The event was sponsored by the Vermont Natural Resources Council and a group of Vermont Localvores. It was supposed to focus on both agriculture and energy, but tended to focus more on the 'agriculture' side of things. The energy issues facing the state are myriad and complex and I hope that there is a future debate just on this one topic. The Douglas administration has been a passive bystander to some very shady antics by the present owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant and has also not been very forceful in planning for a Yankee-less energy future in Vermont.
Political metaphor? Do we get the leaders we deserve? (I bought a new lens for my camera, more images here)
Anyway my dubiousness about the leadership in this state was pretty much confirmed at the venue. I think that Jim Douglas is glib ("Jim = Jobs" -- ha ha), feckless and cowardly and has not taken hard stands on difficult problems. The Democrat in the race seems to be for a continuation of Vermont's big (unaffordable) government status quo.
In this environment, one would think that I would be supporting a 3rd party candidate. The 'Independent' (he was a 'Progressive') on Sunday at the debate -- expediency led to a charge of heart and affiliation -- Anthony Pollina was fairly effective (the debate covered his core issues) and he was well received, as many of his supporters were in attendance. I did, however see a clip of Pollina on television decrying cuts in the size of the state workforce... and it would be very difficult for me to support anyone who is favor of keeping as many state employees as possible on the books.
I think that my disillusionment with the choices on the upcoming ballot partly stem from an increasing disillusionment with what is happening in Vermont and even in the US as a whole. There are many problems and very few practical, sustainable, implementable solutions being put forward, and calls for sacrifice are rare.