Aside from all of the other thigs I could say about civic engagement, duty, etc, if the bicycling community is known to be active at the ballot box, we will be heard more. That's how it works.
There were exactly 3 races on my ballot, two of which were uncontested. But at least the important one had a choice.
One reason minority parties don't contest elections in can't win districts is to suppress turnout.
That doesn't make much sense. I didn't realize that minor parties were in league with the Republican Party, which is on record for working to suppress voting.
Suppressing the vote is simply wrong. Each and every one of us has the right (and duty) to participate in the democratic ritual of voting. If you don't, you lose (on so many levels). Make the effort.
It's not that hard to become a viable 3rd party. Look at the Tea people. True, they're parasitic on the Republicans, but they're doing all the right things to get power. What's your minority party doing?
for change again,,,
@ Ahlir There were exactly 3 races on my ballot, two of which were uncontested. But at least the important one had a choice.
You would think the Greens would put a candidate on. I mean if the headlines the day before the election have a story about the incumbent selling drugs to elementary students as way to increase his dating opportunities, anyone else on the ballot would be a winner.
To clarify, my "minority" I meant one of the two big parties. I am in Mike Doyle's district and Dan Frankel's district, for example, as many of you probably are. There is no way a Republican is going to win either seat. Consequently, with a potentially tight race for Governor, the interests of the Republican party were to keep turnout low at those precincts. Uncontested races encourage that.
To effect real change in the electoral system, you somehow have to redistrict the whole state to make each district competitive. It's been cut up for all three -- state House, state Senate, and HofR -- to make a large number of districts severely lopsided. This means that there are competitive races in precious few, and everyone else is essentially elected for life. Even where there is competition, the margins of victory are so wide, it's painful. For example, Erin McClelland lost to Keith Rothfus by a 20-point margin in PA-12.
This, over and over again, is why a lot of people don't see any point in voting.
@neilmd Uncontested races encourage that.
Thanks, that cleared up some of my puzzlement.
Of ourse, being able to vote for a Green candidate would have been nice. I get tired of having to chose between the center-right Dems and insanely right wing 'Pubs in elections.
@neilmd: thank you for the clarification.
But this election did have one very important race: Corbett/Wolf. Wolf's margin, although significant, was maybe half that of what most of the polls were predicting. So I feel that, for me, voting yesterday was actually meaningful and important.
That pretty much all of us city people seem to live in an uncontested district seems ok to me: the last time I did the door-to-door thing, about 80% of the people were voting for Democrats. What can you do? It's the will of the people and the current opposition knows it. Why waste the money?
Well, you could offer a compelling narrative. But it won't be from the Republicans: they have no bench in this city. (Remember that doof who tried to run for mayor? He was the best the GOP had to offer.)
The Rothfus district is a complete travesty; maybe the GOP favors districts that corrals the less politically conscious among us into safe seats. [Sorry. I know. That was a value judgement...]
Oh I am not suggesting that you should not vote! That is not quite the message intended by the title of the thread. I am suggesting that party strategists vote that way. I have managed to be strangely apartisan in my advocacy thus far, but a similar topic is the voter ID laws that supposedly target "voter fraud", in spite of the fact that there are basically no cases of people showing up to vote as people they are not (my father grew up in Kansas City in the 20s, where the dead did vote -- whole graveyards would show up at the polls -- and somewhat fittingly his last act was to vote posthumously in the 2004 presidential election, totally legally, via an absentee ballot filled out in the hospital).
talk about knowing you're not going to make it to the precinct...
(btw, i did some quick Excelling on http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/elect/201411gen/el52.htm
-- Allegheny County's overall turnout was a shade over 40%, which is actually relatively good for this sort of election.
of the 1300 precincts in the county, about 200 had turnout over 50%; just over 20 of them in the City.)
"The Rothfus district is a complete travesty; maybe the GOP favors districts that corrals the less politically conscious among us into safe seats. [Sorry. I know. That was a value judgement...]"
Everyone in my family did their part to help Erin along... she didn't help herself enough; the campaign seemed non-existent. I'm sure the gerrymandering of Murtha's former district didn't help either.
I can't stand Rothfus, considering he is one of the tea-party types willing to hold the economy hostage for the sake of a conservative pipe-dream i.e. repealing "obamacare."
The Green party candidate and Libertarian party candidates for governor in Pennsylvania were not on the ballot because they did not collect the 17,000 signatures required by law. But it was possible to vote for them by write-in.
The number of signatures required of Corbett and Wolf to get on the ballot was 2,000, because they were major party candidates.
yea i have a house in sewickley area and another almost in cambria county and rothfus is my rep at both places that guy sucks
The title of the article is "Pennsylvania’s New Governor Is Awesome", I guess only time will tell, but seems like he is starting on a positive note.
Wow, looking back on this, we all seemed so innocent in 2014. :)
I think we were innocent three months ago.