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Why I Didn't Vote



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Why I Didn’t Vote

To the Editor:

I just read this morning (Wednesday) in The Newtown Bee, online, that the proposed charter change failed to pass. The report was interesting, and goes a good ways to explain why I abstained from voting. The reporter writes that commissioners recommended a simple modification to advise council members if voters thought the overall spending plan was too much, or not enough. But that’s not what really went to the voters.

The proposal did not give “voters” the ability to express themselves, as reported, but only “No voters,” thus gathering information from some voters, disenfranchising others. The question for Yes voters might have been a bit more difficult to phrase than the question for No voters, but still could be something like “If this budget does not pass, would you be more likely to vote in favor of a subsequent budget if it were (1) higher than the currently proposed budget, (2) lower than the currently proposed budget.”

I was especially concerned that the opinions of the “agreeable” group, the group voting in favor of the budget, would be left out of further discussions, while the opinions of the “anti” group, opposed to the budget, would be the only ones taken into account. If the change had passed, it would make me lean toward opposing future budgets, so that my opinion would get considered in case there had to be subsequent budget deliberations...which of course would increase the likelihood of the need for subsequent deliberations, but at least I would feel my voice was being fully heard. Voting Yes would halve the power of my vote.

Jim Greenwood

10 Elm Drive, Newtown                                                 March 30, 2011

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