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Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Vote

Thought I'd put up a quick post about how and/or who I voted for, why and how I feel about the results of the election, the last mostly from a local perspective. I intend to write about the national results soon.
I put my vote where my mouth and keyboard have been all along. I voted a straight anti-incumbent ticket by voting for independents, with the exception of races where people ran unopposed. You all know why I did that; I've been saying it all along. I wanted to send a message that I'm not happy with the purely-partisan two-party system. I encouraged my readers to have the courage to do the same; that en masse we vote wasters would become message senders. If you look at the results from the Maine election, I think we did just that.
For instance, look at the governor's race:
John E. Baldacci (D) 200666 38.05%
Chandler E. Woodcock (R) 158275 30.01%
Barbara Merrill (U) 112571 21.35%
Patricia H. LaMarche (G) 51341 9.74%
Phillip Morris NaPier (U) 4527 0.86%

Incumbent Democrat John Baldacci is fairly popular but he couldn't carry even 40% of the vote. Now I understand here in Maine we have much more of a tradition of voting for independents than elsewhere, but that doesn't explain the vote percentage of the winner nor does it explain how Merrill and LaMarche together received more than the Republican. Barbara Merrill, who I voted for, received over 21%...a relatively unknown independent a year ago. She ran a great campaign and hit a nerve with voters because she had the courage to lay out fresh ideas, something someone from the 2 major parties are always afraid to do. It didn't hurt her either that her fresh ideas made a lot of sense.
Look at the US Senate race:
Olympia J. Snowe (R) 384507 74.04%
Jean M. Hay Bright (D) 106642 20.54%
William H. Slavick (U) 28152 5.42%

or the 1st Congressional District race, particularly again at the vote percentage of the independents:
Thomas H. Allen (D) 162600 60.41%
Darlene J. Curley (R) 84491 31.39%
Dexter J. Kamilewicz (U) 22089 8.21%

Over 5 and 8% are enormous independent percentages in any other state. That would be headline news, even in this current climate.

So I'm pleased that voters came out and obviously voted based on something other than pure party lines. Now, no incumbents here were toppled (all 3 plus Mike Michaud are IMO justifiably popular) but I feel the message was sent nonetheless.

I apologize for this obviously being hastily thrown together but hopefully I made some rational points. Your thoughts on my vote? Please feel free to say as little or as much as you'd like about your vote and your local election results.


David said...

Hey Zeb...Did you hear it....the loud clap of thunder on Tuesday? Did you feel the quake around 4:45 PM?

Tor said...

I'm hoping that all of the indies who got at least 5 percent will consider letting new parties spring up under their auspices, for ballot access purposes.

Zebster said...

I heard it, Dave, and it had a heck of an echo effect all over.

Tor, I'd like to see those candidates (and major party candidates too) get behind ballot access and voter reform issues as a way to move those issues forward, but to me and many other indies we want to remain independent. It's a catch 22 in many ways. Good to see you again. Were you happy with the election here?

Anonymous said...

Hi Zeb!
Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm on voting independent... it seems to have gained public respect (there was an editorial in the Press Herald about just this), and I literally voted the same, straight Independent ticket (couldn't vote for Napier though!)

Here on Munjoy hill we had even more opportunities for voting against the parties. Although City Councilmembers don't have affiliations, the anti-establishment, youthful, green-oriented candidtate for our district actually won!

Small victories, but at this point supporting VOTE OPTIONS and trying to change the system is almost more important than specific issues!

Hope to see you over the Holidays!
Much love,
Cousin Eric