Electoral Idiots

By Garen Yegparian

It’s all I can do to not use names in this piece–all in the interest of protecting the pride of the guilty.

In a place called Glendale–a very heated contest is raging for the office of City Clerk. Who’d have thought that was possible? Well–it’s true and we–as Armenia’s–are overly well represented– accounting for four of the nine candidates. Two have earned the title above.

Just this week we’ve learned that one hasn’t voted in the last six years. That’s nine elections! Remember–the City Clerk is the ELECTIONS officer of the city in question. What nerve! What astonishing obliviousness to political reality! What gall expecting our community’s support when the candidate doesn’t even consider it important enough to vote!

The other candidate has seen fit to misuse the city seal for electoral purposes and been outed by another of the nine and the local newspaper. Remember–the City Clerk is the keeper of documen’s and records for the city. In this case–the candidate is also a long-time city employee and should have known better. What nerve! What astonishing obliviousness to political reality! What gall expecting our community’s support when the candidate doesn’t even respect the city they propose to represent!

But they’re not alone–in another race where our community is well represented–two school board candidates chose to boycott (I can’t think of a better characterization) a forum organized a few weeks ago by the Western Diocese–and reported in this column. Why? Who knows. They were there–but not on stage. This was a panel that–if you’ll remember–odars were dying to appear on. What nerve! What astonishing obliviousness to political reality! What gall expecting our community’s support when they don’t even see fit to respect our institutions and the programs they organize!

Nor is Glendale alone in its submissions for this grand title. In other local elections–one candidate who seeks our community’s support is constantly offending those who assist the campaign. There’s no appreciation for the efforts on that candidate’s behalf. On the contrary–only denigration of such support issues from the candidate’s mouth–both publicly and privately. Add to this the offense given to broader–non-Armenian circles as well–and it’s time yet again to exclaim: What nerve! What astonishing obliviousness to political reality! What gall expecting our community’s support when they don’t even see fit to respect community activists who support the campaign!

And our final contender is someone who might actually have promise in the future–given the energy and enthusiasm exhibited in running for office. Tragicomically though–this candidate ran against a well entrenched incumbent and garnered a ‘whopping’ one-sixteenth of the votes. Why attempt political suicide but doing things like this? Build yourself up among the constituencies you’ll be serving–then go for it!

Here’s my plea to all those with electoral ambitions. Once this round of elections is over–all those who are considering running next time should sit together with representatives of Armenian political organizations to hash out who has the best chance of winning in what seats. Then–let’s get behind those people and support their campaigns. We’ll all do better–both individually and as a community.

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