Today is election day - the last before The Big Election of 2008. Most of the races are for local positions (mayor, councilman, local legislature, judges), yet they're still contested as hotly as those for national office.
My problem is with people like my parents, who vote party line rather than because they agree with the person's position. While they don't live in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg poses a good example of this type of voter's dilemma: first, he was a Democrat (YAY!), who became a Republican (BOOOO!) to run for NYC Mayor. Now he's an Independent (HUH?). Does that mean his thinking about policy, his decisions about governing and his personal beliefs have changed? No. It means he's being politically expedient.
So, what's the party bloc voter to do?
There are Democrats out there that I agree with and support. There are Democrats out there that I wouldn't vote for if they were the last Democrat standing. There are Republicans out there that I agree with and support. Etc.
For each election, I choose to vote for the candidate that I think will best represent me and my interests. If they're Liberal, or Green or Martian, that's ok. And perhaps they won't win. But it's wrong to just vote party line - it's giving up your right to choose, and, in essence, giving up your franchise.
Don't worry about which line on the ballot the candidate you think best represents you: do your homework, learn about all of them and what they stand for. You may be surprised by who you really do support, who really does resonate with you. Letting the Party tell you who may lead to voting for the wrong person.