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Second Mayoral Debate (Part Two)
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Continuing on the question of acumen in urban planning, Kiss said “The people of Burlington expect more.” He spoke of a “moral force… a leadership force…” and it gave me the feeling Kiss, more than the others had spent time exploring the philosophical underpinnings of his approach to governance...

Click here to read entire post.

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 8:54 PM  
  • At February 24, 2006 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the Kiss guy. I was reading about Miller in Seven Days and it struck me: even having run a business for years in the U.S., she didn't decide to become a citizen until 2002? And then she spent a bunch of money running for senate shortly after. Seems Tarranty if you ask me.

  • At February 24, 2006 9:39 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    I like your use of "Tarranty." Here's another one- "Tarrogance" meaning a Tarrant-like arrogance.

    Thanks for reading BP. Visit often!

  • At February 24, 2006 10:20 AM, Blogger fells said…

    Honestly, I wasn't impressed with any of the five candidates. Really, none of them said anything that would make me want to vote for them.

    I do have to admit that Loyal and the Cowman were good for some laughs. I spent half of the debate shaking my head at what those two were saying.

  • At February 24, 2006 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I wouldn�t disqualify anyone for either wealth or poverty, but it probably means more than party affiliation."

    Why is that?

  • At February 24, 2006 2:57 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Thank you for writing. Good question.

    I'm not a big fan of parties. They are what Kurt Vonnegut would call "granfalloons," proud and meaningless associations of human beings.

    "If you wish to study a granfalloon, Just remove the skin of a toy balloon." -Kurt Vonnegut

    Whereas according to Cindi Lauper, "money changes everything."

    On any issue you can find different opinions within the same party. Parties are just machines used to churn out signs and PR.

    If you compare the idea of "party affiliation" with the idea of "socio-economic status" you'll find the barriers to exit and entry much greater for the latter.

    On that basis I'm estimating people change parties more often than they change their level of wealth. Thus, in a lifetime wealth will affect one's world-view more than party membership.

  • At February 24, 2006 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not a big fan of the two major parties, that's for sure. They stink of huge amounts of money with many strings attached. People are left out of that equation. I like the idea of a party without any corporate money.

  • At February 24, 2006 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I like the idea of a party without any corporate money."

    One word answer: Progressives.

  • At February 24, 2006 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But why would someone's socio-economic status affect your view of them as a candidate at all? Why not just listen to what they have to say, and take that into consideration along with their experience and their past actions?

  • At February 24, 2006 10:14 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Socio-economic status is part of a candidate's life experience and is a perfectly legitimate thing to consider in elections.

    Nothing should be considered to exist in a vacuum. That's a classic trap of western thought.

    Is how someone came to be rich or poor seperable from how they came to be who they are? Is it right that in a "representative democracy" the leaders should have more money than 99% of their constituencies by a factor of ten?

    There are no right answers, but if people voted based on questions half as reasonable, we'd be way, way better off.

    We all have biases. Here's one of mine for example- part of my attraction to Hinda's candiacy is the fact she reminds me of my friend April Cornell- similar accents, around the same age, live in the same neighborhood, same line of work- This mental association makes me feel like I already know Hinda Miller, when I really don't.

    But I don't care. "Gut feeling" is the overriding factor in all my voting decisions. I'm not going to base my vote entirely on my April-Hinda cognitive association, but I won't deny it sways me toward her.

    When I ran for city council, I knew people who smoked would vote for me. All I had to do was have a cigarette with them and their vote was mine. A lot of people would say they'd vote for me becuase we had a mutual friend.

    What's be being a friend of a friend got to do with how I'd vote on the council? Nothing, but it's arguably a more rational voting basis than the "endorsement" of some other politician from the same party. Is it news Dean endorsed Miller? Non, c'est de rigueur.

    So my point is everybody votes on their inner biases, and I think basing a vote partially around the consideration of someone's wealth is more reasonable than the way most people actually operate.

    Even in Burlington.

  • At February 24, 2006 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I think basing a vote partially around the consideration of someone's wealth is more reasonable than the way most people actually operate."

    Well that's a real shame, because it means that certain parties' attempts to leverage class envy over common sense are winning with some people.

  • At February 24, 2006 10:53 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    What I think means very little.

    Thanks for writing in tonight. Visit BP again soon!

