Politics. Just the mention of that word conjures thoughts of mud-slinging, bickering, under-the-table deals and lack of integrity.
Just the mention of that word conjures thoughts of mud-slinging, bickering, under-the-table deals and lack of integrity.
It has been a longtime joke that politicians and used car salesmen come from the same mold. But that is being cruel to the used car salesmen.
Throughout our storied political history -- not only in this nation but locally -- there have been juicy stories too numerous to mention in this column. Just to name a few, there was the Gary Hart presidential incident, the ongoing and neverending Bill Clinton saga, the defeat of John Ashcroft to a deceased Mel Carnahan, the Florida ballot debacle, and the list can go on and on.
I know that party politics are important to an election. They set the platform, they set the campaign agenda and they eventually determine the direction of the office.
While I believe in our party political system, I do not believe that it should play a significant role in local elections, but it very often does. For instance, should the winner of the public administrator position really be determined upon whether he or she is a Democrat or a Republican? What do those party platforms have to do with the office of public administrator, or county clerk, or circuit clerk, or even assessor?
In fact, I have long been an advocate of doing away with local elections for two positions – coroner and surveyor.
Many vote based on qualifications, but many also vote just by party. Therefore, a unqualified Democrat could actually win the election in a Democratic county, and vice versa. Why not make the coroner and the surveyor positions appointed by the county commission? I do not believe those two positions should be elected positions. Let’s appoint the most qualified, not if he or she is a member of a certain party.
I think too much emphasis has been put on our party system. Voting for the most qualified person, regardless of party affiliation, should be the No. 1 criteria in the voting booth.
But the problem is that I do not see a resolution to the problem, at least in my lifetime. This country will be entrenched in a two-party system for many years to come and that is not good news.
I would love to see an independent or a third party make a significant impact locally and nationally. But until that happens, we better get used to more of the same.
Politics, the same as always.