Monday, November 13, 2006

Further Observations on US Elections

The dust kicked up by election issues seems to have finally settled. The Republican party was routed while the Democratic party has gained majority control of both the houses of congress. There were two principal issues over which the elections were fought; the war in Iraq and corruption/scandals.

The former issue forced the defence secretary Rumsfeld to resign while the latter caused many incumbents to loose re-election bids. The average turnout at the polls was around 40%. For a nation that takes pride in being the most progressive democracy, that is a very low level of participation in the election process.

Not one of my American friends and colleagues voted. Some of them were unaware that there was an election(!) while many others had no idea who the candidates in the fray were or what the issues being debated were. Many told me, they don't vote because their vote cannot change anything and so doesn't count. I disagree with them. I believe the US and its politicians and others involved should make an effort bringing many more to the polls, starting with college students first.

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