Gary Digs Tales of the holes I dig, the dirt piles I make, and the holes I fill at the B-Bar-Lazy-B

October 29, 2010

Disappointment around the corner…

Filed under: General,Humanity,Politics — gary @ 7:53 am

So, I didn’t get back to my rant about our Senate Election here in Washington, and all the steam I had built up in the sleepless night that preceded the last entry has pretty much disappated. The general malaise I found myself in regarding the Senate Election centered around the fact that despite all of the concrete positive aspects of Patty Murray in her role as our Senator and despite the fact that her war chest dwarfed that of Rossi the race is still neck and neck.

At present, I am cautiously optimistic. A couple of debates and Murray’s numbers on http://www.fivethrityeight.com were greatly improved as Rossi reminded the voters that he is both creepy and has nothing substantive to offer except the same old “small government” line of BS he always runs (I can’t take your small government claims seriously when you want to impede on a woman’s right to choose and tell people who they can and can not marry). The big money is coming out of the woodwork now in the final push, but I’m really hoping a lot of ballots are already in the mail.

My ballot is not in the mail yet, I’m still mulling over a couple of the initiatives, but should mail it today (one of our initiatives would get the state out of the liquor store business, which in principle I would support, but during the biggest budget crisis in ages might have been a no brainer if it was better timed). The rest are the usual bevy of assanine anti-tax appeals and other such lunacy. I find most citizen initiatives irritating at best, but the real blame for them needs to be laid on legislators who choose to provide a stream of airy political rhetoric to their constituents once an election cycle and avoid concrete explanations of principles and policies on an ongoing basis.

I might not have mentioned this, and it is a bit random to pop it in here, but I ♥ Jim McDermott. Just saying…I tried to find his “Meet the Candidates” video from Kiro TV, but they don’t make it easy (one would think, go to the site, type in “election” and special coverage would be available, but not so much…but then, that introduces a whole other topic which is WA State’s shit bird top 2 primary system. The result being that in our district we have Jim (whom I adore) and another guy who ended his “Meet the Candidates” presentation stating that Jim would probably win and deserves to, noting that he primarily wanted to advance the visibility of the climate change issue by running for congress. The “Top 2” system unnescessarily limits debate, stifles ideas, and is particularly a racket when so much jerimandering has already rendered the political climate in most house districts flat and uninteresting. A former co-worker of mine is on the other side of the Cascades and has to choose between 2 Republican candidates, neither of which represent her views.

People shudder when I say this, until they really think it through…The Party should choose its candidate and all candidates with sufficient public support (demonstrated via signatures) should be on THE  BALLOT. Another problem with WA’s particular flavor of Top 2 is that if any 1 candidate gets over 50% of the vote, the election is a done deal (this year a supreme court judge was selected with less than 20 percent of vote since turnout for the primary was right around 40% and he got better than 50% of that vote). The problem started when the Primary went public and started sapping public funds to select party candidates. This development was a great way for the parties to shift the expense of collecting public opinion on their candidates away from the party and on to the shoulders of the tax payers. The fact of the matter is that the public should not pick which candidate a Party presents. The political party should choose the candidate that will wear that moniker on the final ballot anyone else then has the option to garner support as an independent or thrid party candidate and advance to the ballot with some reasonable number of signatures indicating public interest in their candidacy. If the parties would like help facilitating their primaries, they should pay the state to hold them, but they should not be a nescessary condition for inclusion on the final ballot. They should return to a mechanism by which the party chooses a candidate (at the party’s expense) to represent that party. The only thing the top 2 primary does do (given the jerimandered districts) is potentially open a narrow opportunity for a thrid party candidate to advance to the ballot in a federal House election or state legislature election where the district (like our WA 7th district) has a very narrow spectrum of political opinion.

Wow, that wasn’t really what I came here to talk about, but there it it. Written hastily, so forgive the typos. I expect Tuesday to break my heart all over again as a misinformed citizenry wanders aimlessly to the polls to express how disappointed they are that their unrealistic expectations for sudden unequivocal financial recovery from the economic disaster ushered in by 8 years of de- and under-regulation by Bush and his meathead cronies. Back to business as usual I suppose, America selects from a menu of bland options with emotion not reason and then reports shock and dismay that the veal has no flavor…

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