Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Canada Votes 2004

So on Tuesday I exercised my democratic right and voted in a federal election for the first time ever. I did think it would be a little more glamourous than a little cardboard booth and newspaper-like ballot but that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Making a decision was one of the toughest things I've had to do because after watching the English language debate I was disgusted with all of the candidates who participated. Why would I want to vote for someone as rude and egotistical as any of them? But apathy was not an option for me, though at times I felt a kind of despair for Canada. What kind of a future are we creating if we're voting against somebody instead of for somebody? I say this because it seemed to be the mindset for the election.

In my opinion it was a vote between a lesser of evils and I believe that's why only 60% of the population actually voted. Over the past 40 years, the government has backed out of promises and changed their party platforms after being elected. I would think that this makes people believe that their vote doesn't count, which is why so few people actually turned out to vote. Apparently this is the lowest voter turnout in over 100 years. The last time the percentage was at 60% was in 1898. As far as I'm concerned this is bad. Apathy is contagious and will only continue to spread if the government continues to break the promises they make to people. After all, what's the point in voting if your voice will be ignored anyway?

The only good thing to come out of this election I believe, is that the government will now have to listen to the people. With the minority government and the NDP (not really) holding the balance of power (they only have 19 seats), they will have to tread very carefully to make sure they don't step on anyone's toes. Because if the NDP don't agree with a particular vote then the government will probably receive a vote of non-confidence from the opposition. This means another election will have to be held in short order. For example, nine months after Joe Clark was elected in 79-80, an election was called after his government received a vote of non-confidence. Usually minority governments last about 18 months but I don't like the fact of having to go back to the polls that soon.

Quote: "Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody."

- Franklin P. Adams

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