Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Voted Today ... Did You ?

As one who was born in another country and has only being eligible to vote in the US for less than a decade, I make it a point to vote in every single election. It actually behooves me that a nation as powerful as the United States has such a poor record of voter participation in elections as especially as important as the one that we'll face in only a few weeks will be. And yet, people will continue to bitch, whine, and complain about everything under the sun as if failing to realize that we all have the ability to influence the direction of the country.

I heard a statistic lately that stated that the US ranks 139th of 172 democracies around the world in average voter participation. In Presidential Elections, when US voter participation is generally the highest, the US averages a voter turnout rate of a mere 54%. That means that, on average, as you sit in traffic watching hundreds of cars pass by or as you sit at your favorite sporting event or movie, then about 1 out of every 2 people you see decided that they have better things to do than to participate in electing the very people that will represent them in local, state, and national government and will make decisions that WILL affect their lives. And the minute that the roads in their neighborhood aren't fixed, gas prices soar sky high, or their job gets outsourced overseas, then 2 out of every 2 of those people will be the FIRST ONES to complain.

When it comes to the importance of voting, my guess is that either half the population doesn't know, doesn't care, or doesn't believe that their ONE VOTE will actually make a difference. Practically speaking, it is rare that ONE SINGLE VOTE swings an election one way or another. However, if 10 people have the attitude that "well it's only one vote", and those 10 people each convince 10 of their friends to do the same, who then each tell 10 of their friends and also convince them not to vote, that quickly adds up to 1,000 votes which WILL swing an election one way or another.

There is a tremendous amount at stake in the upcoming election and it is quite saddening to see that many of those who came out in droves to bring about a change in the direction of the nation in 2008, have thrown up their hands and are thinking about sitting out this election cause their change has not come fast enough. REAL CHANGE takes time, takes more than 1 election cycle, and is only achieved from the GROUND UP as citizens of this representative democracy fight day in and day out, from election to election, to push their agenda and force those who represent them in government to bring about policies that represent the way that they view the world. So in this coming election, make sure that YOU VOTE and then call 10 friends, and ask them to call 10 friends, who will then call 10 friends, and make sure that they ALL VOTE.

Oh and after you hang up the phone, call them back and say "oh the way, make sure you VOTE DEMOCRAT !!"

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