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Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

Voting - the ultimate dilemma

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




Get out and be heard! (via AIGA)
Unless you're a penguin living somewhere on the shores of Antarctica, you've probably either voted, or will vote in the future. And it's not an easy choice, right - especially when you're an LGBT person. We don't only have to think about what the candidate will do about healthcare or education, but also whether they think that we deserve basic human rights... My own country will hold Parliamentary Elections in October, and my head is hurting already! I just can't find a candidate or a party that, in my opinion, would deserve my vote... Moreover, none of them support LGBT rights - even the most "liberal" party in the country has openly stated, that same-sex couples shouldn't be considered a family, and not one candidate gives me any hope as a trans person.

However, throwing away my vote is not an option to me. Even though I've been called naive so many times for believing that it can make a change, I am still sure that voicing your opinion is still the only way to go - even if it's something as small as that one little ballot in a million, or an article in a blog. Because I believe that victories are won by actively participating and trying, instead of surrendering. So today I'm going to get a little political again and talk about why this right that we have is still important, how we can get more people to voice their opinions, and why I think it's so important to use this right in the first place. Yes, even if you can't find a party that openly supports LGBT rights.

Actually, I probably chose the wrong topic... Voting is a fundamental right, of course it's important! Would you give up the right to vote? Of course not! The problem isn't with the voting. The problem is that people are very disappointed in politics. There's a lot of distrust, and just general pessimism when it comes to politicians: "Meh, who cares, they're all liars, they won't make any change, they won't accomplish anything, so what's the difference. Why should I bother to vote for any of them". Admit it, we've all said that at least once! However, in the end, this kind of attitude is really harmful, because then everything is left to the few people that show up. Let's face it - when voter turnout is like 20 or 40 percent, it's no wonder that people are constantly dissatisfied with the people that get elected...

So, how can we fix this problem? Well, bringing more clarity and honesty into the elections would definitely help bring back the lost hope of voters, since so many people simply can't trust a word that comes out of a politician's mouth nowadays. However, you can't just have something out of nowhere - there hast to be demand for it. In fact, just a couple of minutes ago I signed a petition to have unbiased fact-checkers at presidential and vice-presidential debates. This is a great idea for a couple of reasons: not only will people get more real facts during debates, but just the fact that arguments and facts are being checked should definitely change the situation quite a bit. Less elaborate rhetoric, more actual facts, right?

Unfortunately, even though you can check facts, you can't look into the future and see if the candidate you have chosen will fulfill all of their promises. They seem like a honest person, they did a great speech... But, you know, you just can never be sure. I mean, they're all politicians, and all they offer you is promises, right? Yes, well, that's the point. We've all made a list of New Year's Resolutions, or promised ourselves that we'll get the best grades on all of the subjects. You all know what happens - you concentrate on some things more, some get more attention, some get less. You add some goals and ideas along your way. So, of course the candidate you have chosen won't fulfill every single one of the things they have written out in their program. However, if the public (that means you, too) will continue to bring attention to an issue and express their concern, you will definitely stand more chance with a candidate that agrees with you. It definitely helps to have people that are on your side and support the issues that you care about. And don't forget that a party can change their platform, or that even you yourself can be a candidate!

More diversity in politics could also help shake things up a bit. I mean, imagine if the U.S. Republicans had fairly open-minded beliefs - the Democrats would have to try a lot harder! This kind of competition would really push us forward. We have a similar problem here in Lithuania - lots of parties, but they're all technically the same, many don't even pay attention to their platforms. If there were two or three big parties with strong ideals, things would be quite different, I'm sure! However, to see a better future and for all those changes to happen, we must first be heard now. So why not use our right to voice our opinions and vote? Everything's in your hands. Maybe vote for that young, smart candidate who might offer some new ideas?

But seriously, guys. Vote. Because nothing has ever been achieved by throwing away your right to voice your opinion - only by using it every single way possible! Also, at least the party you don't like will stand one less chance. Still something, right?

Leaving you with this amazing PSA by Against Me!

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