Politicians, candidates and political parties exist because of us, individual voters. To quote the Declaration of Independence: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”
Politicians and governments are responsible to us. We give them the power they have or believe they have. They represent the majority of the people who voted for them. They have the responsibility to speak the truth, the entire truth and nothing but the truth. There is no room for deception, what they believe to be the truth or any kind of spin.
If a candidate gets elected based on a specific platform, that politician has an obligation to the majority of the voters to carry out that platform. Sounds simple enough, but I know having voted for 44 years, what a candidate says is not what you receive.
There is also the other side of saying one thing and doing another. What does an individual voter believe? This is no walk in the park, folks!
Over the last four decades, I have researched and worked for many political candidates; some won, more lost. I can’t tell you why supporting those who lost has never discouraged me, but it hasn’t. I voted or worked for a particular candidate because I believed in my heart and in my head that the candidate was the best one for the job.
Have I been disappointed by a few of my choices? You bet.
The disappointment came because the candidate said one thing and delivered another, right? What I let the politician get away with was actions which I did not support. I, and many other supporters, let the politician we worked for and voted for simply slide. We didn’t object. We didn’t hold the politician accountable. We ignored the situation. It was only one issue. It wasn’t the politician’s fault. It was the bureaucracy’s fault. Too late. I can’t do anything by myself.
For those who believe they can’t change anything on their own, you are a smidgen correct, only because it is much easier to operate from a position of strength; but one person can make a difference.
The problem is you have to keep at it. That’s the hard, difficult, time-consuming part to which we don’t devote some time.
So what’s the answer? There is no one answer and change doesn’t come immediately, but working toward calling out seated politicians and seriously questioning current candidates is a beginning.
Questioning and calling out is most certainly justifiable, but you have to know what you want a current politician or candidate to do for you, the community, state and country in order to be effective. If change, regardless of consequences is what you desire, there are candidates from which to choose.
Some changes are beneficial; others wreak havoc. It is your choice.
Perhaps we use our limited amount of time examining one issue we care about most passionately and use that as our starting point to assess a given politician or candidate. We have to begin somewhere, right?
Whatever your issue, go for it! Make a start. Get excited. Become contagious. Share your issue on social media. Talk to your friends, neighbors and family about an issue you have in common. Don’t argue. Question your politicians and candidates. Send emails. Write letters. Call politicians and candidates. Enthusiasm has a way of mushrooming.
No matter what you believe about Boulder City voter participation, when the Boulder City Review states: “Only 8 percent of the city’s 9,577 registered voters cast an early ballot,” we’re not winning an enthusiasm award any time soon.
If this voter turnout doesn’t make you think about participation, you probably didn’t think about the 2013 election when two seated council members ran unopposed. In 2011, early voting turnout was 28.21 percent or 2,677 voters out of 9,489 registered voters. A majority of voters are not jumping up and down about this election thus far.
The bright spot in the numbers above is that Boulder City gained 88 registered voters! Let’s see if we can spread some enthusiasm.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.