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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Brighton City Elections: Non-partisan is Nonsense!

A friend and I were talking the other day about the upcoming New Brighton city election and the discussion turned toward its purported "non-partisan" nature. Many candidates over the years, particularly those whose candidacy would generally not impress the contributors to, or the majority audience of, this blog have stressed their "non-partisan" position in their campaigns and public statements. They promote the premise that since the election is "non-partisan" they, if elected, would be above politics and would not let any partisan affiliation they may have had in the past influence how they would govern. City government would be characterized by peace, harmony, and compromise, free of the divisiveness caused by partisan bickering.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. The only thing non-partisan about a non-partisan election is that the campaign literature and lawn signs do not have the "DFL" or "GOP" designators on them. The core beliefs of the candidates, assuming they have any, do not change just because the campaigns don't feature political party branding.

Partisanship is not a bad thing. As far as I'm concerned, if someone does not have core convictions and beliefs or is not willing to stand up for them they have no business running for public office. Do we really want indecisive, wishy-washy, or poll-driven people making and implementing public policy? I think we are better off when candidates put all of their cards on the table so voters can make an informed decision on whose beliefs and ideas will best represent their interests.

I have found that politicians who try to hide behind a "non-partisan" claim are more often than not liberals/socialists/statists whose ideas are outside the mainstream of the majority of voters, and in most cases I believe they are well aware of it and make a conscious effort to hide their true political colors. Most Conservatives I know, for the most part, tend to be open about proclaiming and proudly defend their beliefs, while hard-core lefties often try to soft-pedal their looney to downright radical views as "progressive", "moderate", "independent", or "non-partisan".

So, just how "non-partisan" are New Brighton city elections? In upcoming posts I'll take a look at three of the candidates in the upcoming election: an entrenched career politician with a long history in office seeking re-election yet again (gee, I wonder who this could be?), a young newcomer who is no stranger to partisan politics seeking office for the first time via a "non-partisan" gambit, and a political retread seeking a comeback by playing the go-along-to-get along consensus builder strategy.

Stay tuned...(or jump to next installment)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know that Councilmember Mary Burg joined the Democratic Party and line up while in office? She and Mayor Steve Larson are in cahoots with the big names in the DFL party. And, then they go around the city complaining that the council has become "partisan." Who's more partisan? Google Mayor Larson and Betty McCollum and any other DFL name. Gimme a break! Burg and Larson blaming everyone ELSE of being PARTISAN and it's THEMSELVES!

10/15/2009 6:39 PM  
Blogger G-Man said...

Democrats do best that which they claim others do.

10/16/2009 10:40 AM  

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