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Ringside seat on democracy

Editorial for Sept. 25, 2008

We're lucky here in Klickitat County that so many organizations are doing their part to give voters the information they need to vote intelligently this November.

We've been very impressed with the number of "candidates' night" events that are planned around the area. It seems that almost every community is putting on forums that will allow citizens to not only meet the various candidates for political office, but enable us to ask questions. That's grass roots democracy, and this nation needs more of it.

First of all, the events are all free. Also, with candidates' nights being held in so many different communities, it is convenient for local residents to get out and hear what the policies and views of the candidates are.

Elsewhere in this newspaper, we have listed the many "candidates' night" session that are planned. There will be events in White Salmon, Lyle, Trout Lake, Centerville, Goldendale, Dallesport, Glenwood, and Wishram. That pretty well blankets the county.

We salute all the community leaders and organizations for hosting these important meetings. Thank you for taking such a vital part in maintaining our democracy. Efforts like these truly represent what America is all about.

We also want to let the candidates themselves know how much we appreciate their participation. Running for office is not a lark. It's hard work and takes a lot of dedication, and the people stepping up deserve our respect. Although the candidates often have different views and different approaches about what they would like to see happen, they all seem to have the best interests of their fellow citizens in mind. As voters, most of us will probably attend just one of these forums, but the candidates themselves often take the time to go to all of them. That's impressive.

With that in mind, we encourage citizens to turn out en masse to hear from the candidates. These events are not only informative, they are like old-fashioned "town hall" events that can help to build a sense of understanding, unity, and community.

With all the troubles and divisions our nation is facing these days, we sure need more of that.



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