Today was a very good day. I finished my absentee ballot and I dropped it off over at the polling place around 6.30pm. I had one of those moments I have when I walk around my neighborhood and it was the sort that makes me feel better about my world, my life. The polling place was bustling and I felt energized. I love that while out on our nightly walk I was able to exercise my right to vote and get a coffee… walk, vote, coffee—all within three blocks. Now, that sort of simplistic fulfillment of my personal needs (and those of Siddhartha) is awesome. Thank you Curtis Park.

After a scenic curlycue conversation with a friend, I curled up on the futon, knitted, and like an addict, glued myself to the election returns. As I type, the conservatives have lost the House and the next Speaker of the House will be a historical footnote—the first female to hold the position. The Senate race is still tight but the Dems may pick up Montana and Virginia seats.

Now, i am not so black and white as to ramble on about Republican corruption. Politics are slick and politicans shifty and often slimey. Yet, a point was made a few times tonight which is less spin and more to reality, which is: any party that holds absolute power is doomed to become complacent, out of touch with their constituents, and ultimately, susceptible to corruption/scandal. I see it this way— if all three branches of government are held or dominated by a single political party (as the presidential, congressional branches are and who have stacked the judicial branch) then democracy is not well-served. The face of America had become a glossy homogenous reflection rather than reflecting the heterogenous composition of our country’s inhabitants.

Tonight, I feel good about the election returns. Arnie was re-elected and I’m good with that (I voted for him after all). Incumbent Senator Pombo’s Democrat opponent looks like he may actually unseat the 7 time Senator from the Central Valley/Bay Area. Without ranting and raving, this is a very good thing.

Within the Sacramento, the Q and R proposition was smacked down. A proposition requiring convicted sex offenders to wear GPS tracking devices FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES was passed, thus, securing a safer future for us all.

I’m pleased that 65% of registered voters in Sacramento County got out the vote. Jerry Brown won Attorney General of California.

I’m pleased that Americans, in general, sent a strong message by voting out incumbent Republicans in Congress. I’m not a Democratic poster child, but certainly, we as a nation wanted change.  Sure, I am concerned that the Dems don’t seem to have a strategy for what to do next—no foreign or domestic policies proposed. Yet, most change is good. I’ll take this change over the stagnant state of our current Congressional body.

Discouragingly, five states voted in gay marriage bans. Yet, the outcome could have been worse as it was on the ballot in eight states. Banning marriage rights of consenting adults is disconcerning, regardless of same sex (in my humble opinion). Love is love and everyone has the right to have that piece of paper, just as much as two people have the right to live and love and not marry.

Of course these are my views; my opinions, regardless of well-informed opinions and well-meaning responses , won’t alter. The truth is: I am generally discouraged by the great American apathy and tonight, I’m not so discouraged. While shifting of power (between either of the two main parties) is a sign of much needed change (much like 1997), our national challenges and woes will not be solved by an election.

But I have regained a few ounces of faith in our electorial process. Regardless of political affiliation, thank you one and all for getting out there and exercising your right to vote.