why are elections important? and how can a citizen become and informed voter?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    elections are important b/c without elections, there's no democracy. and to see what life is like without democracy, move to China and try to have more than two kids, then try to criticize the government.

    whenever you find out there's an election going on in your area, find out what issues you care about and research the hell out of them. then find out what the candidates stand for on all the issues, zeroing in on your important ones. if you don't like either of the candidates, write one in who you would vote for. it takes work to be an informed voter. otherwise you'll be just like everyone else and not give a **** what's going on.

  • 1 decade ago

    On the first question of why elections are important: I was once traveling in Pakistan, a country with a long history of military dictatorships, and I was asked by a crowd what defined democracy. I answered, "The ability to throw out the leaders of your country when you dislike them." Places like Pakistan without democracy can't do that, except by military coups. So that's what elections are really all about -- to periodically throw the bums out.

    On the second question of how to become an informed voter, the Internet makes that immensely easier. Prior to the internet, we had to rely on the biased presentations of the candidates themselves, or what little substance the press decided to publish. Now we can research ourselves about what the candidates actually BELIEVE and what they will actually DO, rather than what they SAY they believe and will do.

    I founded a website dedicated to that goal -- www.OnTheIssues.org -- where you can look up the voting records and issue stances of all federal candidates and incumbents. It puts into easy-to-read form where they stand on abortion, on gun control, on the Iraq war, and on numerous other issues.

  • Reba K
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Because without elections there are no freedoms -- no democracy. Become informed by not being afraid to read the opinions of ALL sides. Eventually you become a really informed person who will be useful in guiding your leaders. That's Democfacy

  • 1 decade ago

    Read some newspapers, and I don't mean some liberal rag like the St. Louis Post Dispatch or the Washington Post.

    The best editorials I have seen appear regularly in the Investors Business Daily. They're conservative, but that's what business is all about, making sense and making money by coming up with a better mousetrap than the other guy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Elections are based on representative democracy. The people vote for who they want to represent them in government. Without this we wouldn't be a democracy. To become more informed, you can read, listen, or watch things that don't have bias opinions on the candidates. Also just to know what party they are affiliated with.

  • whether you live in a place where government is arranged according to the results of binding elections or not, there are political factions which struggle against one another. even within "one-party" states. these power struggles occur between elites. popular elections operate to contain this dynamic.

    before knowing who the elites are or what issues they're fighting over, it is important to know 1) what your jurisdiction is, 2) what offices exist which you can vote on, and 3) when these elections occur.

    for the first, you just need to know your zip code and where to go to register to vote.

    ifor the second, the first step is to understand how a representative republic is arranged.

    in the u.s., there are three branches: a legislative branch which writes and passes laws, a judicial branch which analizes what the legislative branch does to see if its in keeping with previous law, and the executive branch which enforces and applies the law.

    these three branches are like russian nesting dolls - the same pattern is repeated as you go from large bodies with lots of authority to small bodies with very localized authority.

    on the federal level, the legislative branch is called "congress", the judicial branch is represented by the supreme court, and the executive branch is the president, who is also commander of all branches of the military. on a very small scale, you have maybe a courtroom. in that courtroom you have two lawers deliberating (legislative and judicial) and a judge (judicial and executive). the clear executive power on this level would be the police.

    you don't vote for everybody in government. some members of the government are appointed to their positions by people who are elected. judges in most instances are appointed.

    generally speaking, the offices you get a chance to vote on are executive and legislative. there are three main levels of government you vote at. think of it this way:

    federal executive--- legislative

    --------- president---congress

    state executive---legislative

    ------- governor---state legislative

    local executive--- legislative

    ------- mayor--- various (town council, aldermen, etc.)

    many representative republics have legislative branches with only one group of people. in the u.s. there are two:"houses". there is the "house of representatives" which is very large and can be thought of as the silly house, and the senate which is smaller and can be thought of as the serious house. some states have a house and a senate, some only have a senate.

    the big thing you may have noticed in the pattern of how government is arranged is that every job has to do with making new laws, matching things against laws which already exist, and enforcing or executing what the laws mandate. its all about laws. its all about lawers too.

    so what is a law? a law is an agreement between reasonable people.

    some laws transfer power from the people to the government, some transfer power from the government to the people, some from one person to another. some laws are just decrees on how the government is allowed to spend a certain chunk of tax money.

    but there is nothing real or absolute about a law aside from people's agreement to obey it and the government's will to enforce it. essentially a law is an argument at rest. the danger is that people can make really good arguments for stupid, even evil, things. this danger is lessened when the power of government is spread out wide. you contribute to that wide base by voting.

    possibly the single greatest resource i know of is project vote smart.

    http://votesmart.org/index.htm

  • eliana
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    sturdy idea pondering the way US authorities has been with the help of-passing the themes. If the ordinary public ought to vote on border safe practices it ought to were performed a at the same time as in the past. perhaps in case you took out a petition & made copies for others to get signed i ask your self what ought to take position.

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