Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Some Good Election News

The Fair and Equal proposition won by a wide margin: 67 percent (1,436) to 33 percent (693). And it won in every one of the current wards, including the both parts of the Fifth Ward. Here are the unofficial results from the Board of Elections.

For the next local election in November 2017, this is the ward map of Hudson.



  1. The 5th is now the smallest ward, ha!

  2. Decisive numbers for a repudiation of the old, bad ways of Hudson. The decades-long domination is over. Many thanks to all those in the 5th Ward who supported Proposition 1.

    But even though we've broken the back of an absurdly unfair system, it's easy to believe that our political culture will lag behind this fact.

    The city's systemic imbalance is so entrained that it has tainted every aspect of our polity. Traditionally, we've either battled or cowered before a dominance which has enjoyed a long and disproportionate reach into all of the city's affairs. Thanks to long practice, it may require a focused effort to really comprehend our new reality, and to reverse everyone's laziest habits.

    On the other hand, if some of our habits were necessarily (because unfairly) bound up with political tensions, an inviting feature of our future polity is that we may actually relax into new and better habits.

    That said, the sooner we're conscious of what we've achieved, the better.

  3. Hope Unheim is right. In the end, as I read the results, the turnout was just over 40%, a rather sclerotic number for a healthy democracy, but not too bad for Hudson. Let's see if the new system can pump more life into this creakey body. --pm

    1. Mara Estribou submitted this comment:

      Not to be nudge, but the percentage of Hudson voter turnout cannot be calculated from the data above. Results shown do not include the blanks and voids (voters who turned out, but decided not to cast a vote for this particular Prop or mismarked their ballot). Also, there are still many absentee ballots yet to be counted that will increase the turnout percentage dramatically.

    2. The percentage of voter turnout on the Prop 1 vote was not calculated by the data above, as indeed it can't be calculated from the data above. It requires a number not part of the data above: i.e. # of registered voters. According to the "CensusViewer" ( are 4,884 registered voters in Hudson. Thus, if Gossips is right about the results, 2,129 cast ballots on the Prop 1 question (1436 For and 693 Against), or 43.6 percent of registered voters turned out to vote on Prop 1, the "turnout"; thus too, 30% of registered voters voted for Prop 1. Happy to be corrected on these numbers, but I think it's important to know who's in the game when we talk about public opinion and the mandate of the people. As mentioned, I don't think it is a turnout to inspire pride in our public political health--but it's probably within the norm. If I were a local government public servant, I would aspire toward a 80% turnout an any community question as a sign of democratic health. cheers, --pm

    3. Under the guise of civic concern and prudence, you will now delegitimize the outcome of a free and fair referendum by saying it was achieved unhealthily.

      After a surprisingly short time, your audience for this message will no longer recall the details of the actual campaign, if they ever understood them at all. Your continuing objection to the successful proposition will establish a knowledge-free resentment among your most misguided listeners, people who will rail for a decade against the fictitious unfairness you've sketched even as they acknowledge the equality gained for all.

      Because the cultivation of festering fantasies is the Hudson way, it's conceivable that your audience will arrive at the paradoxical conclusion that they gained nothing on Tuesday. At that point, will you have achieved what you wanted to all along?

      Alternately, you may decide to fully concede the outcome of the democratic process. Then, going forward, you'll be in an enviable position to encourage the beneficiaries of this vote - which is indisputably everyone - to make the best of their newfound equality.

      From a civic perspective, and knowing Hudson, which of these two approaches is the more prudent?

    4. Fully conceding the outcome--which I certainly do on Prop 1--does not freeze one in "the outcome of the democratic process" like a piece of prehistoric amber. In fact, Prop 1, as I understand it, is meant to unfreeze the system so it is more flexible and more responsible to the people, which, almost by definition, guarantees constantly changing outcomes, which is why the term "eternal vigilance" (Thomas Paine) is so intimately tied to our Revolution. No comment short of flop-down, roll-over obeisance seems to satisfy Unheim, which is his right, of course. But my congrats to the F&E folks for a wonderfully designed and managed campaign. Well-done. --pm

    5. It was my attempt to analyze, in real time, the inception of the next long-simmering resentment to unsettle Hudson.

      Rationalists like Paine tended to overlook the fact that talents are not equally distributed in life. For example, conceiving the new Ward map was a breakthrough which no committee I've seen in Hudson could possibly have accomplished, not even remotely.

      A Utopian must be someone who's willing to wait 10,000 years on the off-chance that a roomful of chimpanzees with typewriters will actually write Hamlet someday. My flaw isn't a "roll-over obeisance," but my limited patience waiting for such nonsensical scenarios.

      But if our little chat has moved you to congratulate your fellow hard-working neighbors, then I'll consider this analysis complete.

  4. In light of the national election, both in the quality of the run up and the results, we can be pleased with this display of straight forward political action. Congratulations to those who did so much thoughtful work. Mark Orton

  5. Congratulations Hudson, a big step forward and you should be proud.

  6. For as far back as I can remember, the inner city has been ruled by people living on the Greenport border.