voting ballot

Voting Ballots Are Up!

Voting period has started! You have until May 13th to vote for your favourite stories by filling out the Google Forms linked below:


General Voting Ballot

Mature Voting Ballot


Things you need to keep in mind:

- Remember you must provide a working link to an online profile of some sort (tumblr, deviantart, ffnet, ao3, instagram…) and a username. There is a space provided for these at the beginning of each ballot.

- Voting for yourself is not allowed.

- Any ballots that don’t follow those two rules will be deleted without notice.

- You may vote in as many or as few categories as you’d like. There’s a “none of the above” option in each category or alternatively you may leave the categories blank.


Happy voting!

Voting: Delayed to April 26th

Hello everyone!

I know you must all be very excited (we are too!) because voting is starting very soon! It was planned to start on the 23rd (tomorrow) but our staff need an extra few days to get some things sorted. You can use that time to get some extra reading done! Did you know there were over 150 authors/artists nominated this year? So much talent!

The voting ballot will be posted on this blog Wednesday 26th of April. Follow us to not miss the post with the link to the google form (fill it out like a multiple choice poll) and more certificate art previews!

acaramela  asked:

Hey can I ask you something and this is a thoroughly ignorant question but I'm Latina and I grew up learning that Castro killed his own people and that he just was a terrible dictator. I even have friends from around the region that support this and say that Castro and communism are responsible for the suffering of the Cuban people. Could you explain to me why this isn't the case? I just can't find any other reliable sources to inform myself. Thank you.

im sorry this is long, but read the whole thing, its all important information

First, Cuba isn’t a one-man or military dictatorship. A lot of people don’t know this, especially in countries allied with America, but Cuba is highly democratic, and even takes measures to stop corruption in politics. For example, elected representatives are paid workers’ wages, so there is no monetary incentive to run for office, all voting is by secret ballot, votes are counted in public, voting is voluntary, elected representatives can be recalled at any time, women make up 48.9% of the Cuban government (a hell of a lot more than the US which can’t even break 20% in its Congress), it is illegal to spend any money on political campaigns to advertise for particular candidates, and candidates’ biographies and their reasons for standing are posted on public notice boards so everyone has equal exposure.

The nomination and election of local candidates for office is done in public meetings, with return meetings happening every 6 months. There are limitations in higher levels of the government, where voters must choose to either accept or reject a single nominee, but as far as i know, the principles of recall and community nomination still hold true.

You can read more about Cuban democracy here:

Why Cuba Still Matters // Representative Government in Socialist Cuba // Cuban Democracy Fact Sheet // How to Visit a Socialist Country // 

As for the specific claim that Castro is a dictator, its on very shaky grounds (to say the least). Its true, of course, that Fidel and Raul have been the only presidents of Cuba since the revolution. However, the presidency isn’t chosen like it is in America, directly (well, its not even direct in America, but thats another topic). The presidency is chosen through the elected parliament (national assembly).

Delegates to the National Assembly are elected every 5 years, half nominated from municipalities and half nominated by mass organizations (like trade unions, women’s orgs, cultural orgs, etc.). Each nominee must receive at least 50% of the vote. All in all, there are 612 delegates, and 48.9% are women. 

The National Assembly votes on who belongs to the Council of State, which appoints the ministers, Presidency, and Vice Presidency. And following a 2011 Congress of the Communist Party, senior elected officials can only serve two terms (10 years) in office. That means in 2018, Raul Castro will step down and a new President will be chosen.

We should also talk about what exactly “dictatorship” means. All societies are dictatorial for some and free for others, because all states are institutions of class rule. Cuba, while I don’t believe it has a socialist economy (and thus not a socialist government) has absolutely shown what can be done with the support of the mass power of the people, and drawn a line between it as a free and independent country and imperialists.

So how is Cuba in service of its people? It raised literacy from 60-70% to 96% in two years- today 100% of Cubans are literate. It has a massive amount of doctors per capita and has lower rates of infant mortality, HIV, and malnutrition than the US. They have state subsidized SRS and HRT, some of the best current LGBT rights in the Caribbean, despite their historical struggles with homophobia. They are the most sustainable country in the world, despite the embargo. 

