Posted by Rob Slade on March 21, 2015.
I agree with Kevin. Most politicians are mendacious, and use and abuse voting (and polling) merely as social engineering tools to “prove” that they are following the “will of the people.” Here in BC we’ve got a referendum coming up that is a particularly cynical exercise. Supposedly a way to let people decide on the funding of public transport, it is being used by the provincial government as a way to justify a tax increase. But the vote has also been hijacked by a local “tax revolt” group to further their own ends. (Public transit is going to get very short shrift.) After that we get a federal vote, which will likely be won by someone who is widely regarded as a dangerous lunatic, but who has shown himself to be an absolute genius at Machiavellian election manipulation.
I also agree with Kevin that compulsory voting is pointless. It’s a waste of effort: as long as you are going to have secret ballots there is nothing to stop anyone who doesn’t want to vote from spoiling their ballot. And if you don’t have secret ballots you don’t have a democracy. We’ve known that for at least 2,500 years.
However, I also agree with Churchill: democracy is the worst possible political system except for all the others.
I’ve always voted. I figure I don’t get to complain unless I actually vote, and I love to complain. I know for a fact that my vote doesn’t count: I’ve never, ever lived in a riding where the choice has been decided by one vote. But I vote, every time. Even when I volunteer as a poll clerk or returning officer, which I also do, I pop my vote in the advance polls. (Scrutineers from the political parties tend to bug me, but they are part of the process, too, so I try to ignore them.)
Kevin doesn’t want to lend his legitimization to a damaged system, and I can understand that. He doesn’t want to vote, and I would defend his right not to. (Particularly if he’s voting for the other guy.)
Me, I’m gonna vote.Submitted in: Kevin Townsend's opinions, Rob Slade |