Saturday, November 11, 2006

tom creighton says that voters in lancaster can’t think

I should begin this post with a little debate technique known as poisoning the well. I’m sure that some would ask if I myself am guilty of the problem I am about to criticize. The fact is that I have only once in my life voted a straight party ticket. I’m sure some of my Democratic friends won’t like that but I have voted for Democrats, Republicans and independents of every stripe. I am a proud ticket splitter who comes from a family full of ticket splitters.

That is why I am so bothered by some (I mean all) of the election results in this county and one person’s comments in particular. Republican State representative Tom Creighton (and his party) seems to take the voters of the county for granted.

“I belong to the right party. It wasn’t a race between me and my opponent. It was a race between a Republican and a Democrat.”
Did he mean “correct” or “right wing?”

How unfortunate that the voters of this county have such an incredible inability to think for themselves. Am I elitist? Is this just sour grapes? Maybe I am and maybe it is.

The problem with Creighton’s statement is that it’s true. I have seen exactly what he’s talking about. This county is full of people who will listen to what you have to say, agree with you and promise you their vote until they find out that you’re a Democrat. There are even more who start at party affiliation and don’t go past it. They have reduced their vote to being little more than a choice between Coke and Pepsi.

In the Intell article on Creighton’s race his opponent Lee Heffner mentioned an incident with a voter who complained about the pay raise. The voter, apparently, ended up not voting for Heffner because Lee is a Democrat. The voter was upset about the pay raise and still either voted for Creighton or just didn’t vote at all in the race simply because of party affiliation.

I just have to ask, how do people expect to get decent representation when the only thing necessary for their vote is having a little “r” next to your name?

On Tuesday Lancaster Republicans voted like we have a parliamentary system. Too bad we don’t, instead of a second term for Governor Rendell we could be on the verge of Prime Minister Sturla.

3 comments:

Mike said...
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Scot said...

Remember, if Jesus ran as a Democrat in Lancaster County, he'd lose.

Most voters in Lancaster County will pull the Republican lever, irregardless of who is on the ticket. A look through the numbers from Tuesday clearly show this.

There is anecdotal evidence as well. There is the case of the borough secretary in Mount Joy, who, about 10 or 12 years ago, lost her job after over 15 years with the borough. Why? Because she was "outed" as a Democrat. During my days as a correspondent for the Intell, I found out that others lived in fear that their livelihoods were in jeopardy.

Over the long haul, I think that it will only hurt the county. The county GOP will do whatever they can to prevent the status quo from being upset - even if the status quo is no longer relevant.

I think one solution to this involves changing the way local elections are held in Pennsylvania. Cross-filing, which is ridiculous and fogs many a race beyond belief, should not be allowed. Instead of the primaries during odd-numbered years, there should be runoff election on the local level, where party distinction means very little. Besides, with the current system, that is what the local primaries are in all but name.

So, the next time someone from Lancaster County complains about the legislative pay raise, tell them that people get the government they deserve.

The next time you hear about an ill-conceived plan to sell the county nursing home, remind them that people get the government they deserve.

When folks complain about higher property taxes or unfunded mandates on school districts, remind them that people get the government they deserve.

When your neighbors tell you that they've lost their health insurance, remind them that they get the government they deserve.

When folks complain about the machinations that went on behind the building of a baseball stadium, remind them that they get the government they deserve.

When you hear people bring up the subject of the convention center downtown, remind them that they get the government they deserve.

Jill said...

First, let me say that I think that we need to educate voters on the political system and the issues. As a judge of elections I saw some incredibly stupid things done and said by voters and poll workers alike.
Second, I don't think voters should be able to carry partisan literature into the polls with the correct names circled for them.
Third, if they are too ignorant to know who they are voting for, they shouldn't be voting.
Here are some instances I experienced on Tues.: A number of people tried to scan a blank ballot--did they really think I would hand them a completed ballot? One person of Hispanic origin complained that the ballot's Spanish was ungrammatical--to which the poll worker said, "you're lucky it is written in Spanish at all, you should be like the rest of us and learn English." A Republican twp supervisor said to me, "it must be hard for you to live in a place where no one supports your views." I said, "thank God the rest of the state thinks for themselves, and aren't a flock of sheep who vote what the party tells them." I had a person enter the polling place who couldn't read--we had to read the ballot to him, and when we got to the names, he said" who's that and what do they stand for?" Maybe we should concentrate on educating the voters; restore civics to public school curriculum again; and talk issues instead of just registering as many people as we can and in some cases--providing them with a piece of literature with names circled on it.