By Wayne William Cipriano
Does it mean anything that when the heat of the Primary Elections for the two major parties finally came to an end, the heat of the season began? Must be climatic coincidence or perhaps an expression of Mother Nature’s sense of humor.
How can it be that in a country of 320,000,000 people what seems to be the two most hated people in the Western World are vying for popular election to the most powerful position in the world –– Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern…?
It seems that for every voter who votes for one or the other candidate, there is at least one other voter dedicated to nothing more than voting against that candidate. But, at least, citizens are voting.
Yeah, I know, this is the most important election we have ever had. Just like the last one was, and the one before that, and the next one after this one will be. All that hype plastered on us just to invigorate the bases and perhaps stir up a small portion of the uncommitted.
Aren’t we a little bent when we hear the small percentage of the registered voters who come out even during the BIG ONE, the Presidential Election? And, when we are told that only about half of all the citizen who could vote are registered and can legally do so, are we double torqued?
I heard some smart-aleck the other day glorifying in their alleged refusal to vote saying proudly, “I never vote. It just encourages them!” as if they expected adulation. And don’t you know the very next sentence out of their mouth was a condemnation of elected officials who “never listen to the people.”
There are places, enlightened democratic republics like Australia (or maybe New Zealand?) where citizens are required to vote. I have always thought that was incorrect, that citizens ought to possess the right to refrain from voting if they wish, understanding as I do many of the objections to mandatory voting. And I suppose that I still feel that way.
But, you know, we must pay taxes to finance our government, we do not have a choice. Doesn’t it seem to smack of some sort of internal logic that we should direct, through our mandatory votes, how our mandatory taxes are spent? And, if that seems right, shouldn’t we then, by a very short extension, be required to opine by our votes how the rest of our government operates?
And when so many elections hinge on the votes of citizens who directly benefit from one decision or another, and other citizens without a dog in the fight, disinterested, who will not realize gain on either side of a question, perhaps the most able judges of what would be best, refuse to vote, can we be so very surprised that government favors those least needful of that largess, the “politically powerful?” Is this what we gain by exercising our freedom to regain from voting: the existence of a permanent, self-serving, ruling class?
Forcing people to vote “for their own good” when they do not wish to vote puts me off about as much as forcing people to do a lot of stuff “for their own good.” It contradicts freedom.
But, truth be told, I may be coming around on this question. What do you think?