(The Embargo is absolutely devastating to the Cuban economy, too. Never let a discussion of Cuba’s economy go on without discussing the impact of the embargo)

Still, compare those achievements to Haiti. A country that has been and still is politically and economically crippled by US and French imperialism, which suffers under a neocolonial elite, which is paid starvation wages to make Levis and other commodities for the US, which receives little to no aid when natural disasters hit (which are exacerbated by the ecological devastation of the island).

What is really responsible for the suffering of the people, not just in Cuba, but in Haiti and all countries in the global south? Is it really the ideology of socialism that fights for greater rights and the accessibility to basic needs? Or is it capitalist-imperialism, which strangles Cuba with economic blockades, and parasitically leeches off of its neighbors?

As for the claim that Castro killed “his own people”… the phrasing of this (and of course this isn’t your fault, anti-communists always phrase stuff like this) makes it seem like its better if politicians kill others in imperialist war. Killing “your own people” is somehow far worse than killing the people of countries you want to invade or control. Castro and Che did kill people, yes Cubans. But again, we have to look at the class forces involved. Who were those fleeing? Who were being killed? Historical records show most were rich, white Cuban plantation owners or otherwise of the middle and upper classes, who backed the former military dictator Batista:

All weekend a Cuban exile contingent of right-wing ‘gusanos’ have been gathered on Calle Ocho street in Miami’s “Little Havana” to celebrate the death of Fidel Castro. However the hatred was always mutual; as Fidel characterized the first 1960’s waves of wealthy white parasitic former land owners who were part of the Batista dictatorship he overthrew as “gusanos” (worms), based on their reactionary politics, intransigent support for the blockade, and desire to team up with the CIA to carry out terrorist attacks all across post-revolutionary Cuba. (Note, not all exiles fall into this category, especially more recent arrivals).

The zenith of gusano interference was the 1961 U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, which Cuba’s government defeated, and afterwards Fidel pointed out the wealth of many of the 1,100 exile soldiers that his troops captured (and later released back to the U.S. in exchange for baby formula). Within those 1,100 soldiers were: 100 plantation owners, 67 landlords of apartment buildings, 35 factory owners, 112 businessmen, 179 living off inheritances, and 194 ex-soldiers of Batista.

Over the decades since that time, the aging gusano contingent in South Florida has proven to be perhaps the most corrupt group (on a per-capita basis) in American politics—which is saying something. In their dying off ranks you can find Batista’s old BRAC secret police goons, ex Cuban mafia, CIA contract killers, and former oligarchs of vast latifundias. As essentially Miami is still controlled by the remnants of Batista’s dictatorship and their off-spring, a regime which killed 20,000 Cubans and tortured tens of thousands more.

(from here)

Almost all (and i only say almost because i don’t know of any who were not) of those executed were members of Batista’s army, informants, rich landowners who backed Batista, etc. And, contrary to the idea that these were executions against the people, they were actually popularly sanctioned:

Serving in the post as commander of La Cabaña, Guevara reviewed the appeals of those convicted during the revolutionary tribunal process.[9] The tribunals were conducted by 2–3 army officers, an assessor, and a respected local citizen.[105] On some occasions the penalty delivered by the tribunal was death by firing squad.[106] Raúl Gómez Treto, senior legal advisor to the Cuban Ministry of Justice, has argued that the death penalty was justified in order to prevent citizens themselves from taking justice into their own hands, as happened twenty years earlier in the anti-Machado rebellion.[107] Biographers note that in January 1959, the Cuban public was in a “lynching mood”,[108] and point to a survey at the time showing 93% public approval for the tribunal process.[9]Moreover, a January 22, 1959, Universal Newsreel broadcast in the United States and narrated by Ed Herlihy, featured Fidel Castro asking an estimated one million Cubans whether they approved of the executions, and was met with a roaring “¡Si!” (yes).[109] With thousands of Cubans estimated to have been killed at the hands of Batista’s collaborators,[110][111] and many of the war criminals sentenced to death accused of torture and physical atrocities,[9] the newly empowered government carried out executions, punctuated by cries from the crowds of “¡paredón!” ([to the] wall!),[100]

thats from wikipedia, no less

Always remember- all states are the power of one class over another. Whether that class is the working class by itself (or in alliance with a progressive and anti-imperialist bourgeoisie as in Cuba), or whether it is a reactionary or imperialist bourgeoisie armed against the working class of the world (as in the US)- states are not just democracies or dictatorships- but institutions of class power. Its interesting how we call Cuba a dictatorship when the rich landowners flee or face persecution or god-forbid *gasp* their land is redistributed to campesinos! But the United States, which has the largest (mostly black and brown) prison population in the world (both by number and per capita), which is established on stolen land, and which regularly exercises its power to interfere in and mess with other countries independence, is seen as “free.”

