poll booths

Germany 101: German Federal Elections

On September 24th 61.5 million German voters will decide on the central decision in their democracy: who should represent them in Parliament and eventually govern the country? Elections to the German Bundestag (like our House of Representatives) are held about every four years, with the last election having been held in fall of 2013.

The Basics

In grade school, most Germans are taught about the five principles in the Basic Law which stipulate that the members of the Bundestag be elected in “general, direct, free, equal and secret elections”. “General” means that all German citizens are able to vote once they have reached the age of 18. The elections are “direct” because citizens vote for their representatives directly without the mediation of delegates to an electoral college. “Free” means that no pressure of any kind may be exerted on voters. “Equal” means that each vote cast carries the same weight with respect to the composition of the Bundestag. “Secret” means that each individual must be able to vote without others learning which party or candidate he or she has chosen to support.

Where Do You Vote?

Germans have the options of voting at polling stations for example in community centers or schools, or sending in their vote by mail.

So. Many. Parties.

Germany has a lot more political parties than the United States. This is due to the fact that the German electoral system uses a proportional system, which means that all parties get a share of the available seats that reflect their share of the popular vote. However, not to have too many political factions which would make the decision making process nearly impossible – and Parties can get pretty specific as to what they stand for – Germany implemented the “five per cent clause” which means a party needs at least five percent of the votes cast to be represented in the Bundestag.

According to the German Research Institute the following parties are likely to be represented in the next German Bundestag, as they are expected to satisfy the five per cent clause:

  • CDU/CSU (the Union parties): a political alliance of the two parties representing conservative Christian-democratic policies, political home of the current Chancellor Angela Merkel and part of the governing “grand coalition”
  • SPD: the center-left social democratic party promoting “socially just” policies, the other member of the currently governing “grand coalition”
  • Die Linke: “the left” party – a democratic socialist and left-wing populist party
  • BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN: the green party which traditionally focuses on topics such as environmental protection
  • FDP: the “free democratic” party - a (classical) liberal political party
  • AfD: a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic party newly founded in 2013

First and Second Vote

Voters actually have two decisions to make when they go to their polling booth.  This part can get tricky.

The first vote is for the representative of your district. There are 299 electoral districts in Germany and the winner of each district gets a seat in the Bundestag.

The second vote is debatably the more important vote, which is cast not for a person but for a party. The number of seats a party gets in the Bundestag is based on what proportion they get of the second votes. Since the first votes for district representatives take up 299 seats of the Bundestag, the remaining 299 seats are filled up by representatives of each party until each party is proportionally represented.

And now it’s going to get really complicated (also for Germans, believe it or not): In case a party gets more directly elected candidates by the first votes than proportional seats by the second votes, these candidates nonetheless remain part of the new Bundestag. This is called an “Überhangmandat”. The other parties then get seats added proportionally which makes the Bundestag even bigger. The last four years, because of this phenomenon there were in total 631 Members of the German Bundestag instead of the legally foreseen 598.


“Coalition” is not a word used in American politics. Coalitions are alliances formed by different parties in the Bundestag to end up with a group that makes up more than 50% of the seats. Traditionally the party with the most votes tries to form a coalition first. Typically coalitions have been comprised by two parties in the past, but in the future coalitions of three or more parties could be a reality. Why do this? Due to the voting system which is a proportional and not a majority one, this is in most cases the only way to create a majority in the Bundestag which is necessary to pass laws. The coalition parties tend to negotiate a coalition agreement at the start of their cooperation which lays out their policy goals for the coming legislative period. Though the majority party within the coalition typically has more sway in what stance the coalition will take on certain issues – such as who the Chancellor will be – the smaller party benefits from the coalition by typically receiving several Minister positions (think Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, etc.) which are filled with members of their party. They might also enforce some stances on their core political issues as long as they can get the “bigger” coalition partner to agree in the negotiations.

Wrap Up

  • German elections are general, direct, free, equal, and secret
  • Germans vote in person or via mail
  • There are a bunch of parties to choose from representing the full political spectrum from far left to far right
  • Two votes: a first vote for a specific candidate representing your district and a second vote for your party determining the number of seats per party
  • A Coalition is formed after all votes are in to create a group that holds more than 50% of the Bundestag seats

Got more questions? Shoot them to us in the comments below!

