Provo, like other Utahn cities, is hosting its biennial primary elections this August 13th (Tuesday).
Most of us arguably don’t pay enough attention to these local elections—but, if political power were as maximally decentralized as it should be (with most of it remaining in individual households), then our local elections would become more important than our national elections. Even despite our political system’s massive centralization since 1789, our local elections still play an important role in giving various candidates experience that they may use to campaign for other offices—for example, John Curtis leveraged his experience as Provo mayor to campaign for U. S. Congress. Sadly, few Utahn voters seemed to pay much attention to Curtis’ “liberal” mayoral record of attempted tax hikes and grandiose central planning, as this former Democrat seemingly changed political parties without changing principles.
Tragically, John Curtis’ principles have not been the exception in Provo’s government, but the rule for many years. Why would conservative Provoans consistently elect such “liberal” politicians? Presumably because most Provoans don’t bother to participate in municipal elections, and the small fraction of Provoans who bother to participate are more-than-half statists who elect fellow statists. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be this way—Provoans who value their rightful liberty can help both educate and inform their neighbors to embrace better principles, and can organize like-minded ones for political victory. Sometimes, free-marketeer candidates have lost city races by narrow margins, in which cases even a dozen votes could have made a big difference.
So, how can we make a difference this year? Ideally, by finding worthy candidates early and then rallying around them—but, since it’s a bit too late for this now, we’ll instead need to examine our existing options, eliminate unworthy choices, and select the best candidates among any that remain. This year, Provoans will elect three new city councilors (one city-wide and two from city districts), but we’re having some trouble finding any clearly-worthy options among them.
- For this year’s city-wide seat, both David Shipley and Janae Moss seem to favor central planning.
- In district 3, Shannon Ellsworth appears to be a skilled central planner who wants “Smart Growth,” Robin Roberts aspires to centrally-plan away poverty from our midst, and Jeff Handy seems a bit enigmatic.
- In district 4, it appears that all four candidates (namely: Beth Alligood, Eric Ludwig, Travis Hoban, and Valerie Paxman) favor some degree of city control of our municipal economy in various ways, which may include public transportation or regulated construction or public energy.
So, this is why we wholeheartedly endorse no candidates this year. If you believe that we should reconsider this conclusion, then please tell us why.
If you don’t want to see the same scarcity of worthy candidates in 2021 when Provoans will elect four more city councilors, plus another mayor, then please involve yourself over these next two years to slowly-but-steadily build support for better candidates among your neighbors. If you find our website helpful for this purpose, then please feel free to use it. Thanks!
- Provo Daily Herald: 2019 Utah County Primary Voter Guide
- Provo Channel 17: 2019 Provo City Council Elections Info
- Provo: Provo City Recorder: Elections
- Wikipedia: Planned economy
- Wikipedia: Sustainable development
- Wikipedia: Smart growth
- Free Provo: Solutions: Involving Ourselves Properly
- Free Provo: Solutions: Multiplying Our Efforts
- Free Provo: Solutions: Improving Our Electoral Options
- Facebook: Free Provo