November referenda and the democratic process


It’s not too often that people can actively participate on a level of democracy that truly impacts their day-to-day governance.

Sure, presidential elections and primaries mean a lot. But most of those elected officials take a seat of power far away from the people they work for. Their interactions with constituents are relegated to spots on network TV and the occasional speech, at least that’s how it appears to me.

Fishers faces a much different situation come Nov. 6.

The referendum for the town’s government will appear on the ballot before the presidential question.

Voters have the opportunity to directly decide how they’re governed. If you’ve been reading Current over the past two months, you know some of the nuts and bolts about the referendum.

I’ve made it a habit to ask people what they think of the referendum, even if the story I’m working on is unrelated – it’s just good to have a gauge of what people are thinking in terms of this democratic opportunity.

The reactions I’ve received are all over the board. People’s feelings on the issue are varied from don’t fix something that isn’t broken to a certain level of apathy.

At the open forums for the town, the crowds also fluctuate. Some of the same supporters are there to chat up town officials and voters. I see both new and old faces at these meetings.

I hope to see even more as the election draws near. There’s something special about being able to take part in a vote like this.

Americans talk all day about our level of freedom, ability to make a difference for ourselves and others, having a say when it comes to our leaders and ultimately being the masters of our own individual fates. The rhetoric says that we all have a voice that can and will be heard.

Prove the rhetoric right.

Now that I can step down from my soapbox, feel free to chat with me about local happenings at Hearthstone Coffeehouse & Pub on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Can’t make it because of work or other engagements, but still want to reach out? E-mail me at [email protected].