UK General Election

This is a call to arms. If you are British, if you are signed up to the elctoral register, if you have your polling card:

Go out and vote.

This is not a joke anymore. You can’t sit back and let everyone else try and change things, because there are hundreds of thousands of people who will be doing the exact same thing. We cannot afford to be politically apathetic. We cannot afford to let this go on any longer.

Fight back. Don’t let these reverse Robin Hoods rake your hard earned cash from you under the guise of ‘austerity’, all the while putting that cash firmly in the pockets of their wealthy friends.

Do not allow these self serving, pro class-divide monsters take away a nearly 70 year old institution that has prolonged and saved and began so many British lives. Refuse to pay for the privilege of being unwell, of being injured, of having a child, of being disabled or in need of a sensory aid.

I for one will be at that polling booth on June 8th, putting my cross in that box that spells a better, brighter, more socially and economically just future for our youngest, oldest, poorest and sickest. Anyone but the Tories, anyone but Blue, anyone but the Nasty Party.

Please vote next Thursday. Your voice and your life matters just as much as theirs - speak up.

anonymous asked:

does mark zuckerberg dab

Hahahahhahahahahhahaaahaaaha! That’s just what we expect to be asked on you Tumblr! You’re such silly and goofy and cute folks, and we just can’t not love that about you silly and goofy and cute folks! And this is just one thing you get to love about Mark Zuckerberg.

That’s right. He has knowledge based economies. He has innovative strategies and solutions. He has unite America. And now, he has a new promise for you fun young Tumblr folks. If Mark Zuckerberg takes presidency, he will dab in the White House and he will put it on this blog. He will stand up and get up and stand on top of the Resolute Desk and just dab after dab after dab right there on camera on the Resolute Desk for all of you that supported Mark Zuckerberg campaign here on Tumblr right now! And then Vice President Wil Wheaton will sing a cute geeky song about just how good it is that there is Disney princesses and there is still Big Bang Theory after all this time, and we’ll put it on the internet and for the first thing the campaign will do is order repairs on infrastructure, for the internet, so everyone can watch it and everyone can watch Big Bang Theory clips on Youtube, and oh it’ll just be great. It’ll just be great.

We can do this and we can make this happen America. We can get Mark Zuckerberg into the presidency and save America, and get him to stand up on the big desk and dab, and we can get Big Bang Theory, and if he gets 60% majority or more we’ll even throw in a whip and a nae nae or two!! We can do this and we can fix America, and we can bring an end to the chaos. Everything will be good again and hope will be here. Come on America. Let’s dab our way to the polling booths together and vote Mark Zuckerberg. Together united, forever strong!

Six snap election outcomes

1. We have all misunderstood the nature of a snap election. It is in fact decided by the leaders of the different political parties playing a game of snap. Sadly, nobody bothered to check the backgrounds of the party leaders. Amongst his many other achievements, Paul Nuttall was the 2005 winner of the Global Snap Federation Champions’ Cup. We are screwed.

2. The UK’s left-wing parties form a progressive alliance, which immediately splits into successive depressive, subversive and implosive alliances. The Tories and UKIP fight back with a surprise retrogressive alliance. Arron Banks forms an aggressive alliance with a grumpy bulldog. A pissed-off bag of chips starts the unimpressive alliance and ends up winning with a landslide. It is a landslide of chips. Britain ends up buried in chips which is, let’s face it, better than most of the other outcomes.

3. No, actually I was wrong. It is a snap election because there will be a crocodile in every polling booth. It costs a lot to import that many crocodiles but that’s the price you have to pay for bringing the country together. Surprise! Word to the wise: Crocodiles vote green, apart from the brown ones which usually spoil their ballots and the kind of grey ones which are actually made of concrete.

4. The outcome is disunity. The prescription: elections will continue until unity improves.

5. The time is shortly after the election, and if you listen carefully in the Silicon whatnots of the country you can hear the disruptive technologies brewing. This time they are making micronations. By automating small-scale national functions using an AI diplomatic service, outsourcing coinage and passport production, and making your border out of drones and string, well. Isn’t it so much easier now to declare independence? Scotland will do it the old-fashioned way, of course. London will opt for a mixed approach, with a complicated shared custody agreement for Buckingham Palace. Oxford and Cambridge will go next, followed in due course by most of the other cities. It will not all be bad news for England, though: the newly-reshaped country will be able to get a lucrative agreement to advertise Swiss cheese.

