Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our new (old) governor and other things...

Chris Christie was re-elected yesterday.  He won with 64% of the vote.  The newspapers called it a "landslide."  I suppose that's true, in a political sense.  In a sociological sense, 36% of the voting public thinks someone else should be New Jersey's governor.  To me, that's more like a marginal victory, especially when you do the math...

Vote CountPercent
CHRIS CHRISTIE50,44964.03%
BARBARA BUONO26,93334.18%

Let's take a look at the turnout, for a look at the mathematics...

Registration & Turnout
193,820 Voters
Vote Count
Election Day Turnout
Mail-In Ballot Turnout
Provisional Turnout

So, if you apply mathematics, you figure that 58.5% of registered voters didn't vote.  It sounds to me like Barbara Buono got hosed.  She should have been able to get the 110,000 registered voters who sat at home to come out and push a button.  She might not have been able to make up some of the landslide margin.  At least then, we would be able to figure out whether or not New Jersey voters were really happy with Christie.

It's kind of disgusting, really, that in a state with the population of New Jersey, only 78,791 people (including write-in's) of the 193,820 registered voters could be bothered to vote for the guy who is going to run their state.  41.5%, mathematically. That's why, when people complain about the state government, the first question you have to ask them is, "Did you vote?"  You stand a 59% chance that they will say, "No."  That makes their complain invalid.

But that's our system.  We require people to pay taxes.  We require them to register their vehicles, obey the laws passed by our state legislature, and obey laws enforced by the court system whose judges are appointed by the people elected to public office --- but we do not require them to vote.

The obvious answer is that we do not want uninformed people to vote.  But, how uninformed does one have to be to vote on one of our two ballot questions?  One asked if we would approve hiking the state minimum wage.  The other asked if we should allocate a percentage of our state gambling income to veterans.  One does not have to be politically active to have an opinion on those things. [the answer to both is "yes," by the way]  The not so obvious answer is something else.

The government does not encourage participation.  An informed populace is not necessarily their best friend.  So, they flood us with sporting events, entertainment, and secular holidays to distract us from the real issues.  If we knew what was really going on, we'd be horrified, but we are more inclined to vote for "American Idol" or "Dancing with the Stars" than we are for the guy who runs our state.  Go figure.

Those sorts of people are the government's best friends.  "Like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter - because that's what you want.

64% of 42% of registered voters think Chris Christie should be the governor.  Report that, and you'll only confuse people more than they are already confused.  Because they aren't paying attention.


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