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Abstract

The purpose of the report is to recommend measures to better inform voters about persons
running for public office. I argue that the city of Albuquerque can implement programs and
incentives that could spread information about public officials, thereby allowing Albuquerque
citizens to elect optimal persons. In gathering data to support my recommendations I first
researched in 3 areas: Overall interest and knowledge in local elections, impacts and powers of
offices in said elections, and how the field of memetics could be used to spread information
among the populations. In my research, I found examples of the effects of local governments,
and how national elections overshadow local offices. I review scholarly articles on the subject
and I conclude memes could be used to raise awareness of local elections. With these facts in
mind I recommend firstly, education concerning the powers, affairs and history of local
government and should be expanded. Secondly, any persons running for public office should
give a publicly available and easily assessable summery of their policies and positions on a will
maintained discussion board. Thirdly and finally, avenues for memes about local officials and
their policies should be created or improved upon.

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The construction on central avenue due to ART has negatively affected businesses and commuters. Russell Williams (2000) of Dundee Graduate School of Management say in his paper “The Business of Memes”. Methodology As I lack the funding to preform the large scale empirical research required to support my recommendations. is still a new field of study. like how genes replicate through reproduction (192). I will use information found by other persons for primary sources alongside secondary media sources to give perspective and examples. While federal funding is involved. I used the standard Google search engine to find news articles relating to specific examples I wished to examine. State and district judges.com). the study of memes. with a memetic understanding. yet I vary rarely see the importance of these governments emphasized. I should first define a term I will use throughout. I noted federal elections overshadowed local elections despite the more direct importance to the lives of average citizens. but I believe memetics can be applied to local elections. I believe persons running for local office should use memes to advertise their policies and positions. Memetics. may well be able to create better survivors in the cultural world” (278). For example. This lack of discussion could lead to underqualified or corrupt politicians obtaining public office. or to the people. and many other. and mayors can affect New Mexico citizens more directly than high offices like the President or the Supreme Court. Despite this. Richard Dawkins created the term “meme” in his book The Selfish Gene to describe traits in human culture that acted similarly to genes. “Advertisers. they have been used in the past. but officials claim the project will help both. primarily local politicians contributed to ART (McKay. I used the Google Scholar search engine to find several peer reviewed articles related to the topics of elections and memetics. this concept could easily be applied to elections. Dawkins describes memes as ideas and concepts that replicate through imitation. more specifically in New Mexico elections. For media examples. Of those articles. primarily as an advertising tool. I chose a few that best fit my discussion on the potential use of memes in local elections. examples I don’t hear local elections discussed. As running for office is comparable to selling yourself to voters. Background The 10th amendment of United States constitution proclaims: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution. During recent elections. To address this. are reserved to the States respectively. While the word “meme” has only recently come to popular use. I have considered the field of memetics. the recent Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project was proposed by Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry and approved by the city council.Introduction To understand this report. The Literature Review section of this report 2 . This statement grants broad powers to state and local governments. nor prohibited by it to the States. abqjournal. county positions.

Arjan sampled results from over 4000 regional and national elections and examined deviations between the two (631). 2: Territorial Cleavages. To confirm or debunk my belief local elections are overshadowed by national elections. the differences are 17% for centralized systems with little local power to 23% for areas with powerful local and little national governments (Arjan 646). “areas with distinctive territorial identities” are more likely to see importance in Second Order.closely examines my primary sources. amount. Several variables related to each theory are considered. Unfortunately. the extent local government can tax and the extent of local positions are variable considered for the Regional Authority theory (Arjan 642). This leads Arjan to conclude Territorial Cleavages account for a large share of dissimilarity in local and national elections while Second-Order theory and Regional Authority contribute a smaller. Benjamin Burroughs of the University of Iowa discuses and researches the use of memes in the 2012 presidential election in his article “Obama Trolling: Memes. but not insignificant. 3: Regional Authority. people realize where the power is and vote accordingly (Arjan 638). Among many others. Salutes and an Agonistic Politics in the 2012 Presidential Election” (For clarity. elections and care less about First Order. local. the range of local policies. “trolling” in this context is using intentionally provocative content to gain a response). religion. Arjan says the three theories likely interlinked and explain convergence/divergence of votes together (638). Burroughs starts by discussing unflattering memes used to attack both candies in the election 3 . Autonomy of local government. He examined the results with respect to three theories: 1: Second-Order Election Theory. Arjan found the largest difference of 17% for areas with national priorities to 38% in culturally homogenous areas (646). language. I consulted Arjan H. When looking at Territorial Cleavages. while ethnicity. and economy are considered for the Territorial Cleavages model (Arjan 640). Literature review To fix a problem there must be a problem. I lack the skills and resources to quantitatively examine my recommendations and can only give somewhat subjective qualitative analysis. national. elections (Arjan 637). local elections lost by parties controlling national government are considered for the Second order theory. Schakel’s article “Congruence Between Regional and National Elections”. history. and the more general sample may lessen the relevance of these results for New Mexico and Albuquerque’s situation concerning local and national elections. As for memes as a solution to the problem. many of them European. local elections are attributed less priority and thus turnout is lower and voters merely vote by venting on national level issues (Arjan 635). Arjan’s studies sampled from many countries. Arjan finds that the percentile difference in votes for parties in national vs local range from 12% when both happen simultaneously to a 22% when local elections are held at differing times than national (645). When looking at the powers held by local government. as more powers are given to local governments. and their context in relation to secondary sources.

