Thursday, November 10, 2005
In which the author improvises at the polls.
Ah, election day in fair Cambridge — when I had to decide among 18 city council candidates, rank them for nine spots, and vote for them in order because of my city's oh-so-forward-thinking instant run-off voting. I could hardly tell what was at stake and how to tease apart the minor differences between the candidates. Oh, I see, you're even more strongly for traffic lights and open space! (There were also three insurgent Libertarians, bless their countercultural hearts here in the People's Republic — one of whom doomed his candidacy by coming to a neighborhood potluck and acknowledging up front that he never remembers names. Not a good sign for a budding political career.)
Because I'm a dutiful citizen, I spent two hours Monday night in a crash-course in local politics — thanks to a fellow citizen's diligent website and a single article from the 2001 Boston Phoenix archives. Did I realize the article was four years old as I was reading it Monday night? No, I did not. (I hope democracy can survive voters like me.) The article was actually useful, though, because the cast of characters was almost entirely the same four years later.
As you can plainly see, I cared about this municipal election with a passionate and feverish intensity. I rent, don't yet have children, and am not much of an activist, so I'm nine years into my Cambridge residency without feeling at all enlightened about the inner workings of my own city. If only the Boston Globe sent a reporter across the river every now and then, I say to myself. There you have it: Philocrites is a slacker when it comes to local politics. But I love to vote. So I voted. Viva democracy!
Meanwhile, because it's always fun to retreat from the dust of real politics into the pure air of ideology, I have finally mapped myself on the ol' Political Compass, thanks to a link from Exiled from the Underworld. I appear to be some kind of left-libertarian. Just as I thought! My coordinates, for those of you who've always wondered just what sort of pinko-commie I really am and are hurrying over to take the quiz yourself:
Economic Left/Right: -4.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.74
I wonder where that puts me among Unitarian Universalists especially.
And did you vote on Tuesday?
Update 11.11.05: Oh, yeah: Here are the results of the Cambridge election, in which only 15% of us eligible voters showed up.
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 10 November 2005 at 9:21 PM