Voter responsibility lies within all of us

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 1998

L’Observateur / October 21, 1998

It’s a sad state of affairs when the St. John the Baptist Parish Clerk ofCourt has to make a public plea for election commissioners. A vital part ofthe election system, the commissioners are there to insure an honest, straightforward, cleanly-run election. Then again, that could be theproblem.

America, on the average, has a poor record of voter turnout, unless it’s a highly-emotional campaign of personalities. Issues rarely seem to drawthe big crowds.

Louisiana was recently cited by the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion as the number-one corrupt state in America. Former Gov. EdwinEdwards is, more than ever, facing a likely prison term for his participation in the state gambling industry – only one example of many which could be cited.

This state of affairs has disaffected voters to the point they no longer want to vote. They want to be left alone, pay a minimal amount of taxesand be as uninvolved in Louisiana’s future as possible.

Unfortunately, this results in a political leadership selected by the minority and a majority whose views are not heard by their officials. Itgenerates misrepresentation and a government perceived as out of control and out of touch.

If you don’t like Washington or Baton Rouge or even your own parish government, look in the mirror. Did you vote? Did you involve yourself ingetting someone elected? Did you help the election system itself? Again, it’s a sad state of affairs when the Clerk of Court needs to almost snatch people off the street to help run the elections. More people need toregister to vote. More people need to take an interest in political activity,instead of merely viewing it as entertainment. More people need to followissues and voting records and listen to who is representing what point of view. More people need to vote and take responsibility for the quality ofpersons who hold office.

Louisiana is perceived as a corrupt state. That can be changed, if we wantit to change. There is perceived corruption in Washington, but that’s ourown fault. We put them there. Look at who elected these people, and lookat who could have done more to elect better people.

To paraphrase a wise philosopher: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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