One of the joys of election season on IOP is hearing proclamations of love for IOP. Candidates proclaim no one loves IOP more than they. Of course, if you live here you love it otherwise you would live elsewhere. Love requires a commitment to and responsibility for the loved one, in this case the IOP. We have a responsibility to shepherd (take care of, be instrumental in) our island home.
So, how do we, the over 4,000 thousand registered voters of the IOP demonstrate our commitment to, responsibility for, and willingness to shepherd our island home?
Fortunately, we are only called upon once every two years to formally demonstrate this and that is by voting. But what does that really entail; what are the demonstrable acts of love for IOP? If you love the IOP you demonstrate by being informed; if you love the IOP you demonstrate it by letting your voice be heard about your concerns; and lastly you demonstrate your love by showing up to vote.
What is an informed voter? In today’s, multimedia environment of varied sources of information it can be a difficult task but need not be overwhelming. I suggest 3 sources for your information: first the City’s website, it has all the raw data i.e. the council and committee meeting minutes, videos of council meetings if you are so incline and financial statements; second the Island Eye News which provides journalistic perspective on the City’s operation as well as candidates positions and values; and lastly the LWVCA (League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area) Vote411 website which provides candidates a platform to respond to local issues presented by LWVCA as well as links to individual candidate sites.
An informed voter is one who not only gathers their information but also evaluates a candidate statements and positions against it. It requires a certain level of discernment; identifying conjecture in lieu of objectivity, separating emotion from fact, identifying a candidates character based on the tone of his writings and statements. It is recognizing that government is government and business is business i.e. welfare of the community versus profit.
So why the title Where is the Love? Well it is because elections do have consequences and because Love is an action verb not some insipid emotion. Looking at voter turnout for the past five election cycles it is easy to see why … Looks like Love is dying! 2007 52.62% 2009 45% 2011 36.8% 2013 28.7% 2015 0% …there were not enough candidates to hold an election. When low voter turnout occurs we get what we deserve. Love ya!
Isle of Palms