It never before felt so good to vote. I’ve never felt so desperate to get us all on a track beyond name calling and rock throwing. Voter turnout is always discouraging, and I’ve wondered how different the outcome would be if 99% of us voted for the people and measures we agreed with. Theoretically, it would be what the majority of us were happy with. Government decisions might not be in sync with all of my own values, but at least they would ring true for more people than they do now.
There was that ONE time when I didn’t bother to vote, but then felt guilty for weeks afterwards. The truth is I was too damn lazy to read my voter pamphlet. Besides, my one vote wouldn’t really make a difference in how things turned out. That was my bogus thinking then… but I’m smarter now.
The logic is compelling. When less than 50% of voters show up at the polls, it’s that minority—sometimes as small as 30%— who will make all the decisions for those of us who didn’t bother. Majority doesn’t end up ruling and, in my mind, it’s supposed to. This simple fact keeps me on track.
I’m imagining what it would be like if everyone voted, and have contemplated how different things would be if it was mandatory. Australia and Greece are two of the 22 countries that have already made it compulsory.
In Oregon, it’s easy. We have mail-in ballots so all it takes is a stamp. The challenge is in understanding the convoluted language of ballot measures, but the desire to do something valuable—to be of value—is strong. This is the first time I feel like my voice, my choice, and my opinion will matter. One more week to go. Anticipation is high.
Some days I fantasize about living in a place where cooperation is valued above all else, but then again I do own several pairs of rose colored glasses!
Weeded out this week: The notion that my opinion and my actions don’t matter in the larger scheme of things. The whole is always made of little pieces.