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'Super Tuesday' has two meanings
You would never know it by my columns, but there will be one
other decision to make on the ballot Feb.
29.. There is that little matter of the
I tend to think of Presidential elections as a democratic process.
Primaries are anything but. Primaries are for political parties to chose who they
are going to run for the election. Washington voters traditionally have
abhorred having to be beholden to any particular party. We pride ourselves
on being independent even if we vote a straight party line and donate cash
to every candidate that a party puts on the ballot all the way down to
In most states you must register with a political party in order to
vote in their primary. We in Washington get to have our cake and eat it too. We
have a choice of three different ballots: Unaffiliated, which lists all
candidates. Then there is a ballot for Democrats and a separate ballot for
Republicans. Unfortunately you only get to vote
for one candidate no matter which ballot you choose. The parties only have
to consider the votes on the party ballots. They have the right to ignore the
Of course the unrelenting strangle hold of the two major parties
ensures that no independent party candidates actually show up on a primary
ballot. In order for an independent party to participate, they must have
elected someone to a major office and have received at least 5 percent of the
total vote cast at the last state general election in an even-numbered year.
What any of that has to do with a desire to run for office I cannot even
imagine. It is a Catch-22; you have to elect someone to office in order to get
on the ballot to elect them to office.
Nothing like writing a state law that guarantees that anyone
seeking nomination must be beholden to the existing party machines. Gee, I
wonder if the Democrats and Republicans are footing the bill as we are
paying tax dollars to run their exclusive primaries? I guess this election is a
reaction to the old system where only rabid party members voted on the
I hope that at least on the actual presidential election ballot in
November we get to see the oddball candidates. I like them the best because
you get to see all the really wacky candidates who are only on the ballot
because they lost a bar bet. You also get to see some truly visionary
nominees who don't believe in being kept by the Democrat or Republican parties.
It is nice that we are actually get a chance to vote in the primary.
Usually the nominees are decided long before we in the "real" Washington get a
say. You can be pretty sure that there will be at least two contenders for
each major party for once. This is because of "Super Tuesday."
March 7 is called "Super Tuesday" because it is my fortieth birthday
and also because a couple of little states like California and Texas hold
their primaries. It would be a big surprise if any of the major candidates drop
out before then.
I do not think we will be getting our own debate. Not enough
electoral votes for us to matter that much. We will get an onslaught of political
ads. I have already seen the really icky "bring respect back to the
Presidency" advertisements. Very "mom and
apple pie." Really though, after Bill and Monica, we can only improve
the presidential image. Even if we elected Regis "is that your final
answer" Philbin, the office would have more dignity. At least he is monogamous.
Sordid behavior starts in the nominating process.
The closer the election, the seedier the advertising. We
are starting to get what I call the "puppy kicker" advertising. They are the
ads about how candidate number one kicks puppies for fun. This will
soon be followed by candidate number two's response that the first guy
kicked more puppies and wet his bed as a kid. Isn't politics a noble profession?
I do hope that everyone votes in this election. Even if you don't
particularly like any of the candidates. It is a sad fact that the majority of
people don't vote at all. Many never got around to registering, many feel
uninformed and many are just disillusioned with the whole process. I
prefer to bury my doubts about my depth of knowledge and my deep-seated
distrust of all things associated with a major political party. Better to have
a voice because if I don't use it, I don't have to worry about someone
taking the right away. I have already lost it.
Kate Russell lives between Carnation and Duvall. You
can reach her via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.