Thursday, October 4, 2012

#277 / Questions For The Candidates

In the local community in which I live (as in many local communities around the country) important state and local elections are coming up. To make good choices in these local elections, voters have to know which "side" the candidates are on. Usually, it's pretty hard to tell. All candidates are for all good things. In Santa Cruz, that means that all the candidates are for reasonable economic development and for strong environmental protection. All the candidates will say that, even though they are actually on different "teams."

With respect to the election for Fifth District County Supervisor, which will have a major impact on County policies over the next four years, I have been trying to think of a question that might differentiate the two candidates (Eric Hammer and Bruce McPherson). Here's the question I have come up with, to help make clear which "side" each candidate is on:

  • Will you vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for President?

With respect to City Council elections in the City of Santa Cruz, in which multiple candidates are running, with all the candidates saying pretty much the same things, here are the two questions I would pose, to see if I could shake loose some differentiation:

  • Do you support Measure P, to guarantee voters the right to vote on desalination?  
  • Will you vote to deny an extension of water to support new growth on the UCSC campus, unless and until flows in the San Lorenzo River are adequate to sustain endangered fish species, and unless and until the City can demonstrate an ability to provide adequate water to existing customers in drought years?
Politics is definitely a "team sport," and it is often not very easy to get candidates to disclose what "team" they're playing for. But we do need to try to get that information! If you happen to see one of these Santa Cruz candidates, and have a chance to ask them a question, see what answer they give to the questions I suggest.

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