The Transylvania Times -

Choose A Party


There are no Democratic Party candidates for county commissioner – despite at least six months of the party’s vigorous recruitment efforts. Why?

As the Times editorial (Dec. 28) points out, there are more unaffiliated voters than members of either major party. Yet these voters do not participate in the work of either party. That means that, beyond voting, they don’t engage in the civic responsibilities that should be shouldered by every citizen.

The importance of political party organization is most clear in the recruitment of candidates. Yet unaffiliated voters do not participate in this. That means that 37 percent of the registered voters do not take any part in the most fundamental political process leading to an election featuring candidates with different points of view on the issues facing the public.

There is no “unaffiliated” or “independent” party organized to present candidates and raise public issues before the electorate. If you are registered as such, you have withdrawn yourself from meaningful participation in the electoral process. Your first opportunity to participate is at the primary election – too late to select candidates and frame the issues they will discuss.

It is time for unaffiliated voters to make a choice and participate in the electoral process instead of sitting back, expecting others to bear the burden. They say they want to be open to the choices that are presented to them. Fine. And if no choice is presented because of lack of major party workers and party participation, what choice do they have then?

If you join a party, you are still free to vote for whomever you wish. And you can help find qualified candidates.

The reality is, in order for our democratic system to work, we need full voter participation in the work of the major parties. This is a serious business. Our choices of leaders affect all of us on one level of our lives or another. The government is us. We are the government and if we do not participate at the most basic levels, then we forfeit our rights as citizens.

Choose a party and participate. Then vote!

Karen Shaffer



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