Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lousy campaigning

Too many years ago Gator Wife and I attended Barbershop Harmony sessions to hear some truly fantastic harmonizing. Among our favorites was the Downeasters Chorus, the Portland representatives of the state group.

I must admit to a little prejudice here; one of our friends was a member of that chorus which is how we became intrigued. But after our first session, we looked forward to more song filled nights. We haven’t been to a performance for several years now, but some good memories leaped forth when I read Tuesday morning on that the chorus won a New England competition.

If you’ve never attended a performance, it is something you should consider.

The ladies also have a chorus of their own. I’ve only attended one performance of that group, which I believe is called the Sweet Adelaide’s, but it was extremely well done as well.

After reading about the Downeasters Tuesday, I think we just might keep our eyes open for another local performance.

I’m going to be so happy next Wednesday morning. This election season will be over. All those obnoxious ads for both sides of the questions will have finally ended. No matter which side wins, it’s not going to be a happy victory as the way these campaigns have been waged has not brought glory to anyone.

That’s too bad. There are always people wanting an item to pass and people who want it defeated. The issues, four of them, this year could have been fought on the highest of levels because of the importance of the issues and both the winners and losers could have walked away next week proud of a job well done.

But that isn’t to be. Perhaps the issues weren’t as important as I thought and the tactics employed were all they were worth.

But we’ve had nothing but lies, scare tactics, gross exaggerations, and just plain lousy ads on both sides of all four questions. Well, perhaps not the excise tax question (#2) as I've seen precious few ads concerning that one. However, the one being repeated over and over, you know, the one with the tow truck driver, begs the questions, “Since you object to a potential increase in property tax if the question passes, why is it fair for him to be subsidizing your property tax if it fails?” That tow truck does more road/bridge damage than the car.

I don’t accept the premise that the passage of that measure will have to cause an increase in property taxes. In fact, if TABOR (#4) passes, it can’t without your permission. What a passage of both questions would do would be to force community governments to examine their spending more carefully and if they need more money, prove it to the electorate.

Speaking of TABOR, perhaps the only good ad is the last one the "Yes" group has aired. In it a young lady without fanfare and using an understandable chart simply shows that the side believes nothing is cut and increases are made only as inflation increases. It also points out as I said above, if the community wants more, all it needs to do is ask for it and justify it.

I think it’s just too darn bad we’ve reached this level of battle in elections. I’m not sure what we’ve seen this year and in recent years is exactly what our founders had in mind when they included “freedom of speech” in our Constitution.


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