Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Vote By Default?

So maybe I won't be voting for the non-establishment candidate anyway:

Lynn Swann's political blitz claimed another victim yesterday, as his last remaining Republican opponent, Jim Panyard of Lebanon, withdrew from the governor's race.
Oh yes, if Panyard's name is somehow still on the ballot when I go to vote, I'll vote for him out of principal even though it doesn't mean anything. That's the fun of an "uncontested" primary, which we Pennsylvanians always seem to get stuck with in Presidential primaries. The nomination is decided by the time we have our primary in May. The real excitement will have to wait a few months.

Meanwhile, Jim Panyard seems a little bitter, and who can blame him?
In an interview, Mr. Panyard sounded sad, relieved and a bit angry about ending the long-shot campaign he'd begun last September. He said he was dropping out because he'd been unable to "attract enough financial support or any significant media attention to my campaign.''
It's unfortunate, because he had the best campaign literature of any of the previously announced candidates. He actually told you what he stood for. Oh, and "financial support" and "significant media attention" can translate as "inside Republican Party interest". If you can't get any kind of significant support from within your party, you might as well wait and run as an independent.

He claimed the Republican state committee's unanimous endorsement of Mr. Swann last weekend proves that the GOP "is not interested in principle, but in power and celebrity. It is interested in winning, principle be damned.''
Sometimes the celebrity works in the position; look at Ronald Reagan. But, to be fair, one has to admit that Reagan had not been quiet about his politics in almost his entire career as an actor before being elected Governor of California. Swann is still new to the game. He's not a bad candidate; he just hasn't doesn't have any kind of a track record.

"When a man of Bill Scranton's stature and resources believes a primary fight for the nomination is foolhardy, it doesn't take a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing," Mr. Panyard said. "Money talks and principle walks in the new monarchy in Harrisburg, Republicans and Democrats alike, which rules our state."
Ideally, I would be an independent. But the system doesn't work to the advantage of anyone outside of the two-party tradition. It's hard being a Republican in Pennsylvania, it really is. I voted for a Democrat in 1990, and for a third-party candidate in 1998. My party's candidates just count not convince me that they were what I wanted in a governor. The "new monarchy" that Panyard refers to isn't new. It has existed in this Commonwealth for decades, if not centuries.

So good-bye, Mr. Panyard; good luck, Mr. Swann; and good night to the rest. Wake me up in the Fall when it's time to come out and vote.

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