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Ask the Expert

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Time to do election homework

Our View: The Signal Editorial Board

Posted: February 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

The first of the major elections in the Santa Clarita Valley this year is a little less than two months away, with two City Council seats. Later in 2012, we also look forward to elections for state Assembly, state Senate, Congress, president and a number of initiatives.

Now is the time when candidates showcase their qualifications, ideas and other selling points for why each of them deserves to win. So, in turn, now is the time for us, the voting public, to get involved and make informed decisions come Election Day.

This isn’t implying that voters necessarily need to advocate at this stage for one person over another or push for a particular piece of legislation. We’re simply saying that it’s important that citizens register to vote, study up on the people and issues and voice their opinions at the ballot box.

Attend forums to hear candidates speak. And that’s “forums” — plural — because you can’t truly get a grasp of an individual’s outlook with one glance. That’s why job candidates have multiple interviews. You get a chance to check for consistency and hear responses to a broad range of questions and issues. There are several forums during this council campaign, and The Signal has been informing readers about them.

Read up on candidates or initiatives online or in newspapers. Expand your information palette. Getting all important information from one source or one political perspective will only bias your views.

Multiple perspectives are vital for important decisions. That’s why more than one side gets to speak at court trials.

Seeing the world from the other side once in a while is healthful for making informed decisions and opinions, as well as aiding in lessening the political division that’s gridlocked the country.

But, ultimately, it’s our civic duty to participate in our government through voting, whether it’s for City Council, Assembly or any other matter that requires public input.

It’s a government run by and for the people. Be a part of it. 

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