Why vote? It is a question that faces each of us every time there is an election.

Take, for instance, the recent Students’ Association presidential race. There was a call for each student on campus to exert his voice by voting to choose the next student body president and senators.

But why should we vote at all?

Were we voting for more communication between student representatives and administrators? Were we voting for more diversity and more programming?

The people running for the office would like us to think that we were making a conscious effort to support one or all of these things, but what has been proven over and over again is that all we are really voting for, is the right for the elected person to pad a resume. If we even voted at all.

Cynical maybe, but this claim is founded in truth. At any level in our government, from local all the way up to the big boys in Washington, D.C., the politicians involved are simply there for themselves and to be re-elected.

It?s true that they may have good ideas when they are campaigning. However, once they are elected, they are transformed from idea-oriented citizens to power and status-hungry politicos who would rather frolic at fundraisers than do anything productive for the people who elected them into the office.

Besides being power hungry, politicians are notorious for their inefficiency. This quality is most often attributed to politicians when people talk about ?pork.? Roughly defined, ?pork? means money spent on unnecessary budgetary items in the politician?s home state or district in order to help them get re-elected.

It is sort of an ?I scratch your back, you scratch mine? type of term that represents a fiscal policy that has historically left American people hurting in important areas like education, employment and their overall standard of living.

Right now we are seeing movements in campaign finance reform and tax cuts that are trying to get the money out of Washington. In response to a Republican call for a $60 billion tax break for the fiscal year 2001, Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) has recently called for each citizen to get a refund on his or her taxes of $300. In real buying power, he wants to give each American the opportunity to buy a muffler. This is an inefficient reform measure and the wrong answer to a problem that has plagued our government since it inception.

Instead of taking money out of government because politicians don?t seem to know how to correctly spend it, maybe what we as citizens should do is make it our united goal to insure that the money we give to the government is used as efficiently as possible. The end result of this is to better the lives of every single person living in this country. In other words ? waste not, want not.

Regardless of whether Americans vote or not, they are failing in their responsibilities as constituents. This is to their own detriment as well as to their neighbors. The results are found in $300 tax cuts and a lot of pork.

So let your voices be heard beyond the polling place and make sure your representatives represent you, and not their own self interests.



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