  • At February 25, 2006 9:01 AM, Blogger Nat Kinney said…

    "Class envy" -- there is a funny phrase. It is used to justify enormous tax cuts for the very richest Americans and cuts to programs like Medicare, meals on wheels and home heating assistance.

    It’s used to justify all kinds of corporate welfare – and to slash funds for public education and healthcare.

    Class envy – my foot.

  • At February 25, 2006 10:47 PM, Blogger Doodle said…

    I'm not sure how you think class envy is used to justify the things you're talking about. Maybe you can provide a link illustrating how the people who implemented those cuts use class envy as a justification for making them.

    There's a pretty good definition of class envy in the wikipedia - in part, "antagonism that the poor feel towards the wealthy... not based upon any repression or unfairness." The "wealthy" people in this context certainly have not been accused of any repression or unfairness toward anyone.

    Whatever you think of how the term is used in other contexts, it's pretty clear to me that Haik is saying that it's a legitimate driver for a decision on a candidate. I'm not sure how else you would characterize a "gut feeling" based on "socio-economic status," especially when those socio-economic statuses are presented in this roundup without any background as to how the candidates came to those statuses. I guess you could call it "random antipathy toward members of another socioeconomic strata without any attempt at a logical justification" or something, but that's a mouthful.

  • At February 26, 2006 2:17 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Thanks for writing, Doodle. I think you might be conflating my statements with Mr. Kinny's. I said socio-economic status was legitimate to consider. I never referenced "class envy."

    I think it's legitimate to consider a candidate's wealth or poverty as good or ill or neither, or both. I'm not saying how or if it should be considered, just that it's ok to consider.

    I also said nothing exists in a vacuum. I would never try to dissuade someone from thinking about how a candidate makes money. 'How' is relevant.

    I said 'gut-feeling' was the overriding factor in my voting decisions. You're misuse of quotes falsely superimposes a basis for my feeling.

    But why don't I just cut to the chase? Here's the news: It's my God-given right as an American Citizen to vote any old way I want.

    I can vote based on how a candidate smells, if I want to. I can vote based on how they look. I can vote based on how rich or poor someone is. I can vote for someone I know nothing about just because I hate his or her opponent. If I want to throw a dart at a list of candidates and vote for the name I hit, THAT's legitimate too.

    Slogans, name-recognition, pleasing colors on a sign, a firm handshake- These are some key things people base their votes on every election. Do they tell you more about a candidate than how much money he has? No.

    Yet I don't hear anyone saying it's not legitimate to consider name recognition, for example. I mean why would you consider whether or not you recognize someone's name when you vote? What does the mere fact you've seen or heard someone's name have to do with how he'd govern?

    If you’re going to say people shouldn't vote based on a consideration of a candidate's wealth, because the wealth isn't relevant to how said candidate would govern...

    ...then logically shouldn't you be at least as worried about so many people basing their votes simply on whether they've heard a name, because recognition of a name isn't relevant to how the person attached to it would govern?

    Where's the outrage over people voting based on name recognition?

  • At February 26, 2006 5:41 PM, Blogger Doodle said…

    My post was responding to Nat. I thought that would be obvious in that I referred to you in the third person.

    "shouldn't you be at least as worried about so many people basing their votes simply on whether they've heard a name"

    I never said that that was a better way to make a decision. I asked you why you felt that socioeconomic status was something to consider in this race. Given that you started a blog about the race, and went to the trouble to speculate on how much money each candidate has, I would think that you'd have a better thought out answer than "I don't hear anyone saying it's not legitimate to consider name recognition" and "I can vote based on how a candidate smells, if I want to."

  • At February 26, 2006 5:49 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Sorry to disappoint you, Doodle.
    Thanks for reading BurlingtonPol.
    Check in often!

  • At February 27, 2006 9:39 AM, Blogger She's Right said…

    I love the whole "tax cuts for the rich" thing. What a laugh! Who do you think is paying the taxes anyway? It sure isn't "working families" - which is just a nice way to say low-income people. It's hard to give tax cuts to people who don't pay taxes.

    Most people received tax cuts - even people who don't pay taxes are getting larger returns than before. There are now so many credits given as payouts to people who do not have a tax liability, low income (even moderate income) people are getting more money back than they even had withheld. They are earning money from the IRS!

    BTW, your little rant about tax cuts for the rich and cuts to programs for the needy is a perfect example of class envy – blaming the rich for the problems of the poor. How about thanking the rich for providing jobs and paying all those taxes to pull everyone else’s weight? Just a thought.

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