Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VOTE!!

Today is election day in Canada, so please vote. Let your voice be heard. We have five parties in Canada (four outside of Quebec) and that's a lot of platforms to be informed of, but you can check out their websites easily, skim the information, and find out what their policies will be. I'm not going to tell you how to vote, but here are some helpful websites:

Vote for Environment
Anything but Conservative

OK, yes, I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek. I just spent the weekend with my card-carrying Conservative in-laws as they sat around spouting rhetoric that was so unbelievable I can't even begin to print it here, and it only solidified my desire to vote the way I will be. And by the way, I did a lot of research. I'm not someone who's ever voted along party lines, and I tend to switch to the party whose platform most suits me at the time, and I've read all the platforms and know which way I'm going. (That said, there is one party I never vote for...)

But even if you do vote Conservative, it's better than not voting at all. People have fought for our right to democracy, for men and women to go out there and effect change, and to disrespect that hard-won battle by shrugging and flipping on the TV to see how other people will affect your nation is just laziness. (It's beyond laziness, actually, but I'm trying to be nice.) I remember one year someone I know who is a lot younger than I am sent out an email to all her friends after the election to say how upset she was with the party in power, and boasted that she hadn't bothered to vote, which gives her the right to complain about that party because she didn't vote for them. I respectfully wrote her back and said actually, if you do nothing to get that party OUT of power, you're just as responsible for them being in power as the person who voted for them.

If you don't vote, you can't complain about the government, about your taxes, about your health care, about anything in this country because you did nothing to change it.

So go on out and vote. If for no other reason than to enjoy guilt-free bitching for the next few years.

10 comments:

Jeremy Barker said...

Done. Now off to my evenhanded place of employment...

redeem147 said...

I voted. Unfortunately, Obama wasn't on the form :)

There are more than five parties, though. That's the major ones, but others can appear on the ballot.

I always like to see how the Marxist-Leninist guys do.

JJ said...

I did not vote.

I have nothing but respect for the brave reformers who established my right to vote and the soldiers who have fought on foreign battlefields to defend it. However, that right is mine to use (or not) as I see fit. As it happens, I do not care who wins this election, so I won't pretend I do by "choosing" between the guy who will withdraw Canadian troops from Afghanistan by 2011 and the other guy who will withdraw Canadian troops from Afghanistan by 2011.

It is not laziness to prefer none-of-the-above to any of the actual options. If there were an opportunity to cast a ballot for "None-of-the-above" for real, I'd do it gladly.

Nikki Stafford said...

redeem: Ha! You're right. However, usually when someone votes for the Marxist-Leninist party, it's to spoil their ballot (sadly). There's nothing wrong with those other parties, but usually people aren't reading their platforms to figure out if that's who they'll seriously vote for.

My favourite in the London area was the Christian Heritage Party. My husband said, "Hey, I consider myself a Christian, AND I'm interested in heritage." I added, "And you like to party!" Damn. They would have been perfect for us.

Jonathan said...

The Marxist-Leninist candidate in my area is named Sarah Thompson. Who knew?!

Nikki Stafford said...

JJ: I see what you're saying, totally. None of the Canadian leaders even comes close to being as interesting as the American candidates, and in some cases (like withdrawing troops from Afghanistan) they're all singing the same song. But you must care about something other than when we're going to get out of Afghanistan on a daily basis: taxes? the environment? the arts? Is our presence in Afghanistan seriously the thing that concerns you the most? (If so, I wish that was all I had to worry about!) All of the platforms are entirely different on these other issues. You read my blog pretty regularly, and therefore probably have an interest in popular culture and the arts, but the current government has cut the arts so drastically they have seriously jeopardized my job and my ability to publish future books. So you might think you're apathetic politically, but at some point they are affecting the things that interest you, and choosing a different government could change that. That's just my two cents.

JJ said...

Just to clarify, I didn't mean to suggest that the Afghanistan mission was the only one that matters to me. It is merely the most extreme example of the low stakes involved in this campaign. You may see massive differences between the parties on a few issues, but my view is much closer to Andrew Coyne's. (go to macleans.ca -- a link to his article is right on the homepage)

Nikki Stafford said...

So... is it too late for me to retract my comment that even if you vote Conservative, it's better than not voting at all? I spoke hastily.

BAH.

Adrienne Dinen said...

I voted. Rumour has it that the Conservatives won a stronger minority government...

redeem147 said...

I sometimes wonder if we just let Harper win one, people would see his true colours and, like Mike Harris before him, that would be that.

Except that he could go a long way towards destroying this country as we know it in the meantime.