Our duty NOT to vote
I’d love to see a “none of the above” option offered in these polls, as in “If you could mark your ballot for ‘None of the Above’ to indicate your dissatisfaction with all the other choices would you do so?”
I believe that the approximately 50% of Canadians who don’t vote are doing that already by the only means permitted. A wasted vote is a vote cast for someone you don’t agree with just because the other options are worse. Politicians should have to earn our vote, not get it by default.
They say we have a duty to vote. What about the politicians duty to (a) tell the truth, (b) not to cheat on their expense accounts, (c) govern democratically, etc.?
If things are going to get better we must not rely on the politicians to make it so – they’re fine with the way things are now. We need to start thinking outside the box. The politicians don’t care who we vote for so long as we vote for someone because by doing so we give legitimacy to the system and the winner it produces. But the system is corrupt and invariably produces bad government that uses and abuses us. We can only expect change when we start denying politicians the one thing they can’t survive without.
Don’t vote . . .
. . . not because you don’t care, but because you do.
Wouldn’t we be giving up our democratic rights, something valiant Canadians have fought and died to preserve for us? Rights are something we can choose to exercise or not based on whether it is in our interests to do so. When exercising a right simply allows others to oppress us then that right becomes a wrong.
Focusing on our right to vote is a misdirection, a slight of hand used by politicians at election time to assure the legitimacy of the system their power and wealth depend upon. The focus ought to be on their responsibilities, not on our rights. Their responsibilities include:
1. Honesty – always telling the truth;
2. Integrity – doing as they promise to do, or, if that is not possible, resigning and seeking re-election on a different promise;
3. Accountability – being open in their dealings including the way they handle our money, especially for their own expenses;
4. Good faith – acting in the best interests of those who elected (employed) them rather than in the electoral interests of themselves, their party, or their leader;
5. Respect – dealing with each other as professionals charged with the job of working together to make wise decisions;
6. Stewardship – exercising the power delegated to them by their electors, not lording over us by claiming more power than we grant to them;
7. Perspective – understanding that they work for us, that they are the servants of the people and not our rulers.
Does this sound like a description of the way we are governed? No matter which party is in power?
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. It is insane to keep going to the polls and casting a vote hoping for something better. If no one voted the politicians would lose their claim to legitimacy. Before they allowed that to happen they would be forced to effect real change – to start acting responsibly. But first we have to start acting responsibly.