“Californians aren’t buying your shit anymore.”

“The real story of the Tuesday elections, it seems to me, is that voters have given up on believing in democracy under California’s current electoral system. Seventy-five percent of California’s voters—12,749,727 of them, twelve times the number who voted for Meg Whitman, six times the number who voted for Prop 14—kissed off the election.

“Despite being bombarded with a couple of hundred million dollars worth of political advertising, they could not be moved. The triumphant eMeg spent about $74 for every vote she received. (It’s a measure of how brain dead California’s media have become that Whitman—a politician who spent in excess of $80 million running against an unknown opponent but managed to win fewer votes than the feckless Bill Simon won running against the popular mayor of Los Angeles in the 2002 primary, when California had 1.8 million fewer registered voters— is today being described as the owner of a ‘powerful, well-financed machine.’) But what’s true of Whitman is true of the system as a whole. It cost all the players in the political system about $50 for every voter who turned out Tuesday.

“There’s a clear message here to California’s political class, the candidates and the armies of consultants, spinmeisters, and message polishers: Californians aren’t buying your shit anymore.”
The voters speak with their silence, by Mark Paul, UC Press blog, June 10, 2010

I wonder. I think Californians are too depressed, disgusted, or just plain too busy to vote in primaries. Also, it seems like we have elections all the time. Also, we don’t make it easy to register to vote. In Arizona you can fill out the form on your coffeeshop placemat and register. In North Dakota, you only have to show your ID on election day. In Oregon (once you’re registered), or at least Portland, you can fill out your ballot, put it in an envelope and drop the sucker off at any polling place. Yeah, mail-in voting, I never get to it in time. California makes you work for your democracy. Like many things in CA, it’s stupid, but there you have it. California should just have one big election every two years and be done with it. Lucky for me, my polling place is w/in walking distance from Casa Mayerson and less than a mile from my job so voting for me is easier than for most people.

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