Politicians are sneaky manipulative smart. They’ve figured out how to get people to vote for them: cloak themselves in mystery. Who doesn’t love a good mystery, right? If I’m guessing what you’re up to, at least I’m thinking about you. If name recognition from seductively cryptic campaign messages doesn’t get a candidate the vote, pure curiosity about solving the “who-is-it?” mystery might get a shadowy candidate into office.

I can’t help but notice the crop of multi-colored campaign signs that pop up on every green space in the area, alerting me that I need to brace myself for the 2nd Tuesday in November. The planting season for these signs begins mid-summer, so I have plenty of time to ignore trip over watch Scrappy pee on study these signs. Notoriously missing from every sign is party affiliation. Not even the color hints if the candidate is a “red person” or a “blue person.” Every food group color is represented. I have to guess from the wording which candidate best represents my views.

But that’s not easy. Take this sign:

I know this person is running for County Legislator, but what party is the Yellow party? And what does “Bold Leadership” mean? On first glance, this seems like a great quality in someone to decide the fate of our county and its squirrel problems. But I bet Moammar Gadhafi and Josef Stalin thought they were pretty bold leaders.

A nice, but hurried gentlemen gave me this “flyer” as he was working for the above’s opponent.

Bold Leader's opponent's "platform"

Is it me, or have “sound bytes” skulked into “word bytes.” Does this candidate want people to “age in place” or go somewhere else to deteriorate? Does “going green” mean we should all paint our homes green? How is clean air and alcohol abuse linked? I suppose if you talk to enough drunks up close, you can argue that they’re related. Collective bargaining: yea or nay, undisclosed party affiliation candidate? Airport? Yes, we have one. Is it too large? Should there be more than zero vending machines available to our five frequent fliers? I may have to vote for you just to solve the riddles handed to me at my door by that sketchy old guy working for you but was in a such big hurry.

I don't have time to answer your questions. I have questions of my own, like where's the nearest public restroom? These Depends Undergarments are about as helpful as that brochure.

Cryptic road signs, meaningless “fliers” and a few TV ads with tired but hopeful buzz words are what most voters will use on November 8 to choose their elected representatives, unless they avoid the voting booth in favor of The Regis Philbin Goodbye-alton (enough already), Judge Judy (a show to remind you how good your life is), Glee (well, if it makes you happy…), The Biggest Loser (on election night, now that’s ironic), or Keeping Up With the Kardashians (May the Farce Be With You).

If Democracy relies on an informed populace, then democracy is in more trouble than … than … it’s in big trouble. We have, at best, a segment of the populace curious enough to see who these bold, pithy people actually are and what they stand for should they get elected. Not that they’d actually do any of the things they hint at promising their voting public.

Still, I’m going to do my homework (I already have) and exercise my precious right to vote. People like me (women, not blondes) didn’t always have that right in America, and people like me (women) don’t have that right in at least 10 countries today. Our democratic system is far from perfect, so is the human body; are you willing to give up either one?