Tisdale - September 14, 1999
By: Timothy W. Shire

No action or inaction of each of us goes un-noticed. One of the most significant discoveries of this era was as a result of computer analysis of relatively trivial events and how the smallest action or inaction can ripple through reality. This work was eventually documented in what is referred to as the chaos theory which essentially explains that small and seemingly unimportant conditions contribute to and shape the events of our time.

You will remember the Sunday school hymn "God sees a little sparrow fall it meets his tender view, if God so loved the little ones I know he loves me too." It would appear that long before the Chaos Theory came along
we were well aware of the significance of what might be considered insignificant occurrences Some years ago I was taking a communications class and was amazed to discover that lack of response was as powerful a communications event as saying or responding in some way. One's very existence automatically evokes communications.

The shocking results of a pole released this morning was not who is expected to win Thursday's provincial election, but how 24% or those surveyed, less then a week before the election, were still undecided and another 20% were unwilling to express their opinion. This is one of the highest non-participatory results of any modern pole with 44% of the population apparently not involved in the political process. This could translate into a mere 56% of eligible voters casting a ballot and a paltry 26% actually voting for the winning party. The scary thing about this is the lack of committment. With nearly half the voters not involved, deep and resentful feeling can evolve as these individuals by their own inaction, will feel no responsibility to the democratic process.

You might not realise how fundamental the process of voting in an election is and how very much our society depends on the process. The whole concept of representational democracy was to have the tax payer voluntary have his or her representative in the legislature agree upon the level of taxes to be paid and then pay those taxes as a responsibility to society. Similarly, we actually give up our freedom and allow our legislators to make laws that will constrict our actions for the good of all. If we do not participate in the electoral process, we will no longer accept the responsibility of paying our fair share of the taxes, or abiding by the laws made on our behalf. Deciding to abstain from the political process is a serious threat to everyone and needs to be addressed

The inevitability of one party winning and others losing must not deter the individual to make a choice. Failure to vote is an abdication of ones responsibility as a citizen and as an adult. Grown ups have to accept their part in society and one of the things they must do is share in accepting the way in which we organise our government. Even a vote for the present government is better then no vote at all. But more responsible is checking up on what each candidate stands for and has achieved and casting a vote for the person you want to represent you. By doing that you will have the right to ask for and expect action on your behalf from the person for whom you voted and if your candidate is defeated the winning candidate is also responsible for you because as a participant in the political electoral process you can demand to be heard and your opinion counts. The nonvoter becomes a second class citizen of sorts, uncommitted and irresponsible.

We live in the best place I know of, I have lived other places and know this to be true. Our way of life is something we must not only advocate for our children but we must insure that it is preserved for generations to come. On Thursday go to your poling booth and cast a ballot. Accept the responsibility of adult life and then demand of the elected politician his or her loyalty to the promises and positions upon which the sought and won the election. Anything less is unacceptable.