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An Open Letter to People Who Don’t Vote

vote hereYou suck.

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.

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Canadian Journalism is Dead

broken_typewriter copy
broken_typewriter copy (Photo credit: wvs)

Journalism is dead.

The objective ideal has long since gone the way of cigarette holders and the sassy style of gin-joint flappers.

Today, the  cover of our local news featured an advert at both the top and bottom of the front page, with the majority of coverage going to Anne Hathaway’s smarmy giant-toothed grin.

Guess what I’m using to line the bottom of our bird-cage? Heads up Anne….

A minor few inches of the front page were dedicated to yet another report of a crooked Canadian politician, and an “exclusive’ about the risks of casual and contract work on the vulnerable.

I hate to break it to you Toronto Star, but – no kiddin’.

Canadian politicians are as crooked, greedy and unprofessional as any in nations which we assume political superiority. Not only is journalism dead, but so is real, political leadership and vision.

Very few, if any journalists working for major publications will risk their jobs or lives (no exaggeration) to report on who’s buying who. Besides, what good would it do? No one would publish their work anyway.

During the past few months, Toronto news has been overwhelmed with the mayor’s miraculous escape from being kicked from office, despite clear conflict of interest, and misuse of city resources (including pulling our miniscule transit resources to coddle his football hobby).

Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin have lied about their residences. Bowing to the almighty dollar rather than the great good of the nation. Way to go.

As soon as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne took office, the opposition started acting up like middle school children during a forced indoor recess.

We have become a nation of apathetic Stepford Citizens at every political level.  Democracy in Canada is a joke.

The “Canadian Dream” of living in a progressive, socially responsible society has turned into a nightmare of big business buying out our media, government, and stretching the gap between the working class and the wealthy thinner than an immigrant’s pay cheque.

Keep in mind, this criticism comes from a hopeless patriot, and idealist. I believe our country has great potential, and it’s heartbreaking to see it stripped away.

Are you prepared to be duped into thinking the issues of today are Anne Hathaway’s nipples and Danica Patrick’s crappy driving?

Yes?

Well, maybe that’s for the best. After all, ignorance is rumoured to be bliss.