Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day 2009

In Iran, Honduras, and Somalia; people long to do what far too few in this country can be bothered with today. In North Korea, China, and Bosnia they dream of doing what probably just a fraction of us will briefly interrupt their falsely perceived busy days to do. In Afghanistan, they hope one day to get the opportunity to attempt this once again, hopefully this time without someone intimidating them into voting a certain way or stuffing the ballot boxes to insure a proper result (and maybe with more than one candidate)

In places all over the world people either fantasize about or are crying out for the mere opportunity to experience the freedom and take up the responsibility to do such a simple thing as vote in a free election. How many of us feel the same today? How many accept the burden of the right of universal suffrage in this country? How many understand or take seriously the responsibility that they have today to choose their leaders and their laws? Far too few I suspect. 

Some will decry the low numbers and cast aspersions on the many who will not exercise this privilege, and I have been among them. I choose now instead however to show my gratitude. Far be it from me to call on people who have not taken notice, properly researched the candidates or understand the issues on the ballot to attempt to make an informed choice. Rather than their uniformed selection would I see such choices made by random chance. 

I would in fact, prefer that those of you choosing to remain uninformed of such issues keep your opinions out of the voting booth. Rather than have those of you whose only knowledge comes from reading a daily newspaper, listening to TV and radio commercials, or using the talking points of your local union leaders decide the future of the city and state that I live in; I would prefer that you keep the firm grasp that you appear to have on your aggressive ignorance to yourself and out of the ballot booth. 

We have the opportunity today to vote on a local level for both our new mayor and for city council members. For the first time since the institution of the strong mayor form of government in Toledo neither Jack Ford nor Carty Finkbeiner will be on the ballot. Because of this, change of some type will occur in the city that I call home. New faces appear as well on the city council ballot (as well as a couple of tired old names). These people will decide the direction that this city will take for the foreseeable future and likewise decide if we get out of the political and economic doldrums that this city has suffered under for far too long. 

It bodes as a major turning point in this city and I only hope that we can take advantage of it. On a state level, there are a number of issues on the ballot this year, some that I have spoken out on, some not. I have given such opinions as I chose both here in this blog, and in my columns in the Toledo Free Press. I urge you to read them if you are curious. 

Since it is Election Day however, I will not try to further influence your vote. After all, I don't want the McCain-Feingold police giving me or my work any closer scrutiny than they may already be. It should be a quiet election day for me this year, as unlike last year's circus, I have not been asked to do live blogging as the election results begin to come in. I urge each of you however busy you are, to get out and make an informed choice on election day, even if it is not the one that I would make.  
(I also ask each of you to thank whatever God that you pray to that they no longer close the bars on election day. I have a terrible feeling that we're going to need a stiff drink to get through the day's experience.)
 

2 comments:

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Tim,

"(I also ask each of you to thank whatever God that you pray to that they no longer close the bars on election day. I have a terrible feeling that we're going to need a stiff drink to get through the day's experience.)"

Were you referring to before, during or after voting?

;-)

Tim Higgins said...

Yes, yes, and yes