6. Just as we are about to go to the polls, Larry the cat sits on the big red button that activates the Queen. Now sixty metres tall and the length of Belgium, the Queen will solve Britain’s problems at a stroke by eating it. The showdown in the mid-Atlantic as the nations of the world try to stop her going after Canada will be spectacular. Sadly, however, we will not be there to see it.

Asylum Of The Daleks - Doctor Who blog (Steven Moffat Fucks Up The Daleks)

(SPOILER WARNING: The following is an in-depth critical analysis. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, you may want to before reading this review)

Series 7. Where Steven Moffat seemingly dispensed with the whole idea of a series arc and announced that each episode will be its own standalone mini-blockbuster. So lets start with Asylum Of The Dalek. Was it any good? Well funnily enough… No it wasn’t. Not even half good. It was fucking awful. Anyone with a brain could see how bloody terrible this was, or at least that’s what I assumed in my naivety. 

Yes, critical and fan reception at the time was overwhelmingly positive for Asylum Of The Daleks. Some even going so far as to call it one of the best Dalek stories ever written. But for the life of me I can’t see how they could possibly think that. Not only is Asylum of The Daleks another example of just how bad a writer Steven Moffat is and always has been, it’s quite possibly one of the worst stories Doctor Who has ever produced. And I’m not just saying that for effect. This story fails at a most basic level and quite frankly I’m astounded that anyone could possibly look at this and go ‘yeah, this is good. One of Moffat’s best in fact. Eggs anyone?’ Obviously this was back in 2012 where people were still willingly drinking Moffat’s Kool-Aid and deluding themselves into thinking he was actually clever (as opposed to, you know, a pretentious moron).

There’s so much wrong with this episode, it’s hard to know where to start. Well from the beginning I suppose. Yes, let’s start there.

The episode starts on Skaro… and immediately I’ve got questions. Didn’t they say Skaro was destroyed in the Time War? How did the Daleks resurrect it? How come the Doctor isn’t surprised that Skaro still exists? And why in God’s name would the Daleks build a giant statue of themselves?

The Doctor, Amy and Rory get captured by humans who have been Dalek-ified (I imagine Moffat thinks this is incredibly scary, but in reality it’s just really silly with the eye-stalks poking out of their foreheads and everything) and are taken to the… smirk… Parliament of the Daleks and speak to the… the… LOL! PRIME MINISTER of the Daleks!

OMG! Forgive me. I’ve always had some difficulty taking the Daleks seriously as villains, but this just takes the cake. PRIME MINISTER of the Daleks?! What, do the Daleks trundle along into voting booths and polling stations every five years? Are there Tory Daleks and Lib Dem Daleks? Are there some Daleks campaigning for cuts to immigration and others campaigning for bigger plungers? Do the Daleks have their own versions of satirical panel shows like Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You? Do the Daleks have a Monster Raving Looney Party? Please tell me the Daleks have a Monster Raving Looney Party!

And speaking of monster raving loonies, it turns out the Daleks have an asylum full of insane Daleks. Oh boy, what’s the best way to unpack this nonsense? Well let’s start with the obvious. Why would the Daleks have an insane asylum? Why not just kill the insane Daleks? That’s usually their MO, isn’t it? Anything less than pure gets exterminated, right? Well according to the Prime Minister of the Daleks (snigger), it is offensive to them to extinguish such divine hatred. Oh! Really?! Perhaps you should tell that to the Daleks who have killed members of their own species in the past for being fractionally impure. I don’t think they got the memo darling. 

