

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