This year is an election year and it is likely to be a wild one. However election day isn't until November. So why am I talking politics in March? Because it is now that we need to begin the process of deciding whom we'd like to see in the offices up for grabs.
I am an unusual voter, because I research the heck out of candidates, and use that research to decide whom best would hold a particular seat. I also don't use the usual "hot topic" issues of the day, such as abortion, gay rights or the candidates religion or church of choice as a deciding factor. I don't care so much about party affiliation, but more so about their stands on things. Instead I look at how they stand on issues such as fiscal ideas, how they stand on innovation for technology and the environment, support of our national defense (if it is a federal candidate), and what they think about earmarks, certain legislative reforms and the business of doing business with politicia
If they are an incumbent, I look at their voting record. Does their record line up to what they say they support or believe in, is it consistent? Do they show up to vote on a regular basis? Does campaigning for upcoming elections take away from the job they are hired to do today? I passed on two presidential candidates who held seats in Congress for the simple fact that their voting record was greatly lacking in content. If a candidate cannot even be bothered to show up for votes at least 80% of the time, then they are wasting the over-sized paychecks we get taxed to pay them with.
So now I am beginning the weeding out process for the upcoming primaries which will be held later this year. I am somewhat surprised at the lack of overt campaigning out there so far. Or maybe the lack of my desire to turn on a television has spared me those annoying political ads. I see few if any signs on the road side, and other then a bit of twitter feed and my friends over at The Spark, it almost seems that there is no election this year. But there is.
I need to figure out...once again what my specific districts are. Ok that is a bone of contention. Depending on what I am thinking about, State Senate, State house or Federal House, I live in three districts, all labeled with different numbers, and I can never remember which number represents what kind of district I am wondering about. It is frustrating and very confusing. Someone please simplify that...or at least give me a voting district for dummies lesson.
So boys and girls, the word for today is research. Research the candidates in your districts (once you've figured out which ones you reside in). Are they a good representation of your idea on important issues? Are they touting the same tried and true hot button issues which are still going to be around for the next couple of decades or are they promoting some good workable ideas for our state and our nation? Are they willing to vote on what is best for the state or the nation, not just their particular district? Are they going to try to look long term at the pros and cons of a bill and vote for the best option, or are they going to allow themselves to be swayed by those who have personal or political thoughts in mind?
Tough questions, so research well, so you can choose well come November.