And it just gets stupider and stupider the more it goes along. They want to cleanse the Asylum because a spaceship crash-landed on it and now they’re worried the insane Daleks are going to escape. Well why didn’t you just kill them in the first sodding place? And didn’t you just say a few seconds ago it was offensive to extinguish such divine hatred? Make your minds up guys! But then it turns out they can’t actually destroy the Asylum because it’s covered by an impenetrable forcefield. But hold on, it can’t be that impenetrable. A pissing spaceship just crash-landed on it. So they send the Doctor (yes the Daleks have asked their greatest enemy for help. No I don’t get it either. Just go along with it) inside the Asylum to turn the forcefield off. That’s the impenetrable forcefield that can only be turned off from the inside of the fully automated Asylum that doesn’t require a Dalek to operate it. In other words, the insane Daleks have complete unrestricted access to their own forcefield and teleporter that no one from the outside can possibly get into (unless they’re in a crashing spaceship for some reason). That’s basically like giving the prisoners the keys to their own cells.

Moffat fans, are you sure this is one of the best Dalek stories ever. Because from what I can see, this episode is a complete and utter shambles, and we’re only 5 or 10 minutes in.

Let’s quickly talk about the insane Daleks. You know, the ones the Daleks are afraid of? Must be some dangerous, homicidal nutters in that Asylum, mustn’t there? So what do they do that makes them so frightening? Well they’re incredibly slow, have really bad aim and screech the word ‘Eggs’ a lot.

Originally posted by elittlejoia

Um… how is that scary? Why would the Daleks be frightened of them?… WATCH OUT! THAT DALEK IS COMPLETELY INEFFECTUAL! ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Now here’s something that will get hardcore Whovians excited. Apparently there are some classic series Daleks that will be playing a big part in this episode. Awesome! Let’s see if we can find them, shall we?

Right then, well… there was that Jon Pertwee era Dalek spinning around in the background in that one scene, and um…. oh I did see that Special Weapons Dalek briefly for a couple of seconds… um… No. Actually that’s about it. So when Moffat said that classic series Daleks would be playing a part in the episode, he just meant one or two of them would make cameo appearances. Well that’s underwhelming at best and blatant false advertising at worst. What’s even weirder is that at one point the Doctor meets Dalek survivors from previous encounters he had with them like on Spirodon and Kembel and so on, but the Daleks we see are post 2005 Daleks rather than classic series Daleks from their respective eras. Whoops.

But that’s not the only thing Moffat fucks up. There’s also Amy and Rory’s marriage. Remember when we last saw them in The Doctor, The Widow, And The Wardrobe? They were sitting down for Christmas dinner, looking very happy. Now all of a sudden, they’re getting a divorce.

Originally posted by vismaviedevie

Now I’m sure this bizarre tonal shift wasn’t quite as noticeable at the time because there were months between the Christmas special and this episode, but if you’ve been watching each episode one after the other like I’ve been doing, it’s incredibly jarring. What the fuck happened? It just feels so utterly random.

So why did Amy and Rory split up? Because Amy is sterile now apparently. Yes, she’s utterly barren now and so she pushed Rory away for his own good. Okay. There’s a LOT wrong with this. The casual sexism for one thing, with Moffat once again implying that the only strength or worth a woman has is in her uterus. Rory’s total lack of agency is another issue. Amy just kicks Rory out of the house without telling him what the problem is or giving him a chance to decide for himself. Oh and I could do without the spousal abuse being disguised as girl power thing. Amy slapping Rory isn’t cute and sexy. It’s assault and battery. In fact it actually gets more uncomfortable than that as you realise that not only does Moffat seem to be medically incapable of writing a healthy relationship, he honestly believes this is a healthy relationship. Let me put it this way. I can understand Amy and Rory wanting to take some time apart to reevaluate things, but do you know how long it usually takes to finalise a divorce here in the UK? Four months. Are you seriously telling me that Amy and Rory never talked about this FOR FOUR MONTHS?! Do they even want to be together?! And just when you think this couldn’t get any more insulting, it turns out all their marital troubles are solved in the end thanks to a two minute conversation. So it was all basically just a gigantic waste of time. This is a real emotional tragedy a lot of couples go through and Moffat has just pulled it out of his arse in order to add to some artificial tension to his shit story. And people wonder why I hate him so much.

Dear God, this is fucking terrible. Can this episode possibly get any worse?

Well, well, well. My arch-nemesis. At last we finally meet.

