As I've mentioned before, being a first-time candidate was a huge learning experience.
One thing I learned is that there are major problems with the voting process. The lack of participation is a common concern. But, to tell you the truth, I would rather have less voters but have the voting be for the right reasons.
No vote, no grumble is a catchy phrase. However, it only addresses part of the problem. The fact is that voters complain constantly about government and then go vote for the same people they complain about.
There are many wrong reasons to vote for a candidate and one of them is straight-ticket voting. I came across too many people who said they always vote Democrat. That is just ignorant. I know for a fact that there are some really good Republican candidates, like George Fontaine, Linda Lingle and Simon Russell, who deserve to at least get everyone's look.
That is not to say that all Democrats are bad choices. I would certainly support Mufi Hannemann if he were still in a race. I do support Alan Fukuyama because he stands for free enterprise, like I do. I put my core values ahead of party, which is why I will support certain Democrats.
The point is that whether your values are primarily left or right, straight-ticket voting is not good and no positive changes will come from it as long as many people do it.