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Thursday, January 07, 2010

On non-voting candidates for public office in Oregon

By Sean Cruz

The Oregonian’s Susan Nielsen wrote “Oregon candidates who don't vote should skip the race”, here:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/susan_nielsen/index.ssf/2010/01/those_pesky_elections_oregon_c.html

I agree wholeheartedly.

A poor voting record is a strong indicator that a candidate lacks real engagement with the issues that are important to Oregonians.

Failure to mail in a ballot in an Oregon election speaks to more than just a missed deadline, especially for candidates for public office. It tells you that nowhere among the slates of candidates and ballot measures put before the voters was an office or an issue important enough for this non-voter to become informed enough to make a choice.

Year after year, election after election....

That the voting record plays out over time is far more reliable an indicator of a candidate's commitment, engagement and reliability than any blizzard of campaign rhetoric can match.

This is also a valuable measure because the playing field is completely level. Every candidate has the same opportunity to cast a ballot. No fund-raising is required beyond the cost of a postage stamp.

Once elected, candidates gain the power to make decisions that affect the lives of others, even all of us, even all Oregonians.

I'm supporting the candidate who never misses an opportunity to become informed and to make an informed choice, the candidate who has the habit of engagement in Oregon civic issues.

In the Oregon Governor’s race, that candidate is Bill Bradbury.