It is mere hours from the polls opening in the USA for what may be the most important midterm elections of modern times. The balance of power, international relations, and the current tone toward and treatment of many people within and neighbouring the USA is not only confounding but frequently very frightening.
The political system in the USA is vast and can be confusing, I know my very best friends (both post graduate educated and exceedingly well travelled) in Los Angeles often explain it to me in detail, and I get lost every time. The electoral college means that some people’s votes are worth more than other people’s votes in various locations around the vast and varied country. In the 2016 election, the democratic party (led by Hillary Clinton) got nearly 3 million more popular (individual) votes, yet the world has been watching hate, vitriol and puffery from the Whitehouse for two long and difficult years now.
Democracy is far from perfect. After years of voting and being particularly political (I never post, but I will attend rallies, have volunteered for canvasing and can be found locking horns or enjoying lively debates with people from every point on the political spectrum. I not only accept and respect, I genuinely encourage people to have different political views to me. Differences in opinion and adequate representation of these differences in the political forum. Our differences make society robust and the ability to call for and enact changes through our political systems are an incredibly important and beautiful function of modern societies across the world.
These systems do not work if people do not know what they are voting for.
These systems do not work in a climate of corruption and ignorance.
These systems do not work if people do not vote.
These systems do not work if people vote against their own (and others) best interests because they are “fed up” or if they “don’t like that woman one little bit.”
These systems do not work without transparency and accountability.
These systems are stifled and choked from being effective or representative if big business lobbying holds the power and back room deals are done without accountability or in the spirit of democracy.
These systems do not work if the people democracy was meant to represent do not take the time to honour the lives of soldiers and suffragettes who laid down their lives so that they had a voice.
This system does not work if marginalised members of society do not have access to the polls or accurate information on who and what they are voting for.
This system does not work well at all, in a society that has been conditioned to see celebrity as superior to integrity or money as superior to meaningful community and connections.
I am pleading with every single American to make their way to the polls. The world is wondering what happened and we are seeing a rise in far right sentiment across the planet, and it is difficult to not draw a correlation between the vitriol that is spat at us all from a fat fake tan.
November 6th you get a chance to make a change. I cannot possibly overstate the importance your vote holds for the rest of us on this planet. Please. Please. Please. Vote.
In the spirit of true democracy, students and employers around the USA are standing up and making their voices heard. Many companies are closing down for part or all of polling day, specifically so that people will cast their votes.
So please. From the bottom of my heart, as I am watching you from an island paradise on the bottom of this weary world. Vote.