Your Vote is Your Voice Only

by Troy Blanchard | 11/5/02 6:00am

To the Editor:

While I understand Ms. Ana Bonnheim's message in her Nov. 4 column "Your Vote is Your Voice," about a government dominated by one party, she seems to ignore the fact that such a government would result because of the democratic process. If the Republicans do take control of both chambers of Congress, it would be because the people of the United States voted for them. Conversely, if the Democrats make gains, it would be for the same reason. We elected a president as a our national leader, but we elect our congressional representatives, in both the House and Senate, as local and state representatives, not to be a part of a national contigent of party voters in Washington. Local issues play a major role in congressional elections and Ms. Bonnheim ignores this fact completly. Maybe someone supports a Republican candidate for Congress, not because they want the president to have more control of federal judicial nominations, but because they feel she or he will best represent and attend to the needs of the local citizens of their district or state. Maybe party affiliation does not even play a role in their decision.

The founders envisioned a government of local representatives, not party or idealogical representatives. Ms. Bonnheim's excited message that we, Dartmouth students, can have an effect on national politics skews the intent and purpose of our federal government. Her message is an example of a dangerous trend in American politics: where idealogical control is a more important reason for voting for a particular candidate than trying to send the person you, the voter, feels is most qualified to represent the needs of that candidate's home district or state.

I applaud Ms. Bonnheim's effort to encouage voting in elections, but many of us are not New Hampshire residents, and we should not vote in this state soley so we can have an impact on national politics. That is not the process that our nation's founders sought to create.