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Monday, April 03, 2006

"What if They Threw a War and Nobody Voted for it?"

Tomorrow, voters in Wisconsin will vote on whether to pull troops out of Iraq. Thirty-one communities will vote on nonbinding advisory referenda - a yes vote (in all municipalities but one) will send advice to Washington to pull troops out of Iraq. The response from the pro-war crowd has been predictable.

"They say bring the troops home now; we say vote no to cut and run, bring them home when the job is done," the Wisconsin State Journal reports William Richardson of Madison as saying, "In business it is called attitude, in the military it is called morale. You can have the best- trained, educated, led and equipped soldiers in the world, but if they don't want to fight, you have nothing." And he oughta know, he's a US Marine veteran - from 1966 to 1970, he played trombone in the marine band. I shit you not. His experience obviously left him with a keen insight into global politics.

But the referenda aren't about global politics - this is about Wisconsin, 2006, and a demonstration of voting strength. People always say that there's only one poll that really counts... Well, here ya go. This won't show the opinions of likely voters, this will show the opinions of voting voters.

And the results could have an effect beyond 2006. In 2004, John Kerry took Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes by a whopping 11,000 votes and a 1% difference. Wisconsin is among the purplest of the purple states. We're up for grabs and democratic wins here could help lay the groundwork for future wins in a state teetering on the edge.

If you're in the Badger state, get out and vote tomorrow - it's more important than you probably realize. If you're not blessed with the honor of being a wisconsinite, watch this space. It's more important than you probably realize.

(Keywords: politics, referendum, Iraq, pro-war, peace, cut and run )