By Doug Porter
The 2014 primary elections in California are just a week away. I’ll go out on a limb here and predict victories for well-funded incumbents and many causes supported by a minority of the public. The reason is simple. People aren’t voting. When people don’t vote, bad things can and do happen.
It wasn’t supposed to work out this way. The “top-two” primary system opening the ballot to all voters, reformers told us, would increase turnout as decline-to-state voters, once excluded from partisan races, became more engaged.
What the experts haven’t taken into account is the collateral damage from increasingly cynical and factually challenged campaign advertising. Now that restrictions on campaign funding are largely absent, the noise level is rising and the bullshit is getting deeper. People are getting more conditioned to swallow the lies; it’s less work that figuring out the truth. And the course of least resistance is to do nothing, as in not vote. [Read more…]