Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Confession Tuesday: the confessions of a bus rider (3)

One lesson I learned since I became a resident of the United States was that it is best not to tell people with whom to vote unless you are a political campaign organizer. And I also came to understand why : because many times our personal bias may play a decisive role in our choices.

However, I can tell anyone how to vote on the issues that affect us all. Take public transportation for example - the issue that affects me as a declared bus rider of course. How do I know that candidate X will support public transportation (and he does not just say so because...)

- First, one has to consider that public transportation such as any other public service depends a lot on public funding . Therefore, candidate X will support public funding programs rather than individual interests - he/she will be the person that sees taxes and government as a way for communities to work towards a common good or the public interest.

-Second, this is a person that had the guts to support public transportation projects even if the made no sense at the time because this person has a vision for the future. Since most American towns are designed for car drivers, a politician supporting public transportation does not have the luxury to support urban planning and urban sprawl as it is... He/she has to have the guts to support risky projects.(BTW, did you knew that the Panama Canal was considered a financial suicide at one point).

-Third, this is a person who understands that public transportation has to be an alternative for all and not something that defines a lower class, i.e. the poor or the disabled. He/she does not hold the widespread bias that the poor, the ill and the unemployed are somehow to blame for their own condition just because...

Of course, when you go to vote today you may have other issues in mind and not public transportation ...But, to vote the candidate that will continue to provide support for the issues that bother you most you must vote the candidate who's platform and political past is most likely to be consistent with those issues. Anyone can come and promise you change and this and that, but will they deliver?

No comments: