Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Variety is the spice of politics


"Ballot bar lower for presidential race," laments the headline in the Denver Post. "For a $500 filing fee and a valid list of nine electors, candidates in Colorado can apply to be on the presidential ballot with any party, regardless of the party's size or time in existence," writes author Tim Hoover, trying hard to come off as objective but with a nudge and a wink. "[A]fter [the Democrats, the Republicans, and a couple of token third party types], the candidates and parties on the list may be more obscure to voters."

KRDO Radio's gloss doesn't even bother with the pretense: Minor-party presidential candidates crowd ballot."

Translation: Colorado voters are, well, stupid. Give 'em too many choices and their brains may explode right there in the voting booth.

Can you imagine the reaction if the Denver Post's film critic accused the readers of being too unsophisticated for "Babette's Feast" and urged the local multiplex to stick to "Batman?"

Or if KRDO's restaurant reviewer admonished a local eatery to stick to hamburger or cheeseburger, fries or rings, Coke or Sprite, as a menu "crowded" with mahi mahi and hot wings and such would just confuse the diners?

Why is it that variety is the spice of life in film, in literature, in food, in music ... but in politics, anything beyond the big two and perhaps a couple of value menu items is a calamity?

Tim Hoover spent 350 words coquettishly decrying the inclusion of so many candidates on Colorado's ballot today. If he spend the next seven Tuesdays giving 175 words to each of the "minor party" presidential slates, maybe they won't be quite so "obscure."

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