Next year, we can get back to party politics … as everyone is so excited about returning to that screaming monkey circus.
But this year, let’s set the party names aside and work the 2017 nonpartisan elections together.
A good start is the upcoming May 16 election. With no party seats at stake, county Democrats and Republicans can pull their respective organizations together to host candidate forums and information sessions.
Trustee positions are contested for the Syringa Hospital District, and both the Cottonwood and Salmon River school districts are running levies in May. Voters would be well-served:
• by having an event to learn about the levies and ask questions of board members,
• in meeting with candidates for the hospital district on their background and ideas for involvement and contribution.
For both, the opportunity also exists to get away from old tired models of such events. Let’s move them away from the Q&A “political shooting gallery” model and toward a more informal “meet and greet” gathering where introductory presentations are short, and more time can be spent up close asking questions. And food; a potluck would be nice.
Moving away from the formality and tense debate atmosphere and toward a community neighborly gathering would be a step to improving attendees and a goal of disseminating election information.
And if this proves a success, precincts could organize similar mini-events for nonpartisan city council elections that come up this fall.
Let’s call a political truce and organize for voter information. Because that’s what it should be about.