Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Party Affiliation and Extending the Olive Branch

I would like to take this time to make the following observation: life is crazy.

Mine is a 12 person company, 13 including myself, and from amongst us we are dealing with the following concurrent problems:

-an employee’s father who had a heart attack and was diagnosed with cancer around the heart.
-an employee in a lawsuit with a former business partner AND involved in a police sting to recover his stolen cell phone.
-an employee hospitalized (under worker’s comp) with back problems.
-a different employee missing time for body soreness.
-an employee hospitalized with vertigo.
-an employee hospitalized with a severely broken hand—after having his dog die, his girlfriend break up with him, and losing the apartment that he and his girlfriend were going to lease together.
-an employee hospitalized from a concussion after the cab he was riding in got into an accident.
-an employee missing days for court for an improper penalty imposed upon her.
-an employee missing time as a result of his daughter’s suspension from school.
-a car in the shop for the second time in 2 weeks for the same problem on 2 different tires.

(I would ask 2 favors of this blog’s loyal readers: pray for the families dealing with these problems, and forgive me for not posting as frequently as might be desired.)

And if that wasn’t enough, AP has been co-mingling with Democrats!

Yes, it’s true. At the city council meeting on Monday, Alderman Shropshire said he had read this, and assured me of his sincerity to host myself and/or the entirety of the Central Committee for a dinner at his house. In appreciation of his devotion to reading this blog, and in recognition of the enjoyment I get from eating food that I did not have to make, I may indeed dine with Alderman Sam. I suppose we shall see.

I did say DemocratS (plural), and I was referring to former HACA President and rumored mayoral candidate Trudy McFall. She had some very nice compliments, and remarked that Mrs. Politics must be very supportive, since she is willing to put up with the distraction that comes from writing the 118th most popular political blog in Ward 5, as I do.

Perhaps the most useful point that I can make with this post comes from one of Mrs. McFall’s comments. She said something to the effect of:

I never knew I would agree so much with a Republican! I think that your influence on individual responsibility is well placed, and I find it very interesting.

Folks, party affiliation doesn’t matter a whole heck of a lot on the local level. You can certainly have big government vs small government debates, but that’s about it. Most people even agree on taxes, since at the local level the only real tax we are concerned with is the property tax. And I would challenge any Annapolitan, Republican or Democrat, to justify a 10% increase in assessments every year.

This is the reason I enjoy local politics. You can interact with the people who influence you lives on a regular basis. Most of us will never meet President Bush, but you can see Dick Israel every Saturday at 49 West. We will probably never be able to have a one-on-one with the Governor, but if you show up at the Sly Fox on the right Thursday night, you can talk to Sam Shropshire. You can email your alderman and they will respond!

Party affiliation is a way to solve an information problem. We can never know everything about the people who are running for president, senator, or governor. The best way to know if they are the candidate that best represents our viewpoints is party affiliation.

If you support increased government social welfare programs, but you don’t know anything about candidates who are running, you can vote for a Democrat and be relatively certain that this is the course of action that is most likely to agree with your viewpoint.

Having a party affiliation saves voters the time of doing research that they could not possibly do on every candidate by signaling the proclivities of that candidate. Party affiliation, therefore, is a signaling characteristic whereby voters increase their efficiency of time by using a small, easily obtainable bit of information to discriminate for or against a candidate—a discrimination that is perfectly appropriate.

But locally, we don’t have to do this. We don’t need signals—we can evaluate the candidates ourselves. And so continues my quest to do so.

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