Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Three Voter Groups. (A reply to one of my blog readers)

Marc,

Thanks again for your comments. I appreciate the fact that you take time to create well articulated opinions. I think that you and I agree on quite a bit. I would never ever propose putting caps or spending limits on political campaigns. I am against anything that is an assault on our constitutional rights, such as freedom of speech. I believe that my comments on the winner being the one who spends the most money are simple statements of “that’s the way it is”, if I can quote the late Walter Cronkite.

I realize that the winner is not ALWAYS the person who spends the most but the odds are extremely high that those who lose are those who are out spent.

Let me try to clarify my comments about delegates voting in behalf of the people.

There are basically three types of citizens in every community,  
  1. Group One: the concerned and educated voters
  2. Group Two: those who vote without educating themselves on the issues or candidates.
  3. Group Three: those who don’t vote
Typically Group one, the educated voter is proactive in the political process. They are truly concerned about what happens in their community, State and Country so they learn all they can. These are the voters who normally attend their neighborhood caucus meetings. These are the voters who choose the delegates to represent them at the state convention. I am the most empathetic with this group simply because they take the time to learn and then to teach and educate others. They understand and value their constitutional right to vote!

Group Two voters “typically” don’t take the time to become educated and simply vote according to the impressions they get from cards with bullet points, robo calls, yard signs and various campaign junk mail. These are the voters most candidates want because the candidate doesn’t need to personally answer tough questions or justify their positions. This is why incumbents always want a primary run-off because they hope to be re-elected by the uneducated voter who won’t question their record but simply vote according to name recognition. If they can “buy” a vote with a flashy post card they will do it. (Now, don’t jump on me for the “buy” a vote comment. I am simply trying to illustrate how the money factor plays a big part in a successful campaign).

The Group Three non-voters who don’t exercise their constitutional right to vote simply miss out on letting their voices be heard. I am amazed at how many in this group will complain about elected officials when they did not take the time to vote!

You asked me “In your opinion what is the solution to the problem in local elections?” Unfortunately local elections are often the toughest because small communities like Bountiful have city council seats at large. This means a candidate needs to get his or her message to over 40,000 people. It takes a LOT of time and MONEY to do this. Again, the incumbent has the advantage simply due to name recognition. We may have the Clipper but it is not a daily paper and like most papers it is slanted toward the incumbents too.

MY SOLUTION: A simple solution for cities like Bountiful. Create council districts that take the city and divide it into smaller geographical sections. This will allow candidates from each district a better and less costly opportunity to meet the people in their district. It will also make for better representation since different parts of the city have different needs. Perhaps one of the council seats could remain a seat at large. (Hey that sounds like the delegate process used by the Republican Party! Yes, it does! And it is a great idea, something I campaigned on).

It looks like my response is longer than my original blog post. Sorry for the length but this is why I post so that people will talk and exchange ideas. I don’t claim to know it all. I do have firm beliefs but I too am educated every day and I truly appreciate people like you who take the time to ask questions and express your opinion. You would be amazed at how many people are afraid to link their name to a comments section on my blog so they respond to my posts by sending me a private email. Most are very kind and are in agreement others are vulgar and inappropriate to publish.

Thanks again Marc. Your comments are always welcome!





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