Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A crisis of democracy

There is an election today in Arlington, VA. The Democratic primary is being held from 6 am to 7 pm, and there is only one contested seat on the ballot - Arlington County Treasurer. Two men who don't appear to like each other very much are running the Democratic nomination. I may be the only person intending to vote who doesn't already personally know these guys, because there doesn't seem to be any information about their actual views. What's a voter to do when all she knows about the candidates is they don't like each other?

So here's the crisis - this is a local election. There's no real advertising (I only found out about the election because of Rachel's astute eye spotting a school board sign on the road), the election has received limited press and none of it is focused on educating the voting public. It's all about the antagonism between the two.

Local politics is where the action happens and where the founders intended for the governing to happen, but there's nothing to help a voter out. Have we all adopted a not-in-my-backyard mentality when it comes to politics? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, people!! Why are we only paying attention to the governing body that is most removed from its constituent body?

So, I'm going to the polls today, and I'll cast my vote based on what I've learned during my 25 minutes of exhaustive research. Assuming that they let me vote without my missing voter registration card. I guess conviction only gets you so far.

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