Elections must mean more

Elections around the state are starting to take tentative shape, and while the shift to a Rep. Kevin Cramer vs. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp matchup for the latter’s current seat is the headline competition, there are plenty of other battles lining up.

There should be more.

From municipal elections across the state to state legislature seats, North Dakota is best served by rivals battling it out – not in mudslinging and name calling – but rather in the marketplace of ideas for which Minot Daily News frequently advocates. Residents need the contest between philosophies and principles. They deserve a spirited debate. Spirited debates don’t happen without competition and they don’t happen with one-party rule.

Even the most loyal Republican must wonder if maybe the state wouldn’t be better served if right-leaning icons have to defend their positions against opponents who disagree? Yes, the Dem-NPL party might be straying too far to the left to have any relevance to North Dakota voters, but that is fluid and not all of the party’s candidates are Nancy Pelosi clones. It’s unfair and intellectually dishonest to assert so.

Conservative, liberal, libertarian – all of these perspectives should be represented in our elections this year, so voters have a full slate of ideologies from which to choose. N.D. conservatives might feel they have a lock on state politics, and then comes along the vote for medical marijuana and the majority conservative perspective is crushed like a bug. We are a far more sophisticated electorate than for which we sometimes get credit.

Elections must mean more candidates, more ideas, more visions for our future. We aren’t monolithic thinkers. We aren’t all the same. We aren’t all locked into principles from the past.

We might choose leaders who represent these things. Might. In the meantime, we hopefully will have the opportunity to choose.

As it has always and will always do, Minot Daily News encourages those thinking of running for office to toss their hats into the ring.