Continue a Healthy Civic Culture
I must publicly offer my sincere gratitude for the responsibility bestowed upon me as a third-party member of Clinton’s first Town Council. Serving and creating a healthy civic culture in this capacity has been one of my finest honors and one that I shall never forget. I do however have a few comments of note regarding the election results on Nov. 2.
First of all—and as the Clinton Green Party did relatively well—it appears that many of our voters may have retracted into bifurcated, hyper-partisanship party-line voting. While the pandemic has caused societal insecurity on so many varied levels, we must not look to the two-party paradigm as our surety. It is a fruitless and ultimately a very dangerous model of binary thinking. Parties should continue to act as an effective vetting mechanism for candidates, but we must not devolve into warring factions without shared values. Therefore, I recommend and highly encourage all three local party chairs schedule to meet and share general ideas that benefit Clinton at large, specifically ideas pertaining to Clinton’s civic health.
There is a reason why more than 70 percent of registered voters in town stayed home. Our leaders need to uncover the root causes of voter apathy and not rest on the laurels of recent party electoral successes. Participation of slightly over one in four voters tells us very little about the wants and needs of our citizens as a whole.
Clinton’s experiment in multi-party governance must continue in earnest and in doing so, we can proudly show other communities what a healthy and highly functioning democracy can be. I beg of your readers: Do not devolve into factions.
Green Party member Eric Bergman serves on the Town Council.