Primary Season down South

Disclaimer:  If you’re expecting any serious discussion of my electoral choices as a resident of Alabama, forget it.

Lifelongnewyorker hasn’t has time to figure out who’s who or what they stand for, but she sure has noticed the lawn signs. They’re everywhere, sprouting in advance of June’s primaries–the ones she will most likely not vote in, because she has yet to register.

(Lifelongnewyorker promises that she will register in time for the general election.  She intended to register in time for the primaries, but then realized that she could not provide any ID with her new address on it, as she has not quite gotten around to getting an Alabama drivers license either.  She doesn’t know what MrNYer’s excuse is.)

And anyway, no Alabama election will be as colorful as the congressional election in Staten Island is shaping up to be.  Lifelongnewyorker is pleased to report that the latest news shows that the local Republican committee rejected the two people seeking the nod in favor of the former congressman who resigned after his DUI arrest and the ensuing revelations about his personal life (messy).

If I had registered in time here in Alabama, I learned recently that, once at the polling place, I may choose which primary in which to vote, regardless of my party affiliation.  I love federalism, and how it means that the rules change from state to state.  In New York City, where Democrats traditionally win most of the offices (Staten Island the notable exception), the only primary that counts is the Democratic one, and you have to be a register Dem to participate.  Which explains why, some years back, I decided not to register as an independent.

But here, you can develop a far more sophisticated primary strategy.  You can choose to vote in the primary of the party you favor and select the candidate you truly favor.  Or you can choose to vote in the primary of the party you don’t want to win in the general election and pick the one you see as the weakest.

Maybe that’s what happened in Tennessee with Rand Paul.

I’ve already seen other marvellous examples of federalism at work here in Alabama (reminder to former students:  federalism refers to the division of powers between the national and state governments, and thus to the fact that the laws regarding voting, marriage, driving and liquor are among those powers left to the states.  Except, of course, as limited by the Constitution or one of its amendments.)

Here in Alabama we can make a left turn on red–under certain circumstances.  And, as long as your county or town is “wet,” you can buy wine in supermarkets, at World Market and at Costco.  And in that respect, Alabama is a lot more civilized and cosmopolitan than New York.

But I digress.  Primary season has caught my attention only because of the profusion of lawn signs, and they have caught my attention because of what they say.

There must be a rule about naming, or not naming, the party on the signs, because they seem to all follow the same format: name of candidate followed by the office being sought.

Which is how I learned today, while taking a Sunday drive, that in some places the coroner is elected.  I also learned that a person named Twinkle is running for PSC president.  I’m going out on a limb here, I know, but I think Twinkle is a woman and, for that reason alone, I’m rooting for her.  Actually, now that I think of it, if Twinkle is a man, I’m rooting for him twice as hard.

I love the names.  They are so not-New York names.  Young Boozer is running for Treasurer.  Luther Strange hopes to be Attorney General.  Thad McClammy hopes to become a representative in the state legislature.  And Jesse ‘J-Mac’ McDaniel is running too.  We wonder if he’s any relation to “Pappy McDaniel,” the beleaguered governor in “Oh, Brother Where Are Thou?” whose advisers thought what they needed was some of that RE-form.

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4 Responses

  1. I think these should be going to Salon.com

  2. I hear that there is a Republican running for governor in Alabama that has been accused of believing in evolution. I also heard that he’s not so sure the earth is flat.

  3. […] political shock, on the other hand, was both immediate and, it turns out, […]

  4. Quite interesting….will share with my son who is n politics (Democratic!), probably a lifer as he’s been entrenched in the field since he was ten.

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