10/23/06 — No vote, no voice: Keeping quiet on Election Day no way to run a country

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No vote, no voice: Keeping quiet on Election Day no way to run a country

The new prediction from the ever-vigilant political pundits is that many Americans — in this case, primarily Republicans — will not be heading to the polls this November to protest what they see as a total failure to meet objectives by their representatives in Congress.

Discouraged by a lack of success in Iraq and some recent scandals — including the Mark Foley mess — these pundits say some Americans are keeping their votes to themselves to make a statement.

This is one time where it is especially important to prove them wrong.

Keeping away from the ballot box is not the answer to lackluster representation. Getting involved in the political process is.

If voters don’t like the decisions their party’s candidate is making, they can attend meetings during the nomination process and come up with an alternative. Or, if they really think their party has turned to an agenda they don’t support, they can consider the ideas presented by the other candidate. Voting for the candidate who most represents your goals and values is much more important than making sure your party carries the vote on Election Day.

And, once a representative has been elected, there is nothing to say that a voter cannot make sure he or she stays true to his or her campaign promises.

This is a critical mid-term election for both parties. In many cases, there are wide differences in the points of view they have over some key issues facing this nation.

Keeping silent now is the same as sending a note saying “do what you want” to Congress. And we all know how dangerous that can be.

Have a voice. Cast your vote. It is the right choice.

Published in Editorials on October 23, 2006 12:31 PM