Monday, November 6, 2006

We Only Get The Government That We Demand

Since most of  America's eligible voters fail to exercise that privilege  the case can be made that as bad as our government is, we asked for it?   After all, when most of the population doesn't vote they are telling politicians that they don't care one way or the other what they do.  
But if Americans don't care enough to save ourselves should the rest of the world have to suffer from our economic and foreign policies?  Everytime an American does or does not cast a vote he/she not only affects his/her own life but the lives of millions of people around the globe. 
Think about it!
ABC News: Why Do So Few People Vote in the U.S.?

WASHINGTON - Government of the people, by the people, will be missing a lot of people Election Day. It's a persistent riddle in a country that thinks of itself as the beacon of democracy.

Why do so few share the light?

Compare U.S. voting with foreign voting and it's not a pretty sight.

Americans are less apt to vote than are people in other old democracies, in new ones, in dangerous places, dirt poor ones, freezing cold ones, stinking hot ones and highly dysfunctional ones. 
Even that theocratic "axis of evil," Iran, has bragging rights over the United States in this regard.  So does chaotic Iraq, where an estimated 70 percent of voters cast ballots in December parliamentary elections.

Participation, paradoxically, is highest in states where making it to a polling station can be misery on a wintry day. Minnesota, Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming are among states that lead the nation in getting voters out, and they put the Sunbelt to shame.

In 2004, a polarized year when everyone remembered the near dead heat four years earlier, turnout climbed over 60 percent edging a little closer to the likes of Iran, Iceland and Somalia.

Some of the best states for voter turnout have conveniences such as same-day registration. But it is their culture of civic engagement that is most credited for their relative success.

The expansion of absentee voting in many states has yet to produce a clear spike in overall participation.

The United States lags about 130 countries in voter participation. Discount ones that enforce compulsory voting laws fewer than a dozen and America's standing hardly improves.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


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