Influence or Intrusion? - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

July 8, 2010

Influence or Intrusion?

Opinions are like belly buttons; everyone's got one. When an institution comes out in support of or against an issue or a candidate, how much does it really affect the voting public? People vote- thank goodness- and not companies or institutions, so does it really swing a lot of votes when one entity comes out with its opinion of issues like civil unions or another entity with obvious self-interests backs a specific candidate?

Do voters in our information-rich society feel the need nowadays to rely on their company to better direct their choices come primary or general election day? Years ago, it was felt that a major institution putting its weight and support behind a candidate or issue would undoubtedly swing votes that way. Is that still true? It would be interesting to see the latest study as to whether individuals really care much or factor in how a business they frequent or a union to which they pay dues feels about a candidate or an issue. Maybe people really don't want to hear what the company thinks; maybe they don't want to feel undue pressure from above on a personal choice.

After all, what is best for a company based upon a top management, closed-door, small hui decision-making process is not necessarily what works the best for any individual or family member who has a relationship with that business or institution. Bloc voting is certainly not what it used to be back in the old plantation days in Hawaii, and people should be capable of going into a polling place with a clear mind and a clear conscience to vote for whomever or whatever they believe is in their best interests, the best interests of the community, and yes, maybe, even the best interests of their employer. Thank goodness we still allow the people to vote and make election decisions, not companies. Think about it…

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