Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vision and Service

Who has heard the expression "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain."  I would modify that slightly to "If all you do is vote and then complain, shut up and go do something about it."  Voting in the elections for which you are eligible (municipal, provincial, federal) is the absolute bare bones minimum level of participation that should be expected of a citizen of our great nation.  When there are still countries this day where citizens cannot freely vote for the person of their choice, it is pure negligence for us to let that opportunity to go to waste. 


I hear people complain "well, I don't agree with any of them," or "I'd just be picking the lesser of two (or three or four) evils."  These are just lazy, whiney excuses for not doing something you should.  Politicians are human, and as we see in the news nearly every day, imperfect.  Until God himself decides to run for office, you will ALWAYS be voting for the lesser of two evils.  Unless you start your own political party where you get the final say, no party's ideology will perfectly match yours. 


Since you will never agree with a politician or party on every issue, focus on the big picture.  Find the one whose vision most closely matches your own, and go with that.  Accept the fact that they will screw up, make decisions you don't like, compromise, and do a whole lot of other things you don't agree with.  But trust in the fact that they are attempting to build a city in the same direction you are.  The details may not be quite the way you hoped, but the big picture should be close. 


What is your vision for New Westminster?  What does the city look like five, ten, twenty, one hundred years from now?  The quote at the head of this blog is my vision for New Westminster.  What specifically that looks like are things that I touch on here in this blog.  And more importantly, what are you putting your time, money, energy and relationships into to move to this vision?


The city is calling for volunteers to serve on a variety of committees and commissions, as reported by Tenth to the Fraser and the New Westminster Record.  I put my application together a few weeks ago, but forgot to send it in – thanks to their reminder now it will be in the mail later today. 


Democracy is about more than just putting a tick in a ballot box.  It's about building the community you want to live in.  Whether you serve at a local non-profit agency, a city commission, donate to local charities, gather friends together to clean up the neighbourhood – it doesn't matter what you do, just do something to help create the city you envision.  Because if you don't do that you have no right to complain when it all falls down around you. 

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