“Who watches Parliament on PBS?” Many of the one hundred in the seats of the auditorium raised their hands. “You are not normal.”
August 2004, I was sitting in those seats, and raised my hand. I did not know I was not politically normal before that moment. My thinking was that everybody enjoyed watching Prime Minister’s Questions on PBS, even though it was often in the middle of the night. Little did I know that I was in an audience measured in the hundreds.
September 2013, the Annapolis primaries just completed — 23% of the voters decided the results. Although this is solid Democratic territory, the primaries were needed to decide between the current administration and a party challenger who wanted to lead the city in a different direction. The results mean it will be a battle between the current mayor, Democrat Josh Cohen, and a Republican newcomer, Mike Pantelides. A bit charismatic, the newcomer has a slight chance of winning in a place that goes back to the 1600’s as more liberal than its surrounding “colonies.”
Why does Pantelides have a chance? Because he is young and has ideas, and the current mayor has been doing a muck-up job balancing corporate pressures and campaign promises. Not a good situation. Even people who consider themselves good liberals are thinking of voting for the younger candidate. There is more, but right now the fight begins for the November election.
What does this mean for the end of summer and the beginning of fall, in political terms? Little for the public. Massive angst for those of us who are followers and participants of politics. We have candidates holding office who have a less than popular view of the peoples’ requests. We have Republican challengers starting with freshness, going up against our office holders. The Republicans spend time and money preparing candidates for when a weakness arises.
Off-year elections are traditionally a slow year. Rarely do the elections bring high turnout, or even better than mediocre turnout. A strong candidate can bring out the vote. Mail-in ballots get better results, although nothing like a general election or even better, a presidential year.
What are you doing this year to help your candidates? Does your locale have an election? Will you help GOTV? Walking, calling, mailing?
Money helps a lot too. And, next year is a fight for the House we Democrats have to win. Plus, we need to keep the Senate. We “not politically normal” people have a lot to do, almost all of it not noticed by the rest of the population until after Labor Day.
– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor