Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Seven Days. . .

Okay, it's really only six days until the federal election, but I came up with the title on Monday, and you gotta admit that an allusion to The Ring is gonna be a helluva lot catchier than Six Days. . .

Six days. How the hell did that happen?! I knew that there was an election going on, but. . . damn! I've been so focused on University and the American election (I was also recently rear-ended, but that's a whole other story I'd rather not get into) that I haven't had time to really consider who I will vote for.

I won't vote Conservative. I know that much. There are many reasons for this, including this one. Stephen Harper, before becoming PM, did everything he could to come across as a far-right loon-- it's only after he got elected that remodeled his image into that of a mere centrist douchebag. I worry about what he would do if he ever got a majority government. . .

But that said. . . in his latest campaign ads-- and I am truly sorry to say this, Naomi-- Stephen Harper looks surprisingly, frighteningly similar to Josh. It makes me almost able to tolerate that insipid "Stephen Harper Loves His Kids so Vote Conservative!" nonsense.

I most likely won't vote Liberal. Frankly, the only reason I would is if there was a good chance that the Liberal candidate would beat the Conservative one-- and this being Prince George, I think you know how likely it is for that little scenario to unfold.

I won't vote Bloc-- no Bloc candidate.

I'd consider voting for the Marxist-Leninist party just to make a statement! Problem is, I don't know what that statement would be.

So, in the end, I'm torn between the NDP and the Greens. The NDP have been making a lot of headway in the polls recently. There's a chance -- and, mind you, I base this on absolutely nothing other than a vague trend-- that they could beat out the Liberals to form an official opposition. Plus, my (metaphorical, I'm not British) Old Labour blood obliges me to vote for the leftist party.

On the other hand. . . all I've really heard and seen from the NDP ad's, website, and even platform are soundbites ("Man, fuck dem Eastside Boardroom table motherfuckas! I'm all about da Westside kitchen tables up in dis bitch! Ya feel me?") along with a few vague, nice-sounding ideas(Increased support for pedestrian and bicycle paths "as part of [the NDP's] commitment to sustainable transport"-- I'm not joking). To be fair, I haven't checked out the other party platforms and websites, but my feeling is that they won't be much better.

Adding to that is the fact that, well, Jack Layton seems to be a bit of a douche. I'm basing that solely on the fact that he, along with Stephane Dion, has been judged by the public to have come off a bit dickish during the English language debate (I say "appears" because I didn't watch the debate. . . Yes, I'm a terrible citizen, but I'm getting to that). Indeed, the two party leaders who came off looking the best, according to people who I have mostly never met, are Stephen Harper and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, which leads me to the other end of my conundrum. . .

The Greens. The environmentalist party. From what I've heard, they're left-leaning on social issues and environment, but right-leaning on the economy. Considering that the economic meltdown in the U.S. appears, by all accounts, to have occurred as a result of Republican emphasis on deregulation, the latter may well be a liability. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, their leader comes off as intelligent, knowledgeable, and reasonable-- from what I hear.

That, and they support a carbon tax, while the NDP support a cap and trade system. You see, carbon tax is good, and cap and trade is bad. . . from what I hear. . . somehow.


If you've made it this far, you've probably come to the conclusion that I really am an ignorant slut. You may have even decided that it would probably just be a better idea for this jackass (me) not to vote in the first place.

That, you see, was be design.

If you've been clicking on the links, you've probably visited my sister's blog, wherein she expresses her anger at those who choose not to vote for reason of every party sucking. Or, as she said herself:
I'm sitting on the CFUR couch listening to some guy rant about how he's exercising his democratic right by not voting. He claims hating every party as his excuse. . . . Enough people are stupid enough to either a) vote FOR [Harper] or b) NOT vote at all? No wonder North American politics are such a joke.
I know that Naomi isn't talking about this issue specifically, but her blog entry seems to suggest that compulsive voting might be the answer to some of our democratic woes.

I've always taken issue with the idea of compulsive voting. First, I do believe that if you have the right to vote, you have the right not to vote. While I do not agree with said CFUR guy's assessment of the political landscape, I could envision a circumstance wherein all the parties would screw the public with equal intensity. In that case, what good does it do to vote? "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos?"

Secondly, as this blog post has demonstrated, I really have no fucking clue as to who I should vote for. Really, I'm just stringing together a few random facts (Polls! Arts Funding! Kyoto!) along with a few gut level associations (Harper = Bush = BAD! NDP = Left = GOOD!) to form the basis of what is really an incredibly significant civic duty. I mean, really, would you want someone like me choose who your political leader should be? If I were this ignorant about anything else. . . well, I am a physics lab instructor, but that's not the point!

The point is, I'm somebody who actually gives half a shit about politics, or at least that's what I thought. Just imagine someone who really couldn't give a damn one way or the other being forced by law (or social pressure) to participate in the voting process. They don't care one way or the other, so they may as well vote for the guy who looks like Naomi's cute boyfriend.
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