Friday, August 15, 2008

Participation in the Community and in Elections; Character

Have you considered how few participated in electing those in office these days?

Consider the recent election.

In the primary only 26% voted which means that the "winner" only had to receive a nod from slightly over 13% of the electorate.

Commissioner Peter Pfeifer received 47% of the vote in the primary election yet due to Stuart Kourajian taking 13% of the vote, Pfeifer was forced into a run-off. If Kourajian had not been in the race Pfeifer would only have needed a bit over 3% of those voters to win outright. Given the fact that Kourajian lives in Peachtree City, it would be easily reasonable to assume the majority of Kourajian's votes would have gone to Pfeifer.

Yet due to his involvement in the election Pfeifer was forced into a run-off with Lee Hearn.

In the run-off, which always attracts a lower number, Pfeifer lost. Only 10.33% voted in that election. It is a known fact that the candidate with the higher number of votes in the main election typically loses or barely squeaks by in run-off elections.

It begs the question, was Kourajian a plant by those backing Hearn? It's doubtful any of us will ever know the answer to that question. Personally, I doubt he ran as a deliberate plant, however it is conceivable that some in Hearn's hidden camp encouraged Kourajian.

I read Janet Dunn's blogs on voter apathy and James Wingo's letter on the same subject. I have participated in a number of conversations on the same topic with my friends and acquaintances.

I find it difficult to have much confidence in our "leaders" when so few had anything to do with electing them.

Regarding the two previous blogs on lying, unfortunately we seem to be traveling the same route other metro-Atlanta counties have traveled.

Our schools have been good mainly, in my opinion, because of the participation and concern of parents. Similarly, our county has been great mainly due to the participation and concern of our citizens. As we experience growth and lose our connections, as our population ages and passes on, as the core population of "home-grown" individuals moves to other places, we change and devolve.

I believe those of us who have lived in the county for some time have lived through the "good old days" and we are unfortunately moving into a declining cycle. I sincerely believe if we had kept those in office who were concerned for the county and what was right above special interests I would not believe we were now on the downward slope toward mediocrity. I participate in this group and others in hopes we will be able to find candidates with the character of Peter Pfeifer, Greg Dunn and those who acted on principal.

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