OK, so there's not a lot to get excited about in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary election.
Mitt Romney has locked up the Republican nomination for president, and the Democrats seem sufficiently happy with President Barack Obama that no one from that party is challenging.
There are virtually no local or regional races. Republican state Rep. Kathy Rapp is unopposed from within her party since the gentleman from Forest County who announced a run a few months ago didn't make it on the ballot. Republican state Sen. Joe Scarnati is unopposed, of course. Republican state Sen. Mary Jo White is retiring and state Rep. Scott Hutchinson seems poised to assume the GOP nod to seek her place in the upper chamber of the General Assembly.
Yes, Republicans have a large field from which to choose for U.S. Senate - David Christian, Sam Rohrer, Marc Scaringi, Tom Smith and Steve Welch. Democrats have incumbent Sen. Robert Casey and Joseph Vodvarka of Pittsburgh.
Do you see a void in this primary?
We do. It's the dearth of candidates for Pennsylvania General Assembly.
One might think that the Keystone State is an island of prosperity, a place where there are no problems for which a legislature can find solutions, a place where school districts are fully funded and there are no worries about crime or the environment, and social services are available to everyone who needs them.
More importantly, one might assume that things are so good in Pennsylvania that there is no need for debate or discussion of the things that might sully that utopian portrait.
We will still urge people to the polls tomorrow, but we will also urge the two major parties to put their candidates where their mouths are. The other parties are welcome to wade into the fray in the fall.
If you want voters to turn out in droves, give them people to vote for; give them debates on issues that will pique their interest. Our system of democracy works best when it is robust.
So far in this election year in Pennsylvania we haven't seen the interest to generate anything close to robust.