Since Ive diverted my attention from reading poetry to upgrading my web site, Ive been casting around looking for something I can write about without an excessive amount of thought, not that a lack of thought has ever deterred me from writing here before.
The fact is that my own thoughts have turned to local and state elections and trying to gather enough information to make informed decisions about candidates. As usual, Ive already pretty much made up my mind on the major candidates. After all, I didnt send money to the DNC and to two local candidates just to turn around and vote Republican, now did I? The truth is, though, that I really consider myself an independent and I positively hate it when I cant vote against at least one Democratic candidate.
Ive always been bothered about voting on minor offices and judicial offices because they are so far off the news scale that I know very little about the candidates unless one of my friends has had something to say about them. Often Ive ended up just not voting on these offices rather than casting a totally uninformed vote.
It appears, though, that if you have access to the web, a little patience, and some time, that, once again the web proves to be a formidable tool in the gathering of information. By bouncing back and forth between official state pages and the local newspaper on line, I was able to gather information on every single candidate and state initiative that I was undecided on.
I must admit, though, that I regret that more Green Party candidates weren’t running for state office. I would like to be able to vote for alternative party candidates in local elections, if for no other reason than to send a message to the Democratic Party. I also believe alternative parties need to build from the ground up if they are going to be politically effective. Philosophically, I am much more of a Green Party voter than a Democratic voter. Realistically, however, one Green Party representative would probably have zero effects on national politics, a major reason I refused to vote for Nader for President. Jimmy Carter certainly proved that when he was elected President as a political outsider. Despite his intelligence and honorable intentions, I felt that he was an ineffective President. Unfortunately, when it comes to politics, I am more of a pragmatist than an idealist, and too often have had to vote for candidates not because I supported them but because they were the only viable alternative.
Unfortunately the internet can’t insure that only good candidates will run for office, but with all of the resources available on line, there is no reason not to be informed and to vote as if it mattered. Considering the major issues likely to arise in the next two years, I join fellow bloggers in urging everyone to study their ballots carefully and VOTE.