Jocelyn A. Ford: Reflections on Amherst’s ‘Chinese Election’

Thursday, November 18, 2021

As a China-based journalist for the 20 years prior to the pandemic, I used to joke with colleagues about the Chinese Communist Party’s self-proclaimed democratic elections. Elections typically offered only one choice of candidate per seat.

So I was greatly disturbed and dismayed to discover that in the Nov. 2 election for Town Council in my hometown Amherst, voters had a choice for representative in only two out of five districts. As a town, we need to do some soul-searching about why we are approaching Chinese-style “democracy,” and how we can reinvigorate our system such that Amherst’s many civic-minded citizens will be inspired to run for office.