Thursday, April 19, 2012

Myth of the Middle

Joe Gandelman's column on today's op-ed page bites deep into the standard narrative of Dems on the wacko left, GOPers on the wacko right, and heroic, nonplused  Independents sorting it from the the middle. Small miscalculation, though: we just don't woik like dat.

Ask any honest pollster or social scientist, and you'll learn that in hard fact Americans generally agree on 90% of the values and issues we deal with in real life, and many choose to exempt ourselves from party label for all sorts of reasons. Independents cover the whole spectrum and then some, and don't shift to left or right for a given election. Rather, more or fewer show up from different parts of the spectrum because they feel personally energized enough to exercise their franchise.
     Arizonans have more reason than most to register as Independent or Non-affiliated -- when the Republican primary is the only game in town, you still get to have a say. I register as Independent not because I identify with the mythical center, but rather as a strategic choice. Surprisingly few people can make a difference this way in local elections in particular. I recommend it highly.

Update, Tuesday: George Seaman argues for strategic registration in an LTE today.


Use to Do said...

Thanks Steve for posting these links and references. I've come the the opinion that there's really not much of interest in the Courier besides sniping and snarking of preconceived notions of people who's thought processes have the consistency of cold molasses. I've pretty much decided to reregister as as an indie.

Anonymous said...

So how does it work to register as an independent. Which primary can you vote in? I've been registered as a D but in Yavapai County D's have little voice in any election.

Steven Ayres said...

To switch your registration, just pick up a voter registration form at the county building, the library, the post office (I think) or MVD office, fill it out and turn it in.

If you're registered as independent, you can choose any one of the party primary ballots, including Dem, GOP, Green or Libertarian if you've a mind to. I usually pick the ballot with the most action on it. Up here that's the red one.

For the August 28 statewide primary we'll be voting for the first time in several ways. Redistricting of the state means we'll be voting for a congressional representative in the new CD4, which includes most of the Colorado River communities down to the north side of Yuma, a chunk of Pinal County to the east of Scottsdale/Tempe, and the northwest corner of the state. It'll be interesting. We'll be adding two county supervisors, and some of the Republican primaries there will be crowded, making your vote count for more. We may also see a primary race for the legislative district (LD1) because some sitting legislators in the northern valley suburbs are now with us in LD1. I can pretty well guarantee there will be no Dems contesting primaries in our area.

There's no better time to be independent.

Anonymous said...

I am being censored by the editor or editors of the Courier. Most of my comments about the letters are being ignored or not printed, at least when they print that I have been censored the other readers know I am still out their and still oppose the Neocons. Now they don't print anything, or when they do it's some wimpy or heavily edited reply to a local Tea Pot. If the Tea Pots which I consider the nearest thing to the Klan or Nazis have the right to reply, I should have that right to my beliefs and comments. Honky Brujo