Category Archives: a


a vote cast (usually via mail) by someone who is unable to visit the official polling station on election day.
The allowance of absentee ballots is regarded by some as an effective way to improve voter turnout. Some jurisdictions require that a valid reason be proven, such as sickness or travel, before a voter is granted an absentee ballot.

In the news… Woodbury County flooded with absentee ballot requests (Sioux City Journal, 9/11/12)


The practice of recruiting political candidates for lower office whose last names start with the letter, A (or another letter early in the alphabet). This practice is based on the theory that in low profile elections voters will tend to support whichever candidate has a name (first or last) that falls noticeably earliest in the alphabet.


a loose political affiliation of English-speaking countries who share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, and/or through being former British colonies. In particular, this includes the UK, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, Ireland and the United States

In the news… Mitt Romney would restore ‘Anglo-Saxon’ relations between Britain and America (UK Telegraph, 7/24/12)


an actor involved in political activism and/or “pet” causes. George Clooney is an actorvist for Darfur. (actor+activist)

In the news… Hollywood’s Double Standard on Darfur


extreme religious fundamentalists who believe there should be no separation of church & state in US government

On the web… Quotes from the The American Taliban


…a form of advocacy in support of a political, organizational, or corporate agenda, designed to give the appearance of a “grassroots” movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to another political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.


    In the news… Rush Limbaugh’s Facebook page for female fans is a big hit — among users in India (July 11, 2012)
    On the web… The Astronomical Rise of Astroturfing