Thursday, February 07, 2008

The power to vote for change

This post is a reflection on the comment left on yesterdays post. The question as to why is it that the elections in the USA and the impact globally on the environment and the economy are not mentioned.

What I would like to do is to reflect on what it means to vote, and what the effects of that are personally and globally.

As a child, accompanying my parents to vote, to the polling station I would always ask them who they were going to vote for. The answer was always. I do not know yet. When they left the building in which we were not allowed to enter I would ask my parents, so who did you vote for and was told, I cannot remember? As a child I felt this was an odd response, thinking they must have a strange sort of memory loss, but it was not until later in life that I realised that your political orientation can in many countries be the death of you.

What would I tell my children about elections? Voting is your ability as an adult to make a choice. Remember that what counts for the candidates is that you vote and vote for them. What happens after the election when they are in office, matters little at the time of campaigning. Such it is when companies want you to buy a new car, a holiday, something that you may or may not want. A picture is created that you buy into and so when you have bought it, you may discover that either it is exactly what they told you it was going to be, or it was a lie and you have been sold something that turns out to be completely different.

How would you choose how to vote? That depends on your values and beliefs and eventually each person who votes is making a choice by matching the things they have been told about the candidate, whether it matches with their values and beliefs and whether in the future they think the person is going to carry these election promises through.

Does voting matter? Yes it does. If the party you would have voted for misses 51 votes to get a majority and 52 people out there did not vote because they felt their vote would not make a difference, then I would say, they made a choice not to vote and therefore the result is one they have contributed to by their action of not voting.

Does voting matter in the USA and its global impact? Yes primarily and foremost to the citizens of the USA and depending on the outcome, it will affect us globally based on the decisions made by the successful candidate on a global scale; for better and for worse.

Making changes globally also starts with me and you, at home and ripples out into our communities, our countries and eventually globally. Whatever small change you make at home will have an effect. There is no way that I can influence a change in the USA by making comments on the election process, candidates etc as it would not be my place to do so.But if you are an Amercian Citizen, then yes, you can make a choice that will influence the future.

What I am saying is that as human beings we are given an opportunity every once in a while to say whether we agree or disagree with this or that, and voting matters wherever you are; whether you choose to vote or not is a personal decision but whichever way you vote will have an effect on you, your community, your country and the world. We are lucky in that we can vote without fear of our lives and that we live in a country where voting is safe; there are other countries where expressing your opinions is not safe. In some countries people make the choice to vote whilst knowing that doing so could endanger their lives. These people are making a very difficult choice. That brings me back to the way my parents reacted to their vote being cast. I am not sure that they had a short memory, but with their actions they instilled a principle within me that voting was important, personal and a matter of choice. As an adult, I am therefore considered able to make my own choice and that may be different to theirs. If you are due to vote next week you are given an opportunity to make a choice. and that is a privilege that many do not have.

1 comment:

brad said...

The thing that bothers me about the voting process is that the candidates are voted upon based on campaign promises, but many of those are forgotten once they are in office. That person becomes a tool of the lobbyists and a disappointment to many of those who voted them into office.