@Mark – You make some very excellent points, especially concerning voting on issues/candidates you may not care about or know nothing about. As you stated above, “Just exactly how many things, at how many levels, can we expect citizens to have an opinion about?”
I for one have trouble keeping up with my day-to-day personal life and work since chemo has robbed me of much of my memory capacity. I find that keeping up with so much politics is extremely difficult and really hard for me. Not only that, I have to make a choice in life about what I will devote my time and energy to keeping up with…my life, my health, my work, my friends, my family, my hobbies, my charities…or the blah, blah talking heads that change every 2, 4 or 6 years depending on the level of government.
I like Mark’s idea that people choose what level they focus on and some people choose all levels, but others choose only one perhaps. But there is nothing wrong with either decision. Each decision is made on an individual level and for individual reasons. In a democracy (which we really aren’t; we are a republic) but under a democratic vote every is entitled to choose to vote or abstain and questioning an abstension isn’t really an option.