Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Night - November 2nd, 2010

Last night, I had a chance to view the election results from a different perspective than the usual television recap. I was able to attend an election night party, which quickly turned into a victory party for one Ventura County candidate. Regardless of partisanship, it was a group of hardworking people that believed in someone that is a great candidate and now is the Assemblymember elect in his district. This is what it's all about...actually participating in the governmental process of electing an official in your area that you believe in.

Jeff Gorell, whom I first met as my professor at CLU, will make for a great legislator in Sacramento and not because he promises to do a good job but because he knows that to work in Sacramento it means getting along with everyone in order to get things done--even those that differ in ideology. I am excited to see someone in office who not only understands the way government works but also sees both sides of the coin. I get the impression that for him it is more about becoming a statesman and I look forward to seeing this politician work his way to becoming the next hardworking politician to shake things up in Capitol Park. There really is a lot of work to be done. The legislatures approval rating is still at an all time low but not because of the people there necessarily. The budget process needs reform and this election hopefully paved the way for something to change.

I hope that with the passing of Prop 25, making the vote to pass the budget a majority (more than half of the legislators votes) rather than super majority (a 2/3 requirement of votes) will make it easier to get work done. While there is some controversy on whether this will indeed help, we can only find out by trying it out. The recent problems Sacramento's Capitol Park is experiencing are coming from the same place as the nation's capital...polarization. Political polarization in recent years has kept good policies from passing. Extreme groups on both sides of the spectrum pretty much keep anything from actually happening. As most of us have seen in recent years, this has not been productive. This is what is wasting government dollars. Extremism is not only in the terrorist groups that are constantly thinking up ways to hurt democracy...it also exists within our own country. The extremism of the two major political groups is keeping the nation from moving in any direction and holding it hostage. Just like everything else in life...moderation is the only way to a balance in government. Let's not forget that government is for and of the people. The polarization exists because we have created it and allow it to continue to flourish among us.

I hope everyone had a chance to vote yesterday...my ballot was both blue and red in color and not because I was going for a colorful ballot but because I took the time to really find out about the candidates online and voted accordingly. With the internet, namely google, there is more opportunity to do some homework before getting to the booth. Hopefully those choices made during this election will reflect the general opinion of the public. Ultimately this is what the government is supposed to achieve with an election. Let us hope that those elected will do the job to the best of their ability.

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