Elections show the future

November 7th, 2019 by Ken

You’ve heard it said that elections have consequences  – – and they do.  But, elections can also signify a change in society.  The recent local election is one of those times.

In 1986, I wrote my master’s thesis at Evergreen on “Power and Influence in Thurston County.”  Among other things, it found that local politics was controlled by a lose federation of which I called the “Liberal, Feminist Coalition.”  This group wasn’t involved in every election, but when it was, it often won.  Early examples include Karen Fraser and Holly Gadbaw.

Over the years, this coalition expanded to include environmentalists and government unions such as the firefighters and local and state employees.  For the last three decades, this group has been active and successful.  Politics in the urban areas of Thurston County – – Olympia primarily – and Lacey to some extent – have been under its control.

It reached its apex at the turn of the 21st Century, when three of its members – all women – comprised the Thurston County Commission.

But like all groups, as it gained power, it wanted more, and it over-reached.  Within six years, the county commission members had been replaced by three more-conservative men.

The coalition was on its way out.

It had a couple of last gasps.  EJ Zita on the Port of Olympia, and Tye Mesner slipping into the Thurston County Commission  by just a few hundred votes.

It tried again this year running candidates for the Lacey City Council, the Olympia City Council and the Port of Olympia.  All of them lost.

I think the decline of the coalition is due to several factors.  Original members of the group have died and the new ones who have taken over have been too radical for the average voter.  The”Homeless” issue had shown that liberal policies don’t work.  And, the makeup of voters in Thurston County has become “just a little more” conservative.  Helped by the military, and those Californians who have left their state and moved here looking for something different than what they left behind.

Elections have consequences.  They also show the future.

Posted in The Real News


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