Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Lesson to Be Learned?

Today is primary day in Kootenai County. It isn't quite three o'clock in the afternoon, but the threads on Huckleberries, our local online news source, reports turnout has been dismally low. I had been talking with a neighbor earlier and she had totally forgotten today was election day! I mentioned there was still plenty of time. The reply was a shrug of total disinterest.

Thinking about the Democratic primaries we have been watching for what seems like forever, got me to wondering about why there is so little interest on the local level. Odd, the heated battles for the minds of the people seem to be on the various blogs - not in the press. Blogs are not the most widely read choice the people have but they contain the most information - good and bad.

Candidate forums have been few and far between and voter guides lacking. I look at the fervor generated by Obama and Clinton and wish we had it on the local level. We have issues that have hearts pulsating and tempers flaring on a multitude of issues - yet little is spelled out,  except on the blogs.

The best the voting public has been given by the press is lackluster endorsements of less than inspiring candidates and half page ads for but a few of those running, listing supporters. If you don't know where the candidate stands, read their ads. The names of the supporters tell you everything you need to know. If you know who the players are in the community. Otherwise they'll be meaningless.

How many people read them? Probably very few. How many people will know what issues the supporters endorse? Probably very few. Most of what we get is eye pollution along our streets and highways. Signs of the times. What are we supposed to do? Pick the candidate with the prettiest sign?

In actuality, the candidates are probably not as uninspiring as they seem; but more likely they aren't given enough of a platform to let the public get to know them.

I wouldn't know the candidates if I bumped into them on the street what's more know what they really are about other than hardworking and caring.

I may be tired of seeing Hillary and Obama all over the media sparring with one another, but I know who they are and what they stand for.  Everything they say, every place they say it, is covered. On the local level I know little.  I'd know even less if I weren't involved in blogging.

I know the papers are understaffed and northern Idaho politics are not covered well by the broadcast media, so I say hurrah for us. At least we who read the blogs have the opportunity to vote better informed then we might otherwise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And it turned out to be ...same old, same old. Pathetic 21% turnout. You get the govt. you deserve. But those of us who voted don't deserve what we get. At least Cronin didn't win, but apparently it was a close one. I never thought I'd see the day when I thought Currie was a good idea. I voted for Jai...for what it is worth. CU