Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Getting the Government We Deserve

Four weeks from now, we'll awaken to the day after Election Day 2016. Despite fears and forebodings to the contrary, the sun will still rise in the east and Autumn will continue because as is so often the case, passionate politic aside, it's never eaten as hot as it's served.

Some of us might be amazed at who we've become, others might be amused but it's a good bet a not inconsiderable number of us will wonder exactly what happened and, more importantly, what will happen next.

Between then and today, there will be more than enough people and platforms preaching and proselytizing seeking your vote for their candidate so I won't waste my time, or yours, attempting to sing another verse of that same old song, especially when I look at the distance between Washington D.C.'s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Norwich's City Hall.


That distance is 360.8 miles, by the way, and while your mileage may vary, I'd hope your interest and engagement in this year's election process goes well beyond the top of the ticket. If we're being honest with one another, the closer to home we get in terms of elected office, the greater our interests should be.

Yes, the President as Commander-in-Chief is the most powerful person on earth but making sure the planning and construction of the Sherman Street Bridge stays on track is probably of greater concern for most of us, especially those who walk or drive on Asylum Street.

Home, after all, is where the heart is and elections that send state representatives and state senators to Hartford are closer to the heart of the matter even in an election that also has us voting for a Senate seat in Washington.

Tomorrow night, the San Diego Chargers host the Denver Broncos in NFL football but, hours before that kicks off at 8:30, we have a double-header of democracy, two local election debates at Norwich Free Academy's Slater Auditorium starting at 6:30, at the low-low price of absolutely free. How can we do offer this at such a low price? Volume!

Actually the debates are sponsored by our local newspapers, The Bulletin and The Day, together with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and co-moderated, to the delight of their moms, by Bulletin Opinion Page Editor Brendan Cox and Day Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere.

First will be the contest in the 46th District of the General Assembly among Republican Robert Dempsky, petitioning candidate Bonnie Hong, and the incumbent, Democrat Emmett Riley.

And the 7:30 show will be completely different as 19th Senate District incumbent Democrat Cathy Osten, and her opponent,  Republican Barbara Richardson Crouch, will offer their positions and plans for our corner of the state in the coming years.

I don't care how much you know, or don't know, about local politics, you cannot know too much so you'll see me tomorrow night at Slater, unless you have both eyes closed. But don't worry, you'll still hear me.
-bill kenny


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