Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

    The importance of voting from an ineligible voter

    Jon Stewart said it best on Oct. 15, the day after Canada’s most recent national election: “Conservative party leader Stephen Harper beats Liberal party leader Stephane Dion by a vote of … 7 to 4!”

    I’ve actually gotten over the fact that Stephen Harper is still prime minister of Canada.
    He still only has a minority government, meaning that his Parliament will still be checked by Liberal, New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois members.

    Despite his penchant for Rove-Bush policies and politics, he does seem at least to be on top of Canada’s response to the global financial crisis. He delivered a six-point plan soon after his re-election that included conversations with European Union and G7 nation leaders about how to work together in this rapidly globalizing world.

    Bush apparently even gave him a call to congratulate him on his victory.

    What really still bothers me about the election is Canada’s historically low voter turnout.

    An estimated 59.1 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls this year, only slightly worse than the 60.9 percent turnout for Liberal Paul Martin when he ran for election in 2004.

    Now, the 2004 U.S. election turnout was only 56.69 percent, but Canada’s national average is actually 76 percent, making this year’s election dismal in comparison.

    It’s strange to think of the national apathy, and, granted, national fatigue, over Canadian politics, when just down south in the States there seems to be a real shift in voting demographics and a surprisingly large number of newly registered voters, mostly incited either in support of or resistance to Barack Obama.

    As a Canadian citizen barred from participating in my own country’s national election due to my prolonged U.S. residency, I balk at the thought that people in Canada who could have learned something about Dion’s Green Shift plan or inquired into an alternative for Harper’s foreign policies and come to some kind of conclusion about who they wanted to vote for decided somewhere along the way not to.

    Now we’ve just wasted a bunch of money to get another Conservative minority government, which technically was the exact same situation that lead to this election in the first place.
    I just don’t get it. What did we hold the election for, if no one was going to vote in it?

    The importance of voting may be hard to grasp until you find yourself in a position like mine, where you can’t do it.

    I am caught between two countries’ governments and cannot influence either of them.
    So please, take a lesson from Canada and a personal plea from me, and vote. Unless you’d like to release the precious little control you have over this world and let other people decide what happens for you.

    Look to Canada, and see if you want the same thing to happen in November.

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      Unpretentious_DivaDec 30, 2008 at 12:59 am

      If voting is truly our most fundamental right, then all other rights — including free speech, property, even life — are contingent on and revocable by the whims of the voting public (or their elected officials) and that is what happens in India.
      The democratically selected government by majority of West Bengal did confiscate the property of Nandi gram villagers forcibly to suffice its whims of SEZ.
      Taslima Nasreen is forced out of a state to another state to another… because “the majority voters” hate her”. Every body knows what happened in Gujarat riots was culpable, but majority votes for supporting the wrong, the crime, furthermore, there seems to be no “Just” option other than the wrong. Congress proves to be just the other face of the coin of wrong of BJP.
      India, thus is a society based not on Individual Rights and Freedom, but and unlimited majority rule—just like an Ancient Athens, where the public, exercising “the most fundamental right of citizenship,” voted to kill Socrates for stating the unpopular ideas. Or may be India is just like the modern day Zimbabwe, where the democratically elected Robert Mugabe seized the property of farmers and caused the nation to reach the edges of starvation. Ohh well India already has experienced the similar fate under the most popular and democratically elected Politician of India Ms. Indira Gandhi, The dictator of emergency period. One must not forget that Germany was also a democratic country supporting the “right to vote” as “the fundamental right of freedom”. The majority voted for Adolf Hitler, to turn Democratic Germany to a Nazi Germany. Will India follow the same trend?
      Can Indian citizen claim that it is perfectly acceptable to kill or punish controversial philosophers, writers, painters or to exterminate six million Jews, so long as popularity majority vote supports it?
      Democracy is not a system that holds public elections for government officials, it is a system in which majority vote rules everything and everybody and leaves no freedom no right for the Individual, the smallest minority.

      The Impass of Democracy–Voting is NOT a solution, it is a killer.