Democracy at work?

Tim Skubick put it best when he said “democracy doesn’t work when voters don’t know the candidates’ names they are voting for.”

I have heard on numerous occasions that people are scared of the future because our generation generally does not have a strong interest in politics. They say we are the future of this country and that we should be more politically engaged. And you know what, they’re exactly right.

What if someone asked you who was running for the next Attorney General of Michigan? Would you know? Unless you look at the front page of this newspaper, chances are you wouldn’t. The scary part is you probably will vote even though you have no idea. If you are politically involved that’s great, but the majority of college students are just not interested.

Every other year thousands of people go into voting booths without the slightest clue as to who is on the ballot, other than the governor or presidential candidates. How would someone with such little background knowledge about the candidates decide who to vote for? He or she would probably choose a party line and vote straight down.

Voting the party line is an easy way out no matter how liberal or conservative your beliefs. Typically speaking, the majority of candidates within one party have similar beliefs on controversial issues like abortion and gay marriage. This is not always the case and is why it is important to be an informed voter.

You may be the most diehard Republican in the world, but that particular nominee may not be the best choice for the city, state, or country. I’m not advocating for Democrats or Republicans. Voting should not be about agreeing with a person on one or two issues. Chances are he or she disagrees with your beliefs about other topics anyway.

Voting should be about electing the best person for the job. Ultimately what matters is that we take the time to understand who we are voting for. n