Oswin is without a doubt the worst character Moffat has ever written. In fact she’s not even a character. That would be too generous. She’s a Mary Sue with no interesting personality traits and whose dialogue can easily be interchanged with River’s or Amy’s or every other female character Moffat has ever written. She’s a ‘strong female character’ in inverted commas only. There’s no effort to actually develop her character or to make her come across as a relatable or believable human being. She’s just yet another Moffat siren. Plus she just irradiates smug. I can’t tell if it’s the writing or Jenna Coleman’s performance, but she just gets under my skin. There’s just something about her I find profoundly irritating. Maybe it’s the fact that all her dialogue consists of nothing but unfunny wisecracks, patronising nicknames  and sexual innuendos. Maybe it’s the fact that despite being in mortal peril, she never reacts in a believable way, instead acting like a total smartarse. Maybe it’s the fact that her deus ex machina powers effectively reduce the Doctor to a secondary character in his own show. Do you know that feeling you get when someone scrapes their nails across a chalkboard? Well Oswin is the physical manifestation of that. She’s just incredibly obnoxious. So you can imagine my joy when she got killed off at the end. That was a happy relief. I mean can you imagine what it would have been like if they made her a companion? Now that would have been unbearable. Good thing that’s never going to happen, right?… Ri… Right?

So at the end it’s revealed that Oswin has been a Dalek all along, which would have been a tragic twist if I actually gave a shit about her and if it weren’t so utterly stupid. What’s the point of that nano-cloud? Why would the Daleks need a nano-cloud to convert humans? How are humans supposed to get into the Asylum if it’s covered by an IMPENETRABLE forcefield? How come the Daleks are converting humans in the first place? That’s the Cybermen’s schtick. Again, has Steven Moffat ever actually watched Doctor Who before? And oi, since when have the Daleks been telepathic? That’s the first I’ve heard about it. You’re just making this shit up as you go along, aren’t you Moffat?

And then comes the awful resolution. The cherry on top of the dung heap. Oswin somehow manages to hack into all of the Daleks and make them forget about the Doctor. Putting aside some of the more obvious problems like Moffat stripping everything interesting out of the Doctor and the Daleks’ antagonistic relationship for his stupid twist ending and how the fuck was Oswin, a lone Dalek in a mental asylum, able to make every single Dalek in the universe forget about him, what’s truly horrific about this is the return of the dreaded ‘Doctor who?’ It was bad enough when a chorus of Daleks was squawking it ad nauseam, but when the Doctor started chanting it too in the final scene, it became too much to bear. PLEASE GOD, SOMEONE, MAKE IT STOP!

Asylum Of The Daleks is an absolute train wreck from start to finish. It’s absolutely littered with plot holes and continuity errors, the characterisation is beyond atrocious, the villains are stupid and ineffectual, and the so called emotional core of the story is pointless, misogynistic and nonsensical. And apparently it’s one of the best Dalek stories ever written? I don’t know which version of the story you lot have been watching, but I would love to see it. I’m afraid the version I’ve just watched was complete and utter shite.

anonymous asked:

Since the numbers showing that overwhelming numbers of white men and women from all walks of life voted for Trump, what are your thoughts on the concept of white allies? A lot of white folk who said they were for Hillary and were for Obama went the other way in that polling booth.

First of all, Heelary is a Racist & Obama is a Capitalist & an Imperialist, so the White who support them are no more our allies than the Whites who support Trump. 

Now that that’s outta the way, we can address the concept or reality of White Allies.

I think there are White Allies, historically and currently.

I think we have a problem accessing whether on not White Allies exists is cuz we have a warped definition of what Allies are and their roles and responsibilities.

If we had a accurate definition Allies and Alliances we could not only better recognize White Allies, we’b be better able to cultivate and maximize those Alliances. 

Dr. John Henrik Clarke kept tell us, as often as he could: “There is not such thin as permanent allies, there are only permanent interest!” 

The more Dr. Clarke asserted this the more we seem to ignore him or miss his point.

You form and sustain alliances for as long as they serve your interest, and not for one second longer, it’s that simple. We seem to think that alliances should last forever and that those we’ve allied with should remain loyal to us based on our past work and contributions to them. That’s not how alliances work.

The some Black Militants get pissed off and claim that we can never ally with Whites or any other non-Blacks cuz they broke alliances with us in the past. When we should broke the alliance before they did, if we understood how this shit works, if we had listened to Dr. Clarke.

