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There will be no national election, no state election and no Calvert County election in 2013. The roadways will be blessedly free of campaign signs.

Letters to the editor wonít be forecasting the end of America as we know it if their candidate is not elected president. Well, some letter writers might still predict the nationís imminent demise; they really donít care for the president who will be sworn in for a second term later this month.

Itís not that we donít like elections; we do. They are the long, noisy, imperfect way we decide which direction our county, state and nation will head. They are an outlet and a safety valve. When politicians become arrogant, embarrass themselves or stray too far from what their constituents want them to do, they donít have to be endured endlessly or removed by force. Then can be escorted out in the next election.

But there is a time to campaign and there is time to do the job the candidates were elected to do. Now is the time to get to work.

Congress has the chance to go about repairing the damage it has done through gridlock and excessive partisanship, which have retarded the nationís economic recovery. This has had a direct impact on jobs and investment in Southern Maryland.

Weíre not among those who think Congress is populated by nothing but knaves, scoundrels and fools. But as an institution it is broken and its failure to do its basic work is disgraceful.

In this new year, members of the 113th Congress, though largely made up of the same men and women as the 112th, will have a chance to chart a new course. It could be their last chance.

In 2014 every member of the House of Representatives and one-third of the senators will be running for re-election. There will be no presidential campaign to distract votersí attention from them then.

Voters may be spared any full-bore campaign in 2013, but the reality is it wonít be a year without politics. There is no such thing. The hope, though, is that the people in Congress will see that it is in their best interest to try to impress us in 2013.

In 2014, everything save the presidency will be on the table for voters here. In addition to sending people to Congress, Marylanders will elect a new governor and theyíll pick who will serve in the state legislature. In Calvert County, weíll elect five county commissioners, two school board members, a stateís attorney, a sheriff, a circuit court clerk and a register of wills.

It will be a circus, as elections most always are, and it will point Calvert County in directions that will impact the lives of everyone who lives here in ways large and small.

But before all that, back to that new year toast. May 2013 bring blessed political silence.