Here are some more resources on Cuba:

[Documentary] Cuba: Defending Socialism, Resisting Imperialism // 20 Reasons to Support Cuba // Cuba: A Revolution in Motion // Cuba and its Neighbors: Democracy in Motion // Work and Democracy in Socialist Cuba // The Sugarmill: The Socio Economic Complex of Sugar in Cuba 1760-1860 // Cuba and the US Empire: A Chronological History // A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution // Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War // The World Economic and Social Crisis // The Economic War Against Cuba // Race in Cuba //

5

Catalonia declares independence

10-27-17: Barcelona: After heated debate, voting commenced in the plenary session of the the Catalan Parliament. The deputies of the anti-independence parties (PP, Citizens’s, PSC), walked out after their motions were soundly defeated. The PP left Spanish flags on their empty seats.

The second resolution proposal of JxSí and the CUP was approved.

Finally, the motion from JxSí and the CUP to constitute the Catalan Republic was voted on and adopted by secret ballot vote with 70 votes in favor, 10 against and 2 abstentions.

At 3.25 pm the Parliament of Catalonia declared the Catalan Republic as an independent and soverign state.

Visca la República Catalana

Via Richard Reilly

Thanks Mariano for making me hate Spain

If someone had told me five years ago that I would be thinking about voting YES on the Catalan referendum,  I would have laughed in their faces.

My maternal grandparents came from another region of Spain, and I have always feel like I was Catalan and Spanish. I still have family there.

During all my summer holidays when I was a kid we visited several Spanish regions, and I loved Spain,

If someone had told me two years ago that I would be  voting YES on the Catalan referendum, I would laughed in their faces.

But I wanted to vote.

My grandfather fought in the Spanish Civil War against the Dictator Franco, and lost an eye and the right of talking in Catalan. He fought for freedoom, and our right to vote.

And now they are saying that we can’t vote.

If someone told me one year ago that I would be  voting YES on the Catalan referendum, I would had said maybe.

But I really, really wanted to vote.

Isn’t that what Democracy means?

That people have the power to decide?

The Spanish president is now telling the Catalan government not to seek legitimacy in the people.  OK. Then Spain is not a democracy. And I want to belong to a democracy.

Spain have come to say that the Catalan government has abducted us. Someone needs to remind them that the movement for independence began in the streets, and that after massive demonstrations it was the politicians who decided to pull forward the referendum.

NOW I’M VOTING YES

After the last weeks, of not wanting Spain to sit down to negotiate, to only know how to say no, of threats to journalists and attacks on freedom of speech, all the lies about the terrorist attack, all the repression and the fear, to feel sick whenever I heard the voice of the president of Spain in the TV, I’ve had enough.

I do not want to be Spanish, I do not feel Spanish anymore.


So thanks to Mariano Rajoy and his policy of fear, for not making me feel welcome in Spain, and after today there is no turning back.

Maybe we will not vote this year, not in five or ten years, but I will remember everything that has happened for the next time.

npr.org
NPR: After Maine Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion, Governor Raises Objections
Republican Gov. Paul LePage vetoed Medicaid expansion several times before, so advocates took the measure to the ballot box. Now the governor is placing financial conditions on moving ahead.

On Tuesday, Maine voted in a referendum to expand Medicaid. It wasn’t even close; the final vote was 59% to 41%, yes winning by 18 percent.

This is a massive victory for poor people in Maine. Over 70,000 will have access to Medicaid and will be able to receive the health care they need. Only Governor LePage, who has vetoed Medicaid expansion many times before, is looking to stall implementation as much as possible. He refuses to implement it unless the legislature comes up with a plan to fund it.

This is a travesty, a decision to subvert the will of the people, and unless LePage wants to suffer through a long and extended legal battle, he’ll work to implement Medicaid expansion.

