Do Not Spite Your Face

A little background: our muncipal election is coming up on the 27th and 23 people are running for 5 positions, plus the mayor and deputy-mayor seats are facing challenges. People are very upset about internet and phone voting, and there is a petition with over 2000 names on it trying to convince council in our small town of Kingsville to have a paper ballot vote–which at this stage is impossible. Some people are threatening not to vote–so this column is in answer to that–tell me what you think about the subject. Personally I think it is a tempest in a teapot as the town is providing sites where people can get help if they are not sure how to go about it.

Controversy: public dispute or debate. There is a bit of a brouhaha brewing in our fair town and I must say it does make life a little bit more interesting. A petition signed by hundreds of residents riled by the way we are expected to vote in the upcoming election is being brought to the attention of Kingsville Council and Administration. People are not happy. And I understand. If I did not have a resident IT guy (my youngest son) on the premises I might be unhappy too, but I am sure that he will help walk me through the process of voting.

I am, however, not too happy to hear that some people are threatening not to vote because they do not like the idea of internet and phone voting. Of all elections, voting in your local municipal election is important—these are the people who will be making decisions for you—and if you do not cast your ballot, are you going to get the representatives you want?
That old chestnut, “cutting your nose off to spite your face” comes to mind, because really if you do not vote, who is it going to hurt? You. And why? Because you are not taking the opportunity to get your voice heard. It is so rare these days that we are afforded a platform to be heard that we should probably not miss out when the occasion arises.

I must say that the choices we have in this municipality are mind-boggling. We have a lot of choice and a lot to consider. I must give kudos to my colleague, Steve I’Anson for providing a run-down of each candidate in last week’s paper—you heard from them in their own voice, and their responses should help you make a decision as to who you are going to vote for. I cannot stress enough though that despite your unrest and uncertainty and perhaps even anger, that you should cast your votes.

On the face of it, I do not think that voting online is really going to be all that bad—and by the end of the week I will be able to find out first hand. I think I will vote early (but not often as Al Capone advised) to put myself out of my misery. I have been considering who to vote for to sit on council for weeks and will be glad to have the decision made and my mind quieted. (Admittedly I have a vested interest as I have to listen to these guys and gals on a weekly basis at sometimes very long council meetings.)

A Little Bit of Silliness
Erma Bombeck, in her reliably wry way once said, “Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It’s too controversial.” I understand her stance on cereal—but I am still convinced that the only way I made it through grade 13 when I was in high school was the sugar high I got from eating Captain Crunch. I also got in trouble for eating my dad’s Raisin Bran, because I would pour out a big bowl, then return a majority of flakes to the box and keep the raisins in my bowl. Dad never raised his voice to me (except when he was teaching me to drive, but I think fear had a lot to do with it) but I do remember he was none too happy with me when his share of the cereal was mostly devoid of raisins.

Back to the Topic at Hand
We are not talking cereal here though, we are talking politics. And I do disagree with Erma regarding talking about politics in public. It is necessary, but it is also necessary to treat other people’s views with respect. I respect those of you upset by internet and phone voting but I urge you to put that aside and help pick the next seven people who are going to decide where our hard earned taxes will go. I believe fervently in the democratic process and have never missed an occasion to vote (at least in memory, which at this point is a bit faulty).

Prolific storyteller, Louis L’Amour said it best: “To make democracy work, we must be… participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”

Do you agree with Louis?

Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm  Comments (17)  

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lou Ann This is the first I’ve heard of voting this way Is it only certain places that are doing this? While I understand that it may seem that it is a bit uncertain…. perhaps this is the way things will go. I guess people don’t still trust electronic type of voting… Diane

    • it is new to us and the town next to us this year–but I think you are right–if it works–it is the way of the future

  2. I do agree with Louis L’Amour–we’ve got too much history with too many people losing their lives to give us the vote–it’s wrong to withhold.
    Great post, LouAnn.

  3. Good advice, in my opinion. Change is more difficult for some people and there is a fear of the unknown. I have never heard of phone voting… we have had voting machines with touch screens for awhile here, but there are still many people who are not comfortable with computers.
    The point is, though, as you said…. Get involved and make your feelings known. That’s what it’s all about!

    • internet and phone voting are new to us this year and some people are more than a little unhappy about it–but that does not mean you should give up your vote

  4. I admit this must be a mainly generational thing because we also have local elections coming up in my city and I was thinking how much easier and more convenient things would be if we could vote online. That being said, I completely agree with you that voting is important. I understand that techy stuff can be intimidating and frustrating but not voting because of that just seems rather petty. It might achieve short-term vindictive satisfaction but in the long run, it hurts no one but themselves.

    • Yesterday internet voting was open–and it was truly simple and easy–those afraid of new technology have nothing to worry about

  5. It can be quite challenging for folks in small towns–and maybe big towns too–to change the way they’ve done things before. We’ve seen that in our town more times than I can count. We are lucky to have the privilege to vote. Thanks for highlighting that point. Even though it can be challenging, it’s better than many alternatives.

    • We could start voting yesterday and I did it on the internet–so simple and fast–people are going to wonder what they were afraid of

  6. I feel like electronic voting may be a massive change for them, and they are showing their uncertainty by acting out this way – But why would they not want to put a hand into something that will effect them in the future?

    Choc Chip Uru

    • I think most people on reflection will vote–if the issue is so important to them, then they obviously care

  7. I think it would be great to vote electronically. So much quicker and easier. You don’t have to leave the house and line up and get all those pamphlets given to you (waste of paper!!).

    • it is so easy, and you can vote in your pajamas if you want to

      • The more things I can do in my pajamas the better!!

  8. Absolutely I agree! Everyone should use their vote, it was hard won and must not be wasted! 🙂

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