(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)
Essay: The Considerate Vote
DEMOCRACY = RULE BY THE PEOPLE
DEMOS = PEOPLE
KRATHIA = RULE
The Considerate Vote in the absence of voting consent…
I have been thinking about how every election affects all the people, men, women, children, young and old alike; and yet only a very limited number of the actual members of our society are even truly allowed to vote.Actually, enormous populations of our democracy are actively denied the right to vote! This essays intent is to acknowledge more earnestly the populations of our people who are denied voting – and hopefully offers a potential solution that could become a very real practice in our voting democracy…the Considerate Vote!
TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY AMERICA…
Once you turn legal age, and an election is forthcoming you are expected to participate of course by voting, yet if you missed out on voting for any reason (like you won’t yet be legal age – because your birthday isn’t until tomorrow, and the deadline for voting is today) well then, happy birthday. I hope you enjoy the next four years living under the authority of a governing body – one that you didn’t get to vote for, or against. Congratulations on being an adult in our voting democracy!Too bad you didn’t actually get to vote!
How can it be that we knowingly are allowing a huge swath of legal citizens with all legal rights – to so effectively be denied the right to vote! Without the right to vote – are we actually living in a democracy?
YOU HEARD YOUR FATHER, WAIT UNTIL YOUR 18…
Likewise, children as a whole, whether of high school age, junior high or elementary are subject to live under the governing authority – again – without actually being offered any opportunity to vote for or against… until well, they reach legal voting age of 18. Hopefully, they’ll have a happy 18th birthday and actually get to vote!
But what about the fact that as a whole, we deny, teenagers and children the right to vote? Really denying non-adult people the right to vote, amounts to nothing more than age discrimination. Why is it okay to vote for a “class president” but not an actual president? Are we really so terrified of how children would vote? Do adults really think children are so naive or stupid they can’t make an intelligent vote?
Truly, we are missing out on a great opportunity to include our children in participating in our actual democracy.
All people in a true democracy – deserve the right to vote – even non-adult people.
VOTE NO FOR FOR-PROFIT PRISONS…
Anyone sent to prison is prevented from voting. This denial of the right to vote to incarcerated people, has less to do with crime and punishment and is more an instrument borne of institutionalized for profit racism in America – and needs to be abolished. All people in a true democracy – deserve the right to vote – even incarcerated people.
By denying incarcerated people the right to vote, we also often prevent the ones who “have done their time,” and are returning to be full legal members of society the chance to vote – if the election happened while they were still incarcerated, then even once released – they must live under the governing body of an authority whom they did not have a legal right in voting for or against! This could be at least four years…
Such prevention from voting is a complete prevention of a voting democracy! How as a voting democracy can we in good conscience continue to further neglect the legal right to cast a vote for so many, many people? By denying the right to vote – are we actually providing a true voting democracy?
WE LIVE HERE BUT WE CAN’T VOTE…
Additionally ignored by our current democratic voting system are all the immigrant people who live here legally but are in the process of acquiring citizenship and so do not yet have the legal right to vote…Why are we ignoring our soon to be citizens the right to a vote? As a voting democracy and as a people who are wanting to be part of our voting democracy – really, why are we denying the right to vote?
WE THE PEOPLE…
I feel, everyone, absolutely everyone, all people whether they are incarcerated or not, all people, including children, and teenagers, and all people who are here and want to be citizens and participate in our voting democracy – absolutely everyone should have the right to vote!
I feel like denying so many people – who are all affected by our democracy – the right to vote, is unethical in a democracy, and no true democracy empowered by voting – denies people the right to vote!
Regardless of age and regardless of social status, no one in a voting democracy should be forced to endure the authority of a figure of government that they did not at least have an opportunity to vote for or against. How can denial of the right to vote be legally, morally or ethically acceptable? Especially, to a culture that prides itself on being a voting democracy?
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF…
There was a time when only white men had voting power. We have thankfully since progressed to recognize women and people of all colors should equally have voting power.
I hope our democracy will progress even further still…
I hope someday, everyone, absolutely everyone, regardless of gender, race, or age, or social status, absolutely everyone will all equally have the right to vote, a right that cannot be rescinded and is inherent and intrinsic to all.
But, in the meantime…
I purpose, the Considerate Vote.
THE CONSIDERATE VOTE:
I was thinking that it would be interesting to have a Considerate Vote.
For everyone who is underage or otherwise under-represented, or not represented at all for whatever reason at the time of an election, at least they could still cast a Considerate Vote, a vote to be considered as a respected matter of thought and opinion about the election. I think on a national scale just like the Popular Vote; a Considerate Vote would be interesting to demonstrate not only the opinions of would-be voters but could also vividly show a complimentary or radically different outcome of an election – if truly all the people living in our democracy had the right to vote!
Just imagine if all members of society, all people were truly able to vote…
COUNTING THE VOTES…
Imagine if all votes – every single person’s vote were counted? Imagine if instead of just the few having the power to vote, everyone, had the power to vote, and the vote truly mattered!
Even now our democratic voting system marginalizes the Popular Vote – to not be a vote of power, but more a vote of opinion. The real vote of political power, lies with the very elite few in the voting college of the Electorate. Well, then if that’s where our voting democracy is at – where the vote of the people amounts to only a popular vote of opinion – that does not hold actual power for voting our governing body of political figures…
It is a sad fate for democracy…one in which it seems our votes do not count…
And we should be asking if truly we live in a voting democracy.Do we?
While we endeavor to discover the truth of our democracy…
We can at least acknowledge how the Popular Vote gives a few more millions of us a chance to express our voting opinion…
Perhaps in that opportunity to express our opinionated vote…our votes truly do count.
Then can’t we at the very least extend the opportunity for a voting opinion to the remaining millions of people who – unfortunately, go without even the right to voice an opinion?
We can do this by creating the Considerate Vote. With the Considerate Vote we can at least offer an opportunity to voice an opinion. Opinions we desperately need – and need to no longer ignore in a true democracy.
CONSIDERATE VOTE :
Imagine if in the high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools, the opportunity to cast a Considerate Vote was available. The results of the voting polls could prove very interesting. I think for elementary school kids the results might be more reflective of their parents voting decisions, but never the less tallying the Considerate Votes of children would be very interesting and worthwhile.
Truly everyone in a voting democracy, absolutely everyone should have the right to vote – including incarcerated people. Providing the opportunity to cast a Considerate Vote to all incarcerated people would also prove very interesting… Just think how interesting it would be to have a Considerate Vote reveal how the almost 3 million plus people who are currently incarcerated or under correctional supervision in the USA (the country with the most prisons for profit of anywhere in the world), who they would vote for if they had the legal right to vote.
Imagine how the Considerate Votes of all the other people who live here but are of foreign origin – and in the process of acquiring citizenship – our soon to be citizens, might vote. They might not have the legal right to vote yet, none the less, their thoughts and opinions should matter. At the very least, a Considerate Vote could provide an opportunity to participate further in the democracy by expressing a considerate voting opinion – until they truly have the real right to vote.
So there it is, a Considerate Vote would offer a very compelling look into the would be voting choices of all those millions of people who legally are unrepresented by our so called democratic voting system and yet are still forced to live by the votes of the few.
In conclusion, I hope someday, everyone, absolutely everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, social status, absolutely everyone living in the world – will all equally have the right to vote, and that vote will be empowered to matter and is a right that cannot be rescinded and will be considered inherent and intrinsic to all people.
But, in the meantime… We the people – all the people - should have the right to vote at the very least, a Considerate Vote!
(Image credit: Picture by Stocksnap of Pixabay.com)