08 November 2014

An observation on the election

Nationwide, voter turnout in this week's election is being estimated at 38% or even lower (similar to the 2010 figure), with the disastrous results we've seen.  But here in Oregon, it was 69.5%, comparable to the national figures from 2008 and 2012.  And here, Democrats and liberal issues won.

Forget all the spin and hype -- that, right there, is the essence of our problem.  When lots of people vote, we win.  When few people vote, Republicans win.  If our 69.5% figure had been replicated across the country, we'd be looking at a Democratic landslide now instead of this minority-rule freak show.

There is nothing more important for the party to be doing than figuring out how to increase voter participation, especially in non-Presidential years.  A good place to start might be to look at how we do things in Oregon.


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

We will now suffer through another 2 years of the tyranny of the loonie minority.

We've got a Republican governor here in Massachusetts because the Democrats thought it would be a great idea to run a woman (Martha Coakley) who lost to an empty-headed pretty boy (Scott Brown) in 2010, against a liberal Republican.

The state legislature is solidly blue, so Charlie Baker will have to work with it. Massachusetts has a good record of having liberal Republicans as governors. Baker supports sensible gun control laws, abortion rights, and marriage equality.

08 November, 2014 06:41  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I don't know why they keep running Coakley for things out there. Surely you could find somebody better. At least it sounds like Baker won't be as bad as most of them. If he supports those things, one wonders why he's a Republican.

Anyway, it's usually Massachusetts that has the bragging rights, so now that we've got some for once, I'm making the most of it.

08 November, 2014 08:44  
Blogger Unknown said...

This goes along with my favorite quote from Primary Colors, "Our job is to make it clean. Because if it's clean, we win. Because our ideas are better." It does make it easy to be liberal, knowing that our policies are fact-based and actually work. It is icing on the cake that our policies are also popular.

We have but one task: to get people to vote. I can't imagine what it's like to be a conservative and know that the only way you win is if democracy loses.

08 November, 2014 12:07  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Conservatives have spent decades lighting the fires of rage and hatred in their voters. The result is that it is easy to get them to vote against someone without having to offer any kind of constructive agenda. Liberal minds don't work that way- people on our side of the fence need something to vote for, not merely something to vote against. And that is as it should be. So I do not blame people for not voting, or chalk it up to laziness.

As far as I can tell, the whole Democratic campaign this time revolved around "give me money so I can run for reelection, and then go away." That's not enough, and what's more, every time "centrist" Democrats have their way and run on that basis, they lose. That is why they lost, not because their voters decided to skip election day and sit at home binge-watching "Breaking Bad."

08 November, 2014 12:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: Some right-wing websites are full of rationalizations why certain people shouldn't vote -- anyone who gets government benefits, anyone who isn't a property owner or a taxpayer -- there are always "reasons" for why this or that group shouldn't have the vote. Ann Coulter has even said that women shouldn't have the vote.

They may even dream they can implement these schemes if they get control of every part of the government. But the logical end-point of that would be something like South Africa in the old days. Not a good scenario for anyone. Obviously they don't think that far ahead.

Green: I'd say it's some of both. I don't have much sympathy for people who don't vote because they think the Democrats haven't given them anything to vote for. The party can't cater to every group at the same time. And the other side is so much worse that the only rational option is to vote to keep them out of power. The Democrats are very far from addressing several issues that are important to me, but I still vote for them because the Republicans actively want to make me a second-class citizen in my own country. Recognizing that sometimes life gives you those kinds of choices is part of being an adult.

On the other hand, it's the party's job to motivate people to vote, and they clearly aren't doing it well enough. They need to be a lot clearer and more forceful about what they offer -- and about what the other side threatens. There's plenty of responsibility to go around. I only know that no problem ever gets solved by everybody pointing the finger at someone else and saying "those guys over there aren't doing enough to solve it".

08 November, 2014 14:39  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

69.5% to me is very impressive turnout for midterm!! I am not sure what it was here in Texas, probably low as shit (Wendy won in Dallas County I know and several Dem's ... but the state? ... nope!).

I actually alwayz vote on everything, but I probably know at least a half dozen or more people off the top of my head that were registered to vote, had the proper ID (which is simply in their case a drivers license), told me a couple weeks ago they WOULD vote, and after the election, they said they were unable to make it ... well, thats their choice I reckon ... I dont see why folks say they're going to do something and then not do it, but thats just me.

As long as they let me vote, I will continue to vote whether I like the parties or not ... I mean ... why not? WTF?, I cant lose nothing, its quick and easy ... like I dont see whats so f'n complex or hard about getting off our asses and voting. Thing about it ... none of these people that I know who didnt go vote, have no handicap's, have the time to, they're all registered, they have even 2 weeks to vote early, or by mail at that! ... so WTF is it I ask myself? ... just laziness? Enuff from me Infidel ....

09 November, 2014 07:20  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

According to the info I found (it's in the link round-up), turnout in Texas was one-third. The vote-suppression laws may have contributed to that, though not accounted for most of it.

A lot of people who don't vote don't make the connection between Republicans getting elected and the fact that a lot of things then don't go the way they want. They need to be educated about that.

Davis losing was a disappointment, but I always knew that was a long shot. Perhaps she'll try again in a few years and win.

09 November, 2014 07:29  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

You Oregonians did it right. Here in Florida, to my dismay, as a former New Yorker... same old shit! We've got 'wrong-winged' Rick Scott again, for another 4 years... So you people in Oregon, 'light up and relax'... We still can't, here in Florida... because Floriduh! is filled with red necks.

13 November, 2014 06:04  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sorry you guys are stuck with Dr. Evil for another four years. Some of the worst governors in the country got reelected.

13 November, 2014 13:06  

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