Friday, October 30, 2009

off year

i'm not sure what to do about off-year elections. next tuesday is election day. there are important votes various other places, NJ and VA have a governor's race, maine has a same-sex marriage referendum, etc. but the important votes are not, it seems, where i live. there are a few philly races that i am semi-interested (e.g.), but i'm a suburbanite and don't get to vote in those contests.

and yet there is an election in my area, with candidates and everything! but i know almost nothing about them. i met this guy at the train station yesterday. he seemed nice enough and he gave me a pen. but i have no idea what he stands for, other than the platitudes of "safe neighborhoods" and "prudent fiscal management" that are printed on his flier. i'm sure his opponent is not anti-safe neighborhoods, but i have no idea who he/she is. nor do i know what political party liberi is from (neither the flier nor his web site give a political party). he does seem to have the most yard signs.

so what am i supposed to do? vote for the guy because he gave me a pen? even if it were for sale, my vote shouldn't be that cheap. i honestly don't know how local candidates run for election. i'm a total political junkie and still i have no useful information about any of the candidates. how can i vote for anyone? i could do a straight party-line vote. but what's the point of that? the issues that most distinguish the two parties don't always matter much on the local level.

in the past i've skipped elections where i don't know anything about any of the candidates. i'd rather cast no vote than an uninformed one. but i do feel guilty about it. and i wonder how any of these local races can ever be decided on issues.