A Stones Throw 11-15-12

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While an interim coach who leads his team to a 5-1 record might not be the coach of the year, he certainly deserves to have his name spelled correctly. To that, I congratulate Bruce Arians, interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. He is my ‘Coach of the Year’ no matter what happens the rest of the season. (Last week I spelled the last name Aries. My apologies.)

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I want to congratulate each of the winning candidates from this year’s election. Equally, I think those who did not receive the most votes are still winners. They allowed each of us to participate in free and open elections.

Maybe not entirely free. On the national scale, it always amazes me how spending millions upon millions of dollars to win a job that pays a few hundred thousand dollars a year can be justified. With this kind of money being spent, one would have to question whether large political donations are made to support a political philosophy or to buy a power broker.

I think for every dollar spent on negative political advertisements a matching dollar should be contributed to pay down the national debt. Even better, I think all campaign contributions should go into a common fund with each candidate being able to share available funds on a 50-50 basis. This would, if not eliminate, at least greatly reduce the political influence of major contributors.

More than likely, this would also greatly reduce the amount of money available for each campaign. Then again, maybe not. After all, those who contribute millions of dollars do so because they believe in the election process, not because they are trying to buy into a power broker.

And, if you believe that, I have some ocean front land in New Mexico for sale.

Having said that, I was one voter who took advantage of the “moving election center” in Switzerland County. That means I voted a week before the actual Election Day.

Fortunately, my vote didn’t count.

By that, I don’t mean to belittle the voting process or the importance of each individual vote. Instead, I mean that fortunately no race was decided by just one or two votes.

Before I vote I like to make sure, at least in my mind, that I know as much accurate information about each candidate as I can. For me, for local candidates this means reading and understanding the Candidate profiles and question and answers that the Vevay Newspapers include in their election edition.

Unfortunately, this year I had to vote three days before the election edition hit the streets. Only those who voted in Vevay had the opportunity to read and analyze each profile before they voted, Still, I carefully read each candidate profile. I know for me, based on the information provided, I would probably change my vote on at least two races.

Then there are the national elections. I have several suggestions – each of which is a pipedream at best – concerning national elections.

First, just as I think every voter should have both the opportunity, and in actuality the responsibility, to read the local candidate profiles, I think every voter in a national election should have the opportunity and the responsibility to read a balanced and objective review of past performance and what individual platforms actually project.

I think every voter should receive a copy of “Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s” election edition. This year’s election edition had almost 90 pages of very balanced, objective analysis of the past, present, and future based on facts. At the end of the day, I did not find any bias toward either presidential candidate or either party. This is the kind of information everyone needs if we are to vote for what is best for the people – not what is best for the party.

Speaking of, I find it interesting that Republicans are being accused of blocking progress in America by not cooperating with the Democrat agenda. At the same time, it seems to be okay for State Legislature Democrats to not only block a Republican agenda, but to leave the state to stymie the entire legislative process.

It is time – right now – this year – to start governing for the people – not for the party.

Unfortunately, this won’t happen. It seems our elected officials, especially on a national level, are more intent in putting down the opposition than in improving the economy and the welfare of their constituents.

It seems that our local elected officials are intent on getting on with the job they were elected to do. Politics can wait for the next election.

Isn’t that what we want with each of our elected officials: local, state, and national?

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I have a few other random thoughts about the election:

I find it interesting that there were reportedly over 100 different political polls printed during the final weeks of the election. One would have to question the validity when one poll projected a Romney win by over 10-percent while another projected an Obama win by even more.

While the obvious answer is that some polls are more accurate due to the accuracy of the scientific selection of those being polled. When you consider that many polls are a result of answers provided by fewer than 1,000 people and then projected to reflect 100 million voters, it is easy to see how results can vary.

Of course, another reason for the difference in results could be based more on who is paying for the poll or on the political philosophy of the pollster.

My problem with all of this is that, again, voters pay attention to the numbers, not the accuracy.

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I wonder if members of the Tea Party attended Democrat victory celebrations?

They should have.

I always find it interesting that breakaway fringe parties always draw votes away from the party they are most closely aligned with rather than from the party they most oppose.

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Finally, if people are going to be allowed, or forced, to vote early in future elections, I think three things need to happen:

First, I think all available accurate information should be made available prior to the first opportunity to vote.

Second, I think all candidate debates should occur prior to the first opportunity of anyone to vote early.

Third, I think every television and radio in America should have a button that blocks out all political advertisements once a person has voted. This should be our reward for voting.

I think this alone would increase the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote.

– Mike Cooney