Sunday, October 18, 2015

Election day 2015 eve

Tomorrow is election day here in Canada. 3.6 MILLION Canadians have already voted in advance polls. That's out of about 26.4 eligible voters, so just over 13 % of Canadians have already voted.

The big question in my mind is not who is going to win.


(Wait for it.)

Are you going to join us? That's the question. I've voted already. A number of friends and colleagues have mentioned voting already.

Maybe you haven't voted because you're undecided, and want to wait till the last minute to see if anybody says anything even more spectacularly stupid than some of things said already. Maybe you're waiting to see if your candidate gets thrown off the ballot, like a bunch of others have. Maybe you were traveling over the long weekend. There's lots of reasons not to vote at the advance polls.

That's fine. Just get your ass out to vote on Monday.

But maybe you think you're busy. Bah! Nobody is that busy. If you're on a shift schedule for the time the polls are open, your employer is legally obligated to give you time off to vote. Maybe you're afraid you'll be in a line up. Bah! You probably have a phone to amuse yourself with. Or bring a book. Go with your neighbours and chat. And really, the line won't be that long. You've waited longer in line ups for a movie. Just do it.

You won't get any sympathy from me if you don't vote. I'll figure one of a couple things. You're such a weenie you can't cope with the minor inconvenience of a line up, or the complexities of producing valid ID. You're too lazy or stupid to spend a few minutes to find out who the candidates are in your riding, what they and their parties stand for, and which of them is the best choice for you. About the only way you'll get my sympathy is if you were taken to the hospital after a demonstration of driver incompetence. Unless it was you.

I've made no secret of wanting the Harper government gone. The odds of him personally losing his seat are trivial. That is unless a whole bunch of my neighbours have been lying to pollsters and overcome the habit of decades. I suppose it could happen, enough Albertans voted NDP they became the provincial government.

No, Tuesday morning Harper will still be my MP. That's the way I'd bet. The only way it won't happen is if the Conservative party takes another historic drubbing like in 1993. As you might remember, only 2 Conservatives were elected. The same thing happening again wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit. If it does happen, I wouldn't be surprised to see Harper pull a Prentice, and resign the seat. He couldn't live with only one other MP to dominate, as the leader of the 5th party.

There is one circumstance where I won't be grumpy about a Conservative majority government led by Harper. Just one. Enough Canadians voting for that result that the non-voting bloc wouldn't change the results no matter how they voted.

I'm a huge believer in democracy, even if it is the worst form of government, except for all the others. If a large majority of my fellow citizens want Harper and the Conservatives, I'll go along with that. What breaks my crayons is when a government gets a small fraction of the overall vote, 24% say, and gets 100% of the power, and worse, gloats about what voters want. They don't notice that a majority of voters voted against them.

But I don't think that would happen. Polling suggests we're going into a minority government. The more people voting, the more likely that is. Go vote young adults, go vote! I have two big hopes out of such a result:

  1. Set up some system of proportional representation federally and provincially. Same rules. One example, though there are many others, the Green Party got 7% of the vote, and one seat, instead of about 20.  Yes, splitting up the seats could lead to what is derisively called 'a pizza parliament', but I'd like to think it will express the will of the voters better. There could be a whole blog on this, stay tuned.
  2. Repeal C-51 in it's entirety. Start from scratch to determine what threats we really do face from terrorists, if any, and how they are, or are not, addressed by the powers currently possessed by various law enforcement agencies. In case you were wondering, I am much more worried about the afore mentioned demonstrations of driver incompetence than terrorists.
  3. A more minor hope is that the new government systematically undoes all the shit Harper did.
Call me a dreamer if you must, but there we are. The first makes it much more difficult for a paranoid monster like Harper from gaining such power again. The second restores the freedoms and liberties that Canadians enjoy, so that we are treated like citizens with rights, not potential terrorist suspects.

I'm going to be watching the results Monday evening, and paying close attention to the voter turnout numbers. Don't disappoint me!

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