Kick-ass rant by the Chronicle’s Mark Morford on the State of American Apathy.
Voter turnout, comparatively, in Italy, Spain, the U.K., or Germany? Anywhere from 75 to 92 percent, every time. The sad fact is, the United States ranks 139th out of 172 countries in voter turnout. Wave that flag proudly, baby.
It goes on, gets better. On what it would take to shake America out of a stupor that, however improbable/impossible it seems, causes it to look at the smirking face of George Bush on the television and think to themselves, “I trust that man.”
Or maybe it’s something entirely different, maybe some sort of potent, unimaginable spiritual enlightenment that looks like revelation and smells like Vishnu and sounds like harmonic convergence and tastes like Buddha and has nothing whatsoever to do with fundamentalism or Christianity or Bush’s angry homophobic flag-wavin’ God. The mystics say we’re very close. They claim the next decade will offer, to those who care to participate, one helluva transformational vibrational wallop. Possible?
Worth the read.
4 Replies to “Smells Like Vishnu”
In Greece people over 18 *must* vote, or they will get sued by the state. You can get around and not vote if you:
1. You are 300 Khm away of your home where you are supposed to vote.
2. If you are sick (in which case you need a doctor’s “ok”).
This might sound like “dictatorship” to some, however, Greeks see it as the ultimate democracy. It was like that in ancient Athens too: the men had to vote — because that was the least they could do for democracy and the running of the state, or they would be exiled. Not voting is like “not caring”, and if someone doesn’t care about the commons, he/she has no right to be part of the nation.
IMHO, voting should be mandatory. It’s that important.
Unfortunately, the Silent Majority here in Australia are forced to Vote too, and some Political Analysts have blamed the Re-election of the Incumbent Government on Voter Apathy.
They’d rather not vote, but since they have to vote, they’ll vote for whoever is currently running the country.
I think it is the same problem from the Opposite End in the US. They silent Majority are disillusioned by both Sides so would rather not vote than vote for either of the two evils.
If the Average Australian took more interest in the Reality of Politics, and realised that we have Preferential Voting system (so you can’t “Throw away your Vote”) there would be more diversity in the Australian Government. Currently, we have both the Upper and Lower Houses controlled by one Unscrupulous Party who are already planning on relieving the Senate of it’s ability to Veto bad Policy ever again.
Interesting debate. In principle, I like the idea of mandatory voting. If you’re going to live in a society and benefit from it, you’d be better be ready to participate. The trouble is, as Daniel sees in Australia, is that so many people *aren’t* ready to participate, have no idea what’s going on, and the participation of these people is detrimental. So unless one can guarantee a certain level of *attention* in the citizenry, mandatory voting guarantees that the vote will be highly polluted by idiocy. And given that choice, I’ll take voluntary voting.
I know that in this country, mandatory voting would result in an easy Bush win, since nobody reads newspapers and the level of civic education is so low.
I always thought the law should be something like…”You don’t have to vote, but by not doing so you waive your right to complain.”
It would certainly lower the amount of legal speech on the blogosphere, tho…8)