An Open Letter To The People Of France

The 7 May is going to be your day to choose, to vote for a new president. 

I am very much a German and I do realise that some of you might think now that I probably shouldn’t say anything, as Germany has its own problems with the right-wing etc. (but our election is in September and not in six days) but I’m here, I’m upset and I’m gonna say this anyway:

YOU, every SINGLE ONE of you (French people), who are of voting age, NEED, MUST, HAVE TO go VOTE on MAY 7. 
This is your DUTY. 

You have the RIGHT to vote in a DEMOCRATIC country and if you can’t even do that, then you do not have the right to complain about the politics in your country.
You also do not have the right to complain, if you make your vote ballot INVALID/VOID/CAST IT IN BLANK. That is NOT how you protest vote. This election you should not protest vote at all! This isn’t some joking business, the right-wing IS on the rise and if you do not realise that Le Pen and her people are NAZIS, then you need to slap yourself right in the face. 

You go VOTE and you do it PROPERLY, no funny business just because you’re mad that both candidates are shitty.
You know which nation also thought both of their candidates to be the same level of awful?
Oh? Yeah? That’s right! THE USA. And you know who they got? TRUMP. Nasty right-wing ass racist homophobic sexist ablist fuck Donald Trump. 
And if any of you think that that was a BAD IDEA… then you should know what to do. 

If any of you, mainly the left-wingers who were for Melenchon, have any kind of compassion in you, any kind of realist thoughts, any kind of mind for the future of the lesser fortunate than you… then you should know what to do on May 7. 

I know you’re upset Melenchon did not make it to the final round but NEITHER DID BERNIE SANDERS. This does NOT give you the right to NOT go vote.
 
If you’re all rage against Trump, then you should know what to do on May 7. 

If you’re against Nazis and right-wing bullshit, then you should know what to do on May 7. 

Macron needs the votes, especially the votes of the youth and the left-leaning. 

Le Pen is going to get her votes either way, probably the Fillon voters, too and all the votes of people, who voted for other conservative/right-leaning parties. 

This is not a time to be dumb, blinded by anger. This is the time to make the right choice and that is to vote for Macron on May 7. 
If you cannot see how he is the better choice than Nazi-bride Le Pen? Then I can’t help you. 

Also, as a side note, Frexit? Does that, after Brexit, seem like a good idea to you? You know full well that France profits from the EU (as did the UK). 
THE EU IS NOT THE DEVIL. THE EURO IS NOT THE DEVIL. BRUSSELS IS NOT THE DEVIL. The EU did so many great things, achieved so many great stuff, are we just gonna forget about that? Are we gonna forget that a treaty between FRANCE and Germany was the foundation for the EU? 
Cooperating with Germany is NOT a bad thing, cooperation with the EU is profitable and certainly does not take away from your French nationality.

You’re not less French, just because France is in the EU. 
You are FRENCH AND EUROPEAN. Just like Namibians are African. Just like Chinese are Asian. 
Being European and part of the EU does NOT take away from your identity. It adds. (Although, and that is just my personal opinion, your national identity should NOT weigh as much in any decision as it does… for a lot of people.)

So.

Ni Macron, ni Le Pen?

Is the wrong fucking mantra, is the wrong fucking motto. 

Melenchon is OUT of the RACE. 

Your decision now lies between MACRON and LEPEN. 

And if you decide to throw away your vote and with that your voice? A lot of things are going to change for the worse once Le Pen is president and you need to be aware that this is a possibility that can happen, that will happen. See: USA + Trump. Even also see: Turkey + Erdogan. (Also perhaps see: Hungary + Orban). 

You don’t like Macron? Fine. Make his time as a president absolute HELL. 
But be aware that he IS left-leaning and he is more likely to listen to your demands than Le Pen. Le Pen is NOT going to help the left. She is not going to listen to your voices. Le Pen is going to try to appeal to the less right and more center (conservative) voters. And she will succeed, with what I heard she even talked about that she’s not going to force Frexit upon France? That is, what we Germans call it: Wählerfang (voter catch/haul/hunt). That is what most politicans do, of course, but with her it’s dangerous. She’s gonna promise less radical things to appeal to the people. That is dangerous.

