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LEANN KYOAN NAIL
Graduate student
Dallas, Texas

“It means voting. I like the way Plato wanted us to do it: all politicians would be housed in barracks. They wouldn’t have much money, but they’d be taken care of by society, so the only thing they would have to do is govern.”

ALLAN HUNT BADINER 
Writer 
Big Sur, California
“I think it would be hard to be a paid politician and a Buddhist, but a good Buddhist could definitely be on the voting end of the equation.”

WANDA McKINLEY 
Financial manager 
Nashville, Tennessee
“I’d like to vote for Clinton but my Buddhist vows prevent this because of his pro-capital-punishment stance. I like Gore’s position on the environment, but I’m still hoping—against the odds—that another presidential candidate will emerge.”

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PAIGE JOKO HARBOUGH 
Emergency-room physician 
Tallahassee, Florida
”’I’m responsible’ is what it means. I’m responsible for what my government does, for what those people in power do …. When someone says, ‘Take care,’ it means take care of it, all of it. And voting is just one thing I do to try to take care of it.”

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TERRY KISTLER 
Writer
New York, New York
“I’ll vote for the candidate who has the most compassion for all people and all life forms, who sees them as interconnected. Since our current president demonstrates very little of such understanding, it will be Bill Clinton and Al Gore.”

JOEL McLEARY 
Political consultant 
The Plains, Virginia
“If you aspire to become a bodhisattva, you’re someone who is engaged with other beings, and someone who is engaged with other beings votes—this spoken by a political consultant who doesn’t always vote. If you think of Bush’s position and inaction on Tibet, China, and Burma, and you care about the larger sangha, you cannot vote for Bush.”

ROSALIE DREIFUS 
Publicist 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
“Right now I am not committed to voting. Both voting and not voting are active statements. Given that no candidate reveals one iota of wisdom-mind, the idea that Buddhists have a moral obligation to vote is ridiculous.”

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NICKI DAYLEY 
Social worker/family therapist 
Westchester, New York 
“It means voting for a compassionate person—when you can find one—who respects both Heaven and Earth, someone who knows how to rise above dualistic thinking and has the intelligence and skillful means to express his or her compassion. That’s hard to find these days in America—I’d put my vote in for Vaclav Havel.”

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WENDY EGYOKU NAKAO 
Editor of The Ten Directions 
Los Angeles, California 
“I hate people who don’t vote.”

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DAVID SCHNEIDER 
Writer 
San Francisco, California
“I’m going to hold my nose and go into the booth. Mostly because I live in California and I want to see these two women—Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer—in the Senate.”

ROBERT VAN VRANKEN 
Artist 
Brunswick, Maine
“Participating but doing so with the understanding that the choices being offered simply represent different styles of imprisonment.”

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L. TYSON ANDERSON 
Teacher 
Dade City, Florida
“Recognizing the importance of policies which encourage both individual responsibility and compassion. The self-image of being a ‘consumer’—whether of BMWs or governmental services—is ultimately a debilitating and destructive illusion.”

VAL SANFORD 
Graphic designer 
Boulder, Colorado
“I’ll vote even though there are no real choices. Ideally, I’d want an enlightened leader, someone concerned with the benefits of others instead of his or her own gain—my self, my party.”

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