The frustrating part of having a minority government in Canada? That a country known for being accepting and accommodating can be guaranteed a year, maybe two, of posturing by politicians, eventually triggering another election.
The latest round is the Ontario general election for the Members of Provincial Parliament. The irony is all the language around how broke this province is, but apparently all three parties agree spending money on making us listen to more slogans and slanders is the best use of taxpayer dollars.
That said, not voting to prove a point of how displeased we are, while tempting, accomplishes nothing. That over half the province did not vote in the last Ontario general election in 2011 isn’t sending political advisors and pundits a sign – it just says “I didn’t like them / didn’t care”, which does nothing to affect change. Of course, these same advisers should care if they wanted to suddenly snag a big portion of the undecided/unhappies – but it’s apparent that’s not what’s happening.
I have been watching the spread of the whole “not pick a party” voting movement in my social media feeds, the idea of refusing your ballot or being able to indicate “none of them”. Either option does indeed show that you cared enough to show up, which is better than not. But there is nothing in that movement that signifies what you do want. Constantly declaring what you don’t want doesn’t move our province forward. Figure out where you sit on the political spectrum. What 5 issues are most important to you and how you would solve it, and go find the party most fitting. Then get in there and make change within so your issues.
If you really can’t support the existing parties – do something to get public dialogue going more than “I hate them all so it’s not worth voting” passive-aggressive approach. What do you want/need? What isn’t being talked about or resolved? Don’t add to the slander (there are plenty of trolls of all stripes doing that actively, we really don’t need more), add to the progress. Write a blog, talk on social media, get friends out for drinks and talk politics, make art (paint, write stories, poems, something!) inspired by the issues, do something to add to public discourse in a meaningful way. Start the conversation more openly than in buried comments on reddit or on newspaper web portals. Get beyond the “s/he sucks/lies” easy-out. Talk issues. Talk solutions. The lousy televised leaders debate is the same old format that hasn’t changed since leader debates started being televised because the consortium of broadcasters don’t know how to initiate a change in the discussion.
So let’s us make that change happen. Discuss the issues and #voteON in the Ontario General Election.
Best reason to vote heard on @metromorning : “One snowflake does not make a difference; thousands of snowflakes changes the landscape”
— J. Broomfield (@broomerjg) June 6, 2014
If you don’t already have your voters card, or aren’t sure where to or how to vote Elections Ontario has quite the handy-dandy website with all the information that you need: http://www.elections.on.ca/en-CA/Voters