Monday, April 19, 2010

From the Left: Educational Electorate Ennui

Recently, I've become involved in (yet another) political campaign, this one a school district bye-election to fill a vacant seat. In this admittedly rather low-key affair there is still an enormous amount of work to do, and in my umpteenth volunteering stint in a campaign, very little time to do it.  Sadly, the huge majority of "citizens" don't take part in their democratic duty, and see no problem with their lack of involvement with the ballot box. When asked on the phone if it's more convenient for them to vote in the advance poll or the regular one, they respond with pride, "I don't vote municipally," or worse yet, "I don't vote - they don't do anything anyway." Beside the immediate frustration over not getting my candidate's message across I have a greater fear that people everywhere have grown tired of "government" and the political processes by which we elect them. When I have one of these people on the phone, I try to make clear to them that because so few people vote in any school board bye-election, this is one time that their very vote may indeed be the one to decide the election. They don't realize it, but their power to influence this outcome is greater in these elections that many others they may sit out. It's disheartening to think our kids educational future depends on people like this.