Seriously. You do.
Today after work I made the effort to go vote. I know, living in a democracy and having the inconvenience of another ‘errand’ after work is awfully demanding.
There were no protestors blocking the entrance, and there was no funny business going on with vote tampering that I could see. No one coerced me into voting for a specific candidate. Nope.
Despite the recent assault on our country, the polling station here in my urban community was a pretty unthreatening place to be. If we don’t get a little more passionate about the way our country is led, this could soon change.
Like most citizens, I feel a bit beleaguered by the egoist, party-favouring politicians we have today. As much as I do feel that my vote is one of the lesser of two, maybe three evils, I still vote. After all, if I don’t like it, I can always throw my hat in the three-ring-political circus we call Canadian democracy.
If, like many people during the past provincial and federal elections you want to protest the whole shamozzle, you have the option of protest-voting, or declining your vote. That is to say, that when you’re handed your ballot, you accept the ballot, and then hand it back to the over-paid person sitting on the other side of the table, and they must register your vote as ‘declined’.
During the last election, this got quite a bit of attention. There was a clear message sent to our government that citizens were getting fed-up with their antics.
This is not going to be a finish-your-dinner-because-there-are-children-starving-in-China rant. No. What it is, is a list of rights you give up when you choose not to vote.
You give up the right to;
1) Pollute public aural space with your uneducated and ignorant opinions having anything to do with our country.
2) Pay respect to our veterans. By not voting you metaphorically spit in their face.
3) Bitch, whine, or moan about what social services you have available to yourself and your loved ones.
4) Say anything about any kind of tax or the way public money is spent.
5) Live and work in a culture that is free from discrimination of any kind.
6) Publicly funded education and all income support programs
7) Any international respect that comes with being a Canadian.
8) Call yourself a Canadian.
People who don’t vote, roll out the welcome mat for the destruction of democracy. They perpetuate a dangerous apathy that has eroded our national values.
If you didn’t vote, or register your ‘declined’ vote, I feel behooved to tell you that you suck.