Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
Arkfeld: 2 ways to vote: For a candidate or for the party
By Jim Arkfeld
Let's look at voting strategy. There are pros and cons of voting for individual candidates or voting a straight-party ticket.
Many voters look at each individual candidate and then choose the person whom they consider the best. This logic places the best person in the office regardless of their political party. Voting for the best candidate for each office is a very logical and perfectly valid way of voting.
Next, let's look at voting a straight-party ticket.
When voting a straight-party ticket, people vote for all candidates of the same political party. Some would criticize this method of voting as being a "lazy" way to vote or being too much of a follower with no mind of your own. However, there is a perfectly good reason to vote a straight-party ticket.
Political parties have a platform of positions the party would like to put into law. To get more legislation passed, a political party needs more members than the opposing party.
So, if you are a Democrat, you want a majority of Democratic legislators to pass laws that your party values. If you are a Republican, you want a majority of Republican legislators elected for the same reason.
In a sense, the members of each political party form a team and the largest "team" is able to pass more laws that they value. So it is also very logical and valid to vote a straight-party ticket.
There are good arguments for using either voting strategy. If you feel more comfortable voting for the candidate whom you consider the best to fill an office regardless of which political party they belong to, go right ahead.
If you feel more comfortable voting for a straight-party ticket, use that strategy. Both are good choices.
Arkfeld has taught secondary American government and American history.
He lives in Los Banos.