Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What voting means to me

In response to a request on a newsgroup, I posted this:

When we vote, we honour those whose struggles made possible the freedoms we cherish. We remember Emily Pankhurst. We remember Birmingham, Alabama. From the Mississippi Delta, to the Townships in South Africa, and in every country in the democratic world, we owe our rights, and have a duty towards, those brave people who struggled and died to create a fairer world.

So when I vote, I vote with conviction and with pride. My parents, among many, were in the forefront of the struggle for the rights of the less fortunate in our country, so when I vote, I honour their commitment too. I vote also to show my children that Dad feels this is both a right to be exercised, and an obligation to be proud of.

We are *quaint* over on Right Pond .... we still put a pencil cross on a piece of paper, which is then counted by hand by lot's of volunteers. Whether a pencil or a thumbprint, postal ballot or button to press on some fancy smancy gadget, it matters not.

What does matter is that you vote. Voting isn't *optional*, it's an obligation you inherited with the bald eagle on the front of the little blue passport. Not voting isn't *abstaining*, it's copping out! If you want to abstain, get to the voting station, and spoil your vote. If you choose not to vote, then you give up the right to make any comment about the performance of those persons elected to represent you and your country. You dishonour the real heros. It's your choice.

Black, White, Christian, Jew, Gay, Redhead, Native American, Democrat, Republican ..... whoever you are and whoever you want to vote for, all that matters tomorrow is that you do it.

Then you can walk or drive home thinking:

"I did what I could, with my hand on my heart, to make this world a better place when I leave it, than it was when I arrived"

my non-partisan 2p


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