Niagara Gazette

Columns

August 30, 2013

HAMILTON: Do you vote 'write'?

Niagara Gazette — No, the above headline is not a typographical error, even though it could have well been written as, “Do you vote ‘right’?”

While it may not be easier for the vote counters, with the new voting machines — it is now easier for you to actually ‘write’ in the name of the person that you think would best do the job, regardless of for whom the parties ran the petitions. Those were the people that the parties, not you, liked best.

I often hear voters proudly pound upon their chests and proclaim that, “I don’t vote for the party, I vote for the person.”

They mean well, but well, they are wrong. If the political parties chose which person(s) that will be on the ballots, then sadly, you voted for the party; you just did it through the person.

That’s not how a democracy is supposed to work; and it is probably why our city doesn’t work, either.

Did you know that politicians in that shining city on a hill across the river from our own, Niagara Falls, Ont., do not run on party lines unless they are running for a provincial (state) or federal position? If we factor that single difference out of the equation of their success, they may be in as poor condition as are we. On the other hand, if we factor it into our poor condition, we may no longer have a poor condition.

Given our shrinking population, and all of the political factors that have caused it to shrink, this year, we voters have the unique opportunity to actually vote for “the person” that we think can best do the job — even if it based solely upon the person’s past accomplishments, regardless of what and which party might indicate differently.

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