Chamber Insider Blog

Brian’s Corner: The Power of an Educated Voter

Blog post by Government Affairs Manager, Brian Fauls

Statesman or politician?

I’ve been involved with political campaigns and public policy my entire career. I’m also a student of international politics and international relations (everyone needs a hobby), which means I know the obscure fact that of the 167 countries in the world today, only 24 are pure democracies. 

I understand and appreciate the right we have in this country to freely elect people to make our laws. However, I also appreciate that…

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” – Winston Churchill

Why?  Because it is a mess raucous sometimes nasty affair but also because it places a burden upon those who practice it.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event. If we don’t participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy.”  – Michael Moore

Put another way, in order to keep our laws responsive to our needs and the needs of our community, we must recognize and accept our civic responsibility to get involved in the political process by voting.  Yet, voting is not, in and of itself enough, to ensure that we elect the right people to office, the statesmen instead of politicians, so to speak.   

What is the difference between a statesman and a politician, you may ask?  Let’s ask the experts.

“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.”Nikita Khrushchev


“A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation.” – Georges Pompidou

But still…

“The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate.” – Thomas Jefferson

That is why the Chamber created the BizVotes Election Education Campaign.  To educate Loudoun’s voters on where the candidates for state and local offices stand on the important business and community issues affecting Loudoun County.  We want you to have the information you need to make it to the ballot box in November and to vote for the candidate you believe will best support Loudoun County’s economy and quality of life.  

A key component of the BizVotes Campaign is a questionnaire that we asked the candidates running for the General Assembly to complete.  The answers we received back are now up on the Chamber’s website at

Another critical piece of the BizVotes Campaign, is our Virginia General Assembly Candidates’ Forum on Wednesday, September 9th.   The candidates running for seats in the General Assembly representing Loudoun County will face a panel of Loudoun County business leaders who will question them on the issues. 

We’ve given you the tools to make an informed decision but you have to use them. 


Register here for the VA General Assembly Candidates’ Forum!