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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Nonpartisan"? That's funny.

We were wasting time on Facebook yesterday when we came across a posting from one of our "friends" about a current judicial election. He was knocking one of the candidates for the position, on the ground that the candidate, a sitting judge, had once been the chair of a political party in his county. And, gasp! It was that party whose name begins with the letter "R." The kiss of death, as far as this "friend" was concerned.

It's the same story in local races for governing bodies. The Clackistan county commission, for example -- that's supposedly a "nonpartisan" race, but you couldn't find a better example of Democrats battling Republicans. Ditto for the mayor in Lake Oswego. And you don't have to turn too many pages in the voter's pamphlet to find other examples. The party affiliations aren't listed right under the candidates' names, but they usually aren't too hard to figure out.

Why are all these races "nonpartisan" in the first place? Maybe there ought to be parties -- or subsets of the existing parties -- in them. In Portland proper, a Republican wouldn't have a chance, but you do already have the powerful Goldschmidt Party, which runs almost everything most of the time. You could also have a Cr-apartment Party, from which developer shills like Char-Lie Hales could run. And then maybe a Grownup Party, for candidates like Scott Fernandez and Dave Lister. Given the crummy leadership our current "nonpartisan" elections is producing, it certainly couldn't hurt to shake up the bag.

Comments (7)

“Politics, n: Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"”

(Larry Hardiman)

It did not used to be that way. I remember Republican mayors of Portland and also Governors of the State. But that was back when most R's were moderate. The heavy rightward tilt of the R party has had more to do with chasing out those of us who were not crazy. I look forward to the day when moderate, reasonable voices again become the norm in the Republican Party and we again have a two party system in this state.

Isn't "wasting time on Facebook" redundant? But continuing, three-member county commissions, if partisan, can never be equally divided. A party designation may give some indication as to a candidate's outlook but these local boards of governance don't function along party lines as our legislature and Congress do.

In Southern Oregon, one of only two counties that do still run as partisan races, a current dust-up is over a Republican commissioner's endorsement of a Democratic candidate over his Republican opponent for an open seat. The effort to impose partisanship on what really is not a partisan governing body has no benefit that I see.

To George, I too would like a two-party system in the state but the only legislator I am really passionate about is not a Democrat. Reasonable Democrats in Oregon are rarer than reasonable Republicans, in my view.

"Nonpartisan", in this context, really means "Don't be a meanie". You get the distinct impression that the ones yelling it the loudest were the kids in high school who were regularly beaten up and robbed of their lunch money by the anime club.

...Grownup Party, for candidates like Scott Fernandez and Dave Lister.

To date what we have had is the Groan-up party. And party is what they do.

George- I get what you are saying - the right wingers are an obnoxious bunch any thinking person would not want to be associated with. But I think the religious right has lost its steam and the water is right for moderates to jump back in to save the party and give voters a rational alternative. When I was young, I first joined the R party because of my admiration of Tom McCall. I'd love to see someone like him come along who can speak the truth and people will want to listen.

More obnoxious than Portland Democrats?

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