Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Conscious Shopper Challenge: Vote

We're at the winding down phase of the Conscious Shopper Challenge with only six more weeks to go. So far this year, we've looked at many personal changes we can make to live greener, more frugal lives. I believe that personal changes are extremely important, but for these last few weeks, I want to suggest a few things you can do beyond your front door. Here's this week's challenge:


Did you vote in the last election? I hope so! Here's how you can complete this challenge:


  • Vote in presidential elections.


  • Vote for your senators, representatives, and state leaders.


  • Participate in local elections.

Now, I'm going to fess up about something. Politics are not my thing. I'm not a fan of political discussions, I can't stand cheesy candidate commercials, and I'd prefer to go about my life without ever paying attention to what politician stands for what. Every year, I have to drag myself to the polls.

But I still do it. I vote because...

  1. I'm pretty darn lucky to live in a country where I get to vote. Even if I'm not 100% keen on any political party or candidate, I am 100% in favor of democracy.
  2. By voting, I teach my kids that voting is important.
  3. Although it may feel like my one vote doesn't matter, I've seen what happens when enough people decide not to care. (ahem...Wake school board)
  4. If I don't vote, I can't complain about the outcome, and I do love complaining.

Okay, I'm joking on that last one, but I am serious about this: You need to vote. It's important.

Do you vote? Why or why not?


Wendy said...

On this one, I am definitely a marathon runner! I'm not particularly active in politics, either, and you couldn't get me to watch a candidate's commercial if you tied me to a chair and pried my eyelids open with toothpicks, but I think it's very important for us to exercise our responsibility to vote - and mind you, to me, it's a responsibility and not a "right."

I think what most of us don't understand, though, is that our Constitution actually gives more power to the individual States (which is why the whole Civil War could happen in the first place - it was an issue of the Federal government trying to take away States' rights). Over time, our Federal government has wrested that power from the hands of the States, and the only way we're going to get our country back is if we start to give our States back the control they were given when the Constitution was first drafted. As such, I think voting in local and State elections is really much more important than voting in the national elections ... and each individual vote really does make a difference on the smaller scale.

As for national Presidential elections, if you really want to know how much *your* individual vote for President matters, check out the Electoral College. This is where it's really important to have people whose values and aspirations match your own at the State level.

Anonymous said...

I do vote. Why? Well, I like your final reason for voting (the earned right to complain) *grins* but also 'cause the system is broken and only we, the people, can make the changes necessary to 'fix' it.

I have a dream. . .

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Wendy - I agree that local politics are very important and especially like how you point out that individual votes make more of a difference at the smaller scale.

@Annette - Yes! If we don't vote, it's like saying we don't care about what happens.


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