Sunday, April 02, 2006

Voting, continued

Though most Americans have a great deal of faith in democratic political processes such as voting, choosing representatives by means of elections-- whether at local, state, or national levels--does not necessarily produce the best candidate. For instance, the 36th District's scurrent Assemblyperson, Sharon Runner, had little to no experience in politics prior to running for office--her job experience seems to have been limited to real estate sales; additionally, she does not possess a college degree. Her opponent, a Mr. Scioneaux, I believe, did have some experience with politics and a college education, and worked as a teacher. Regardless of Mr. Scioneaux's politics, or education, AV voters decided to vote in Ms. Runner. Did the best person win (i.e most qualified, intelligent, experienced), or was it instead merely the person who most AV voters liked, for whatever reason? It's unlikely that the decision was based on what voters thought of the intelligence of the two candidates, since, at least on paper, Mr. Scioneaux appears to have quite a bit more education than Ms. Runner. That's not to say Mr. Scioneaux would have been preferable to Ms. Runner, but merely to note that winning elections has little to do with the worth of a candidate's specific political or economic policies, but lots to do with imagery and marketing (though the person who obtains enough press photos rubbing shoulders with the cops and/or wealthy developers generally will go on to Victory).

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