For the most part, Wednesday post-election day is one we can celebrate and release a long-held sigh. It allows us a look back from the standpoint of knowing, finally, how the votes settled out. This was no doubt a vibrant presidential election year. On a state level, the dialogue was robust with 59 legislators up for re-election.
It is now safe to turn your television on without a barrage of commercials relating to the Tuesday General Election. Some of it provided enjoyable entertainment. Facebook is a safer location to visit now, as well, without feeling frustrated at friends and relatives who poked fun of your candidate or just didn’t get it.
The debates were strident, loud and ultimately, informative. With much at stake in the U.S. economy, federal trillion-dollar deficits and exiting two wars, the talks cast an urgency on leaders who need solid plans and brilliant ideas. Whoever wins the presidency will need the support of Congress to carve out solutions. So, on this Wednesday, let’s pray that at least that much optimism isn’t too much to ask.
Elections aren’t always difficult to predict, but this year’s is a case in point. Who will occupy the White House was anyone’s guess in a close call by pollsters Tuesday. CNN and Huffington Post gave a narrow spread between President Barack Obama, 48 percent approval, and Gov. Mitt Romney, 46.8 percent. With a margin of error at plus or minus two points, they might as well share a single number.
On the state front, of interest, might be a look at how voters chose on the Ballot Measure 1, asking if the state should call a new Constitutional Convention. The prevailing wisdom seems to be this would open a big can of worms and loosen special interests who would shape discussions along their own agenda’s lines. It will be interesting to see how Alaskans chose.
And it’s always fascinating to see whether this is the year U.S. Rep. Don Young is going to lose his House seat, after nearly 40 years and his 20th term in Congress. We don’t need a pollster to tell us Young’s significant advantages amassing power during his decades in office. But Democrat Sharon Cissna has run a strong campaign generating significant interest among voters. You have to cheer in the face of the kind of optimism that beat cancer in this Alaska legislator and the strength to face off against Young. If this is the year someone beats Young, it’s going to be an historic year indeed.
Local elections on the Kenai Peninsula didn’t have that many contested seats. Peter Micciche walks into his Senate seat, as does Mike Chenault in the House. Rep. Paul Seaton, a member of the bipartisan coalition, faced off with Democrat Liz Diament.
Of more interest in this race, is whether big money managed to convince voters that the bipartisan coalitions weren’t, well, politically loyal in their clear-party distinctions. That was a discussion it was no doubt good to get off the chest – how much should we expect Republicans to vote with Republicans and Dems with Democrats? It would have suited Gov. Parnell better to have those party distinctions, when it came to getting his $2 billion oil tax rebate program going. That didn’t happen, in a show of bipartisan strength that kept asking for answers in the fine print.
Let’s hope there is much to celebrate as the numbers keep coming in. Let’s also remember, that without our brave American Veterans, we might not have the right to vote.
Don’t forget to turn out for the parade and show your appreciation to their service and sacrifices at 11 a.m. Sunday beginning on Lake Street and Pioneer.
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