Mainstreaming Torture in Walpole, her hosts proudly showed off their brand new, energy-efficient library. In order to build it, the town had had to pass a special tax; the measure won by a mere ten votes! No wonder those townspeople think their votes matter.
The same peace group told of bringing resolutions against U.S. wars up at their annual town meetings. Perhaps the sense of wide engagement in New England has something to do with the survival of that small scale, popular institution? It certainly seems possible.