Poltical discussions at the bar the other night became quite interesting when some stranger and I got into it hardcore about the merits of Mike Huckabee's idea to abolish the income tax, a cornerstone of the Arkansas governor's campaign. Eventually, the dude started to make fun of my blazer, and I stopped talking to watch the New Hampshire primary results return. (Also, the jacket is blue velvet and perfectly tailored. It's untouchable.) As usual, more worthwhile discussions took place among a table of my friends. We covered Obama's vagueness, Hilary's questionable appeal, the lack of green awareness, etc. What I found interesting was the level of interest shared by me and my peers -- not only in the parties we identify with, but also with the opposition. Part of this comes from primary season, when things are fresh and fun; part comes from having several candidates on each side talking about pretty different strategies; part comes from John McCain's centrist appeal.

One thing is clear: This election matters to young people.

That's why you'll be getting balanced, interesting political coverage from Alive -- and this blog -- in the coming months. We'll cover the basics about the confusing political process, encourage readers to vote and provide a look at the issues that appeal to our demographic. Sadly, these are often overlooked.

We're eager to pose your burning questions to the candidates, so send us ideas for what you'd like to see. This could be anything from candidate profiles, localized stories about big issues, basic voting info and other topics. Comment here or email me at jross@columbusalive.com.