Dispatches

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Whether 'tis nobler to vote "for" or "against"


The time has come, for some of us, to vote in a by-election. And this feeling of being between the rock and the hard place is getting too familiar. Did I not just do this with a federal election? And did I not end up in the minority yet again?

I have been thinking lately, about this whole voting thing. Am I one of those people who chooses the candidate I least want elected and just vote for the person who is most likely to beat her or him? Or do I vote for the person I would actually like to see win?

For years, I was of the "vote with your heart" school. If we all just voted "against" the worst candidate, where would we be? Maybe that's our whole problem? I mean, if I never vote for the person I actually think should win, how is he or she possibly going to win?

But then I thought better of my sentimental voting habits. Everyone tells me they are foolish. The newspapers and pundits tell me that clever people vote strategically, by voting "against" the candidate they dislike the most. So I tried to be clever. And it felt terrible. Not only did I vote for someone who I didn't believe in, but that person still didn't win and I'm still being governed by an individual who I do not respect and who I'm not sure is worthy of the respect or power that he weilds.

All this is to say, I still don't know what to do. I'm basically faced with the same voting choices one month later, and I fear the same outcome. Do I risk being duped again? Or do I just do what I think is actually the proper thing to do?

Is this really democracy? I can't keep straight in my head all of the subtleties of the Canadian electoral system or of any other country's system, for that matter. But perhaps it is time to seriously consider a change. Although I suppose if things change we'll have to learn to vote all over again and that may be even more confusing than the conundrum I'm faced with presently. Drat.

Well, friends, you all know the answer to this problem. Bring on the martini!

2 Comments:

  • Bi-election? Is this a federal thing? I thought your MP was a cabinet minister? What's going on? I'm so confused...

    By Blogger Grad School Avenger, at 12:50 PM  

  • Ah. But this by-election was provoked by the federal election. The one voted in as MP had been the member of provincial parliament. So you see, kicks in the pants for bempi alllllll the way around!

    By Blogger bempi, at 6:50 PM  

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