We went to a special town meeting tonight.... and they were certainly accurate in naming it 'special'! Six articles, approximately 50 people, a new, not very good moderator, and the same question asked a bazillion times over again got us out of there in two and a half hours. It was brutal. It was ugly. People left mad. But out of the 1000? 500? registered voters in town (I really have no idea how many voters we have) 5o of us showed up and made some decisions. At one point our speaking selectman said something about "the great turnout" and I almost jumped out of my chair. Are you even kidding me? That's minimally 1 in 10 represented, probably closer to 1 in 20. If I was giving it a grade we'd be thrilled to get a 10-- which is definitely failing! What is it going to take to get Americans to just go vote? Getting rid of town meeting certainly helps-- 300 voted in the referendum last summer. But even that was a low turnout. How do I convince my government students that voting is where the power lies? Yes, it's inconvenient but it is part of our job. Just do it. Suck it up, buttercup. Whatever works for you, but stand up and be counted!
(How long will it take me to calm down tonight? I'm betting I'll be full on exhausted by Friday...)