Monday, January 23, 2006

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation*

There is something reassuringly organic and simple about our voting process.
A room full of very earnest retirees and students. A printed list. A piece of paper and a pencil.
So simple, and yet so powerful. We are, after all, helping to decide how we perceive ourselves - actively forming our national identity. And despite all the tv reports, shiny magasines, air-brushed pictures, wordy pundits - it's a bunch of people with little pencils who will decide.

In previous years I have found voting somewhat anticlimatic. What's so exciting about a high school auditorium, or a church basement, or the activity room of a nursing home? But it is the very boring, everyday-ness of it that hit me today. This is democracy. This is what people will fight for, go to war over. The ability to walk into a poorly lit room, stand on the linoleum floor, and use a small pencil to make a little "x".

*Oscar Wilde

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