Not much to say after Election Day. Numbers speak for themselves: low turnout (defined by THE PLANET and anything that is not 50% plus 1 person) combined with machine politics = no change + plus still unsolved problems x even-increased apathy. THE PLANET would suggest three immediate reforms of Election Day:

(1) Make it Election Week or Election Days. Thinks about it. We conduct the most important day for participatory democracy on a weekday, when people who have jobs are working, and only keep the polls open to 8 p.m. Why not conduct voting on more than one day, one of them being Saturday? This would increase turnout.

(2) Allow for a “none of the above” option to be on every ballot of every race. This would provide an alternative to machine candidates in races where they face no opposition or token opposition and give people authentic choice in every race, even in those that go unopposed.

(3) Introduce legislation that would reject the result of any election that did not draw 50% + 1 of the electorate on the grounds that pluralities are not mandates. As happened last night, no candidate in the entire state won a majority of the total electorate. They won a majority of the low turnout (the definition of a plurality). For example, Deval Patrick won 49% of the 40% who voted. Translation: Patrick won support from about 20% of the entire possible vote. Eight of every 10 potential voters either chose not to vote or voted for someone else. This analysis applies to every winner in the Commonwealth. That’s why the anger and frustration of the populace will continue and why elected officials will continue to ignore common sense.


Surprises and Ho-Hums

— Surprise: Green-Rainbow Party candidate Mark Miller putting the scare into Chris “No Show” Speranzo, roughly 4900 to 4100. We hope “No Show” got the message.

— Ho-Hum: No Show’s quote following his “victory”: “The campaign I ran was to reach the people directly,” said Speranzo, who was first elected in 2005. “My [five years] worth of work showed through at the polls.” He ran to “reach people directly” by ducking three forums and not making himself available to people or press. The Planet shall continue to attempt to contact No Show for the interview he never gave. He is, after all, at least for a few days, a state representative.

— Surprise: The resiliency of every candidate except “No Show.” We mean, those who actually campaigned. It’s tough on families, friends, and loved ones, to say nothing of the exhaustion that sets in during and after. You can tell those who really want it and admire that. Paul Mark REALLY wanted it. Mike Case REALLY wanted it. Scott Laugenour and Smitty Pignatelli REALLY wanted it. So did everyone else who pulled out all the stops.

— Ho-Hum: Every pre-election interview you do, where campaigns are always “optimistic” and “hearing good things,” and every post-election interview, where winners “knew they had it all along” and losers rationalize.

— Surprise: Vox radio and The Berkshire News Network slumming on their promise of greasy pizza. When THE PLANET, Larry Kratka, and other staff went for a slice during one of our coverage breaks, we found the miserable teen thieves who served as runners at the polls stole all the pizza. We are consulting with our barristers, since pizza was part of the hard bargain for sitting in and co-anchoring. Maybe Mike Case and Stephan Rocz can chip in with Paul Mark to buy us pizza, in honor of “Pizzagate.” All seriousness aside, as Steve Allen used to say, there’s no better place to be on Election Night than in a newsroom with a typewriter or in a broadcast studio with a live mic. Thanks, Larry and Vox.

William Blake, Sage Political Guru, Sums It Up

To share the sense of what The People are feeling today, we turn to our resident political consultant, William Blake, who penned these words (from Chapter IX, “The First Book of Urizen”):

Then the Inhabitants of those Cities

Felt their nerves change into marrow,

And hardening bones began

In swift diseases and torments,

In throbbings & shootings & grindings

Through all the coasts, till weakened

The senses inward rushed, shrinking

Beneath the dark net of infection.

Now admit it, except for Machine Politics, don’t those words describe our situation, and don’t you think nationwide we are worse off today than we were yesterday?

Analyzing the Topless Vote

Fraulein Gungelfinger, the Betsy Ross of the petition allowing women to go topless, will win this, overwhelmingly, if she makes two slight changes in how the question is worded. She will win in a landslide if she takes out the words “of any age” after the word “women,” restricts it to females “over 18 but not older than 35,” and gets home-rule to allow that only men can voted. This formula can’t lose, because, as the poet Robert Burns write, “A man’s a man, for all that.”


  1. Ron Kitterman
    November 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    If there is a round 2. ( Mr Speranzo ) gets the golden parachute. Miller will make an excellent choice. He ran an excellent campaign and didn’t capitalize on the low level politics we are use to. He is a true gentleman and a man of his convictions. He can hold his head high for not running a dirty campaign.

    • Ron Kitterman
      November 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

      As far as the above comment as Peter G Arlos use to say PGA politics is the only sickness that Penicillin can’t cure or something close to that.

  2. Jack C
    November 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Peter Arlos would know. As for topless, Dan, you have a foolproof plan. Now let me ask you, how long will it be until Speranzo backs out of the seat? What’s the over/under. We have an office pool: 50 days,.

