Election Day is right around the corner for many of us and Inspiration Peak is pleased to offer the following guidelines to citizens throughout the world who are able to participate in their country's political process.
We recognize there are many who do not vote because they do not think it will make a difference... and we're here to remind them that it really does matter - more than ever before. We can re-think, re-invent and re-create our world, but only if we elect leaders who share our dreams for a better, more peaceful future for everyone.
As ironic as it may seem, the more turned off you are by politics, the more distressed you are by the world situation or the things happening in your neighborhood, the more important it is that you go to the polls and make some choices.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CANDIDATE
The two things a candidate must have - and this is non-negotiable - are a good head and a good heart. It doesn't matter how handsome or clever a candidate is - or how well they come across on television. What matters is that 1) their heart is in the right place and 2) they know how to make things happen.
The best candidates still know how to dream. They still care about kids and old folks and rivers and trees. Elect someone who understands that every child should have access to health care and a worthwhile education no matter how much money their parents make.
Stay away from candidates who rely on divisive issues to get themselves elected. Understand that there are some issues that will NEVER be addressed to everyone's satisfaction and they do nothing but steal our attention away from other more pressing concerns.
Seek out the candidate who is not afraid to talk about 'peace' - especially to those they consider 'enemies'. Look for someone who understands the difference between a 'terrorist' and a man who has nothing left to hope for. Vote for someone who understands that 'war' is not something that can be 'won'.
Stay away from candidates who feel they must 'act tough' or who never admit mistakes. This is a sign of weakness.
Avoid candidates who make efforts to 'scare' you. Most of us are smart enough to know that the world can be a dangerous place... the question is, how do we make it safer? How do we feed children who go to bed hungry? How do we educate children so they have opportunities later in life? How do we build a more just and compassionate society? If you see a man or woman asking these questions - vote for them!
Finally, take a good look at the incumbents - people who are already in office - and ask what exactly have they done during their past term to make a difference for children, for the elderly, for people who have no homes or no health insurance. Did they sponsor or co-sponsor new legislation that would give them hope?
If the answer is 'no' - it's time to hire someone else.
HOW TO VOTE ON A PROPOSITION
If there's a proposition on your ballot, ask yourself who it really helps. Many are written to benefit a special interest and not the general public. If the language is confusing or hard to understand, chances are that the authors of the legislation intended it to be so. Never vote for anything that you don't fully understand.
Also, be careful with over-simplified 'catch phrases' like 'Clean Water,' 'Clean Air', and 'For The Children'. Sometimes these propositions have nothing to do with water, air or children and are really designed to make somebody rich. It's important to read propositions carefully to see who truly benefits. Remember, it's your tax money and your job is to make sure it's spent wisely.
WINNING AND LOSING
You've done your homework, cast your ballot and soon you'll see the election results. If your candidate or proposition wins, you'll no doubt be very pleased. If your favorite candidate loses, it might be a little discouraging. But don't give up hope!
As citizens in a democracy we have a responsibility to stay educated and stay involved - no matter what happens on election day. If you're candidate didn't win, don't make the mistake of hiding away in your basement for the next four years. Make it a point to meet your new candidate or send them a letter and let them know what's important to you. Hold them accountable and be sure to ask them frequently what it is they are doing to make our world a better place for people and rivers and trees.
When enough of us care, the world will start changing!
Inspiration Peak hopes you found this 'Voter's Guide' useful and we encourage you to share it with friends and family members by clicking on the 'send to a friend' button (below). You're also welcome to publish or redistribute this material in your newsletter or on your website. All we ask is that you mention where you found it.