If you had one thing, one piece of information that you could get out to the people of your town/county/state/country what would it be? Insofar as news goes, this is an interview question that gets at what is most important. I’ve come to the conclusion that if american journalism asked that question and compiled the answers of every influencer they interviewed, they would, at very little cost and effort, compile a pretty good reporting program.
Recently, I had an opportunity to grab a data point. At a pre-election rally, there was Indiana’s Attorney General, Greg Zoeller, making his way through those seated and he wasn’t being mobbed. So I asked for, and got a little bit of time and he laid out the most important thing that he thinks people should pay attention to.
In AG Zoeller’s case it was electoral turnout. He pretty eloquently made the case that without sufficient turnout, elections are not legitimate expressions of the will of the people and that we need to make sure that the government doesn’t lose legitimacy. It’s an interesting window into the mind of a pretty impressive politician. It’s also entirely counter to the media narrative of the GOP as the party interested in suppressing voter turnout. We’ll see in the next legislative session how that determination to improve turnout will turn into bills and hopefully a new law. I won’t steal the legislature’s thunder but if they execute, Indiana’s going to make some noise in 2015.
8 thoughts on “What’s most important?”
“If you had one thing, one piece of information that you could get out to the people of your town/county/state/country what would it be?”
W/regard to your government and elites:
They Mean HARM.
Australia has a system in which voting is mandatory (I believe) and there is immediate runoff in which, if your first choice is not able to reach a majority or plurality, your second choice becomes active.
That “free” means “someone else is paying”.
That’s generally what that means. I taught my kids that one early on.
Simply increasing turn out does not increase the legitimacy of elections. If voting is compelled or made too easy, the percentage of low information/casual/pop-cultural voters increases and the average quality of the voter decision making deceases. Voting is not like a pop up opinion poll that has very little impact on anything.
True voter participation means more than simply casting a vote. That is the real issue. Too many eligible citizens do not register and or pay attention to the issues and or cast a vote because they don’t think it matters. From the individual cost-benefit analysis, it undoubtedly doesn’t. But from the collective generalization of this individual calculus, it matters greatly. Being well informed while voting to advance the common good is a duty of citizenship, not a privilege which you many indulge at whatever level you like.
This used to be a major cultural value taught in the home and schools. Now it appears to be increasingly understood and employed as a weapon in group identity extraction of benefits/advantages/protection.
I’d like to see some effective solutions to more than the percentage of registered voters who actually cast ballets.
“I’d like to see some effective solutions to more than the percentage of registered voters who actually cast ballets.”
Bringing back Civics as a class would help.
“Bringing back Civics as a class would help.”
It would, except for how it would be taught in the current environment.
What is most important in life? Conan the Republican opined, “It is best to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the Commie press, the Feminazis, and Party stooges.”
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