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Clark: No elections? You’ve sure got my vote!

Sun., May 15, 2011

In a rare hiccup of insightfulness, state lawmakers have decided to cancel next year’s presidential primary.

To misquote Neil Armstrong, this is “one small step in the right direction.”

It’s now up to us citizens to urge our leaders in Olympia to take the next giant leap and cancel our involvement in the general presidential election, too.

Why not?

Nothing good ever comes from it.

No matter who takes the Oval Office, we all wind up broker than before and thoroughly disappointed.

The new guy makes the last guy look like a junior pickpocket.

And have you seen the stale leftover Republicans who are gearing up?

Ron Paul. Newt Gingrich. Mitt Romney …

It’s like entering hogs at a Miss America pageant.

A presidential election opt-out would put Washington on the map. No longer would New York cab drivers confuse us with the District of Columbia.

On the day after the 2012 election, we proud Washingtonians could face the rest of the country and say:

“Whoa, don’t look at us. We had nothing to do with it.”

“Not Our Fault!” could become the new Washington state motto.

According to news coverage, the state figures to save a cool $10 million by axing the presidential primary.

Think how much more we’ll save by canning the entire presidential rat race.

And I’m not even counting the savings on intangibles.

Like heartburn medication, say. Or the stress-related illnesses caused by exposure to months and months of campaign yammering, baby kissing, phony smiles and false promises.

Washington would be above it all, you know, like Switzerland during World War II.

If we’re smart, this could be just the start.

I say we get rid of all elections with the exceptions of maybe a few of our more hotly contested cemetery districts.

Now, I’m no anarchist. I still believe in the importance of having a working government.

Without government, we’d lose the go-to scapegoat to blame for our problems.

I just want to get rid of the elections that would get rid of politicians.

Under my plan, all positions of leadership would be filled in a completely fair and transparent method of going through the phone book one name at a time, starting with the A’s.

Example …

DOUG: “Hello, is this Alan Aardvark of 319 Chestnut Street?”

ALAN: “Yes.”

DOUG: “Congratulations, Alan. It’s your turn to be Spokane’s one-term mayor.”

There will be a few flaws, sure. We’d have to make sure the people being called are still alive, not institutionalized or involved in the local meth industry on a management level.

It sounds radical, I know.

But consider the biggest benefit of all: No more campaign signs littering the landscape.

Have you looked around Spokane, lately? Political yard signs are already starting to outnumber dandelions.

But if you’re still unconvinced, do this for me.

Think about the Spokane County Commission and answer the following question:

Do you think we could get three more intelligent, more responsible and less shady public servants by drawing names randomly out of the phone book?

I knew you’d see it my way.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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