My favorite politicians

Today is our primary election in Washington State. Seattle Times writer Kate Riley has published an insightful column about “my favorite politicians.”

Speaking about the recent loss of Doreen Marchione, former Redmond mayor and remarkable public figure, Riley wrote:

“Candidates running for local offices on the council, school board or for mayor are my favorite politicians. Too often the job is thankless and even unpleasant…This is the hard work of government—officials stealing time from their families to tackle the mundane, including balancing budgets, and the dramatic with neighborhoods warring over growth.”

It’s a splendid tribute to Doreen Marchione and to all of you elected officials at the local level who keep our streets open, our water flowing, our schools and cities functioning.

Kudos, and may your worth be recognized by the public as they vote today.


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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.


  1. Kaimana on August 8, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Aloha Ann,

    I had been searching for an answer about abstentions when the Senate votes during its advice and consent portion of treaty making. I found an old post by you explaining how abstentions affect the votes, but I’m still lost.

    So the constitution says that the President “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur” (Article II, section 2).

    My question is how do abstentions affect the 2/3rds requirement? Say the vote was 42 to 21, with 26 abstentions, would that pass?

    I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find an answer. Any help would be appreciated.



    • Ann Macfarlane on August 8, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Aloha Kaimana! Please check out another blog post, Counting a vote wrong is dangerous.

      Under the scenario you describe, 89 senators are present. 42 vote in favor, 21 vote against, 26 do nothing (they abstain). Since the requirement is “two-thirds of senators PRESENT,” the vote would fail. Two-thirds of 89 is 60, and 42 votes are not two-thirds.

      Does this help? Thanks for writing! Mahalo, Ann