Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Notes from the Electoral Preschool

Another election day has ended, and with it my month of popularity. I will miss the hourly phone calls from my new friends. How will I get through the day without hearing their tinny voices droning, "This is Doobie Frankenwaller reminding you to vote for me for County District Circuit Court Constable"? I will also miss my new friends' mothers, who checked in with me regularly to intone, "Please vote for my gorgeous little boy for Township Sewer Checker, he's such a good little boy." But like everyone I shall soldier on, taking with me the political lessons learned from this political season.

For example, I've realized that there really are only two possible platforms, no matter what office is being sought. The upstart, the candidate seeking office for the first time, will say, "Change. Change. Change. New leadership. Throw out the bums, we can do better!" Once the upstart has been in office, his or her relection platform will be, "Experience! What we need now is experience! I have experience and my opponent is just an upstart."

No one ever seems to notice the falseness of this dichotomy. If the main qualification for being elected to office is having previously held office then we could just cancel elections and allow incumbents to stay in place for life. On the other hand, changing the person holding office does not change the nature of the office itself, nor does it change the political system nor the power structure. "Change" is just shorthand for "Me, not the other guy." We can vote out each and every incumbent member of the US Congress and would still wake up the next day with the US Congress. Only the nameplates would change.

I also learned that there really is no convincing people of the importance of municipal primaries. Without Congressional, Senatorial, or Presidential candidates on the ballot, very few will take two minutes out of their day in order to vote. Although this says something sad about the state of participatory democracy, it does turn a visit to the polls into a party. I'm guessing that about 250 people voted in my entire ward. I probably know 245 of them, and got to catch up with many of my neighbors after casting my ballot. A low turnout also turns district races into nail biters, where a 10-vote lead with one precinct reporting can be insurrmountable.

When it's all said and done, it's all said and done. My irises are about to bloom, which means it's time for everyone to pack up their yard signs and stick them in the basement until November, and, most importantly, it's safe to answer my phone.

1 comment:

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Good god, the people the ABC in Scranton interviewed yesterday voting. No wonder the area is as screwed up as it is.

Some old guy from Wilkes_Barre told WNEP, he voted for the candidates who ran the most ads and the one who called him last before he left so he could remember their name.

Becasue it was too confusing to remember all the names.

WNEP BTW, is very ANTI-Independent in Politics. Even in races where the Indy might win WNEP will NEVER show them, name them, cover them, or show their results.

A few years ago a independent won a local race in Northeast PA. But WNEP (Owned by the NY Times I might add.) declared a Republican the winner. He had the most voted of the two party candidates.

That is what bugs me the most about the ass-clowns that are a sorry excuse for Journalist in the Primaries. THE MEDIA is who decides if people should care.

And considering 74% of this country is mindless and only watches TV news. Should we be shocked no one cared about Easton's primary. (And caused the better Candidate to lose the West Ward by I think 39 votes.)

Yet Allentown had a semi decent turnout to vote for a Incumbent Mayor and the unopposed Republican opponent. At least there will be two candidates for that. Some races were literally won yesterday.

All from a absent citizen population who think voting is option and not their duty as Americans.

Too many crummy candidates were winners yesterday, all becasue Obama vs Hillary was last year!

Just because Obama is President is no way a slam dunk America is better. The bar was set so low by Alfred W. Bush, that speaking complete sentences and not stuttering like a Stern show member suddenly makes you "The Next FDR."

First Big O has to stop asking "how high" from the GOP when they scream "JUMP!"

And not ignoring universal healthcare, and other mega corparations ripping off America who don't issue credit cards. (ie Cell Phone companies who do the same stuff credit cards do with fees and rate hikes.)

I'm amazed I'm not bald yet, all of this makes me wanna pull it all out of my head.

Seriously I know it has not been a half a year for the President yet. But please, He needs to stop appointing DLC Democrats better known as "D.I.N.O.s" Democrats in name only.

Less copying Bubba Clinton and more copying FDR.