Just look at the UN (but you have to exclude the African nations from this example, unfortunately), or NATO, or NAFTA, or any formal treaty or military alliances, these nations don’t love each other, then don’t expect the other parties to sever them at the same capacity as they serve themselves!  

An Alliance is not a Love Affair, it’s not even a Friendship, it’s a very specific agreement, that should not only have clearly articulated or understood parameters, but also the understanding that either party can exit or renegotiate the alliance when it is in their interest to do so. 

In the past, hell, even now I discourage or shun formal alliances with Whites, not because they tend to breed more confusion and hostility than mutual benefits due to all of the misconceptions we have about Allies and Alliances. 

But there are still informal alliances, Being a Black Vegan, White Vegans and Animal Rights Activist advance my interest and are my informal allies. So are may Whites in the secular and atheist movement. Also, AntiFa, Deep Green Resistance, the Revolutionary Communist Party, etc are White organizations that are informally allied with the Black Masses. Our interest align with their on certain issues, even if we don’t coordinate, or even know who the hell they are. 

When Whites approach about supporting Blacks or Africa I turn them to these White Organizations who are not formally allied with Blacks but engage  or advocate actions that are beneficial to all people, including Blacks.

I also try to impress on Whites that they should fight the Systems and Institutions of Global White Domination for no other reason than to save themselves and their decedents, don’t do it for Blacks or anyone else. White Domination threatens Whites too, it’s driving them to extinction too, they can’t save anyone but themselves from Capitalism and Western Hyper Aggression. So, if you have formal alliances with Whites, you need to know that they know that they are saving their own lives and their own descendants in this fight, not being saviors for us. 

I know this White Anarchist in Brooklyn back in the early 90s who published this magazine called “Race Traitor,” he argued that “A White Race Traitor is an Ally of Humanity.”  He wanted Whites to unite with Whites to oppose White Supremacy, while leaving non-Whites to develop their own forms of Resistance independent of Whites.  I support his concept of White Allies in this current state of the Struggle. 

For those who think a multi-racial formation is the only way to go, there are options available, but they should still have this more accurate and sober understanding of what Allies and Alliances are all about. There are even Black organization like the Uhuru Movement that have formal standing within their organization for White Allies, but I think they also have the distorted view of White Allies are, and should be, based on my discussion about this issue with “former” members of their organization. but I can’t say for sure.

One more thing, any true White Radical or Revolutionary will full understand you preparing for their eventual treason, subversion, or takeover within your mutual effort.  If they are really White Woke they will not offer resistance to you erecting barriers and contingencies within your allegiances for that eventuality. If they know and claim their history, they would support you in all of your suspicion, and caution.

One more, one more thing: If you Black never pick a fight with another Black over the participation of Whites, if it’s Black Exclusive, respect that and hold to it, or find a multi-formation to work with.  The last thing we should be fighting each other over is White inclusion at this day and age. 

Note: I don’t think I did this issue justice, but I hope I got you pointed in the right direction.  There’s so much to be said on this, I might write a pamphlet or text on this issue. Thanks for this question. 

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Thank you.
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Good News and Bad News

Good news:

The election showed Dems are finally getting their asses to the polling booth

Bad news:

Four people showed up for my reading

anonymous asked:

i follow you on snap, are you canvassing for a republican? are you a republican? whats happening lol

I work with mostly Republicans. I am working a poll booth for a woman that I’m close with, who is an amazing judge, and deserves to keep the spot. She is a Republican. That doesn’t make her any less of an amazing judge or person. This isn’t the Supreme Court. I can’t stand when people think you have to vote for your party in local elections, like municipal judges. I agree with every move she makes as a judge and did when she was a Prosecutor. She has my vote. Her party doesn’t influence that for me.

i don’t understand how this even a close race at all!!!! how the hell do you go into that polling booth and check that box for donald fucking trump how the fuck!!!!!!!! do you do that!!!!!!!! how do you make that choice and half of this fuckivgn country did it!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU


This Guardian article where they interviewed people who are voting Trump is wild because amongst all the people who are just racist or whatever there’s this guy who’s apparently just singing No Children as loud as he can at the polling booth.

anonymous asked:

Wait but I thought you were Canadian though, which means you *can't* vote, right?

im americanadian so i theoretically COULD vote if they had a polling booth less than 3 inches in height so i could reach