Excited about providing ongoing debate

The Day editorial board takes this opportunity to wish all our readers a healthy and prosperous new year and renew our pledge to continue providing on these pages and on theday.com a politically diverse debate and discussion about the policy decisions confronting our nation, state and local communities.

This newspaper approaches with great seriousness the role it plays in the clash of ideas and the search for common ground that is vitally important to the democratic process. And we recognize that you, the readers, are active participants in that process.

Fears that new outlets for citizen commentary - from social networking sites to the ability to immediately react online to stories and editorials appearing on theday.com - would mean the demise of the traditional letter to the editor have failed to materialize. The volume of letters received by The Day continues to be impressive for a newspaper this size. We try to print as many as time and space allow and you should know we appreciate your input, even when you disagree with our editorial stance.

And we listen. When for a time we dropped the writings of fiscal and social conservative Cal Thomas we heard from some of you. So you probably noticed recently that Mr. Thomas' columns are back for you to enjoy or decry. Also on the conservative side, our editorial page will continue to offer the biting and well-crafted commentary of Charles Krauthammer.

Our association with the New York Times News Service continues to provide us access to the variety of commentaries from its team of award-winning columnists. And we will continue to feature Froma Harrop, recent past president of the Association of Opinion Journalists, who offers refreshingly different perspectives on the social and political issues of the day.

Also recently added to these pages were the political cartoons of Glenn McCoy, who draws from a distinctly conservative viewpoint. He joins our gallery of political cartoonists that includes Pat Oliphant, Michael E. Luckovich and Nick Anderson, all Pulitzer Prize winners.

The intent of all this is to provide a variety of views on major national issues.

On state issues readers can expect to continue seeing the writings of Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, whose conservative commentary often serves as a counterpoint to our progressive editorials. And The Day editorial pages will remain a conduit for a variety of views expressed in guest opinions.

Among our most important responsibilities is providing a forum for the discussion of issues influencing our local communities, as only a local newspaper can. This will be particularly important in 2013, when elections will be held at the municipal level. In local government we have found that good ideas and experience can influence policy, and attract voter support, more than political labels or partisan showboating. If only it could be that way at all levels of governance.

As we move past a national election and into a new year, many of the topics that dominated the campaigns in 2012 will dictate the policy debates in 2013. At both the national and state level expect budget priorities and tax policy to remain flashpoints, along with the debate about how to get the economy moving. As for local governments, they could well end up dealing with the outfall, as state and federal aid stagnates or is cut and a greater burden transfers to property taxes.

Democracy is a participatory system. Sit it out and you let someone else decide. For those who want to engage, we will continue offering a variety of thoughts to help readers form their own opinions.

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.


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