by Rebecca Schmitz

I would like to offer my congratulations to all the winners of yesterday’s City Council election. (The Iraq War referendum outcome? The maraschino cherry atop this sundae of progressive values.) J-school students at UM have tallied the results on their blog:

Ward 1
X Jason Wiener: 1,676, 64%
Justin Armintrout: 887, 34%
Ward 2
X Pam Walzer: 998, 52%
Don Nicholson (incumbent) : 906, 47%
Ward 3
X Stacy Rye (incumbent) : 1,504, 57%
Doug Harrison: 1,089, 42%
Ward 4
X Lyn Hellegaard: 1,506, 53%
Jerry Ballas (incumbent) : 1,282, 45%
Ward 5
X Renee Mitchell: 1,220, 54%
Christine Prescott: 1,026, 45%
Ward 6
X Ed Childers (incumbent) : 892, 50.48%
Lewie Schneller: 852, 48.22%

The big winners here, of course, are the voters themselves. Forty-six percent of them returned their ballots to the Election Office. Not an ideal 100% in a perfect world to be sure, but still proof that the new mail-in ballots and successful local voter drives can work for the betterment of our city’s political system. The Missoulian summed up the election nicely in today’s editorial:

More than Flag Day or Independence Day or any other show of devotion to this nation, Election Day – and the day after – are the true test of our commitment to democracy.

That’s so true. The simple act of voting itself–whether it’s at the dining room table or in a curtained booth–is more patriotic than all the hollow chest-thumping displays of the same, from enforced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to plastering “In God We Trust” across school classrooms.  Young voters, same-day voting and fictitious liberal “machines” are not a menace to Missoula.  Apathy is.  Everyone who voted and everyone who ran, whether they won or not, deserves to be called a patriot.

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  1. goof houlihan

    Speaking for my own locale, four for four is pretty good too!

    Of course, Bozeman voters were concentrating on funding more police and staffing a fire station, you know, the “public health safety and welfare” of the town, not intent on waving a white flag…

    That paragraph should shake the apples off the tree.

  2. Not really, Goof. My apples remain unshaken. There are worse things in this world than waving a white flag. You know, like losing more lives in a war of choice.

  3. Ed Childers

    Thanks, Rebecca.

    Question for Goof re the white flag (which I guess refers to the 2/3 of Missoulians who’d like to fund a safe return of American troops from Iraq): a white flag denotes surrender; who’d we be surrendering to?

  4. You’re more than welcome, Councilman. We’re glad to see you on City Council for another term.




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