Thursday, June 5, 2014

None of the Above, the People have Spoken, uh, NOT

(Satire alert - I hope)  

In sunny California this June, sitting poolside beat out voting as the main activity on Election Day. A record low of 18% overall means that None of the Above was the big winner on Election Day. A new law (which no one read, because "Dude, who cares?!") went into effect this year providing that when the turn-out dips below 50%, no one wins the election. That is, more people not voting then voting is now interpreted to mean the people of the State of California want no one to represent them. So no one will.

No Governor, no Attorney General, not so much of a Legislature. Of course those already elected and not facing election this year get to serve until the next regularly scheduled election. So that means half the Senate remains in effect (all Assembly members face election eery two years; so every one of those suckers is SOL as the kids say), and some County Supervisors and City Council members get to keep their jobs, for another two years that is, until the next record low turnout in 2016.

Of course, as unlikely as it seems, when people find out their potholes won't get fixed, their libraries will go out of business, their schools close and criminals go free, they may find themselves hying it to the polls next time.
On the other hand when they find out their taxes won't be collected either, who knows. Maybe they'll take their savings and buy a personal arsenal and hunkering down instead.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nightmare before Election Day

High anxiety the day before Election a day.  The S.F. Chronicle says turnout will be low, lower than ever even. And that Republicans vote in higher numbers traditionally in primaries. This is disheartening, as it may well mean my candidate has less of a chance than I would have wanted, much less.  If the Reps vote as they will they get an automatic 20+%. Maybe more and the big red postcard calling them to arms, will boost their vote even more,

Dems will naturally split the vote against the incumbent and voila, here in a solidly Democratic District, the Rep comes out on top (or on the top of the second place).  The so called "moderate" Dem wins easily in the fall.

Is this what top two voting is all about  the outcome hoped for?  Instead of a vigorous intra-party race in the primary for the best Democrat to go head to head with the Rep, it's all up for grabs as once, and the best Democrat may well be left in the dust,
I suppose that is what many wanted when they voted for top two, and open voting at that.  The Moderate Dem faces the weak Rep. The election is over in the primary, which it may  have been anyway in a strong Dem District, but it may have been more exciting, more issue driven, and a better Dem may have won. Traditionally the stronger candidate with more progressive values wins in the primary, while the one with the more conservative views wins in the Republican primary. Thats why Tea Party candidates often win primaries, then g on to tank in the General. Or not, of course, depending on the geography and demographics of the District.

Bah humbug. This all leads to inaction all around in the legislature. Good bills stalled as the moderate Dems kowtow to their corporate masters.  Who loses? Poor people, the environment, kids in school, minorities, older people, the disabled, the disenfranchised.
It's the age of gilt and steam and back room deals all over again. Is this what voters really wanted when they voted in the top two?  What were they thinking? may be the question to ask, if you thought there might be an answer.