Saturday, November 8, 2008

All in the same vote

Across the road from where I live, on this sunny Saturday
in Wellington, there’s an orange sign with an arrow that
says VOTING. In my romantic not to say sentimental way
I find this deeply reassuring. As is the busy hall where the
the voting is taking place, with people—metamorphosed
for the day into citizens—on all sides doing their
democratic business. For this one day in three years we
can at least allow ourselves the happy delusion that what
we as ordinary people do has some consequence in the
greater world; that we can make a difference, however
fleeting. It’s a sentimental view because (a) sluggards like
like me need to do more than tick a piece of paper once
every three years if we want to make a genuine democratic
difference and (b) elections leave fundamentally
unchallenged the institutions that shape and direct
societies like ours. Still, I won’t say no to a vote. Across
the road I go, tra-la, tra-la. The sky is blue, the sun is
yellow, the leaves on the trees are green.

1 comment:

Steve Withers said...

I voted....but I also delivered almost 5000 leaflets in the week before the election for the party I supported.