May 15, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Election process corrupt
As a Pakistani living in Seattle, the past two days have seen me glued to my computer, following Pakistan’s national elections [“Pakistan’s ex-leader poised to win,” page one, May 12]. Both Pakistani and international media have failed to provide a complete picture of what is actually happening.Social media is full of eyewitness accounts and visual evidence of blatant rigging by both the victorious party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and by the Muttahida Quami Movement.
Right at this moment, large numbers of people are out on the streets peacefully protesting against the rigging and demanding re-election in certain constituencies. There has been at least one instance of the police and other individuals using force against the protesters, including a brief round of weapons firing, which the local media has barely acknowledged.
I have heard firsthand accounts from friends and family who have seen rigging carried out in various forms — officers and voters at polling stations being threatened with guns, the tearing up of filled ballots, purposeful eight-hour delays in opening up polling stations as people waited in line, men looking over women’s shoulders as they voted with scarcely veiled threats, and more. The international media need to take note immediately.
Nabeeha Chaudhary, Seattle
May 15, 2013 at 7:07 AM
No more pet bills
Once again, state legislators can’t get their work done on schedule and they’re moving to another expensive special session [“Inslee narrows top priorities for special session,” seattletimes.com, May 13]. This recurring problem happens because legislators have their priorities backward. They spend most of the session working on lower-priority pet bills and leave the budget — the most important task — to the end.
Here are some of the bills that legislators thought were more important than getting the budget passed: a crucial “sip and spit” bill allowing culinary students to taste alcohol, a vitally important bill changing “freshman” to “first-year student,” and a bill to create “National Rifle Association” license plates. There were also useless resolutions, including ones honoring Catholic schools, Kiyokazu Ota (Who?), and National Day of the Cowboy.
That’s what some of our legislators toiled on before and in lieu of working on the budget. Sure, non-budget bills can be beneficial, but if they can be passed before the budget is finalized, then they can be passed after it’s finalized, too.
Solution? No pet bills, no silly resolutions — nothing — until the budget is done. And special sessions should be limited to the budget. If legislators dillydally and don’t finish the budget by the last day of the session, then boo hoo, no other bills get passed that year.
If this requirement were implemented, we would see the end of extra sessions. In fact, the budget would probably be completed in a week, as legislators would rush to get to their own bills. A cost-saving win-win for everyone.
Matthew Barry, Issaquah
May 15, 2013 at 6:33 AM
Put a price on carbon
While it’s true that 400 parts per million (ppm) is only slightly more damaging than 399 ppm, the sad news is that this new “record” is sure to be broken in a matter of months, first by 401 ppm, then 402 and 403 [“Atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels hit worrisome milestone,” News, May 12].
When will it stop? Whenever we decide to finally stop using fossil fuels. How can we stop such a routine part of our day-to-day lives? By putting a price on carbon, preferably at the source, with the income rebated to all citizens. Join Citizens Climate Lobby to help make this happen. We have a lot of work to do; let’s do it now.
Fran Koehler, Seattle
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