This election season was a great learning experience for me. I'm happy to share a few things with the readers of The Maui News.
Running a positive campaign and losing still has rewards. I'm sure glad I didn't run a negative campaign. It's up to the voters to educate themselves about their elected officials' positions and efficiency, not up to candidates to beat one another up.
One of the glaring problems we have in our democracy is the fact that the majority of eligible citizens don't vote. Another challenge is many citizens (almost half sometimes) vote absentee before Election Day, so a candidate must keep that in mind and time their messages appropriately.
Many people feel disenfranchised and don't feel represented by the two-party system. Most people I talked to had no idea that the state Legislature has 67 Democrat members and nine Republicans (no third-party members). It has had a similar ratio for 50 years now.
Voters should ask themselves: Is a dominant party system good for our state and, if not, what are we going to do about it? Why can't we elect fiscal conservatives when we need them?
I'm sure glad I took the time (quite a bit of time) to participate in our political process because, even with all of its imperfections, democracy is the best political system in the world. I recommend political candidacy for anyone who wants to learn more about their community and be effective within it as an active citizen.