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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The voters speak

So, when an important issue is at stake, I guess people will get off their lazy butts and go to the polls:

Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.

With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

[. . .]

Shortly afterwards, Mr Salmond said he accepted the defeat and called for national unity.

He said the referendum and the high turnout (nearly 85%) had been a "triumph for the democratic process" and promised to keep his pledge in the Edinburgh Agreement which paved the way for the referendum to respect the result.

Actually, the remarkable thing is that 15 percent didn't vote. That's a lot of people not bothering to weigh in on the most important question in Scottish history.

A lot of people in this country spend a lot of energy lamenting the apathy here that results in such dismally low voter turnout (I confess to being one of those people occasionally). But one way to look at it is that the non-voting citizen is making a rational decision that it doesn't really matter if he votes or not. Our system is well-established and is pretty much going to chug along no matter who fills which office at any particular time.

Of course that attitude can keep the voters away even when there is something important to decide. The ballot in November will include the question of whether Allen County should keep the same form of government or go to a city-like model, with one elected executive instead of three and a county council that has legislative as well as fiscal duties. Granted, that's not as important as independence was to Scottish voters, but it is significant for our future. But I'd be surprised in the turnout hit 30 percent.