The Garland Bar Association hosted three Democratic candidates for Dallas County civil judgeships. The Garland Bar Association also hosted three Republican candidates for Dallas County civil judgeships. Here is where it gets interesting: there are only three judgeships. Six people, three available benches.
This means that in order for a judge of one party to win the election, that judge candidate must get more votes than the judge candidate of the other party. In other words, it's like a competition. Whoever gets the most votes, wins. This is a really advanced form of democracy.
I am used to what I call "will you take the job?" democracy. Every office I have ever held, from president of the Garland Bar Association to Vice President of a Unitarian/Universalist church congregation, came about because I volunteered to take a subordinate office and somehow ascended the ranks as magically as an Etch-a-Sketch.. This was less a voting process or a vetting process than a process of saying "yes" when asked, because a position was vacant.
This competing-candidates thing means that the candidates had to shake a lot of hands. That's actually pretty cool--there's something appropriate about a firm handshake. I am not much of one to want to hug people I barely know, but I will shake many a hand.
They also had to tell us about themselves, and I was struck by how much more accomplished each one is, in her or his own special way, than I am. The weird thing was that all six were really good folks. This electioneering business is a funny thing.
I think that judicial matters should be non-partisan, and I favor plans in which the first judicial term is appointed. I would like to see the big money spent on narrow ideological ends removed from the civil justice system, as it has done damage in our state that remains unrepaired.
But here in Dallas, we have 6 people, all of whom are good folks, and all of whom would be fair and fine judges. It's not a bad problem to have--good choices all around.
I liked a few of the speeches from each convention. But I was left with the unshakeable conviction that in life I should always aspire to be the officer of beneficial organizations that will take me as an officer largely because nobody else has volunteered.
Some are called to greatness. Some rise to greatness. The rest of us fill in where needed--not because of greatness, but because nobody else wanted the job..