Vox populi

Here we go again! The peons are being rounded again to go the polls and voice their sentiments.

To me though, the bloody elections are like a recurring rash. Annoying and irritating.
Annoying because my mailbox is filling up with political pamphlets that I never read, and irritating because the airwaves are full of partisan messages that nobody pays attention to.

All this hullabaloo because of democracy: the rule of the people.

Democracy has a nice ring, but the principle is flawed because most of the electorate has not the faintest idea who or what to vote for, and many abstain to participate for that simple reason.
In today’s elections we are faced with so many questions and decisions that unless you are a hardcore political junkie, you are practically unable to proceed.

In Marin County, we have to elect or re-elect a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, State board Equalization district 2 (what the heck is that?).
Then we have to vote for a US Representative, a State Senator, a Member of the State Assembly, a State Superintendent of Public Instruction, a Healthcare Director.

What do we know about the incumbents or the candidates? Practically nothing.

In order to vote for a candidate, I would like to know what his political record is and how he/she stands on at least ten major issues. But this kind of information is not readily available.

It does not mean that you should not vote, but to vote earnestly you have to do a lot of research and I don’t think that the average citizen has the time or the inclination to do so.
Most voters will vote by party affiliation or union affiliation. They will leave it up to their leaders to tell them what to do to protect their narrow interests.
And these leaders can, and often are controlled by the omnipresent money of special interests.

In order to vote intelligently, you need to investigate each candidate, each proposition thoroughly. And in this respect, the Internet can be very helpful.

But you also need to check various sources to form a valid opinion. And those sources have to give you sound reasons to vote for certain candidates or propositions.
A single newspaper endorsement is not enough to form an opinion. It is a good idea to check a few local newspapers and examine their reasons for endorsing a candidate or a proposition.
It is hard work, but if you care about your future or about the future of your children, you have to do this.

You have to vote, but you need to do your homework carefully and thoroughly before trekking to the voting booth and casting your fate to the wind.

Alain

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