Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Rules Must Be Consistent for Some to Take Slating Process Seriously
I believe that there is value in slating. I do. I know that puts me at odds with many people in my own party. Some folks probably have stopped reading after that second sentence because they don't see the value in a party recommending candidates out of a crowded field. Well, keep reading.
If we are going to continue to have slating and slating conventions, then I think the rules should be standardized for each convention and not changed in ways that can be perceived to protect candidates before each convention. I think this would make the process of slating seem fairer for the average, everyday slating voter.
I believe, for example, that the slating for the four at-large City-County Council seats should have been done differently. Voters should have gotten the opportunity to select the four candidates they wanted to select out of six. There could have been measures put in place to prevent system-gaming and bullet voting rather than what occurred. That was that the candidates each were given four slots to file in and then voters had to make a choice.
In my case, I had promised my vote to both John Barth and to Pat Andrews. I was forced to make a choice when I stepped into the booth to vote for slating, and I was forced to potentially disappoint one of my friends. It put me in a tough position. I’ve been there before with judicial slating, too. I guess from now on, I’ll wait until I hear what the rules are going to be before I promise my vote to anyone. That wouldn’t happen if the rules were always the same each year and always clearly stated.
I actually think that people who potentially might run against the slate would respect the wishes of the slating voters more if they thought the process was fair. As it stands now, you have two candidates that lost at slating that might challenge the slate. I have not talked to either in depth about it, but I haven’t heard they’ve withdrawn from consideration, too. That is a different animal altogether, and it’s not unprecedented that someone who is not slated gets through. In 2008, Judge Kim Brown bucked the slate and was elected over the party recommendations.
So, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I hear belly aching every year after slating, and I just think the party could do a better job administrating it. I do applaud those that did apply for slating, though. We had a wonderful crop of talented candidates ready to serve this city and take back the City-County Building. Come May, I have no doubt that the best candidates will win.
As for slating, let's put away that controversy for a year.
There were positives from slating. Over 700 people and 513 announced delegates attended nearly filling the room at the Convention Center. That easily outdistanced the Republicans who reported 300 or so folks at their convention held at Brebeuf Jesuit High School.