    • danvalenti
      November 3, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

      I have some great Peter Arlos stories. Maybe I will post some. As for Speranzo, I wouldn’t presume anything. I did hear that the negative publicity from his No Show campaign has not helped his cause for the clerk-mag job. Can’t reveal the source, but it’s a person who knows the process, been through the process, and is currently involved in the process of that job. No Show now has to convince the Boston Boys that he’s, uh, not a liability and won’t be: Hear, See, and Speak No Evil. Also, the timing of the Probation Department report may be a factor in ways I don’t yet understand. I will soon have a post on this. Keep reading and spread the word: THE PLANET IS FLYING MACH III.

  3. Mike
    November 4, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    A little research into your opinion of multiple voting days could have led you to the wonderful proposition just passed in San Francisco see here :,_Proposition_I_(November_2010)

    • Jack C
      November 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

      Why can’t that workl? I like the idea.

  4. rick
    November 4, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    the way boston politics works for these types of gift jobs, is out of sight out of mind. finally the boston papers are keeping this story alive. the patronage is to wide spread in the probation offices state wide , and the fall out to great. this head clerk job,is proven to be not needed,runnning fine with the more than qualified assistants now. mr.arlos tried in our city gov. to eliminate duplicate job in city hall to save tax payers money. that fell om deaf ears. but to save 150k plus a year for an un needed job thats a great beginning!!!… for spurs that guy proved that a dem. can get elected up here without campaining(this time).mr miller wasnt to far behind. hopefully this showed all political wannabees to wake up and smell the coffee!!!and take this process seriously……….because we do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Scott Laugenour
    November 4, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Prior to the State Rep race I ran this year, I ran for Select Committee in Lenox. A local reporter attaches a clause after my name to nearly every article he writes about me: “Lee Scott Laugenour, who unsuccessfully ran for Lenox Select Committee in 2009, [blah blah blah.” On that May, 2009 election day I was standing out at the polls with my fellow candidates, all of whom I consider friends and respect for their service. None of us felt particularly ‘successful’ in inspiring more voters to turn out and use the power that democracy gives them. Turnout was less than 15%. Even the ‘winners’ were lamenting and not feeling particularly ‘successful.’

    I like the suggestion of a ‘None of the Above’ option. The Green Party of the United States (GPUS), of which the Green-Rainbow Party is the Massachusetts affiliate, includes a ‘None of the Above’ option as well as a “No Preference” [meaning ‘Any of the Above] in its balloting. Anyone who picked up a Green-Rainbot Party presidential primary ballot in 2008 had those choices along with the five candidates we chose from. When I went to the GPUS presidential candidate nominating convention delegate in Chicago in 2008, I joked that I was a ‘super delegate.’ This was not as exalted a position as the Democratic Party counterpart; it simply meant that I represented those voters who had cast a ‘No Preference’ vote in the primary, and could vote for any of the five candidates in the first round of convention voting.

    Hey, what about requiring voter participation? I know that Ecuador, Australia, and Brazil require it. There are civil penalties for anyone who does not vote without a very good very good reason. We levy penalties on anyone who doesn’t purchase a private health insurance plan. We require tax payments. I’d rather compel voter participation – with the freedom to cast a blank ballot, of course. Those Ecuadorians, Australians, and Brazilians whom I know would have it no other way. We’re incessantly debating our voting system in this country. Seems others have moved beyond the debate and taken voting seriously.

    Recommended reading: Jose Saramago’s novel “Seeing.” It’s about a populace that defies its political establish by voting blank. It quickly moves from the comedic to the chilling. Won’t reveal more.

    • JB
      November 4, 2010 at 8:14 am #

      Is required voting really an improvement if it leads to more uneducated votes or more votes that are informed by the loudest TV ad?
      I think there should be a few simple multiple choice questions at the end of the ballot that would be used to qualify your ballot. The questions would establish that you have even the most basic understanding of the issues of the day. If you fail the quiz your ballot would not be accepted and you would never know the difference.
      This would reduce the influence of special interests and their well financed ads, and also their get-out-the-vote efforts where herds of drones are rounded up to vote the “right” way.

  6. Scott Laugenour
    November 4, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Post election candidate’s note: we’re feeling great.

    • Jack C
      November 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

      Mr. Laugenour
      I want to commend you and Mr, Miller for giving us an alternative. You both ran campaigns that were honorable and full of ideas. Hope you stick around the political process. I say this as someone who didn’t vote for Green and now wish I had.

      • Scott Laugenour
        November 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

        Hi, Jack C.
        You can find out more about us at
        Out state convention is in Worcester on Nov 14. I’ll be there – I hope you will be, too.
        Thanks for the kind words.