Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Hey! It's election day here in Missouri, so go vote. If you live here. And if you're one of those "no matter who you vote for, the goverment gets elected" kind of people, then go vote anyway, it's about damn time you grew up. Naturally, if you don't live in Missouri, and it's not election day wherever you are, then it's okay, you don't have to vote today. I absolve you.

The big issues here in Columbia are school board elections (no brainer: 4 guys running for 3 slots, and one of the 4 guys is running on a platform of giving less money to the schools), a bond issue to build new schools, and a drive to repeal the bottle deposit ordinance.

Here's the basics on the bottle deposit: Columbia has the only municipal bottle deposit law in the country (it also covers cans), although several states have them. And every 5-10 years, there's a drive to repeal it. The anti-deposit law folks have a lot of arguments, some good, some ridiculous, but what they basically boil down to is that the deposit law costs businesses money, and it's a pain in the ass. Here's my argument for the deposit law: Every summer, I go up to Michigan, a deposit law state, and I can walk for 6 miles along the beach up there without seeing a single can or a bottle. When I go canoeing on the Current river, in southern Missouri, where there is no deposit on cans or bottles, in six miles I can fill up a trash bag or two.

On the other hand, I mostly drink water, juice or tea at home, and I brew my own beer (and reuse the bottles) so I really don't get to experience the pain in the ass parts of the deposit law. At my rate of consumption, I get enough cans and bottle to be worth the trouble about once every 4 months or so, at which point I bag up the whole bunch and give them to a homeless guy who's more than willing to sort cans and bottles for a nickel each. But if you drink a lot of Coke, and you think it's more trouble than it's worth, than vote to repeal it, and we'll see who wins.

Would it be totally geeky of me to admit that I get off on democracy?

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