Our government is theoretically based on certain principles. Representative government is a big one. Surely you’ve heard the phrase “taxation without representation”–basically meaning, the government controlled people (in this case, their taxes) without giving them a voice in the government.

While every citizen over the age of 18 can now vote, there are a lot of people who still don’t have a voice, and we have to remember them. When you step into the voting booth, you’re not just deciding on the future of yourself and your fellow voters, but also of the millions of people all over the world who are affected by our government.

Children can’t vote (I’m not saying they should, it’s just an observation). Yet the government certainly affects them, through education, through what benefits their parents can receive, through healthcare (kids get sick, too!)–all of their lives are affected by the government. When you cast your vote, you have a responsibility to think about them.

Non-citizens who live in this country can’t vote. The road to citizenship is a long and difficult process. There are people who are very devoted to this country but can’t vote for themselves. There are people who have raised their families here. People who have lived here for decades. All unable to vote. Keep them in mind when you’re filling in bubbles, pressing buttons, or punching holes in a card.

People all over the world are affected by the actions of the American government. For an extreme example, take the citizens of Iraq. They’ve been as affected as anyone here by the actions of the Bush administration. When you step into the voting booth, the lives and freedoms of people across the globe are at stake. Unlike most of them, you have the ability to affect what happens in this election. Make the most of it.

This post is part of Blog The Vote. Check out the master list at Chasing Ray. All interesting thoughts, and all worth a read!