I know there are bad reasons to vote but, offhand, I can’t think of a single reason to vote that’s worse than not voting at all.
It’s probably best if, after a careful evaluation of each party platform and a close inspection of candidates in your riding, you choose the one most closely aligned with your personal, political philosophy. But I also think it’s OK to vote against the candidate you hate the most. It’s OK to vote for a promise, even if gets broken.
I understand if it seems difficult to make a choice. In the first five minutes of a debate all the talk is “us,” “we,” and “together,” and every candidate sounds like a socialist. In the last five minutes everyone launches into a party-approved, copy-and-paste pitch that makes the noblest politician look like they’re trying to close the deal on a pre-owned Chrysler. But beyond their mutual blandness, there’s a world of difference in our candidates in terms of both ideas and experience.
We’ve got a candidate who voted against a ban on conversion therapy and another who sponsored the Good Samaritan Overdose Act.
We’ve got candidates who have been on city council, who have kept books for a chamber of commerce and worked with registered charities.
Discussing climate change recently, Conservative incumbent Nelly Shin argued that oil and gas produced in Canada is: “one of the cleanest the world can have.” NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo stated that if she gets elected she’ll do everything in her power to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
I’m not saying you have to like your choices, only that you have them.
A cynic once said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time and, usually, that’s enough.” That’s probably true. But I believe the most insidious scam is fooling people into believing their vote doesn’t matter.
I won’t tell you you’ll get your say. I won’t even tell you that every vote counts evenly. But your vote matters.
Some people compare elections to taking public transit, the idea being that you should pick whatever gets you closest to where you want to be. I like the metaphor but it’s not quite right. It’s more of a fight over the steering wheel. You see, you’re already onboard. It doesn’t matter if you’re apolitical or apathetic or if you dodge taxes with the skill of a rodeo clown sidestepping a bull. If you go to work, go to school, pay taxes, use hospitals, cross roads, breathe the air or drink the water or have a susceptibility to germs, you’re on board.
Where we going?