Well done, Scotland! 85-percent turnout, 10-percentage points won the voting question, a solid, unquestionable majority. Scotland won either way. It will now wield more sway in the UK. Democracy works. I hope we would take a lesson from it and regard ours as lovingly.
The above message comes from my friend Dan Wallach, who posted it on Facebook today.
His comment comes in the wake of Scotland’s landmark election in which the Scots decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom.
Dan isn’t making any judgment here on the correctness of the Scots’ vote, but he is saying something profound about Americans’ own lack of civic involvement in matters of vital national importance.
Eighty-five percent of Scotland’s eligible voters turned out. Americans are facing a mid-term election in a few weeks that likely will draw less than 40 percent of those who are eligible to vote.
What’s at stake in the U.S. of A.? Oh, just the control of Congress, one-third of that thing we call “co-equal government.” We elect our presidents usually with less than 60 percent of eligible voters taking part. That’s a big deal, too, given that presidents get to select judges to sit on our federal court benches, giving them lifetime jobs in which they interpret whether laws are constitutional.
The Nov. 4 election turnout in Texas, I’m sorry to predict, will be less than the national average. I fear it’s going to be significantly less.
Americans don’t quite care enough to vote for lawmakers or for their president. At least they don’t care the way the Scots showed they cared about whether to declare their independence or stay attached to England as part of the UK.
Dan is right. “Democracy works.” It always works better the more people get involved in that exercise we call voting.