AN ACTION FRAMEWORK AT ELECTION TIME
So how can that hard work of thoughtfully and purposefully deciding your vote be done in a logical and methodical way? I offer you a framework to help you process your concerns and get you some focus and clarity about what you may want to vote about. It’s based on four steps: Head, Heart, Hand, and Hope. It can help you determine what is important to you that will help you drive to a conclusion on how to mark your ballot.
WHAT ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT?
What is in your HEAD? What is keeping you up at night? Are you worried about inflation, or recession and job security? Will healthcare be there should you or your family need it? Deciding this is obviously personal, even though your individual issues are also in a broader public policy, program or process related. Ask yourself, what are you paying attention to? How are your concerns impacting your life? Do you see something that could be changed to make your life better? Where does the change have to happen?
HOW ARE YOU FEELING AND DEALING WITH YOUR ISSUES?
What is in your HEART? What are you feeling and believing about the matters that concern you? Do you feel your concerns are on the political agenda this election? If so, which leader, party or candidate is aligned with and focused on your concerns? Do they “get it?” If not, how do you get their attention and make your concerns known?
It’s too early yet to know who all the candidates are i, your constituency or the party platforms. You can find out a lot now by following the leaders on Facebook and Twitter as well as the party websites.
In the meantime, are your feelings being driven by fear, uncertainty and doubt? Or are you feeling confident that your concerns can be changed and your aspirations achieved? Do you have an idea on how you can take steps to effectively press for change? Have you considered how you can influence the political narratives, agenda, and outcomes around your concerns going into this election?
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS?
Next is your HANDS? What are you actually doing, or planning to do, to impact the changes you want from this election year? As stated in an earlier blog post, the existential question of citizenship is “If Not This, Then What?” Are you fixin’ for a fight or fighting for a fix when you consider the If Not This part of the question?
Are you also preparing to commit some of your time, talent, money and other resources to make your concerns known to those seeking your vote and your consent to govern? Will you volunteer for a local candidate? Will you donate to a campaign? Will you speak to your friends, family and others in your community networks about your concerns and share your efforts as a citizen? Will you encourage them to share how they plan to participate in this election too?
WHAT DOES A BETTER RESULT LOOK LIKE?
Finally and most importantly is what do you HOPE for as an engaged, politically active and issues oriented citizen from this election? Have you determined your answer to the “Then What” aspect of the fundamental question at election time? What exactly does better look like to you in your areas of concern? What do you want to see your government keep doing, stop doing and start doing in your policy, program and process concerns?
LET’S SHARE AND LEARN FROM EACH OTHER
We are all in the Alberta political culture together and alone. Reboot Alberta will consider convening some online events for our community as we all prepare for the coming election. If there is enough interest and positive feedback, we will help share life experiences and personal efforts to be the change we want to see as citizens. We will explore ideas and aspirations, intentions and actions of community members in our efforts to become better voters as part of becoming better citizens and getting better government.
We will use the Four “H” Framework to focus our efforts. This process will help us define our personal goals as we decide what we want from our vote and our election actions and engagement. We gather within the Reboot interest areas like health, education, economy, social justice, environment and good government.
We can share, learn from each other. We may even find ways and means to aggregate and collaborate around collective actions as we press for change in our political culture and how we choose a government.
WHAT IS YOUR BALLOT BOX QUESTION THIS ELECTION?
How will you let your views be known to the candidates, leaders, party organizers and advisors in this election? They want your support now so they will pay you more attention than usual between now and the day after the election.
How will you make a difference? Each of us have limitations and constraints in our lives that restrict our participation in elections. As John Lennon said “life is what happens while you are making other plans.” But everyone of us can do something, no matter how modest, to become a better voter. More is coming on how we can personally be Voter Ready on the May 29th election day.
So stay tuned, stay attuned, tune up your citizenship and do not tune out! There are Authoritarian forces organizing to take over Alberta this election.
Our democracy is at risk. Use it or lose it.