Is it just me, or did this seem like the longest election campaign in the history of democracy?
Seriously, the primaries seemed to take forever and a day to get through. Every single word a perspective candidate said was scrutinized to death in search of hidden meanings. It felt like being instructed to play a Pink Floyd album backwards in search of subliminal messages.
Finally when I was sick to death of hearing the daily goings on of Mitt Romney, Rudolph Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain, they settled on the Maverick POW from Arizona. Though Biden, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all ran, it was really only ever between Clinton and Obama. Oh the waste of paper for the speeches written by candidates that never had a snowball’s chance in hell. Will the trees forgive us this one?
Cue, the balloons and patriotic music: we finally hit the conventions. Between the rhetoric and the political grandstanding I damn near lost my lunch. There was nowhere to hide.
So attention-grabbing was the U.S election that it got higher ratings than the leaders’ debate in Canada. Does anyone even know that we had election?
It is heart warming to watch an electorate engaged in the political process. There has been so much voter apathy lately that candidates have not really had to work to get elected. The populace has just generally assumed that no matter which candidate emerged victorious, that their lives were not going to change, and so they avoided voting.
The real shame is that it took racist and sexist attacks for people to finally engage. We have become so jaded that democracy for its own sake seems meaningless, but voting to stand against “isms” seems somehow more justified.
Don’t misinterpret what I am saying: Standing against forces that seek to create people as “other” is definitely a worthwhile endeavour, yet demanding that a government truly represent its people is equally important.
If a small amount of people vote it is their objectives that will be kept in mind by the people elected to represent us. Governments are capable of committing heinous crimes and justifying it as in the best interest of the citizenry, so we are all culpable if we do not hold them accountable on voting day. There is not an innocent amongst us.
If you are not actively striving for change and abstaining from voting as well, you are just as guilty as the bankrupt politicians and the lying media.
Simply put, in this day and age there is no excuse to live in ignorance of the issues.
It may not seem relevant that some tiny nation state is undergoing a food crisis, however in a globalized world the fate of one quickly becomes the fate of all. As the gap between rich and poor increases and daily we are informed of the start of yet another conflict there is no better avenue to change than by voting.
As tired as we have become by the rhetoric and the grandstanding, now is not the time to tune out. While we must always be suspicious of those that seek to lead, apathy is not the solution. The alternatives to democracy, fascism and totalitarianism, are not what the world needs.
The only way to fight corruption is to take a stand. No matter what your position, stand up and vote. If you are going to consent to be ruled, at least take the time to ensure that your leader will at least attempt to legislate on your behalf.
“The government of the people” – remember?