Don’t want to vote for the crappy Conservatives? Can’t bring yourself to support the lousy Liberals? Feel like you can’t depend on the no-good NDP, or even the god-awful Green party?
You can tell I’m endorsing absolutely no one here. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my behind on October 6 and not vote.
I’m going to vote for no one.
No, I’m not trying to mess with you right now; because, if you didn’t know already, you can legitimately decline your vote in Ontario.
Along with Alberta and Manitoba, Ontario is one of the three provinces in Canada where if—for whatever reason—you find the political parties’ promises rather unpromising, or you share none of the televised and debated beliefs that each candidate reiterates, you can decline your vote.
By declining your vote, you send a message to politicians: you aren’t happy with the choices they’ve offered you. It lets them know there are people who would rather give their vote to no one than settle for one among several less-than-impressive platforms.
You know what this means, right?
It means that for all the variations made on the “I don’t vote” spiel spewed by the victims of the apathy machine, the excuse ends now.
And we should be happy about that because at one point in Canadian history, voting was considered a privilege. It was a luxury given out based on how much property and wealth you carried.
Ladies, if you lived in Canada before 1920, you couldn’t even vote. Hell, legally you weren’t even considered a “person” until 1929.
Part of a First Nations group? You could vote, but only if you gave up your treaty rights. Japanese-Canadian? Even if you were born and raised Canadian and practically bled maple syrup, you were legally excluded from voting during WWII.
And the list went on, challenging who could and could not vote based on religion, background, ethnicity, gender, ability, political belief.
Despite all this, the socially-marginalized challenged the idea that voting was a privilege and not a right. Through voting, they wanted to step up on the soapbox and express their political beliefs; they wanted to make it a right.
Now it’s just become a bothersome chore for many. Look no further than the pathetic voter turnout rates for the past several provincial elections.
The time has never been more right or fair for you to vote. What’s stopping you? You will not have your vote taken away for being poor, a woman, or being the child of immigrants. The ballot you cast will be your voice, even if you declare your vote as “declined”. The only thing between you and the ballot box is the effort required to walk over there. Stop with the excuses.
If you’re unhappy and you know it, cast your vote.