In a few days, it will be Christmas Eve, a date filled with great anticipation of a very important event the next day.
In a few months, it will be Illinois Primary Eve, a date that also precedes an important event – the choosing of party candidates who will square off in the Nov. 4 election.
It’s pretty hard to find people who will not be excited about Dec. 24, the day before Christmas.
It’s pretty easy to find people who will not be excited about March 17, the day before the Illinois primary on March 18.
That’s because so few Illinoisans bother to vote in primaries.
Four years ago, the last time Illinois elected a governor and other statewide officers, about 35 percent of Grundy County registered voters cast ballots in the primary.
Why discuss the primary during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?
Don’t blame us. We aren’t the ones who scheduled the petition filing deadline for early December.
But the candidate list has been made, officials checked it twice, and voters will have to decide who’s been naughty or nice.
Locally, we’ll see primaries for the county sheriff’s race and District 1 of the Grundy County Board, the 75th and 79th state House districts, and the 16th Congressional District.
Statewide, we’ll see races for Republican state treasurer and U.S. Senate; Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn faces a relatively unknown challenger, Tio Hardiman, in the primary.
Christmas marks the exchanging of gifts, some greatly appreciated, others entirely unwanted. Is not the primary also a gift? It allows the people, not political chieftains in smoke-filled rooms, to select party nominees.
But some people apparently view the primary as an unwanted gift that’s not very exciting, altogether too bothersome, and worthy only of being traded in at the customer service counter.
We simply ask, for what would you exchange the gift of democracy?