It’s dangerous especially when the young left-leaning voters are throwing their vote away, just because they don’t like Macron. 
THIS IS NOT THE TIME.
DO YOU WANT TO END UP WITH A NAZI?

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, go vote on May 7 and choose wisely.
This is not the time to protest vote.
Once Macron is president, you can protest, you can will him to listen to your demands.

EUROPE NEEDS TO STAY FREE AND LIBERAL. 
THE WORLD IS FULL OF PROBLEMS AND WE NEED A UNITED EUROPE, A EUROPE THAT CAN WORK TOGETHER. 
THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE WITH RIGHT-WING LEADERS. 
IF EVERY COUNTRY WILL ONLY BE THERE FOR ITSELF ANYMORE AND ONLY ACT IN THEIR OWN INTERESTS (eg. France to the French, Britain to the British etc.), THEN THE OUTCOME OF THAT WILL BE TERRIBLE. 

We don’t need this.

We don’t need Le Pen.

We don’t need Petry… or now Alice Weidel, I guess(?)

We don’t need Trump.

We need a Free World and a United Europe. 

#POUREMMANUELMACRON

#POURL’EUROPE

“Opulence has two ways of this grosser sort, by which it may enable its possessor to command the man below him - punishment and reward…
The remedy for all this therefore, real or potential, mischief, is said to lie in the vote by ballot, a contrivance, by means of which every man shall be enabled to give his vote in favour of or against any candidate that shall be nominated, in absolute secrecy, without it being possible for anyone to discover on which side the elector decided - nay, a contrivance, by which the elector is invited to practice mystery and concealment, inasmuch as it would seem an importance in him to speak out, when the law is expressly constructed to bid him to act and be silent. If he speaks, he is guilty of a sort of libel on his brother-electors, who are hereby implicitly reproached by him for their impenetrableness and cowardice.”
- William Godwin, Thoughts on Man, 318-19 (1831)

PETITION UPDATE!!

Hi guys!!😊Just checking in to remind you of what’s going on with the petition thing. So what’s new? Well, we have A LOT of people who are all for this and want to help out so shoutout to you guys!! But now that that’s out of the way, here’s when we need to get down to business. Firstly, I read ALL of your comment/reblogs on what we should do and I decided to break it down into these 3 strategies.

1. Watch ads! Tons of people believe this is a good way to use and save up whatever diamonds they need to play in the game. You watch one ad, BOOM! You get 1-2 diamonds. It may not seem that much, but you’re still gaining something out of it.

2. Play a certain amount of episodes! *Time Limit* Say you play at least 5 episodes for the Crown and the Flame. Once you’ve passed that checkpoint, you’ll be rewarded with a diamond or two and the cycle would continue from the beginning. OR when you finished playing those five episodes, there could be a time limit on when you’ll receive your next set of diamonds. Kind of like the technique they use with keys except it provides more. 

3. Lower the specified amount! So you know how we have to have like 20 or 30 diamonds in order to complete a certain task/ unlock special scenes? Well, if PB lowered how many diamonds we need AND we collected as many as we couldfrom ads or episode checkmarks, then MAYBE we wouldn’t be so annoyed with considering their diamond prices IF NECESSARY 

So, all in all, these are the 3 main strategies we have so far. I personally think the first and last one would be beneficial that way both sides are gaining something, but that’s up to you guys too. *DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADD IN NEW ONES, THE MORE IDEAS, THE BETTER* Also, signatures!! I need someone to collaborate with me and @cartoonfanforlife on how we’re gonna organize everyone’s names and make a list, that way we all get equal say and recognition. Furthermore, if anyone is SUPER good at presenting business proposals and all that, then PLEASE don’t hesitate in trying it out! You’ll play a very crucial role in how we’re gonna deliver the final product;)

Side note: There is no certain number of people we need to reach our goal, seeing that there are a lot of us and we’re very ambitious😉BUT instead, I’ve decided to take @choicesimaginesandmore’s advice on hosting a vote on how many of you agree with the choices up above. If a lot of you prefer the first option, then we will go with that, however, that doesn’t mean the other two are disregarded cause we can use those strategies as backup points.

Whew! Sorry this is such a long post but that is what’s gonna be happening for the time being. Until then, the voting ballots are open (I’ll let you know when they’ll close) and I hope to see some awesome results!☺️ Signing off!!✌🏼