Ok, I'll bite <:-)>
I've never understood how 'electing' an official is inherently better than said official being appointed through a competitive process designed to select the best applicant (and yes, I know that the process can be subverted). I've also never understood why it's so important to know the political views of the local dog catcher. I can see why you would want a say in who is on the School board, but not why you'd have a school board in the first place (shouldn't the curriculum be set by professional educators).
Another poster made mention of the fact that if people can't complete a ballot with 30 choices, they shouldn't be voting. I'm sorry but western politicians, by their nature, seem to pander to the lowest common demnominator, so people of differing abilities will be voting. Additionally, given the low voter turnout in US elections, I'd have thought making the process as simple and efficient as possible would be in the interests of a truly participatory democracy.
And while I'm on the subject...what's with getting people to vote on a Tuesday? It certainly doesn't enfranchise those on minimum wage, working long hours who probably wouldn't be given time off work to vote.
PS if my local school was run by a 'Board', I probably would want a say on who's on the board.
I guess at the end of the day, every four years the same thing happens.....a bunch of horses run around in a circle in Australia and two blokes apply for the same job in the US. It doesn't really matter whether the winner is a horse or a human.