On the Canadian Election: Why You Need To Vote
Posted September 8, 2008on:
I have spent the day surrounded by sheeples (really people, there’s a double door at the entrance to the train station – you don’t need to line up 40 deep in order to get inside and don’t yell at me for skipping the line when I go to open the other door) and my boobs hurt. A lot.
Just to let you know where I am right now.
One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot in the media is that there’s some idea of election exhaustion here in Canada. Not only are we approaching our 3rd election in 4 years, for the last year, we’ve been his with the US primaries and now the US election.
Amy over at BlogHers ACT Canada asks why we’re going to the polls – again and notes the National Post quotes the Prime Minister as saying “this Parliament at its useful end.” Yeah, the PM isn’t getting his way. I’ll agree with that.
I’d also say that the election would have happened anyways, and in short order. I have to give some props to Stephen Harper for at least attempting to talk to the leaders of the other parties to get some sort of agreement. If Parliament had been recalled, eventually, the Conservative government would have been subjected to a confidence vote, and we’d be in the same place we are now.
Except that it’d be that much closer to Christmas – just like last time. When elections are close to major holidays, there is a decrease in the number of votes cast – which means fewer people have a say.
Amy, by the way, has an excellent synopsis on this post of the environmental standpoints of each of the parties (except the Bloc Quebecois of course).
At any rate, I’m not going to discuss the party platforms here. I linked all the parties on this post and they’re linked on Amy’s post noted above. I’ll leave it to you to read the platforms yourself and figure out how you’re going to vote on your own.
Because really, I don’t care how you vote. Just VOTE, dammit. Get out there. Your employer must give you 3 consecutive hours on election day to go vote if your hours of work do not otherwise allow it. That is time with pay.
Why don’t I care how you vote? Because of that nasty first past the post/concentration of votes in ridings thing I mentioned in an earlier post. I flip my vote all the time – I have voted Conservative, Liberal, NDP and once, even, the Marijuana Party (and then I got smart about one-issue parties. And stopped smoking pot).
So I flip my vote depending on the issues of the day. And here’s the thing: often, its the party with the most grass-roots issues that gets my vote. I guess I tend towards the grassroots side.
My dad didn’t vote for many years. He was jaded, disillusioned. And then in the last election, he registered to vote because he didn’t want the Conservatives to form a government. And that’s as good a reason as any.
The problem is, in democratic countries, we take the right to vote for granted. Ask anyone from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus or any of the other former Soviet countries – its not a given. Do not take it for granted.
Instead, see it as the blessing it is, and exercise that right, regardless of your degree of election exhaustion.
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
– Sir Winston Churchill
Also posted at Wet Coast Women
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