By JAMES WALKER
Since coming to Western New York, I have wondered why the voters do not take back the governments and return sanity and reason to the process.
On June 5, the voters in Wisconsin said no to government unions raiding the treasury. I then thought, could it happen here? The answer is clearly no.
While I don't how or when it happened, the power of the voter is clearly gone from New York state politics. The parties choose the candidates and they are vetted by the party to see that they maintain the status quo as all politicians primary focus is to maintain things the way they are.
Candidates do not get elected regardless of party without the unions approval.
I have wondered why there are so many lines on a ballot and noticed, with all those parties, yet only one or two candidates. I recently heard a statement by a University of Buffalo political science professor. The statement, "New York, a state of numerous parties but no choices," was made in an interview concerning the Republican Party endorsing the incumbent Democratic prosecuting attorney for re-election in Erie County.
A different incident in Chautauqua County occurred in the state Assembly election when the county election commissioner tried to control who the candidate was on Independence Party ballot. A surprising fact was not one word was said by the Independence Party.
One can only surmise they are a branch of the Democratic Party and were content with the county election commissioner making their choices. Still, not very "independent."
It would seem to the untrained observer the election commissioner would only be interested in seeing that whoever sought to get on the ballot did so properly. However, in all cases, the party chosen is then placed on the ballot and the electorate pick between the two. More often than not, there is only one and that is not an election.
I first thought that voter apathy was to blame for this loss of power of the ballot but then realized that the apathy comes from so many voters knowing their vote is meaningless. Since I have been here, all candidates have run to reform Albany.
Our current governor did the same and shortly after he was elected declared that he had indeed reformed Albany and was now ready to move on. Now all candidates are running to create jobs. They can no more do this than they can reform themselves.
Has any one noticed a difference in Albany? In Mayville? We seem to be pleased that our budget is timely and discount the fact that it is still bloated, wasteful, and done in secret. Did anyone know we were giving a 10 percent increase to welfare recipients until after the budget passed? I never heard it from my senator or assemblyman.
Speaking of senator, have you noticed that our Republican senator starts every correspondence and statement with how closely she is working with the governor. She is supposed to be the opposition and should be worn out from battling the governor on every turn.
These are examples of powerless voters and I cannot see any way to change it. New York state has no recall or petition ability so what happened in Wisconsin will not happen here. The state, county, towns and cities will not reform themselves.
A final depressing note is the media is already announcing that New York is a sure thing for the president's re-election.
My hope is that the power of the vote was stolen from you and that you did not willingly or knowingly give it away.
James Walker is a Falconer resident.