THIS column is titled “Why My Wife Hates Politics,” because my wife really hates politics.
Most of all she hates elections. Part of it is my fault of course. Everywhere we go on Guam, people talk to me about politics. My wife finds it boring because she hears the same things over and over. For some reason, people think she likes politics too and when she is out sometimes, people will talk politics with her too. She always tells them very directly that she hates politics. In late December 1997, my wife and I were in the GMH delivery room. This was about two weeks after Typhoon Paka, so we still didn’t have power or water on at home. My wife was in labor for over two days and I remember someone had scratched out the letters in the “Father’s Waiting Room” sign to simply read, “the Wait.” At one point in the wait, the attending doctor struck up a conversation with me. After about 10 seconds, my wife, who never yells at me, yelled, “Ron, for once could you not talk about politics! I am having a baby here!” The advantage of writing in a column is my wife doesn’t need to read it.
One of the more active races in the primary is the race for delegate to Congress. There are actually three separate races along party lines for delegate. The democratic primary is between incumbent Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and contender Karlo Dizon. This Democrat race will go to the candidate with the most votes in this party column. The sole candidate in the Republican primary delegate race is Sen. Frank Blas, and all else being equal, he will proceed to the general election. The Independent candidate is Jonathan Diaz, who ran against Congresswoman Bordallo as a Democrat in 2008. If he makes the required 10 percent, he can be placed on the general election ballot. Given the low energy of the primary election, this is really anyone’s race at the primary level.
Unfortunately, a lot of needless circus-like distractions took place during July that really put the delegate race out of focus. If our local media entertains personal attacks from candidates, they should make them buy ads. Instead of concentrating on policy ideas and concerns, none of the four candidates has really addressed any of the issues related to the actual office they are vying for. In the next three weeks, I hope more attention can be given to the actual issues that affect Guam in Washington D.C. Here is the short list of issues or questions that might be discussed:
- How can Guam obtain a voice in the U.S. Senate?
- What political status will candidates support? Most citizens on Guam prefer the United States. Should Guam use the UN language of “integration” on a future initiative rather than the current language of “statehood?”
- How can our voice in Washington D.C. be improved or how has it been improved?
- Other than the military buildup, what issues really face Guam in the near future?
The state of Washington doesn’t use a partisan primary, instead they use a “top two” primary method. To be frank, this method is far superior to our current system. If we used a “top two” for the Guam delegate race, anyone could vote for any of the four candidates and the top two would proceed. If we used it for the Legislature, the top 30 would proceed. This method would work better for Guam because voters hate the party column ballot and find it confusing.