The [Tuesday] Papers
The Tribune editorial board is of the opinion today - and everyday, along with a host of other pundits and commentators - that you can be part of the solution to our political ills by voting today. I beg to differ.
I'm not advising you to skip voting - though I will. I'm a journalist, and as such, I don't participate in party activities. It's not my role to help a political organization choose its nominees.
What I do mean, though, is that a quick glance at any sample ballot - now and in the fall - will give you in almost every race a choice between candidates (when they actually have opposition) who have no interest in "solving" our problems. That's how they got there.
(The first words in Annazette Collins' campaign commercial: "A reformer . . . ")
That doesn't mean I don't have a rooting interest in a few races, either. It just means that electoral politics, such as it is, isn't the end-all, be-all. Or maybe it's the end-all, but only if the be-all is fixed.
I have no doubt that better candidates will compete and even win in a system that isn't structured to discourage just that; that's why folks like the Tribune editorial board and the usual bevy of commentators are chumps for so vigorously encouraging you to participate in a system so perverse that the leading state Supreme Court candidate can brag about having the endorsement of her neighbor the mayor who not only helped her raise mucho dollars but who has already heard the case that helped him become mayor. And when the mayor calls her his "swing vote" on the court?
Sure you can vote for one of the other candidates - and there may even be one that is halfway decent. Not so in so many other races.
My preference would be for everyone to stop being so cynical and begin organizing independently of the parties. Occupy your democracy. Otherwise the bastards will occupy you.
Kadner's complaint is much the same as mine. His conclusion, however, is one I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree with:
"But as long as people have an opportunity to vote, they should make the most of it. Staying home is not a protest against corruption."
I don't see how voting for a corrupt candidate is.
"The political bosses of Chicago would like nothing more. They will always get the vote out for their candidates."
That's true. And that's why my vote doesn't count.
"They want the independent voter, the person outraged by corruption, to stay home on Election Day."
Yup. But I'm not going to vote for one of their candidates out of spite!
"That ought to be reason enough to vote on Tuesday."
Not for me, but again, this is a primary. We'll see when the general rolls around.
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Posted on March 20, 2012
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