Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How Do You Vote?

In rich countries, most people vote every day, many times a day.  You are one of those people.

Perhaps you are not registered to vote.  Perhaps you have never stepped into a voting booth or mailed a ballot.  Nonetheless, you vote often.

You vote every time you read a story, watch a program, or listen to a song.  You vote when you buy something, visit somewhere, or pay someone.

The secret ballot is the exception rather than the rule. Safeway knows what you choose to buy.  Netflix knows what you choose to watch.  An ATM snaps your photo every time you use it.  

Yes you vote early and often.  You vote all day long, every day.

The majority may not always rule, but there is power in numbers.  One million clicks on the latest Brittney tragedy insures that the paparazzi will continue to hound her and publicize her struggles.  Double stuffed Oreos?  As more people choose them, they are stocked in more stores on more feet of shelving.

Some years back, New Coke was voted out.  Classic Coke was voted back in.  

What troubles me the most is that often we get what we vote for.  Junk food.  Crooked politicians.  Bloated CEO salaries.

We voted to give the bank execs big bucks to drive their businesses into the ground.  We voted when we used that bank, bought their stock, or ignored the proxy statements that came in the mail.  We elected the politicians that hurriedly found a trillion dollars to bail the banks out and keep the executive bonuses flowing.  

The impact of our votes can be a lot more important than a mere trillion dollars.  We smile or frown. We gossip or encourage.  Each time we choose, we influence those around us.  Do we really want more frowns and gossip?  No?  Then let us choose wisely.

Any choice is really a vote.  And any vote impacts us all to some degree.

Oh, and please remember, refusing to choose still constitutes a choice.

photo by jugbo
Post a Comment