08 November 2006

A Beastly Election Result

...locally, that is. I remain hopeful that this President's Senate majority will disappear as Virginia and Montana inch toward results. But that's aside from the nastiness of a local race for the Illinois Senate.

One of the problems with living on the Silicon Prairie is the gerrymandering of district boundaries. This region is the largest concentration of population in this state south of Chicago (well, perhaps excepting the Quad Cities, but only perhaps — there's that issue of the border with Iowa). However, due to the way that both federal and state districts have been drawn, there is a near-majority of rural and small-town agriculture. To give you an idea, the state district lines run through the middle of town, but include huge swaths of farmland. Whether one considers this a "pro-Republican" or "pro-conservative" or any other ideological division is beside the point; the key is that the basic interests are pretty clearly inconsistent.

That might actually be a good thing if it leads to a dialog. Urban populations have things to learn from rural ones, and vice versa. Unfortunately, this is downstate Illinois — and that means that listening to those who don't share one's own views is limited to classroom exercises (and then only well enough to pass the exam).

In any event, the race for the Illinois Senate seat being vacated by a retirement has been marked by vicious negative campaigning, each side accusing the other of graft, corruption, and nepotism. (Like that's a surprise in Illinois politics.) As usual, this led to beastly campaigning and a dearth of information on the issues. A pox on both their houses.

The margin of victory for the Democrat over the Republican was just announced as 666 votes.

Yep. It sure was a beastly campaign.