I hear it all the time. I am going to split the vote. A vote for me is a vote for the guy I don't want. We know our guy isn't much better than the other, but we have to make a change. So I want to know, what are we changing to?
We obviously don't want the guy who wants to raise taxes. That guy, Pat Quinn, wants to cover his inability to balance a budget, by making us taxpayers shoulder a bigger burden at this time when we can't afford it. So what does the other party want to do?
As far as a balanced budget goes, we don't really know what Bill Brady wants to do. He didn't propose a budget of his own, or even use his position as a long time legislator to exert influence. The last we heard, he wanted to cut 10% "across the board" but then recanted, denying that he had said that. So the only real indication of what he may do as Governor comes from his party. That is the party many insist must get to power.
Former Governor Edgar has been quoted many times as saying that Senator Brady's plan is unworkable unless it includes tax increases. Is this the change my critics say we must adopt? It doesn't sound like any change at all. What exactly is different between the allegedly two separate parties?
So what about spending? The Republican legacy is the Build Illinois program, originally put into place by former Republican Governor Jim Thompson. It is the same pork barrel spending program used by Governor George Ryan to spend this state into massive debt that he then passed on the his Democrat successor.
Now we have Governor Quinn, pushing his own Illinois Jobs Now program which promises to bring more pork to Illinois while it kicks the prosperity can further down the road.
Ok. If the budget and spending programs look the same, maybe corruption will be different between the parties. After all, Senator Brady is reminding everyone that Governor Quinn has ties, although tentative, to his old but not so beloved boss Rod Blagojevich. But doesn't Senator Brady think we should also remember Governor Ryan as well. If we want to talk about corruption, Governor Ryan has already been convicted. It looks like was haven't found a difference yet between the two biggest political parties.
So, to all of those who tell me I am going to split the vote, I say "Good". In fact, I want to split this election wide open. And as far as wasting your vote is concerned, I only have this to say. If you vote for either the Democrats or the Republicans, you might as well wad up your ballot and toss it in the trash. But when you do vote for the status quo, be ready to apologize to your grandchildren. They are the ones who will be working all of their lives to pay for your wasted vote.