I want to take a time out here to note something, even for those who are not in California or voting in the upcoming elections in the USA: Though I post these infrequently, I don’t want to give the impression that only certain elections are important. Quite the contrary.
They all are.
To that end I implore you all to vote. In every election. For every position. Not just big elections for federal/national governments, but all the way down to your local elections. Much of what affects your daily lives is decided at the local level. Or the provincial/state level. So-called “not important” or “not monumental” election(s) are rarely not important. Swings of legislatures happen during these times of low turnout, and you may find things going in directions you don’t want them too. So please vote.
And please remember that “not choosing” is still making a choice. If you do not vote, or do not vote with thoughtfulness and care, then you are explicitly stating that you are fine with any outcome. That whatever happens is fine by you. Implicitly, you are agreeing with what comes. So please vote.
If you feel your vote doesn’t/won’t matter, please know this: it does. There are those who want to convince you that you don’t matter, because it makes their job easier to game the system, stay in power, or bend things to their wishes. Don’t listen to them. Recent elections in many countries have been decided by very narrow margins, and unlike in the past many parties no longer interpret that as a signal to govern from the centre. They push to the edges. So please vote.
Protest votes rarely turn out for the better. Avoid them. Bring thoughtfulness and care to the polling booth. And please vote.
If you think it will take too long/it’s too confusing to become informed, I invite you to consider that it does not. Put aside a day. One day (I usually spend around 6-8 hours researching my shadow ballot). That’s usually enough to become grounded. Then you can build from there, little by little until it becomes big. Also remember the above: there are those who want to convince you it’s too tough, too confusing, you don’t have time, that it’s no fun. Again, it makes their job easier to bend things to their wishes. So please vote.
(And if you are in a country where voting is not permitted, or is wracked by violence, or corrupt, then you have my sorrow. I push for the day when you will have your voice. Wherever you can and feel safe to do so, even if things are corrupt, there can come great and surprising change when people band together. If you cannot or if things are just not safe, then stay safe and take care of yourself and those around you.)