I’ve heard there may be, well, a few folks in the U.S. who won’t be voting today.
My feeling on the matter is clear: Barring extenuating circumstances, failing to vote is laziness or misguidedness. It is not a vote for change, or a vote for protest. It is simply not a vote.
Don’t like the candidates from the ‘big’ parties? Research about the candidates from the non-mainstream parties and find which are closest to your views.
Can’t find ANYONE at all to vote for for the big races? Well, in most jurisdictions, there are still many propositions, school board members, and many other local officials to vote for. Keep in mind that some of the most charming “I don’t believe in science / evolution” schoolboard members have been elected in our country due to voter apathy and inaction, probably from folks who were just ‘conscientious objectors’ to the voting process. So yeah, those votes do make a difference, they really do.
So steamed about the process that you can’t even stomach supporting any proposition or any person? At least go to vote and submit an empty ballot. That says that at least you cared enough to vote.
In Australia, voting is mandatory, and — from what my Australian friends have told me — few grumble about it there.
I know that no countries and no political systems are perfect, but something tells me that they likely have fewer [bleep’d] up politicians there and less corruption than we have.
Back here in the U.S., you can write letters, you can be “aware,” you can know the candidate’s brothers’ wife’s standard poodle’s favorite dinner food, but until you punch that ballot or hit that touch screen, you’re still giving up not only one of your rights, but IMHO, one of your responsibilities.
What concerns me most is that, as others have noted, the lower that voter turnout dips, the more inclined our local and federal governments are to simply ignore The People. You can claim that you’re sending a message, and indeed you are. The message is: Tax me more, [bleep] up my medical care, meddle with other countries’ governments, mess up the environment, spend public assistance money on campaign airfare, screw me over! I’m going to stay home with my Cheetos because I don’t care what you fatcats do. You’re certainly not accountable to ME!
At minimum, promise me, promise everyone that you’re not gonna bitch one iota about our society unless you voted, or until you do vote next time ’round.