Vermont was the first state to ban slavery and the first to legislatively legalize gay marriage—we take pride in being a leader in positive social change.
This philosophy has manifested itself in a strong progressive bent in recent years—notably, our Senator Bernie Sanders mounted a surprisingly successful run for the Presidency in 2016.
However, Vermonters are more likely to pick the person over the party, happily ‘splitting the ticket’ to elect Republican Governor Phil Scott in 2016 while returning a heavily Democratic legislature to the Statehouse.
In any case, Vermont benefits from its small size: many residents have had some interaction with, say, their senator at the supermarket, or the governor at a town parade. These politicians, in turn, have a smaller-than-normal constituency to please.
Thus, politics in Vermont are seemingly more local than elsewhere, and have tangible connections to our everyday life.
Vermonters also have a fondness for being political representatives themselves. It’s easy to get involved with small-town school and select boards, and every March brings Town Meeting, where every citizen is given a voice to speak on local government policy.
In Vermont, it’s easy to get involved on the local level. Read Georgia, Vt., resident Matt Crawford’s first-person account of sitting on his town’s selectboard
in Vermont Life.
The people we’ve hired to be our governor, our secretary of state—they’re our neighbors, and they don’t have an entourage when they walk around the state.