Participate in any way
Published 8:15 pm Thursday, July 8, 2004
All you have to do is read the newspaper, watch television news or hear reports on the radio to know this world is still a dangerous, uncertain place.
This is especially true during times of political change. Violence, armed conflict, even assassinations and kidnappings take place during the change of power in many countries.
Certainly we've all been made aware of the deadly terrorist attacks in Iraq as the U.S. prepared to hand power over to a sovereign Iraqi government.
In many countries, even lower political struggles often erupt in violence down to the city and even tribal level.
That is why we should be so proud of our system of self-rule. By the time you read this editorial, we will have had a peaceful runoff election for our county commission seat. Even an erroneous voting map during the primaries didn't spark violence in a contest to be on one of the governing bodies that has a direct relationship with how we live our day-to-day lives.
Even the hotly contested presidential election of 2000 was handled peacefully. Yes, there were demonstrations, but the images that will linger with most of us from that election are the careful inspection of ballots and the debating of law in our legal system, not that of young men firing AK-47s in the streets.
Our political system is more open and free than any other that we know. It encourages participation, both as a voter and as a candidate.
By the time you read this editorial, we will have witnessed the conclusion of the county commission race and the unofficial start of city elections.
Marking this start is the official announcement of the Mayor and City Council members who will seek reelection.
An official city ordinance allowing for registering of city candidates was approved unanimously, and qualifying to run for city offices will begin July 6.
The Atmore Advance is planning to cover the city elections fully and provide in-depth candidate interviews for our readers.
We encourage everyone to take advantage of their constitutional rights to participate in our government, either by running for office, if one is so inclined, or registering to vote and then going to the polls.