I am used to getting more hits from France than Indianapolis, where I live. But as of late, my posts on the Indianapolis mayoral election have been smoking. This is the closest contested election in these parts, since I have lived here (with the one in 1999 as the only exception).
The heat is on. Election Day is tomorrow. It's crunch time.
Interestingly enough, during the local 6:00 PM newscast, it seemed like about every other commercial was for Bart Peterson. (Greg Ballard must have blew his short stack of bills earlier.)
When you are at the local level there are no international politics to deal with. You don't have to deal with complex issues like how to handle the relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, China, and others (that are under the delusion that America is some evil empire that wants to see people suffer under oppression).
There are countless other difficult issue that you do not have to deal with,as well. There is no war to fight, no social security to worry about saving, and no real fundamental differences in the way the world needs to be viewed. Sure, Democrats are better known to raise taxes and spend more than Republicans do (at least most of the time, they are). But I have lived in areas where Republican administrations did their sharing of spending and driving up taxes, they're not exactly innocent in all cases.
The big thing the GOP seems to promise every campaign season is cutting both, spending and taxes. What they often end up doing is, do is cutting services and not lowering taxes. Dems can vote in a tax hike, the voters get mad, and then they'll often vote in a Republican. When a Republican promises this standard campaign promise, what is the first thing a he/she will invariably do after getting elected? They say how bad the finances were and immediately claim there is no way that taxes can be cut at this time. Then, when they run for re-election they run on a platform of not raising your taxes.
The Dems are less subtle. They promise the world. Then, when they get elected, they run us all into more debt than we were already in, before the election. Naturally, to pay for everything that was promised (and not received) during the campaign, taxes almost always have to be raised.
But, the biggest thing to understand about local elections is not that complicated. It's usually the machine trying to hang on to power and the outsider trying to save us all by dethroning the incumbent. There's the experience factor involved vs. the inexperience (the pro vs. the novice).
There are some similarities between local and federal levels of government. There are always the issues of, who takes more bribes, kickbacks, or at very least who can pile up the most ethical violations during a term in office. Such is usually the very essence of negative campaigning; not what you can do for the city, but why the other person is not-fit to what you have been doing.
In this 2007 Indianapolis city election, we have a government that is running up massive debt, raising taxes, yet, the people are not seeing any changes in the level of services. There is a disenchanted electorate and those that are now in power must face accountability. The question is, to return a corrupt council back into power for another four years, to run up more debt, to squander more money like a drunken sailor, and raise taxes at will (so that a few council members can play big shots once a week at a meeting). Or, to give a novice whose only claim to fame is being a retired United States Marine, a chance to do better.
I cannot vote, I live outside Marion County. But, if I could, this choice would be one of the biggest no-brainers ever, since it was discovered that 1+1=2.