An even less meaningful vote than usual?

Michigan's got its Presidential primaries tomorrow, and, on the Democratic side, there really aren't many choices to vote for. Michigan hopped the line to third, citing the desire for a state of meaningful size and demographics to actually matter (Michigan would have more delegates than the appointed four first-primary states put together), though the cynical explanation is that prominent Michigan politicians thought they could help out Romney and Clinton with an early primary.

As a result, the DNC stated that Michigan delegates would not be seated at the national convention, and issued a boycott order of our primary; as a result, the only candidates on the Dem ballot are Clinton, Kucinich, and Gravel (and Dodd, who has already dropped out of the race); the others withdrew from the ballot (in order to minimize the meaningfulness of a Clinton victory), and none of the Dem candidates, save Kucinich, have appeared or campaigned in the state.

So, I'll admit, I would like the next President to be a Democrat, and I plan to vote in the primary, but I don't care for Clinton - nor for the stupid party power-games which a vote for Clinton is a proxy for. So, as I see it, I've got three choices tomorrow:

Maximin the Republican race: As discussed on, the Daily Kos and some other sources are recommending that Michiganders use their votes to sow chaos in the Republican race, or to simply tilt things towards the least objectionable R, with votes for Romney.

Vote "Uncommitted" Democrat: The Edwards and Obama camps are recommending an "Uncommitted" vote. While write-in votes don't count, an Uncommitted vote does, and is essentially a "none-of-the-above-which-implies-I-like-Obama-or-Edwards" vote. The local Democratic Party faithful seem to favor this path.

Vote Kucinich: the only serious Dem candidate on the ballot besides Clinton, Kucinich has also broken the ban on Michigan campaigning - so I'd see a vote for him as a nice stick in the eye of the national Dems' power-gaming. There are also the popular environment-friendly, anti-war, and hot-First-Lady arguments for Kucinich, but, even more, I'm liking his Mayoral tenure in Cleveland. In 1978, Kucinich stood up to a cartel of banking and utility interests and refused to sell the municipal power utility. A 1996 report estimated that this decision saved Cleveland residents $195 million - and it also caused the banks to put out a fiscal hit on the City, calling their bonds in, and the mafia(!) to put out a hit on Kucinich personally.

So, personally, I think I'm going with choice three: vote for a candidate I actually like, and who has shown, by the simple act of showing up, that he cares about Michigan's vote more than the national party does.

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It's tough to argue against a Kucinich vote

in this case.

One thing that has always bugged me was his conflict with Norman Krumholtz. Krumholtz blamed Kucinich's confrontational style for the failure (or limited results) of his work in equity planning in Cleveland and resigned from the planning department according to his retrospective article from some years ago. But that may be more indicative of planning's basic discomfort with politics.

It will be interesting when whoever gets the nod . . .

Starts asking for money. Though I have contributed generously in the past, I'm inclined to respond to the Dem candidate boycott with a little boycott of my own.

Romney != least objectionable Republican

I voted for Ron Paul....

My commitment was tempted, I

My commitment was tempted, I will admit, by the sign in front of my polling place - "Draft Gore '08 - Vote 'Uncommitted'". (The only other signs were for Ron Paul. McCain and Romney may both have drawn plenty of Ypsilanti datelines in the past 24 hours, but I suppose neither has enough of a ground operation to bother with signs...)

Denny K.

Kucinich wants to rebuild our nations road and bridge system. If I'm all about "jobs today" doesn't that mean he's the best? :)


jobs today

I'm more interested in his "Works Green Administration" to put people to work on energy efficiency, green building, and conservation projects!


The old jobs are GONE ... for good. None of the candidates on either side of the political divide has the numbers right ... especially Romney, who guarantees 200,000 manufacturing jobs!

According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more choreographers in the US (16,340) than metal-casters (14,880), more casino dealers and crupiers (82,960) than folks running lathes (65,840), and three times as many security guards (1,004,130) as machinists (385,690).

In 1950, 30% of Americans worked in factories. Today ... less than 15%. What Romney is promising America is ... folkloric. (The stats and snide asides are from last weekend's NYT Magazine.)

Even infrastructure repairs and green roofs won't do it for the traditional American labor pool. That why God made immigrants. Factories making silicon chips and solar panels are highly automated, and most chips are made elsewhere in the world.

What we need are general practicioners, dental hygenists and dentists, good teachers, local small specialty businesses, manual laborers, etc.

We will also need in Michigan to begin to streamline government ... beginning with a reduction of Michigan's 1800 units of "home rule" local government in 1995 compared to an average of 300-400 in other states. Little wonder that Ypsilanti can no longer "go it alone" within the County. Other Washtenaw County communities face the same dilemmas. Power and resource sharing are inevitable. But so are higher taxes for the present population.

Even if Michigan begins to grow its population and attracts new businesses to help share the burden, higher taxes remain inevitable.