It’s easy to get discouraged with the seeming impossibility of getting anywhere politically. People vote, presidents win with minorities. People vote, our representatives don’t always do what we want. People vote, referendums pass, politicians undo them. Some would say, why vote? I say, vote more.

Vote every single time, for every single thing on the ballot. The system isn’t perfect, nothing is. But it is still responsive. If politicians try to make it less responsive, we need to vote more. We need to vote like our democracy depends on it, because it does.

We need to vote to make sure our voices and the voices of our children are heard at all. If you don’t like the options on the ballot, vote for the best thing there, and then start voting in primaries. If you don’t like the leadership of political parties, join them and start voting in their elections. If the politicians aren’t addressing issues that you care about, find others who care about that issue and start organizing to get it on the ballot so we can vote for it.

The more overwhelmingly referendums pass, the less politicians can make excuses to mess with them. The more politicians we elect who respect the referendum process, the more referendums will be respected. The more politicians we elect who share our values, the less we have to go to the trouble of passing things by referendum in the first place. The more politicians we elect who support reforms to make our system more democratic, the more democratic it will become. Vote, vote, vote until your vote matters as much as it should.

April Thibodeau

Westport Island