there is no set way for Albuquerque or New Mexican politicians to easily do so. including Albuquerque. Discussion While I could find no specific source concerning New Mexico local elections being overshadowed by national affairs. Concerning the Second Order aspect of voters merely using local elections to vent on national conditions. An online resource that allowed clear communication between running persons and voters would greatly help. economic conditions. To do this. and economy create a cohesive culture. Results By analyzing the content of Arjan’s paper I see multiple factors that lead to the overshadowing of local elections by federal elections. dissociating persons running for office from national parties would accomplish this. Factors of ethnicity. The cultural identity of a region contributes greatly to importance the everyday citizen give to local elections. the New Mexico history memes could also include brief details of local powers. 4 . is more plausible. As of now. so uniting New Mexicans though history. Equalizing ethnicity. as shown by the Territorial Cleavages model (Arjan 646). my personal anecdotal experience combined with Arjan’s generalized results leads me to believe the awareness of Albuquerque voters concerning local elections could be improved via spreading memes about the history and powers of local government. and maybe religion. Such a place could also be made produce memes to advertise its existence. religion. Burroughs divided his observations into two categories: active participation and lurking.(259) and continues with how modern media like the internet aids the spread of such memes (260). and uniting New Mexicans bases on one or more of these factors would lead to a better awareness of local positions and powers. and how to subvert this problem. but it would also stifle the informed conversations I hope to create with my recommendations. not participating in political conversation (265). To encourage this. or language would be hard or unethical. When studying the memes. The three models of election divergence adequately explain the problems and naturally lead to the conclusion that memetic ideas that unite and inform New Mexicans would lead to more informed voters. language. but if voters are unaware of local power this will not happen. People restraining their discussion could be a good thing as it would create a politer environment. From here Burroughs give a brief history of political campaigns using memetic tactics starting with “Lee Atwateresque[‘s] dismantling of John McCain in the South Carolina Republican Presidential primary of 2000” (261) via an email smear. Regional Authority claims voters grow interested in local elections as local power increases. In the discussion of his findings Burroughs has little to say on lurking but notes people began to “self-censor as they became aware that divergent viewpoints in their social network” (272). Creating and spreading New Mexico history memes would accomplish this. individual persons would need to distinguish themselves form the “standard” or “expected” party policies by advertising their policies. history. which in turn leads to improved conditions in New Mexican cities.

but my recommendations are by no means perfect. any persons running for public office should give a publicly available and easily assessable summery of their policies and positions on a will maintained discussion board. I discovered memetics as an adequate solution. I researched this problem and solutions. affairs and history of local government and should be expanded. 5 . education concerning the powers.Recommendations Given my preceding anamnesis.  Secondly.  Thirdly and finally. Conclusion My personal experience lead me to see the problem of local elections being forgotten. avenues for memes about local officials and their policies should be created or improved upon. I have three recommendations for the government of Albuquerque:  I recommend firstly.

Arjan H. " Rapid transit debate heads to City Council on Monday night. "The business of memes: memetic possibilities for marketing and management. Benjamin.html." Comparative Political Studies 46.5 (2013): 631-662. 21 Mar.4 (2000): 272-279.abqjournal. Salutes and an Agonistic Politics in the 2012 Presidential Election." Management Decision 38. https://www. Dan. Ricard. "Congruence between regional and national elections. Russell. Oxford University Press (1989) McKay. "FCJ-165 Obama Trolling: Memes. Accessed 17 Mar. Williams. The Selfish Gene." Albuquerque Journal. 2017.com/743584/rapid-transit-debate-heads- to-city-council. Burroughs. 6 . 2016. Dawkins." The Fibreculture Journal 22 2013: Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet (2013).Schakel.