Thursday, May 08, 2008

Election Re-Cap

So, yes- I did merely walk in to the polling place, sign the book, and walk out. Well, it was a little more detailed.

The clerk asked me if I wanted a Republican or Democratic ballot. I said, "no thank you". This left her perplexed, so she answered, "you have to take one or the other". I advised her that, no, I didn't, that I could sign the book and walk out. The Judge came over and confirmed what I said, so while I signed, I added, "I'm a partisan Libertarian. I would never take one of the other parties' ballots". She replied, "Oh! A Libertarian! I'll put an 'L' next to your name. I thought that was pretty great.

There was no great turnout at my polling place, the Fishers Town Hall. It votes heavily Republican, and apparently, the Republicans felt no need to show up. It was the shortest wait (one person) that I had ever experienced there. I think that Democrats will get excited by the numbers that show greater numbers of 'D' votes than "R' in Hamilton County, and it will yield greater turnout in November.

This signals the end of my one-time hope that the Libertarian Party could quickly supplant the Dems as the #2 party in Hamilton County. As HC grows and urbanizes, it is becoming marginally more Democratic. Nothing the Dems are doing internally are causing this, but external forces favor them some here.

Ron Paul fared worse than Mike Huckabee? How bad is that? Huckabee has been out of the race for months. There is a valuable lesson here for any small-l libertarian who has been clinging to the hopes that the Republican Party can be reformed from within to accept libertarian principles: It ain't happening.

If anything, I expected Paul's numbers to seriously challenge McCain's. After all, McCain has all but experienced the coronation already, and as such, voting for Paul would be a "safe" thing to do. Alas- less than 8% of Republicans voted for Ron Paul.

So the message has been sent. Hoosier Republicans favor big government by a 92-8 count. If you favor liberty and smaller government, you really have to bail on the Republicans.

Everything else is just horse race showtime, and I don't care. I struggle to decide which of the presidential candidates is the worst. At the moment, it's McCain, for his commitment to endless futility in the Middle East, and McCain-Feingold. Obama and Hillary are tied for a very close second worst, as they push economic ruin and socialized health care, which would surely contribute to the economic ruin. It's hard to be excited about any of the lot.


Mark W. Rutherford said...

My precinct had school board elections. I walked up to the poll official who asked R or D. I asked for a school board ballot only - the poll worker had a worried look on her face and clearly didn't know what to do. She did recover and asked the inspector if this was OK. He was very knowledgeable and brought over the school board only ballots. I cast my votes for school board and did not sully my reputation by taking an old party ballot in their state subsidized candidate selection event.

Chris Ward said...


Beth and I were in the same position as Mark. We asked for SB ballots, the poll worker looked like we farted, but a helpful inspector grabbed our ballots so we could be on our happy way.

Anonymous said...

Don't lose faith that you are making a difference. Getting third parties off the ground is next to impossible, but people do hear the points you are making. Unfortunately, a lot of people who would be more inclined to be Libertarian have heard that the party is for legalizing drugs, and that turns people off. I am sure that is just a small aspect of the platform, but that seems to stick with people for some reason. You and Mark R. present yourselves very well. Professional people like you two need to keep showing up at debates to be heard. Remember, Rome wasn't created in a day. You're doing the right thing...keep on keeping on!


Roberta X said...

Y'know, I wanted to vote in the primary but... Well, the day came and there wasn't anyone in either party I wa s going to be all that happy to vote for.

Giuess I'll have to see who the LP's got this time 'round! As usual.