Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Local elections today....for mayor, to hike our sales tax (to 9.5%?) and school board, among other local matters. Most people don't vote in such local elections which makes turnout all that more important. The one who can mobilize voters can win, even if most people don't agree with their beliefs or policies. Obviously turnout varies widely but I think it hovers as low as in the 20 percent range.
A mostly one party city these days, we only have one Republican running for the mayor's office: Kevin James. Wendy Greuel or Eric Garcetti is favored to win, with votes splitting between them (which might not be enough to help James...in a city with such a large percentage of Democrats).
I'm curious regarding whether the sales tax hike will pass. To the highest in the country? Ugh. That should help consumption...I end my shopping today and have stocked up!
A great book is titled "The Myth of The Rational Voter" (http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Rational-Voter-Democracies/dp/0691138737/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362513248&sr=8-1&keywords=the+myth+of+the+rational+voter) which details why voters choose bad policies on a regular basis. And they do. A combination of factors contribute but one of the biggest ones is not knowing or understanding (or researching) the basic options...so being more easily swayed by those who market best. Alas, we do it. Do we have an obligation to be informed and involved citizens? I'd argue that we do. Blessed with democracy, we all have an obligation to protect it (or have no one to blame but ourselves if we lose it).
Propaganda is alive and well in this fair county. So will voters hike the sales tax? We shall see.