Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Election Night- I Feel Lucky
So ends the first campaign in which I actually took part as more than a simple voter. Last winter, I decided that, after years of watching from the sidelines, this would be the year that I would volunteer and put my hours (since I don't have much money) where my mouth is.
And so I volunteered for the Welch campaign, and, as we now know, Peter Welch will be the first Democrat to represent Vermont in the House since the late 50s! (That, according to VPR. And of course, as a socialist independent, Bernie doesn't count!)
The most exciting thing about this campaign, however, has been learning (despite the 27 years that I've lived in this state) how lucky we are to live in Vermont.
This campaign has shown me, once again, how democracy really does work best in a small place. In Vermont, I got to meet ALL the candidates for statewide office, and make up my own mind about them, despite the media bombardment to which we, like the rest of the nation, were subjected. I spent the day as a side-checker for the Democrats at one of the polling places, and when my shift was over, got a chance to see Scudder Parker, Democrat for Governor, working for his votes the hard way- one hand at a time. But, that's the Vermont way.
At the end of the night, I found my way to the Democratic Party's Victory Party. In that room, this simple volunteer found himself rubbing elbows with United States Senators, former Governors, and a host of other "newsmakers". I have to admit, it was a lot of fun, and at the same time, I kept wondering how much money it would have cost me to be in similar rooms around the nation. I was proud to live in Vermont, where you can earn your place by simply volunteering your time.