Tag: democracy

Checkpoint Charlie: Before the Wall Came Down


BigComboTrailerTwenty-five years ago, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. University of Baltimore MFA student Ellen Hartley recalls a night in 1966 when she and her student husband tried to cross to East Berlin. What stopped them might make you grateful.


Halten Sie — sofort!” A guttural voice. “Schnell aus dem Auto!”

Danny slammed on the brakes of our VW Bug. We stumbled out of the car. A pair of burly border guards ordered us to step aside and empty our pockets.

1966, Checkpoint Charlie. My husband and I were students, out for a night at the opera in East Berlin.

I Voted! But Was I Informed?


So I fulfilled a certain civic duty today — you know, the one on which our whole system of government purportedly rests — and was happy to register my opinions on Maryland’s major ballot questions, but surprised myself at how little of the 11-screen electronic ballot that accounted for. That is to say, despite what I thought was a reasonable amount of information-gathering this year (though I admit I never quite got around to figuring out what the deal was with those Orphan’s Court questions), I was still too ignorant to cast votes on the majority of what was being put before me.

Libertarians, Greens Overcome Difficult Requirements to Appear on Maryland Ballot in November


In Maryland’s 2010 gubernatorial election, both the Libertarian Party and the Green Party failed to draw 1% of the vote. That kicked the parties off the state ballot for future elections until they each collected 10,000 valid signatures. After a brief setback in May when the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld state election officials’ disqualification of thousands of signatures, Libertarians and Greens have now petitioned their way onto Maryland’s 2012 ballot. And Marylanders will have a full slate of Libertarians, a Green presidential candidate, and Green House of Representatives candidates in the fifth and eighth districts.