Saturday, October 28, 2006

The bigger picture at times when it comes to voting...

I think most of you know what a hard core political junkie I am though I haven't been getting into some of the more heavy issues here lately with my health, trying to cover the local issues best I can on my other blog and trying to balance here my need for some mental fluff relief as well as doing some of the PayPerPost opportunities. Yet my mind still is working on some of the "larger picture issues". The other day I posted a comment over on Maggie Thurber's blog, that both the thread she wrote and some of the other comments as well as my own I think are important.

Right now it seems like the focus is to replace all of the Republicans in office with Democrats by many in the Democratic party. While I do really believe we need a change in government I don't believe just blindly voting a party line is the solution for a better government. I also know at times it's hard for voters to get information on certain candidates. Take our local judicial races as one example, there is very little information out there done by our local media to help people make an informed decision. Races such as the positions for State School Board is another one that most people don't even hear about, yet it's important.

We have to start somewhere though, so I think it is critical that in the races where we do have access to information we try for a moment to forget which party that particular candidate is and assess them on their qualifications for that position as well as how believable their promises are. This is when cold hard reality comes in, especially when it comes to the Congressional races. Most of the non-incumbents making large promises aren't going to make them happen under the present form of Congress that we have. Congress is set up similar to a union scenario where those who have more seniority are awarded the key positions that enable them to have more power for their state. It's obvious the dream of creating a clean slate and voting out the majority of the incumbents is not going to happen, therefore it is something that should be considered when looking at any incumbent versus their opponent. There are certain times when the incumbent has not used this power to benefit the citizens of their state, there are other times when they have. Granted the system is skewed in favor of the incumbents the majority of the time. In one local race here for the Ohio House the incumbent has almost three times the yearly salary of a State House Rep in campaign funds being used to attack his opponent who is basically trying to run a grassroots campaign, a classic case of David versus Goliath.

We talk about how this isn't right but another cold hard reality is the very people who are in control of campaign finance are the ones who profit from it most. Until we as voters stop letting our votes be "bought" by whoever spends the most money and take the time to learn more it's going to be more difficult to move towards real progress. Most communities have candidate forums, I have been very disappointed in the small numbers of people who have attended some of the ones I have. If you can't be bothered to spend an hour or two learning about the candidates who you want to entrust with your vote then how can we expect anything to improve?

Whether we fail or whether we succeed is up to us...


Roland Hansen said...

Lisa Renee,
You have made some very astute comments. I applaud you.

Lisa Renee said...

Roland, thank you but I think you deserve quite a bit of applause too. You've done so much to try to make our area a better place for not only us but our children.

It's knowing there are people like you out there that continues to give me hope for our future.

Stephanie said...

You've made some terrific observations here, Lisa. I do try to look at candidates independently, but sometimes the slime of those they associate themselves with is difficult to ignore.

For federal elections, I'm voting a straight ticket...

But, state and local elections are more difficult. For instance there's one particular candidate who's both an incumbent and a Democrat, which is two strikes against her in the "prejudice" category in my mind, yet she's also done a fairly good job at representing her constituents. She's not a party loyalist; she's not afraid to stand on the right side of an issue, even if it's the wrong color. However, every time I see her name next to a different Democrat's on somebody's lawn it makes me shudder. Each time I see it it makes it all that more difficult for me to vote for her.

As much as I dislike both Dems and Reps nationally; at the state-level it's a bit different. The Reps are very middle of the road here, typically, and the Dems are just so...out there! It's ridiculous. The Dem (the one who makes me shudder, and it's not Doyle, who's just icky) actually voted down a bill that would have given college scholarships to autistic teenagers. Why? Because it would give them an "unfair advantage." Unfortunately, that over-board kind of thinking is typical of this particular candidate -- and I really don't want to see any of that kind of thinking rub off on the other one that I kinda, sorta, almost want to vote for.

But, it's hard not to see them as a clump of yuckiness, when they're all encouraging each other in their re-election pursuits.

Stephanie said...

And, maybe, just maybe, I maintained coherency long enough for all of that to make sense!

Hooda Thunkit said...

”Most communities have candidate forums, I have been very disappointed in the small numbers of people who have attended some of the ones I have. If you can't be bothered to spend an hour or two learning about the candidates who you want to entrust with your vote then how can we expect anything to improve?”

I have to be content to watch, listen and read what I can…, for now ;-)

Thanks for your help and astute perspective Lisa!

Roland Hansen said...

This posting is just as true today as when you first wrote it two years ago!