Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Rant About Voting

First of all, I'm going to get something off my chest. In this past Thursday's Ontario provincial election, 50.1% of the voters in my riding sucked. If I counted the rest of the voters that didn't vote the same as me that number would be much higher but I am satisfied to shake my head with derision at those that re-elected the clown in the suspenders.
Now on to voting in general. More or less. I can't remember the exact number but less than 50% of eligible voters actually voted in Thursday's election. That means every other "voter" was perfectly willing to let the person next to them make the decision for them. This is not a trivial decision either. This is how our province is run! Education, transportation, health care, social services etc. Things that affect the very fabric of our lives every single day.  This is how our taxes are spent! Our hard earned (well most of us) money!  We don't have a choice about paying taxes. (well, most of us) But we do have a choice about choosing the governing body that decides what to do with our taxes. Why would you not want to have a say? How can you be so complacent? A friend of mine said during the federal elections something to the effect of "I'm not going to line up with you sheep." But really, isn't HE the sheep? By not even trying to have his voice heard, and letting others make all the decisions, he becomes the follower. Just going with the flow. Good guy, smart guy. But I believe his logic on this is flawed.
There really is no valid excuse not to vote. Complacency is not an excuse. "I didn't have time." BULLSHIT. The polls were open for 12 hours. My wife and I were in an out in less than 5 minutes and we had to stop so people could coo over our baby. Don't give me the time crap. Even if you worked a shift from 9-9, the whole time the polls were open, employers are obligated to give you the time to go vote. It's your right. (I'll get to that in a minute) Besides, there was advance polls leading up to actual election day. No time is not an excuse. "I don't know who to vote for." Well who's fucking fault is that? YOURS! Read the newspaper, watch the TV, attend debates, look on the internet, ask someone who IS informed!!  You'll never know the answer unless you ask the question. There are so many avenues to get the information you need to make an informed decision. Even if it is just asking your husband, wife, neighbour, parents, children, barber, mailman, whoever. Lack of information is no excuse. "My vote won't make a difference." Like FUCK it won't make a difference! If every tit who sat on their ass saying "my vote doesn't matter" got up and voted, do you have any idea how much of a difference that would actually make? A HUGE difference!! Mostly because the people that think that way would vote for a "lesser" party like the NDP or Green Party etc. Maybe if people changed their attitudes about that, things might change. Their might not be two big parties and some also-rans. Look what happened in the federal election. (I'm talking about the NDP becoming the official opposition, not Emperor Harper getting his much coveted majority. He said the election was a dangerous exercise.YUP! I'm expecting him to dissolve the Senate any day now. "Unlimited POWER!!!" I digress) The insignificance of your vote is bullshit and not an excuse.
No time, no clue, no care, no weight. None are valid excuses. If you can think of another reason not to vote, let me know and I will gladly tell you why it's bullshit.
I mentioned your RIGHT to vote. Yes, it is your right but it is just as much a privilege. For generations, Canadian soldiers have fought and died to maintain our rights and freedoms. Democracy is part of that. Go tell a veteran that you don't care. See how much they like that. Go tell someone in one of the countries that doesn't have the freedom to vote for their leaders that you don't care who runs your municipality/province/country. I'm sure they'll gladly trade places with you. Eligible voters should feel proud that they have the right to vote. They should feel honoured and privileged to serve their democracy in the manner that regular citizens can. Most of us were born into this right but thousands upon thousands of refugees have fought for the opportunity to vote. In this country or their own. And over 50% of eligible Ontarians just sat on their ass and did nothing. Shameless.
I'm going to go extremist for a minute here. Sometimes I think it should be mandatory to vote. I don't know what the punishment would be. I'm just talking. The problem is, the people who don't care to vote now would either just take the fine or whatever or randomly pick a name based on whatever bullshit criteria pops into their head. Which wouldn't work either. I'm just being hypothetical because I'm frustrated and it's 4:30am.
So, can you just do me a favour next time there is an election of any sort? Do some research, get informed and exercise your right and VOTE.

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