Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
If you’re like me, you got a sticker similar to this a couple days ago at your local polling booth. (Our son, Ian, was with me, and he actually got my sticker.) It is your badge of honor for participating in our great representative governmental system. This year may not have been the more exciting, national-level elections, but they’re still important.
When I scanned the ballot as I was casting my vote, I noticed that in many cases, the people running for the various local town, village, and county positions were unopposed. Some of them were listed as the representative for all of the parties! (How can you be backed by all of the parties?)
This made me wonder, why are we even doing this? I’ll admit to not being too plugged in to all the issues that face my village, town, etc, but I really didn’t know that these local representative positions were so unimportant as to have only one person raising their figurative hand to accept the spot! It actually made me want to run, just to compel people to look into the reasons you might want to cast your vote for whomever you end up choosing.
The trouble is, I don’t think that matters. We’ve become so politically polarized in our country that we just let the party that the candidate is listed under direct our vote. (That’s good for those chaps who were listed under all the parties!) It doesn’t matter what the person under that banner has done, or believes, or wants to do … as long as they have the right party flag, they get the vote!
The other piece is the glamorization of the national political elections. Any news you might hear about elections is often so heavily weighted toward the national elections, national issues, that the local races aren’t even noticed. They aren’t exciting enough to want to vote for (or apparently, to run for).
And in the end, I’m not even sure what our local government does. (Which is likely all my fault. I’m sure I could do a little investigating and fairly quickly find out at least more than I know now.)
So if I were to add my name to the ticket, what is it that I would be hoping to accomplish? Probably lowering taxes (we pay something like $23/1000 for our school taxes, plus town/county, and village property taxes) as well as trying to figure out why we need all that tax revenue in the first place!
Then, soon after that, I think I’d try to figure out a way to let other people in our community know (once I discover what it is) what exactly it is that our elected local representatives do for us. (If I discover that such positions are so unnecessary that there aren’t even people willing to volunteer to run for that office, then we can just probably do away with it altogether!)
So, this year’s elections are over. The unopposed candidates have been duly elected to their spots. But watch out in 2012 (maybe 2013, since 2012 is the big presidential election year…) you might have to make a choice which candidate you choose! And, since I am not affiliated with any particular party … I might just create a new one! 🙂