Comment 72378

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2011 at 08:39:37 in reply to Comment 72374

Who knows: maybe it turns out that people decide, "Well, if I've got to vote anyway, I might as well figure out who to vote for,"...

I somehow doubt it.

And to really crank my cynicism up another notch, most people who vote in Hamilton consider that the fait accompli in terms of their 'obligations'. That's not anything I'm interested in reinforcing.

I should probably just post about this on one of my own sites, but in the meantime, this:

-Mandating voting is like mandating intimacy in a marriage. If it is 'compulsory' for a husband to tell his wife he loves her three times a day, where do you suppose this gets him/her/them? Isn't a better goal to inspire intimacy so that it can be more authentic? Doesn't any partner want 'the good stuff' to result from the right motivations? Maybe I'm being an idealist in framing things this way, but then I'm the guy who believes the answer to littering isn't garbage crawls, or tougher by-laws...it's addressing the dearth of 'pride-of-place' and 'respect of environs' that allows for littering. (Oh, and the unconscious, spiteful anger attached, too.)

-I have already spoken with Larry Pomerantz of The Hamilton Civic League about aiming for a 10% increase in voter turnout for 2014, to 50%. How? My feeling is attached to something I had intended to share at the conclusion of the Town Halls Hamilton inaugural event:

“You don’t play sports to get in shape. You get in shape to play sports."

That piece of sage advice was provided by a family doctor and family friend ages ago. And its wisdom is just as solid now as it was then, four decades in the past.

I believe the same can be said for effecting change within your neighbourhood, your community, your city: you don’t dive into substantive, contentious issues in the hope that you can generate civic engagement. You generate civic engagement so that you’re better equipped to address substantive, contentious issues when they begin to unfold."

So to me, getting more people out to vote means little if they're paying lip-service to the process, or, as the nearly two-thirds of voters did in the 2006 election, voted according to 'name recognition'.

I want the expression of a resident's contribution to great local governance to be far more than just a ballot cast.

And I want it to be far more than showing up for a rally or a protest, or clicking 'Like' on a Facebook page.

I want, as is the case in good parenting, for there to be an investment, a mindful awareness of what's going on, and for that person to participate in the process well beyond exercising their franchise every four years.

Call me a dreamer, but I'm no more of one than those choosing to spend time kvetching and complaining and otherwise mucking up the big picture.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-12-19 08:50:41

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