Voting lessons ripple from across the pond

Voter remorse is one of the sad ripple effects coming out of Britain’s Brexit election.

As the pols struggle with how to accomplish the split and how much pain it should cause, a sorry refrain is heard from some voters. Thinking Brexit would fail, they used their vote as a tool to make it close – to rap their leaders on the noggin by voting to leave the European Union. One summed it up: “I didn’t think ‘leave’ would win. I didn’t think my vote would really count.”

To be sure there was a solid block of intentional “leave” voters. But those who voted just for kicks, to make a statement in what they thought was a losing proposition, undoubtedly helped push the leave camp over the top.

There’s a lesson in this for U.S. voters. As we push on into an acrimonious presidential campaign, vocal voters are touting their candidates as true champions, but many others are deploring the choices as two evils. They, like the leave voters, may be tempted to use their votes simply to register their displeasure with the government, the electoral system, the “other guy.” The deciding factor for them may not be a platform, a promise or a political stand, but a desire to send a message: “That’ll teach ’em.”

Yet if Britain’s Brexit vote suggest one lesson for us, it may be that we as voters should treat our ballot rights with respect. That means ensuring that our votes are driven more by reasoning than angst. Every vote does count, so aspire to make your vote count for something, not simply against something. – SC