Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Pre-Results Election Thoughts

I was writing this blog before the election results started rolling in. Blogger automatically saves so I found it as a draft today. It suddenly ends because my friend insisted we leave and get Subway - and while i intended to come back and finish it, results had started rolling in so blogging was the last thing on my mind.

This election has been extraordinary. There has literally never been such a shift in in popular vote as existed in this election and I realized something - it feels no different than any other election I've experienced since 2006: Terrifying. It looks although we're heading toward another Conservative minority. Hypothetically, it's possible that the Liberals and NDP will have enough votes to create a government through combination. I consider it just as likely that the late NDP surge will split the left and give the Conservative's some extra seats.

I can't help but be disappointed (generally) by people's lack of understanding in how our voting system works and/or unwillingness to be realistic about how they vote. We're all raised with certain ideals - and in a large part this influences how we vote. We're also raised not to lie - to be responsible with money - to be kind to people... well most people are at least. These are all good things to live by - but there are times in our lives where we can assess a situation reasonably and understand that there are exceptions to those rules.

Voting is no different. The left (Green, Liberal, NDP) all pretty much agrees that the course the country is on with Stephen Harper in charge is the wrong one. When it comes to voting though - these groups can't seem to reach a common ground. For example - in riding's that have been historically Con/Lib or Con/NDP - there are voters who steadfastly refuse to vote for the other left party.

I can not at all understand how a group of people can so steadfastly refuse to come half way for the sense of realism. It is absolutely your RIGHT to do what you wish with your vote. Anyone who ever disputes that is out of their mind. You can make bad choices though. You can make uninformed choices.

Just as you can make a poor choice in purchasing a product - you can make a poor choice in who to vote for. Is it a matter of opinion? Of course. However - when you claim to support the NDP, in a riding that will absolutely go either Liberal or Conservative - and vote NDP... in my opinion that's a horrific choice. One party has an ideology not so far from yours - and the other has a polar opposite ideology. Because their ideology is not EXACTLY the same - or because you don't like the leader (voting for policy is so out of fashion) - the decision that you can't vote for them is reckless. Deciding who you vote for on this micro level has macro effects. The choices made today by millions of Canadians across the country have a very serious impact on millions of Canadians for the next (potentially) four years. To just toss your vote in for the sake of some moral superiority or to make a meaningless and unknown statement about intolerance for the other choices is your right - but shortsighted.

This country - regardless of your political stance - has serious issues in front of it. Making these decisions at the ballot box should be made with equal seriousness. Frankly - those voting for NDP in a region like I described above because they like "Jack" or don't like "Iggy" - clearly don't take their decision seriously. You're unwillingness to support a middle ground could cause a person with views completely opposite of yours representing you, instead of someone who partially agrees with you.

1 comment:

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