Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bouncing around

Midweek.  Just another day?  Probably.  The Old Gator Dude doesn't have a whole lot on his plate so here's a quick scattering.

The Congression debt deal is done.  I said about all I can about that fiasco, but I think we Americans are in for a huge shocking surprise.  The news media is making a big deal about it; but in the end, what has changed.  Nothing.  Our debt and deficit will continue to rise and those spending cuts will hardly be noticed for the next few month and future Congresses aren't bound by them.  Have we really seen a change to smaller, less expensive government?  Absolutely not.  Will the budget get balanced like you and I must do to our own budgets?  Absolutely not.  Have our Republican congress critters let us down?  You can fill in that blank.

Speaking of cuts, I got one of those "forwards" in my email yesterday; you know, the kind that get passed along all across the country.  This was one citizen's thoughts on the budget and "sharing."  He pointed out that the President has said we all must "share" in getting the budget under control.  Then he listed all the places Congress and the President seem to be saying, "Well, you share, we'll continue just as we have."  He pointed out that Congress members and the President aren't involved in any spending cuts, like lower salaries and benefits which they're promoting for us to share.  And he pointed out all those expensive trips by the President and his wife we must pay for.  For some of us, it was a good "forward."

Some fun politics are taking place in Augusta.  Former secretary of state Matt Dunlap (D) is accusing present SOS Charlie Summer (R) with political motives in investigating voter fraud in Maine.  Dunlap says an employee had approached him with document concern, but it was about a license, not voting.
Summers says he was approached about voter problems.  There didn't seem to be any indication of whether or not the informant was the same person.

One can't help but understand why Dunlap might be questioning the situation as he is said to have ambitions to run against Sen. Olympia Snowe in the next election.  Well, he is getting some press, isn't he?  One can't help but wonder, though, if, like other Democrats, his protestations don't simply add to the validity of the investigation.  One might think he'd welcome one to clear his good name.  Sort of that "Where there's smoke there's fire" adage, isn't it.

I mentioned last week about Portland's new method of selecting a mayor.  Voters will have to rank the 20 or so candidates rather than vote for just one.  The city hopes to get the mayor elected by more than half the voters.  I said I didn't understand it.  It looks like this weekend we will get a chance to learn more.  One candidate, Michael Brennan, has some volunteers to cover Portland with an issues survey for people to rank issues.  He says he will use the results in his campaign.  I don't know how that'll work, but it might give us a hint into the ranking voting system.

Here's a question:  If the candidates are elected by rating until he receives at least 50%, is that winner truly the candidate of choice of the city's voters?  For example, if Candidate A gets, say 20% on the first ballot, Candidate B gets 16&, C-C gets 9%, etc., through all the potential 20 candidates, and then through rating eventually C-C accumulates 50% and wins, wasn't C-A really the preferred candidate of most people? 

I do think we've ranked issues on surveys many times in the past, though, so that, unless it mirrors the upcoming election ballot, might not give us much help.


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