Friday, August 04, 2006

The Right to Vote

I think one of the most important gifts a citizen has is the right to vote in his country's elections. I love those people who sit back and complain when 'the other guy' got in, but when asked who they voted for reply, 'Oh, I didn't vote.' And then they recite the list of reasons why...no one to vote for...they're all the same...they're all a bunch of crooks... You know the list.

When Bubbie Channah moved here nine years ago after our Dad AH (Alav HaShalom...may he rest in peace) passed away, the first thing we did was get her dual citizenship. Along with that came the right to vote in any and all elections.

Voting in Israel isn't really simple...nu so why are you not surprised? Is anything simple in this wonderful country?

Let me explain. See, every party, and G-d bless us, for a country of six odd million people, we have seven hundred and forty-two political parties. Don't ask. The religious have the Ashkenazi, the Spharadi, the ultra orthodox, the not so orthodox, and the party no one will vote for.

Add to that the secular parties and the Arab parties...yes they too are represented in our Knesset. I'll save what I think about that for another blog.

Ok. So first you pick your party. Then you learn your party's voting name. Confused? Wait it gets better. I don't know why they need a voting name but hey I'm only here thirty-seven years...a baby.

Examples always help me understand better, so here we go. If you want to vote Likud, you have to find the little piece of paper that says Mahal. If you want to vote Labour, you have to put the little piece of paper that says Emmet in the envelope. And on and on and on.

Some times I don't know who the hell the parties are never mind the little pieces of paper.

That brings me back to Bubbie Channah. Bubbie always votes, bless her. We stand in line and she goes behind the curtained area and puts her little piece of paper into the envelope and VOILA she has as much say as any other citizen in the world. I love it.

One year she voted for some strange man for mayor of Jerusalem. I'd never heard of him and when I asked her who he is, she said, 'I read about him in the Jerusalem Post and he wants to keep the city clean. The city is a mess and we need him. So, I'm voting for him.'

Yahooooo Bubbie!

Oh, one more problem. Bubbie doesn't read Hebrew. So we have to memorize the little letters on the pieces of paper. Then we found a solution. On the way into the voting area, each party is represented and tries to convince you to vote for them. They also have the little pieces of paper. How marvellous! Bubbie Chanah takes one of the pieces of paper, puts it in her pocket and instead of trying to pick it out from the piles and piles in the booth, she simply pulls it out of her pocket, puts it into the envelope and takes it to the box in front of the voting committee.

Then we go for lunch!

Today over the net there are all kinds of petitions being offered. What do you think of Israel? Is Israel overacting? Should a cease-fire be implemented immediately? You see them online and know what I'm talking about.

What I'm asking you today is to vote. No one reads our votes but they do count them up and public opinion is still important.

Today as Israel continues to fight for her life, we are also fighting for the right to finish the job, once and for all.

So, maybe, if you get an email asking you to put your piece of paper into the envelope, take a minute and help a friend. We'll do it for you, if you need it, G-d forbid, one day.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

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