Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To Vote or Not To Vote...

Today is Election Day across the US and here in the Virgin Islands. Because the US Virgin Islands is a US territory and not an actual state, we are not allowed to vote for president. But today we do vote for governor and lieutenant governor, for a number of territorial senate seats including one "senate-at-large" seat, and for the single Virgin Islands representative to the US Congress.

As fairly new residents here, Bob and I are experiencing our first "Crucian" election. We have attempted to become as informed as possible about the issues and the candidates, but the experience is still baffling. A couple of weeks ago we attended "The Great Debate" in which the three running teams for governor/lt. governor faced each other. It was more like a sporting event with supporters for each team cheering and howling and jumping in their seats. Because the majority of people here vote Democrat, there is no running team for the Republican Party. There is the official Democrat team and two independents, and in their answers they all sound like they would pretty much handle the office of governor the same way.

Candidates have been hosting fish fries for the past few weeks, and across the island, cars rigged with loudspeakers drive slowly around neighborhoods while playing political jingles at top volume. In general, the native Crucian community seems to be fairly enthusiastic about the elections. However, every conversation I've had with long-time residents who are originally from the States, shows deep apathy and mistrust of all political candidates. It is common knowledge that the political system here is very corrupt and there is little hope that any one candidate will rise above the corruption and do right by the people.

Nevertheless, Bob and I are going to vote, for whatever it is worth. And then I'm going to go to the studio and forget about politics and get back to a sweet little quilt I've been working on and that I hope to finish and post here very soon.

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2 Comments:

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