Election Posts: An Introduction

I’m in Belleville for the long weekend. Having just driven in holiday traffic for three hours, I’m a little tired. So bear with me.

I was going to write this as an introduction to my election post (which I keep talking about but have yet to actually write). That’s coming, but I thought I should lay down some guiding principles first.

First, I hate politics. I am, however, a firm believer in the importance of good government and performing my duty as a citizen in a democracy. Without getting all Jimmy Stewart, I think it’s vitally important to stay informed and do what little is expected of me: vote.

I don’t think, however, that debating politics (especially on the internets) is often very productive. So I generally avoid it. But I’m torn, because I think that by avoiding it, I’m contributing to a general malaise and cynicism about democracy which I think is a huge problem in our society. (For the record, I have no problem with malaise and cynicism about politics, which I think is natural and inevitable. However, I think it’s important to separate democracy, society and governance from politics. They aren’t the same thing. The former is important and the latter is a retarded spectator sport).

So I’m going to talk about politics, but in a particular sort of way.

I want to lay out the basis for my coming to a decision regarding the election, or elections in general. I want to do this both to help me validate those thought processes in my own mind. I also kinda want to subtly encourage people by example. Which is to say I don’t particularly want to slog out a debate about who’s the better candidate in the comments. I’m not going to get into that. I would be very happy, however, to see others post about their own thought processes. I like to read that stuff.

I am not going to stump for a candidate. I don’t think that’s particularly classy. If there was one candidate I was enthusiastically ecstatic about (and there isn’t), that would probably show through. However, it’s not my goal to make you vote the way I vote. This is mostly about me, but if I wanted you to take anything out of this exercise, it’s to think for yourself, evaluate your own values and beliefs and cast a ballot for the candidate that you feel would best represent you.

I think of an election like it’s hiring someone for a job. You need to have that position filled by next week, even if all the candidates who’ve applied are horrible. That’s all you have to work with. It’s your job to pick one and move on.

I’ll post about the candidates tomorrow.