[UPDATE] Citizen's Election Season Survival Guide

*** UPDATE 10-21-2010 ***
Village Square Press Release -
Weary Voters Provided 'Survival Guide' Tips
to Navigate through Negative Election Season

Tallahassee, FL - To help voters who are weary of a barrage of negative ads and soon to face a crowded ballot, the Tallahassee‐based Village Square today released a "Voter Survival Guide" to help the electorate through the next two weeks.
The Village Square is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to civil and factual
discussions on the important issues of our time. The "Survival Guide" includes some whimsical common sense tips to assist Floridians in navigating the treacherous waters in a sea of negative 2010 campaigning. Here is the guide:


Fight Like Founding Fathers, who did not have the luxury to stop talking with each other... they had a country to build (and so do we). Disagree – even enthusiastically – without making it personal. Understand the ballot without attending law school. Use “We the Wiki: Democracy 2.0” to understand Florida amendments, online at www.wiki.tothevillagesquare.org.
Add professional polarizers to the ranks of the unemployed. Beware (and turn off) information sources that make big bucks if you stay mad.
Keep good company online.

• DON'T read blog comments
• DO talk to your friends but…
• DON'T read their forwarded junk emails
• DO make Snopes, Politifact and Factcheck.org your favorite sites to find out what’s true
• DON'T pay too much attention to sources with a fixed point of view
Heal old wounds rather than continue to fight old fights. If we can bring Florida Recount foes together in
our “Florida Recount + 10 years” dinner, most old wounds can be healed.
Give THE HAND to white hot combustible politics. Don’t vote for candidates who invoke Hitler.

Have lunch across the aisle. Invite a friend who doesn’t see politics your way to lunch. We’ll enter your names to win Village Square dinner tickets if you write a blog post about it.

Separate Signal from NOISE.
• DON’T assume that extreme allegations are true
• DO assess the credibility of your source
• DO measure the fundamental beliefs of a candidate against yours and vote accordingly
Make a politician mad: Don't cast your vote based on a 30‐second ad.
Refuse to go tribal. There’s a lot of groupthink in today’s political dialogue. Why not be unique? Let the sheep jump off the cliff without you.

Lend and borrow sugar regularly. Despite all the disagreement in America, we're still neighbors.
Vote early, then step away from the television set. While everyone else is being pelted with toxic TV ads, you'll be fishing.

Find an expanded edition of this guide online at:
The Village Square is 501c3 nonprofit. Online at www.tothevillagesquare.org (850) 264‐8785


It's exactly two weeks to General Election Day, and many voters are growing weary in their decision making.

A group of community leaders have come up with a way to try to help.
Many voters say they're tired of the attack ads, tired of the automatic phone calls and everybody telling them what to do.

A non-partisan group came up with this little handbook to help voters survive through this election season.

We all disagree at times.

"That somehow makes you a bad person and that's ridiculous." Said, Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge.

Republican Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge says he and Democratic Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer are the perfect example of people with different views getting along to make a difference.

They work with a non-partisan, non-profit called The Village Square, which has come up with "The Citizens' Guide for Surviving the 2010 Election Season."

Tip one: Fight Like Founding Fathers, who did not have the luxury to stop talking with each other.

Also, have lunch across the aisle.

"People get caught up in the rhetoric and you're right and I'm wrong or you're good and you're bad based on a political view . People need to set their personal beliefs, not to the side, but they need to talk a little more factually."

The group says 68 percent of people are in the middle when it comes to candidates and issues and says that's why voters should not get caught up in campaign ads -- Separate signal from Noise.

Leon County resident Jeff Victorine says that's why he voted early.

Victorine said, "I'm just ready to put those negative ads behind us. I've had enough of it so I figured I'd do my part and move it along."

But, the survival guide warns, vote early, then don't worry.

Ziffer said, "When you've went and you've gone and bought a car, they call it buyer's remorse because once you have it, it doesn't feel quite right Be happy with what you have. Be happy with your decision and move on."

Other tips include: Understand the ballot by attending forums and doing research; and refuse to go tribal, meaning be unique, don't let the group think for you.

For more tips and information on the election season survival guide, go to www.wiki.tothevillagesquare.org, or call (850) 264-8785

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