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We don’t need no stinkin’ elections


By danielifearn - Posted on 17 March 2011

Does one vote really cost $33? Or, should the full price in blood and lives be added? Without elections, is there democracy? And, just what does it mean to be a Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal in America today? A discussion among poll workers in Springfield, Missouri spills into the press and signals there are problems with the electoral system beyond vote caging and rigging.

This letter is in response to the issue of the cost of the recent Springfield City Council primary. I emphatically disagree that it was a waste of money. Any chance I get to make my voice heard in an election is worth a lot to me. Mark Heins estimates that $33 per vote is too much. What should the price be? I value my vote at more than that. If we begin to assess cost per vote, what other elections will be postponed or canceled? I think the answer is to seek more active voters and better public awareness of election issues.

As a resident and taxpayer in Springfield, I would gladly support efforts to increase voter participation in all elections. Democracy isn't always easy, and it certainly isn't cheap. But, it is worth it to me.

Joseph Fearn Springfield

Comments:

9:10 AM on March 14, 2011
it is when the vote does not go the way the elected officials want and then they claim we are not smart enough to know what we voted for and change it to the way they want to line their pockets i would say that is waste

9:34 AM on March 14, 2011
It is a waste when Republicans decide to over turn what the majority has voted for. It is also crooked.

12:05 PM on March 14, 2011
Having a useless Primary election for City Council IS throwing good money away because it is a non-partisan election. Do you understand what non-partisan means?

When you hold an election and no one comes, can you still say you had an election? How about calling it a rejection? When only 2.57 percent, only 2,879 total voters turns out for an election, it says, loudly and clearly, the electorate was not interested in what was to be decided.

Just my opinion but, why couldn't these folks have drawn straws or played Paper, Rock, Scissors to see who would run for the available council seats. If they were truly interested in good governance they would have done something like that and saved the city the $95,000 cost of this rejection. Couldn't this really have been settled some other way? I am in total agreement with [Greene County Clerk Richard] Struckhoff in saying " ... don't ever recall seeing anything as low."

I know we citizens of Springfield should care enough about our City Council and whom we have serving on it to cast our ballot. But, isn't it a greater responsibility of our city government to schedule an election only when there is something of substance to be decided? An election like the one we have just had is a terrible waste of tax money. A cost of $33 per vote cast is absurd and everyone that caused this election to be held should be ashamed.

These candidates are trying to convince me they would be responsible and handle city matters in a business-like manner and they are a party to a waste of tax money like this. At the very least, I would hope that whoever is elected to the council seats, in the election in April, takes it as a personal challenge to see we never have a citywide election over such a trivial matter again and do not waste tax monies so foolishly.

Mark Heins Springfield

Comments:

5:44 AM on March 2, 2011
Too bad this letter got printed without an "Editor's note" that indicates that the primary election is required by city charter. Why would the NL allow this letter to mis-lead readers without setting the record straight. That seems shameful. Regardless, I do agree that we should change the charter and eliminate these costly primaries.

6:43 AM on March 2, 2011
An omission by this LTTE is the primary election is one reason the electorate counts. Even if no one shows, it is the apathetic voice of the people.

12:34 PM on March 2, 2011
Had I known about the primary, I would have voted; however, I, like many Springfield residents, was unaware of the election until I was reading the results. Perhaps if the council would take the time to educate voters of the primary, turnout would not have been so abysmal.

Then again, if more people knew about the elections there would be a much greater chance the current group of bums would be ousted; so, more of a self-preservation thing.
 

Let's put aside Springfield's need for an election or not and address the larger issue. Is the U.S. democratic? When we are presented pre screened candidates from two corporate political parties, does voting matter? Voting for third parties and write ins only serves to legitimize the system.

The U.S. is not a democracy, representative or otherwise. It is a plutocracy (rule of the wealthy), oligarchy (rule of the few) and kleptocracy (rule of thieves). Political scientist refer to it as a polyarchy or government in which the democratic participation of citizens is limited to participating in elections of pre screened candidates that support the ruling hierarchy. Emphasis is placed on the institutions of government; elections, congress, constitution etc and not on the results that are delivered to the people.

I have come to the conscious realization of this after extensive study for the last 8 years and have made public my refusal to further participate in the charade that is U.S. democracy because it is unable to be fixed. We need a complete new system. Others, with less study and specific knowledge on the subject, intuitively know that voting makes no difference and are referred to as apathetic voters.
Nick Egnatz

Hi Nick,

Plutocracy, oligarchy, kleptocracy, polyarchy and KAKISTOCRACY - rule by a nation's WORST or least-qualified.

Semper pacificus,

Dan

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