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The election is over in Seattle and across the US. On the whole, the results are more satisfying than the last couple of elections. Some observations:

1) If your mother won't back you, there's a problem. David Irons was the challenger to Ron Sims for County Executive, and even his own mother wouldn't vote for Irons. If your family isn't behind you, maybe politics isn't the field for you.
2) Fundamentalist "science" is punished. It turns out that creationists are not all that popular in Dover, Pennsylvania, after all. Eight of the board members who approved the "intelligent design" religious curriculum in the science classes were up for election. All eight lost to opponents who share a science-based view of science.
3) Sometimes, Good Triumphs. A Democrat won the Virginia governorship, a state that has been solidly red for many years (and went for Bush in 2004 with 54%). This is a good omen for the mid-term elections in 2006; Bush's incompetence may serve as a powerful wedge to split independents and fiscal conservatives away from the radical theocrats and fundies.
4) Sometimes, Good Loses. The monorail in Seattle was an aspirational project, trying to showcase the city's forward thinking and its skill with mass transit issues (as opposed to the Sound Transit stutter steps). It won at the ballot box four times despite opposition from Richard "Dark Lord" Conlin and other establishment candidates. Until it was sabotaged by the Monorail Board's incompetent financing plan, it was the preferred mass transit system for the city, though hated by the ruling city council. Once the financing was changed to a 50-year-long levy costing $11 billion dollars (mostly in interest), the voters understandably lost interest. The fifth time it has been voted down, a long-term loss for the city. I'll be on the East Side, thankyouverymuch.

My own voting process is simple. I think about two questions: 1) Who has betrayed me? 2) Who has served the people?

The first of these is purely Machiavellian: politicians are snake-oiled weasels, and only marginally competent weasels at that. Too many politicians are happy to betray their supporters. As a result, I vote against a candidate's failure or betrayal as often as I vote for a candidate I like. In this case, the traitor was Greg Nickels, the mayor who cut and run when the monorail financing needed serious reworking. He did not get my vote.

Who served the people well? Any number of candidates, from Ron Sims to Cleve Stockmeyer.

But deciding on the initiatives and the top of the ticket were easy, once I returned my Chinese ballot for an English one (yes, Seattle elections are bilingual: all signage and ballots are available in both Chinese and English). The rest of the slate — port commissioners, school boards — are important, but I didn't dig through the issues. shellyinseattle's and Grubb Street voter guides were all I needed.

Civic duty accomplished, I wash off the political muck I have sullied myself with and return to a life less plagued with incompetence and corruption. Until next year.

Comments

( 10 sutras — Your wisdom )
lilac_wine
Nov. 9th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
I was relieved to see Sims kick Irons' ass. Irons is a nutbag and Sims is an honorable man faced with a difficult job that he does with a hell of a lot of courage.

I was also quite happy to see that Washington voters did not choose the greedy me first tax cuts that would have further destabilized the infrastructure of the state. I continue to hate Tim Eyeman with all my heart.
burger_eater
Nov. 9th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
Frankly, I'm disgusted by the fifth monorail initiative. The first local pundit/politician to declare that it was "the people's will" is going to get a blistering email.

I think it's time to start a drive for more traditional elevated transit line.
lilac_wine
Nov. 9th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
What annoys me most is when people complain that it took so long. HELLO! If they didn't have to go back to the voters again and again, they'd have been moving forward a lot sooner.
ironymaiden
Nov. 9th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
I'll be on the East Side, thankyouverymuch.
good thing you have a car ;)
the_monkey_king
Nov. 9th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the auxilliary bus routes on the East side often stop running at 7 PM.

A second car will be a must eventually. Or a scooter.
johnaegard
Nov. 9th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
> All eight lost to opponents who share a science-based view of science

A close margin, though. The best of the winners received 2,754 votes, and the worst of the losers got 2,469. I'd be interested in seeing if the turnout rose substantially with all the attention they're getting.
the_monkey_king
Nov. 9th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
My general impression of the US is that it is more Luddite and backward-looking than city folks credit. So I take heart that even Dover, PA, has joined the 19th century by accepting biology as a matter of science rather than faith.

Even if the margin is ever so slim, the result is what matters to me.
godeater_sw
Nov. 10th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
But what about Kansas? I've heard something about ID gaining traction there.

At the risk of sounding like a smug Canadian (I find many things American admirable, make no mistake, even if I do think American politics are absurdly conservative), I have to say: only in America.
the_monkey_king
Nov. 10th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC)
I've written off Kansas as well as Texas and most of the Confederacy.

Call it triage, call it quarantine, but I've given up on Jesusland.
godeater_sw
Nov. 11th, 2005 07:43 am (UTC)
Take the two coasts and let's do some nation-building with the sensible Canucks! We can let the Newfies go off and be by themselves. ;)
( 10 sutras — Your wisdom )

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