The Political Process is Hard Work
Yesterday, as usual, I worked at a polling place in the special election in the Illinois 5th Congressional District to fill the seat in Congress formerly held by Rahm Emanuel, who’s taken the job of President Barack Obama’s chief-of-staff.
Today, as usual, I’m nearly in a state of collapse after working a 16 hour day, most of it on my feet. The political process is hard work, somebody’s got to do it, and if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t be done as well in my precinct as I make sure it’s done. Besides, I get to meet and learn something about my neighbors this way.
To practically nobody’s surprise Mike Quigley, the Democratic candidate, (pictured at right) won. However, the turnout was ridiculously, absurdly low. Low enough that, if the Republican Party had cared enough, I believe the Republican candidate could have won. The difference between winning and losing in my precinct was just a matter of 20 votes and I know for a fact that there were 20 more Republicans, Democrats, or independents who would have voted Republican than did vote. I’ve got a few more reflections on the election here.
Most of those who took the trouble of voting were policemen, firemen, or other city or county employees. Quite a number of the cops complained loudly about their pensions, lack of a contract (they’ve been working without a contract for two years), and the various corruption scandals here in Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois.
I’ve put some additional observations relating to this in another post, The Coming Pension Meltdown.