By all means, if you are American, you should vote today. It is your civic right and duty. It is a necessity, if Keith Olbermann is to be believed. A low voter turnout would definitely work in favor of the religious fanatics of the tea party and the villainous Koch brothers. But what do we think is going to happen after that little piece of paper drops through the ballot box? What’s going to change?
So much expectation is placed on our elected officials these days. We expect them to heal the sick, remove blight from the land, put a chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage. It’s outright lunacy to expect politicians to keep their promises when we want them to promise us the moon.
And what are the hot-button issues of this election? Healthcare? Gay Marriage? Marijuana? In Canada, we have things like gay marriage, universal healthcare, and a laissez-faire attitude to the use of marijuana. Our society hasn’t collapsed into a Marxist oligarchy, but it is by no means paradise either. These are just a few, key, niggling details to the idea of freedom in a representative democracy. Chances are you won’t be noticeably more free after these issues are sorted out than you are right now.
Change cannot come from politicians any more. Real change is going to come from you and me. So much social progress has been made in the past 40 years that we literally have more freedom than we know what to do with. We all now have the right to get an education or start a business, but how many of us are going to exercise that right? We can envision all the things we need to do to make our countries great, but who is going to make it happen? Who is going to care enough to make it work? The answer lies not in the names on the ballot, but in ourselves.