Friday, October 27, 2006

Politics in 2006: Is there something besides the Donkey and the Elephant?


I have a friend who I served on a board with for several years. She is a liberal (or at least moderate democrat). We have talked about a mutual acquaintance who is running for Congress in another part of the state - both of us hope he loses. He should and it looks like he will. His ethics would put him about in the middle of the pack in Congress - but that is not a very good standard - his opponent (who is an incumbent) is actually pretty good for the district. But what is interesting about this friend is that for several key races she voted for the Green party candidate. She could not see herself voting for the GOP candidate but instead of voting for the inferior candidate for the dems she voted against.

This is the equivalent of voting for none-of-the above. In each of the races (they were Governor, AG, Insurance Commissioner) the democrat has shown himself to be a terrible candidate. In one case the guy has chosen not to connect with voters; in another he has run so many times and gone through so many transformations one would see him like an aging diva who goes in for one more facelift (in this case they are more like philosophical or image lifts - but the principle is the same); in the third the only plausible reason for the candidate to be pursuing this office is that he needs another eight years of public employment. But in each case she chose not to vote for the candidate of her party. She has one candidate for a statewide office who she has mentored politically since he first entered politics - I think he would be pretty good for the job he is seeking and so I will cross over and vote for him.

The point is that a number of Californians are presented with these kinds of choices and an increasing number of them are choosing to vote the equivalent of "none of the above" One wonders what would happen if states actually offered that choice - would voter turnout rise?

1 comment:

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