Letters to the Editor

Election 2004: Voter desires election reform

I love my country and admire its history of bravery in fighting for democracy and freedom. To all those who have died and served in that endeavor, we are profoundly indebted.

What is very disturbing today is the apathy shown by too many Americans in preserving the democracy and freedom for which so high a price has been paid. Far too many citizens do not vote and many who do are not informed and base their decisions on style (who’s folksier), ads and talk shows which, with the exception of public stations, are biased, uncritical, unbalanced and misleading. This is not news, but such ignorance is increasing. Because there is so much more at stake in this election, this apathy is even more unfortunate.

Regardless of your party affiliation, aren’t you concerned that our country is on the road to authoritarian government? This administration is secretive, deceitful, closed to information, not congruent with preconceived ideas, overly suppressive of civil liberties, under the guise of national security, and seems intent upon attacking other sovereign nations. Clearly we face more danger to our democracy from within than without.

A recent analysis in the New York Times concludes the Iraq war has not only not increased national security, it has also increased the strength of international terrorists. Homeland security is inadequately funded because of the war. It is old news that all the justifications for going to war were false. Current government policies present more danger than the terrorists.  Relentlessly stoking fears of citizens of terrorist attacks gives the administration cover to distract voters from unfavorable developments, unnecessarily limit information and suppress civil liberties and dissent.

Why there isn’t more recognition of these alarming facts is in part because people are distracted by the issues of gay marriage and women’s right to choose, as if our lives and democracy hang on these issues. Of course these social issues are very important, but these security and freedom concerns are much more immediate.

We need to have true election reform, abolish the electoral college, have proportional representation, instant runoff voting and most importantly public financing of elections to get big money out of manipulating legislation. These changes are not going to happen soon. This November vote for preserving democracy and work on the long-term changes needed to support it. 

Gena DiLabio


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