To the Journal editor:
I write this letter to the editor due to recent letters advocating voting a straight ticket. I have been a resident of Marquette County for a long time. In my opinion, the actions of local politicians many times can only be described as arrogant.
The most well-known example is the retire/rehire debacle which, in my opinion, arose because local elected officials seldom had to explain their positions to the voters.
A large percentage of Marquette County voters don't ask. They just vote straight party ticket. By doing so, elected officials aren't generally asked to justify a position or vote.
Many times the elected official does not even face opposition in the election unless someone runs as an independent candidate. Ultimately, the elected official loses the ability to discern even the appearance of conflict of interest.
I was just reading the Oct. 21 Mining Journal. In it there are political advertisements for various candidates. Among those ads is one for a candidate for the position of probate judge. It is an endorsement from a union. Now, judges are different from other elected officials.
That is why they run as non-partisan candidates. Judges uphold the law, not represent voters or blocs of voters, or political parties. The advertisement should talk about the qualifications of the candidate, not which group or party backs the candidate.
If you vote straight ticket, you are a part of the herd, a follower, a sheep. How many straight party ticket voters take the time to consider Independent candidates? How many of either party will vote for Mike Quayle (Independent) in the third district, or Wayne Dees (Independent) Chocolay Township, or write in Carrie Biolo for Marquette Area Public Schools Board of Education?
Vote straight party and if your party has no candidate, you voted for no one. Vote straight party and if you do not specifically vote for the independent candidate, you voted for the party person.
A well informed electorate is the key to a functioning democracy.