Attaboy.ca

Over There (in the UK)

April 14, 2003 at 1 PM

Voter avec votre cœur

Fellow Quebecers, make your voice heard. Contrary to popular belief, votes do count, but only as much as voters themselves believe it. If everyone decided to vote by their beliefs, democracy would be better served. Many of us here and in other representative democracies forget that we vote for a political candidate, not for a political party. Vote for the person, not the party, who will best serve the interests of you and your like-minded constituents. Canada and its provinces, more than other nations with similar political systems, suffer from a democratic deficit, but it is one I believe is largely due to perception. People feel their vote is meaningless, so they vote for the party that seems popular, or they don’t vote at all. Election-period polls aggravate the problem. We can regain control of our political system if we only choose to do it.

Meanwhile, I face a classic Canadian conundrum. Do I put my attention on the Quebec election happening today? Or do I find a sports bar to watch game 3 of my team’s playoff series? Television coverage starts at the same time for each. Polls close at 8:30 PM, so I have to wait until then, add three hours for the results to trickle in, and endure breathles, witless commentators prattle on about What It All Means. Meanwhile, the puck also drops at 8:30, and there will be no delay for the action to begin.

Bland Canadian politicians or hard-hitting, fast-shooting hockey players? The choice seems clear. After all, I’ll have five long years to live with the winner of the election, and I’ve already cast my vote. So why do I still feel guilty?

Comments

Vote, then watch. The election will manage without you.

Beerzie Boy | Apr. 14, 2003 — 2 PM

If everyone decided to vote by their beliefs, democracy would be better served.

Fair enough, but sometimes (not in the case of this particular election) it’s important to vote against something or someone you disagree with. In the last U.S. presidential election, there was a big debate in the Green Party about whether people should vote for the presidential candidate (Ralph Nader), thus voting for their beliefs, or whether they should vote for the Democratic candidate (Al Gore) to ensure that George Bush wouldn’t get elected. The debate intensified as the polls showed that the election would be really close, and a lot of people called for Nader to bow out of the race. He didn’t, and he got enough votes in Florida and New Hampshire to give Bush the presidency. We are all now witnessing the results of Nader’s obstinacy.

I’m a dual US/Canadian citizen. When I vote in the next U.S. presidential election (2004), I’m going to vote for the Democrats even if they don’t represent my beliefs, because the world cannot risk another 4 years of Bush.

— hurley | Apr. 15, 2003 — 5 PM

Moi, j’ai voté avec mon CUS en tabernac.

Brett | Apr. 18, 2003 — 4 PM

Previously: On Safari

Subsequently: The Horse Race

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