Letters to the Editor

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It is pretty obvious that the Macalester College Student Government in-circle isn’t exactly democratic. But, seriously, don’t make it painfully obvious. So, for next time, at least have the decency to warn your humble constituents about the deadline to file for the vice-presidency with more than four hours notice. Some of us besides those already inducted into the MCSG crew might also appreciate a chance to do some resumé building.

Miroslav Losonsky ’09

Last week’s point-counter point (“Does voting matter?”) was an important step in opening up a dialogue on campus about the importance of voting.

Voting should not be seen as the only outlet for political engagement, however, it is an integral part of the process that contains issue education, protest and community organizing. When all parts are present, only then do we have substantive democracy.

Politicians can literally view the records and see who voted and who did not. If you don’t vote, what motivation do they have to listen to you when you come to their office to advocate for an issue? Your actions count much more when they are backed up by your vote, because it allows you to hold politicians more accountable.

The best way to get elected officials to listen to our concerns in the first place is to increase voter turnout in our demographic. When politicians realize they can’t get elected without the support of young people, they will have to listen to us. Voting is one of the most sacred political traditions, something that many disenfranchised groups in the past have fought to earn.

Here in Minnesota, we have one of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation. In 2004, 69 percent of people 18-24 voted-a 22 percent increase from the 2000 elections. We have to make sure that trend continues.

It would be irresponsible to neglect your right and ability to change politics in the short-term through voting. Voting is not the be-all, end-all of political participation, but it does act as an important first step to getting your voiced not only heard but listened to. So get informed, get involved, and this Nov. 4, get out and vote!

Jenni Schubert ’11
Macalester MPIRG Co-Chair