Political Limits

01 Nov

Tuesday is election day.

I will vote, as I do every year.  I vote because it is both a duty and privilege.  

But I am not someone who thinks that the answers to our greatest problems as a nation (or global community) are found in politics or politicians.

In 90% of areas, who is in charge probably makes almost no difference at all.  

So why vote?

First, the other 10% matters.  For example, I am confident that if Al Gore had been declared the winner of the 2000 Presidential Election, we would never have entered the Iraqi war.  We can debate whether that would be good or bad, but it would be different.  So I vote with a focus on the 10% issues that politicians can really impact.

As a side note, this means that I don’t pay a lot of attention to issues where candidates can’t make a difference.  The truth is that Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned, the death penalty will never be repealed at the federal level, etc etc — just two issues that I feel strongly about, but rarely impact my voting.

Second, while government can’t solve all our problems, it does have a vital and important role to play.  I think of it as a three-legged stool.  A 3-legged stool needs all three to stand.  Take one leg away, and the whole thing falls.  I think of the 3 legs as government, business/corporate, faith-based and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations).

We need all three.

All three need to partner together.

We need all three to contribute what they can uniquely offer.

And so these are the reasons I vote — but also the reasons I don’t put too much confidence in politics to solve our problems.

WHY DO YOU (or don’t you) VOTE?

1 Comment

Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


One response to “Political Limits

  1. Ben D.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    <p>Good point Nancy… i wonder if it is kind of like the 80-20 (in this case, 90-10) principle. Perhaps 10% of the decisions have 90% of the impact.</p><p>Most of what government does are things like public works, security, etc etc — those things will generally keep happening no matter who you vote for. But there are some things that make a difference (a lesson we all learned after the 2000 Presidential election and the Iraq war, I think).</p><p>Happy election day!</p>



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